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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Powless, LeBlanc lead IU in Vegas tournament

Senior earns 100th career win in 1st-round match

Wrestling

This past weekend, the IU wrestling team traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the 30th Annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and came away with a pair of top-five finishes.

Senior Matt Powless placed second at 197 pounds, and sophomore Ryan LeBlanc placed fifth at 174 pounds.

“It was a tough tournament,” IU Coach Duane Goldman said. “I think a lot of our young guys got a tough introduction into what we’re going to be up against this season.”
Powless earned his 100th career win as he pinned Boise State’s Cody Dixon in his first-round match.

Powless proceeded to the finals where he suffered his first defeat of the season to No. 4 Chris Honeycutt of Edinboro 10-4.

“For me, personally, I thought I did OK making it to the finals, but I’m disappointed in myself the way the finals ended,” Powless said. 

LeBlanc wrestled eight times during the two-day event. After suffering a loss in the second round, he dropped into the wrestlebacks where he earned four consecutive wins.

LeBlanc wrestled against No. 4 Nick Heflin of Ohio State in his second-to-last match of the tournament. Both wrestlers could only score one point in regulation time.

Heflin earned a takedown in the extra period, sending LeBlanc into the fifth-place match that he won due to a medical forfeit.

Redshirt freshman Zach Zimmer won twice in the tournament at 125 pounds.

“Zimmer was probably the most impressive of our new faces,” Goldman said. “He showed a lot of promise.”

Zimmer won his first two matches of the tournament before falling to top-seeded Nicholas Bedelyon of Kent State. Zimmer fell into the wrestlebacks but was unable to place after losing to North Dakota State’s Trent Sprenkle.

“He was really competitive and lost a close match to a highly ranked wrestler,” Goldman said. “But he was definitely impressive.” 

The Hoosiers’ next meet will be away Dec. 18 against Ohio State, the tournament’s team champion.

“We’re going to have our work cut out for us,” Goldman said. “We have a weekend off, so that’s going to give us time to cover a lot of things and get better in practice.”

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