Bridges Advances to Semifinals at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite

Tracy Ringolsby

From the desk of Kevin DeVries/Wyoming Athletic Department

LAS VEGAS – Montorie Bridges advanced to the semifinals to lead the Wyoming wrestling team on day one of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite. Bridges, who entered as the pre-invite No. 2 seed at 133 pounds, won three matches on the day.

Bridges was joined in the quarterfinals by fellow Cowboy Brian Andrews, who lost in the quarterfinals Friday night at heavyweight. Andrews was defeated by Arizona’s Tanner Hall, 2-1 in the quarters after he began the day with a pin of Jarrod Snyder of CSU Bakersfield and a 4-0 victory over Edinboro’s Jon Spaulding.

Bridges opened his day in impressive fashion with a 10-1 major decision victory over Purdue’s Travis Ford-Melton. Bridges then took down Northern Colorado’s Mosha Schwartz 4-3 in the round of 16 before advancing to Saturday with a 6-4 win over Tim Rooney Kent State.

“I wrestled decent today,” said Bridges afterward.

“I think I did a good job of making guys feel uncomfortable. A couple of times today I got down early but I just pushed through and broke through that wall. Making the guys feel uncomfortable out there got me back into it.”

The Pokes saw seven wins in the opening round of the CKLV Invite and six wins on the consolation side of the bracket. One of those wins came at 149 as Jaron Jensen upset 18-ranked Brent Moore of Virginia Tech, 9-2.

Jensen went 3-1 on the day at 149 and also grabbed wins over Hunter Richard Barneveld of Cornell, 6-4 in the opening round and got a major decision over Binghamton’s Michael Zarif 10-2 before earning the upset against Moore.

Hayden Hastings also went 3-1 on the day at 174 pounds. Hastings opened his day with a pin of Northern Colorado’s Billy Higgins just before the first period ended in his first match of the tournament. After losing to Kaleb Romero of Ohio State in the second round, 5-2, Hastings grabbed a pair of major-decision victories in the consolations, beating CSU Bakersfield’s Albert Urias, 8-0 before finishing the night with a 10-0 win over Kyle Kretzer of the Citadel.

Day two kicks off at 10 a.m., with Round 7, the second consolation round in the round of (8). Bridges will wrestle at 11 a.m., in the semifinals.

“For tomorrow I’m looking to do the same things I did today,” said Bridges. “Push the pace, make things uncomfortable and just look to score the next points and everything should take care of itself.”

Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational – Day One Results
Dec. 6, 2019 | Las Vegas Convention Center | Las Vegas, Nev.

125: Cole Verner (WYO) dec. Jake Gromacki (Clarion) 3-2
133: Montorie Bridges (WYO) MD Travis Ford-Melton (Purdue) 10-1
141: Sawyer Degen (UND) dec. Chase Zollmann (WYO) 7-0
149: Jaron Jensen (WYO) dec. Hunter Richard Barneveld (Cornell) 6-4
157: Dewey Krueger (WYO) dec. Brawley Lamer (Cal Poly) 6-1
165: Joshua Shields (ASU) dec. Cole Moody (WYO) 8-4
174: Hayden Hastings (WYO) Fall Billy Higgins (N. Colo.) (2:59)
184: Tate Samuelson (WYO) Fall Brody Thompson (GCU) (2:10)
197: Jay Aiello (VA) dec. Stephen Buchanan (WYO) 8-7
HWT: Brian Andrews (WYO) Fall Jarrod Snyder (CSU Bakersfield) (0:38)

125: Patrick McKee (Minn) Forfeit Verner (WYO)
133: Bridges (WYO) dec. Mosha Schwartz (N. Colo.) 4-3
149: Griffin Webster (Purdue) dec. Jensen (WYO) 6-0
157: Jacori Teemer (ASU) MD Krueger (WYO) 18-8
174: Kaleb Romero (Ohio St) dec. Hastings (WYO) 5-2
184: Trent Hidley (NC St) dec. Samuelson (WYO) 4-1
HWT: Andrews (WYO) dec. Jon Spaulding (Edinboro) 4-0

133: Bridges (WYO) dec. Tim Rooney (Kent St) 6-4
HWT: Tanner Hall (Arizona) dec. Andrews (WYO) 2-1

141: Noah Blakley-Beans (CSU-B) dec. Zollmann (WYO) 7-3
149: Jensen (WYO) MD Michael Zarif (Binghamton) by major decision 10-2
157: Krueger MD Jimmy Fate (N. Colo.) 8-0
174: Hastings (WYO) MD Albert Urias (CSU-B) 8-0
184: Darrien Roberts (Okla) SV-dec. Samuelson (WYO) 5-3
197: Buchanan (WYO) dec. Stan Smeltzer (VT) 6-2
165: Dazjon Casto (Citadel) SV-dec. Moody (WYO) 7-5

149: Jensen (WYO) dec. Brent Moore (VT) 9-2
157: Jacob Wright (Fresno) dec. Krueger (WYO) 4-2
174: Hastings (WYO) MD Kyle Kretzer (Citadel) 10-0
197: Greg Bulsak (Clarion) Fall Buchanan (WYO) (1:29)