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Monday, Feb. 26
The Indiana Daily Student

sports wrestling

Senior Powless in search of 100th career win

Wrestling v IUSE

The IU wrestling team will compete Friday and Saturday in the 30th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.

“It’s considered one of the toughest early season tournaments,” IU Coach Duane Goldman said.

No. 5 Cornell, No. 8 Michigan and No. 10 Ohio State are just a few of the teams to compete in the two-day event.

“For some of the guys that are doing well, like (redshirt freshman Taylor) Walsh, (senior Matt) Powless and (sophomore Ryan) LeBlanc, it’s going to be a good opportunity to meet guys that will push them up in the rankings,” Goldman said. “For our other guys, it will be an opportunity to meet and win against good people that will get them on the right track.”

Last season, Powless placed third at the invitational.

This year at the event, he could earn his 100th career win. He hopes to place in the tournament for the fourth-straight year.

“I’m both nervous and excited,” Powless said. “It’s the first time this season where I really wrestle a lot of good competition back to back to back. It’s not only physically straining, but it’s mentally straining as well.”

Despite the particularly tough nature of the tournament, Powless said the team is eager to compete.

“That’s what makes wrestling fun,” Powless said. “It also helps build your reputation as a wrestler when you beat guys that are highly ranked.”

This week, Goldman said the Hoosiers have worked to improve physically and return to the basics of the sport in practice to better prepare them for the tournament.

“We’re focusing on implementing our basic skills and our conditioning,” Goldman said. “We need to get back to the basics of positioning and execution, rather than trying to get more extravagant.”

Sophomore Mitchell Richey will continue to wrestle for IU after making his season debut Nov. 26 at the Hoosier Duals.

The team has also been preparing outside of practice, Powless said.

“Me and the rest of the guys have taken extra time to take care of our bodies,” Powless said. “It’s all about spending our downtime wisely so we have fresh legs and lungs when it’s time to wrestle.”

IU's projected lineup:

125 lbs: Zach Zimmer, redshirt freshman
133 lbs: Joe Duca, redshirt freshman
141 lbs: Mitchell Richey, sophomore
149 lbs: No. 17 Taylor Walsh, redshirt freshman
157 lbs: Ryan Konz, junior
165 lbs: Sawyer Morris, redshirt freshman
174 lbs: Ryan LeBlanc, sophomore
184 lbs: Cheney Dale, redshirt freshman
197 lbs: No. 5 Matt Powless, senior
285 lbs: Jowan Gill, sophomore

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