Carlson named Big 12 Wrestler of the Week

IRVING, Texas — After a championship performance at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational over the weekend, South Dakota State University’s Clay Carlson was honored Tuesday at the Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Week.

A junior from Willmar, Minnesota, Carlson became the first South Dakota State wrestler to win an individual title at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, claiming the 141-pound championship in competition Dec. 3-4. The top seed in the weight class and a returning All-American, Carlson went 4-0 over the two-day tournament with three of his wins over ranked wrestlers.

After receiving a first-round bye, Carlson pinned Louis Newell of Kent State in the second period, then defeated No. 23 Jake Bergeland of Minnesota for the third time this season, 6-3.

In Saturday’s semifinals, Carlson turned in a dominant 6-1 decision over No. 15 Parker Filius of Purdue, setting up an all-Big 12 final against No. 7 Andrew Alirez of Northern Colorado. Carlson trailed 6-3 entering the third period, but came up with an escape and two takedowns in the final minute, the second of which he turned into a pin of Alirez with five seconds remaining in the match.

Carlson improved to 10-0 on the season with his four wins in Las Vegas.

South Dakota State will send a contingent of wrestlers to the UNI Open Saturday in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Jackrabbits return to dual action Dec. 18 at Nebraska.

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