Monk Claims Runner-Up Finish at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational

LAS VEGAS – North Dakota State junior Steven Monk took second place in the 165-pound weight class at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational on Saturday, and freshman Josh Rodriguez earned a seventh-place finish at 133 pounds.

The No. 7-ranked Monk posted a 1-0 decision over No. 8 Nick Sulzer of Virginia in the semifinals before falling 6-0 to No. 1 Kyle Dake of Cornell in the championship match. Dake is a three-time defending NCAA champion.

NDSU BisonWith a 4-1 record in the tournament, Monk improved his season record to 13-1.

Monk’s victory over Sulzer was his second over a wrestler ranked in the Top 10 this season. It marked the fourth time this year that a Bison wrestler defeated a Top 10 opponent.

NDSU freshman Josh Rodriguez went 4-2 for the tourney and earned a seventh-place finish. Following a win over No. 10 Brian Owen of Boise State on Friday, Rodriguez recorded decisions over Brance Simms of South Dakota State and Thomas Kelliher of Wisconsin on Saturday. Rodriguez defeated Kelliher 6-4 in the seventh-place match.

The Bison totaled 37.5 points to finish 17th out of 32 teams, but did not have entries in the 125- or 184-pound weight classes. No. 5 Ohio State won the team title.

Cliff Keen Las Vegas Tournament results

NDSU will host No. 15 Oregon State for a dual in the Bison Sports Arena on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m.

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