December 7, 2013
Tech wraps up competition at Las Vegas Invite
Penny, Gabel, Carter and Vetterlein all place at prestigious tournament

LAS VEGAS - The Virginia Tech wrestling team wrapped up competition at the 2013 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Saturday, with four placing in the event. Chris Penny led the way with a fifth-place finish with both Austin Gabel and Nick Vetterlein placing seventh. The Hokies entered the day with one wrestler in the semifinals, but Devin Carter had to default out after suffering a significant hamstring pull in Friday night’s 141-pound quarterfinal win. He still placed sixth, even with the forfeits.

“Chris Penny gets the gold star for the weekend in Las Vegas,” said Tech head coach Kevin Dresser. “I was also impressed with the improved toughness of Gabel and Vetterlein. Our three freshmen found out what Division I college wrestling is all about this weekend. Their attitudes going forward will determine how far they go this season and all three have potential. Hopefully, Carter, Neibert and Monn get healthy soon. This team can’t afford any absences! We must have all hands on deck when January rolls around! We have lots of season left so we will get better.”

Joey Dance and Dennis Gustafson both lost their first matches of the day while Gabel, Vetterlein and Penny each won their first respective match of the day, but Gabel and Vetterlein both lost their second bout to drop into the seventh-place match at their respective weight class while Penny won again to advance in the consolation bracket. After falling to No. 1 Taylor Meeks of Oregon State in a close match, he got a forfeit to take fifth. Gabel and Vetterlein both beat guys they beat on Friday to earn seventh place.

Chris Moon (knee injury) defaulted out and both Ty Walz and Chad Strube were eliminated on Friday.

Tech entered the final session in 10th place with 56.5 points.

The team will take some time off before heading to Evanston, Ill., for the Midlands Invitational on Dec. 29 and 30 in an event hosted by Northwestern.

Here are all the results from Tech’s nine wrestlers who competed:

125: Joey Dance (8th seed; 3-2)
First Round: def. Brendan Campbell (Navy), MD 10-2
Second Round: lost to #19 David Terao (American), 3-2
Consolations: def. A.J. Salazar (Grand Canyon), 10-4 *
Consolations: def. Rami Haddadin (Boise State), 6-4 (SV)
Consolations: lost to Nick Roberts (Ohio State), 4-1

133: Dennis Gustafson (3-2)
First Round: lost to #4 Joe Colon (Northern Iowa), TF 18-3 (6:45)
Consolations: def. Alfredo Orozco (Western Wyoming College), TF 15-0 (3:29) *
Consolations: def. Aaron Hansen (Citadel), MD 14-5
Consolations: def. Chasen Tolbert (Utah Valley University), 8-6
Consolations: lost to Rosario Bruno (Michigan), 12-9

141: Devin Carter (2nd seed; 3-0; SIXTH PLACE)
First Round: def. Dylan Phillipy (San Francisco State), Fall (1:05) *
Second Round: def. Austin Solari (Grand Canyon), Fall (1:05) *
Quarterfinals: def. #11 Joe Spisak (Virginia), 14-11
Defaulted out (hamstring injury)

157: Chad Strube (1-2)
First Round: def. Chayse Jackson (Grand Canyon), MD 9-0
Second Round: lost to #5 R.J. Peña (Oregon State), MD 11-2
Consolations: lost to Brady Bersano (California Baptist), 8-7 *

165: Chris Moon (6th seed; 1-0)
First Round: def. Vincent Aboytes (San Francisco State), 6-0 *
Defaulted out (knee injury)

174: Austin Gabel (6th seed; 5-2; SEVENTH PLACE)
First Round: def. Patrick Kissel (Purdue), 4-3
Second Round: def. Kevin Radford (Arizona State), 5-3
Quarterfinals: lost to #16 Stephen Doty (Virginia), 4-0
Consolations: def. Eric Morris (Harvard), 4-1
Consolations: lost to Lelund Weatherspoon (Iowa State), 3-1
Seventh-Place Match: def. Kevin Radford (Arizona State), 7-2

184: Nick Vetterlein (9th seed; 5-2 ; SEVENTH PLACE)
First Round: def. James Suvak (Virginia), MD 12-4
Second Round: def. #11 Trent Weatherman (Iowa State), 8-6
Quarterfinals: lost to #4 Jacob Swartz (Boise State), 8-2
Consolations: def. Shayne Brady (North Carolina State), 12-5
Consolations: lost to Ophir Bernstein (Brown), Fall (4:10)
Seventh-Place Match: def. #11 Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State), 3-2

197: Chris Penny (10th seed; 5-2; FIFTH PLACE)
First Round: def. Chace Eskam (Arizona State), 4-3
Second Round: def. James Fox (Harvard), Fall (4:52)
Quarterfinals: lost to #5 Travis Rutt (Oklahoma), 8-5
Consolations: def. Zach Nye (Virginia), 4-2
Consolations: def. #16 Braden Atwood (Purdue), 11-6
Consolations: lost to #1 Taylor Meeks (Oregon State), 8-6
Fifth-Place Match: won by forfeit

285: Ty Walz (3rd seed; 2-2)
First Round: def. Peter Anguiano (Grand Canyon), 13-6 *
Second Round: lost to Ethan Hayes (Virginia), 4-3
Consolations: def. Marcus Malecek (Air Force), MD 16-5
Consolations: lost to Blaize Cabel (Northern Iowa), 9-7

* - counts toward overall record but not toward NCAA qualification as competitor is not a Division I wrestler

For updates on Virginia Tech wrestling, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Wrestling).

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