Photo of All-American and third-ranked J.P. O'Connor courtesy of DSPICS.com.
PRIMM, Nev. – Senior co-captain J.P.
O’Connor won the 157 pound weight class at the 28th Cliff
Keen Las Vegas Invitational Saturday evening at the Star of the
Desert Arena. With the win, O’Connor becomes the fifth
Harvard wrestler to win an individual title at the CKLV
Invitational and the second in two years.
O’Connor improved to 14-0 overall with a 2-1 tiebreaker win over Adam Hall of Boise State in the championship match. Neither wrestlers was able to score an offensive point as all three scores came on escapes. O’Connor started the tournament off with three straight major decisions over his opponents. In the semifinals, O’Connor knocked off No.2 seed and second ranked Chase Pami, 5-4.
Sophomore Walter Peppelman worked his way back through the consolation round to place sixth at 149 pounds. Peppelman won his first match by pinning Eric Luna of North Idaho, but faced No. 1 seed and second-ranked Kyle Ruschell in the second bout. Peppelman held his own before falling 5-0. In the consolation bracket, Peppelman won three straight including a 16- technical fall. He fell in his final to contests to two top eight grapplers to land on the medal stands.
Classmate Sean Murphy went 1-2 at 197 pounds and freshman Adam Hogue went 1-2 at 165 pounds. The Crimson finished 18th overall with 40.5 points. Ohio State won with 122.5 points, followed by Cornell with 121.5 and Oklahoma with 109.5.
The Crimson returns to the mats at the Midlands Championship held at Northwestern University Dec. 29-30.
133 – Fermin Mendez
Fell to No. 11 (2nd seed) Kevin Smith (Buffalo), F, 1:12
Fell to Andrew Guabfelder (Columbia), F, 2:00
141 – Paul Liguori
Fell to Brennan Bumley (Old Dominion), D, 3-1
Fell to Danny Monaco (Indiana), D, 3-1
149 – Walter Peppelman (Sixth)
Defeated Erica Luna (North Idaho), F, 5:26
Fell to No. 2 (1st seed) Kyle Ruschell (Wisconsin), D, 5-0
Defeated Cole Dailaserra (Wyoming), TF, 16-0
Defeated Barrett Abel (Cal Davis), D, 5-4
Defeated (12th seed) RJ Pena (Oregon State), D, 3-2
Fell to No. 7 (5th seed) Jason Chamberlain (Boise State), MD, 11-1
Fell to No. 8 (4th seed) Kevin LeValley (Bucknell), D, 19-12
157 – No. 3 J.P. O’Connor (first)
Defeated Derek Schriener (Cornell), MD, 10-1
Defeated Eric Jones (Wyoming), MD, 11-2
Defeated Ryan Konz (Indiana), MD, 13-1
Defeated 6th seed Jesse Dong (Virginia Tech), D, 5-4
Defeated No. 2 (2nd seed) Chase Pami (Cal Poly), D, 5-4
Defeated No. 6 (4th seed) Adam Hall (Boise State), D, 2-1 TB
165 – Adam Hogue
Fell to T Edwards (Arizona State), D, 6-4
Defeated Clayton Schulke (Cal Davis), D, 11-5
Fell to Alex Rinaldi (Drexel), D, 6-1
174 – Bryan Panzano
Fell to Quinton Godley (N. C. State), D, 5-2
Fell to Gene Choi (San Francisco State), TF, 16-0
197 – Sean Murphy
Fell to Alfonso Hernandez (Wyoming), D, 11-2
Defeated Rory McBryde (Cal Davis), F, 2:04
Fell to Cody Magrum (Ohio State), MD, 14-5