Dec. 7, 2013
LAS VEGAS - For the second time in as many days, 197-pounder Braden Atwood defeated Michigan’s Chris Heald with a 5-2 decision to take seventh-place honors at the 32nd Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Collegiate Wrestling Invitational Saturday. Purdue closes out the tournament 25.5 points and is 21st in the team standing at the conclusion of the third session. Oklahoma maintains its hold at the top with 141.5 points and boasts five finalists, along with Nebraska, who is second with 126.5 points. Cornell (105.5), Ohio State (105) and Michigan (101.5) round out the top-five teams heading into the 3 p.m. PT finals session.
Atwood, the sixth-seed at 197, quickly took Heald down in the first period, but the Wolverine reversed Atwood to even the score at 2-2. The Boilermaker escaped from Heald’s grip and took a 3-2 lead into the second period. Choosing to start from the bottom position, Atwood added another escape for a 4-2 advantage, which he held for the remainder of the second. The closing two minutes were all Atwood as he accumulated the entire two minutes of riding time, adding to the 1:08 he already had, for the final point. The win was the 10th of the redshirt junior’s season, who is now 10-4.
In the consolation fourth round, Atwood was working for the fall against Utah Valley State’s Derek Thomas, scoring six back points in five minutes. He added a takedown and a reversal in the third period, plus 2:06 worth of riding time en route to a 16-3 major decision. The Boilermaker then dropped an 11-6 decision to 10th-seeded Chris Penny of Virginia Tech in the consolation quarterfinals to earn a spot in the seventh-place match.
Eighth-seeded Danny Sabatello’s first period takedown and third period reversal were not enough to get past Iowa State’s Gabe Moreno as the Boilermaker was dealt an 8-4 setback in the fourth round of the 141-pound wrestlebacks. The redshirt sophomore now owns a record of 9-4.
At 149, fourth-seeded Scott Sakaguchi of Oregon State proved to be too much for 10th-seeded Brandon Nelsen in a 9-2 loss. The setback moves him to 7-4 in his redshirt junior campaign. Chad Welch, who was seeded 11th at 165, built a 5-2 lead on Navy’s ninth-seeded Payton Walsh in the first period, but was unable to score again and dropped the bout by a 9-5 decision. The consolation loss puts Welch’s season mark at 4-3.
Purdue (2-1, 0-1 Big Ten) is a neutral-site dual with Chattanooga (4-3) on Dec. 15 at Mountain View High School in Lawrenceville, Ga.
Consolation Fourth Round Results
141: Gabe Moreno (Iowa State) dec. No. 8 Danny Sabatello (Purdue), 8-4
149: No. 4 Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State) dec. No. 10 Brandon Nelsen (Purdue), 9-2
165: No. 9 Payton Walsh (Navy) dec. No. 11 Chad Welch (Purdue), 9-5
197: No. 6 Braden Atwood (Purdue) maj. dec. Derek Thomas (Utah Valley State), 16-3
197: No. 10 Chris Penny (Virginia Tech) dec. No. 6 Braden Atwood (Purdue), 11-6
197: No. 6 Braden Atwood (Purdue) dec. Chris Heald (Michigan), 5-2