Gophers Finish in 7th place as Brayton Lee Wins 149-pound Title

LAS VEGAS – The Minnesota wrestling program finished the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in seventh place with 79.5 team points, one champion, and four total placers.

Redshirt freshman Brayton Lee was Gophers lone champion at 149-pounds while Mitch McKee made the 141-pound finals before dropping the decision. Elsewhere, Devin Skatzka finished fourth at 174-pounds and Bailee O’Reilly finished eighth at 165-pounds.

In his semifinal match against No.5 Max Thomsen, Lee earned a match-tying takedown late in the third period before taking down Northern Iowa’s three-time qualifier only seconds into the sudden victory period.

Against long-time high school and freestyle rival Sammy Sasso in the championship bout, Lee showed off his relentless attacks including a shot immediately off the whistle. Lee accumulated three takedowns en route the 6-4 decision victory.

Lee finished off his weekend with three straight victories against top-ten opponents per the FloWrestling rankings.

First up in the semifinals was McKee who used a 3-0 third period to upset No.2 Dom Demas of Oklahoma. After taking the top position, McKee earned a two-point nearfall as well as the riding time point to earn a 5-2 decision.

In the finals against top-ranked Luke Pletcher, McKee hung tight but dropped the 10-6 decision after losing the takedown battle as well as riding time.

In his first major folkstyle tournament, redshirt freshman Brayton Lee took home the championship. Lee won five straight, including the final three over top-ten opponents to become the only freshman to win their bracket this weekend

“I want to say thank you to everyone who supports me. I’m so grateful for everyone who got me to this place in my life.” – 149-pound Champion Brayton lee

“Overall it was a good weekend out here in Vegas at the Cliff Keen. I thought our guys wrestled with really good energy. Brayton Lee wins a title here and that’s great. A lot of focus and attacks, it was a fun weekend for all freshman, I think.” – Coach Brandon Eggum

2019 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Results

Full Results (Numbers listed are FloWrestling rankings)

125-pound Patrick McKee (DNP)
Round of 32: Pat McKee Fall (3:15) Tomas Guitierrez (Kent State)
Round of 16: Pat McKee forfeit Cole Verner (Wyoming)
Quarterfinals: No.2 Jack Mueller (Virginia) major dec. (16-4) Pat McKee
Cons. Round of 8 #2: Joey Prata (Virginia Tech) dec. (4-0) over Pat McKee

133-pound Brent Jones (DNP)
Round of 32: Jarrett Trombley (NC State) dec. (5-0) over Brent Jones
Cons. Round of 16 #2: Brent Jones major dec. (15-6) Garrett Lambert (Hofstra)
Cons. Round of 8 #1: No.13 Anthony Madrigal (Oklahoma) dec. (6-0) Brent Jones

141-pound Mitch McKee (Runner-up)
Round of 32: No.4 Mitch McKee tech. fall (16-0) Navonte Demison (Arizona State)
Round of 16: No.4 Mitch McKee fall (3:58) Cory Simpson (Kent State)
Quarterfinals: No.4 Mitch McKee major dec. (8-0) No.13 Ian Parker (Iowa State)
Semifinals: No.4 Mitch McKee dec. (5-2) No.2 Dom Demas (Oklahoma)
Championships: No.1 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State) dec. (10-6) No.4 Mitch McKee

149-pound Brayton Lee (Champion)
Round of 32: No.12 Brayton Lee dec. (5-1) over Josh Cortez (Cal Poly)
Round of 16: No.12 Brayton Lee dec. (9-4) over Josh Maruca (Arizona State)
Quarterfinals: No.12 Brayton Lee dec. (8-3) over No.8 Brock Zacherl (Clarion)
Semifinals: No.12 Brayton Lee SV-1 (4-2) over No.5 Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa)
Championships: No.12 Brayton Lee dec. (6-4) over No.10 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State)

157-pound Carson Brolsma (DNP)
Round of 32: No.7 Kendall Coleman (Purdue) dec. (8-4) over Carson Brolsma
Cons. Round of 16 #1: Carson Brolsma major dec. (11-1) over TJ Calas (Sacred Heart)
Cons. Round of 16 #2: Carson Brolsma dec. (10-4) over Avery Shay (Clarion)
Cons. Round of 8 #1: Carson Brolsma dec. (5-1) over Jaden Mattox (Ohio State)
Cons. Round of 8 #2: Peyton Robb (Nebraska) dec. (9-7) over Carson Brolsma

165-pound Bailee O’Reilly (Eighth)
Round of 32: Bailee O’Reilly dec. (3-2) over Matthew Malcolm (Nebraska-Kearney)
Round of 16: Bailee O’Reilly dec. (7-3) over Jacob Thalin (Cal State Bakersfield)
Quarterfinals: No.4 Isaiah White (Nebraska) dec. (9-5) over Bailee O’Reilly
Cons. Round of 8 #2: Bailee O’Reilly major dec. (13-2) over Bernie Truax (Cal Poly)
Cons. Round of 4: No.16 Thomas Bullard (NC State) fall (2:16) Bailee O’Reilly
Seventh Place Match: No.14 Philip Conigliaro (Harvard) major dec. (10-3) Bailee O’Reilly

174-pound Devin Skatzka (Fourth)
Round of 32: No.9 Devin Skatzka dec. (5-2) over Tyler Morland (Northwestern)
Round of 16: Marcus Coleman (Iowa State) dec. (9-6) over No.9 Devin Skatzka
Cons. Round of 16 #2: No.9 Devin Skatzka dec. (8-2) over No.21 Daniel Bullard (NC State)
Cons. Round of 8 #1: No.9 Devin Skatzka tech. fall (18-0) over Sage Heller (Hofstra)
Cons. Round of 8 #2: No.9 Devin Skatzka dec. (1-0) over No.11 Kaleb Romero (Ohio State)
Cons. Round of 4: No.9 Devin Skatzka dec. (4-3) No.12 Brandon Womack (Cornell)
Consolation Semifinals: No.9 Devin Skatzka major dec. (10-1) over No.8 Anthony Valencia
Third Place Match: No.5 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) SV-1 (7-5) No.9 Devin Skatzka

184-pound Owen Webster (DNP)
Round of 32: Owen Webster tech. fall (17-0) Michael Doggett (Harvard)
Round of 16: Owen Webster fall (1:00) No.4 Ben Darmstadt (Cornell)
Quarterfinals: No.2 Trent Hidlay (NC State) dec. (7-4) over Owen Webster
Cons. Round of 8 #2: No.17 Jelani Embree (Michigan) dec. (5-2) over Owen Webster

197-pound Garrett Joles (DNP)
Round of 32: No.19 Christian Brunner (Purdue) major dec. (14-6) over Garrett Joles
Cons. Round of 16 #1: Garrett Joles major dec. (12-3) Martin Duane (Citadel)
Cons. Round of 16 #2: Greg Bulsak (Clarion) fall (1:45) Garrett Joles

285-pound Bobby Steveson (DNP)
Round of 32: Zachary Knighton-Ward (Hofstra) major dec. (13-4) over Bobby Steveson
Cons. Round of 16 #1: Thomas Penola (Purdue) dec. (10-5) Bobby Steveson

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