By Vincent Perez
Assistant Sports Editor
Two CSU Bakersfield wrestlers reached fifth-place matches in the Dec. 1-2 Cliff Klein Las Vegas Invitational.
Competition was at an all-time high at the two-day tournament.
No. 9-ranked senior Matt Williams, at 197 pounds, lost 10-4 in the first round to Ohio State’s Kollin Moore.
Moore is ranked No. 1 in the country and Williams was previously undefeated in his weight class this season before losing.
Williams, an Apple Valley, California native, bounced back after his loss and pinned No. 14 Jeric Kasunic, from American University and won by major decision (7-0) over Drexel’s Stephen Loiseau, in the fifth-place match for 197.
Redshirt-junior, No. 19 Sean Nickell (133), who won his weight class championship at the Roadrunner Open last month, lost in the round of 16 to North Carolina’s Zach Sherman, 4-3.
CSUB had other wrestlers compete but not proceed past the round of 16.
Coleman Hammond (157), a redshirt-senior, won his first two matches, but lost his last two matches.
Hammond, a Bakersfield native, lost 6-4 in the fifth-place match to Archie Colgan, of Wyoming.
Redshirt-senior Sergio Mendez (125) lost his first-round match to Ethan Lizak, of Minnesota, 9-6.
Russell Rohlfing, a redshirt-sophomore, exited the first round as well. Rohlfing lost to Pittsburgh’s Nick Zantta 10-6.
In the round of 16, redshirt-sophomore No. 20 Lorenzo De La Riva (165) was beaten by Isaiah White of Nebraska.
Ohio State won first place, with 155.5 overall team points, Michigan was second and Arizona State finished third.
CSUB finished 16th out of 45 teams in a highly competitive two-day tournament.
The Roadrunners travel to Fresno Friday, Dec. 8, for a Fresno State dual.
The Roadrunners then travel for a dual with Northwestern in San Luis Obispo, Dec. 15.
The Roadrunners head back to Nevada for the Reno Tournament of Champions, Dec. 17.
CSUB will continute their season and face opponents such as Duke, Wyoming and No. 12 Arizona State before Pac-12 Championships, Feb. 25.
The Roadrunners season will lead to the NCAA Championships March 15-17, in Cleveland, Ohio.