The first Mustang in 10 years to win his weight class in the event, the top-seeded Wick decisioned Cameron Amine of Michigan 4-1 in the semifinals before claiming the first-place trophy with a 6-2 decision over second-seeded Shane Griffith of Stanford. The fifth-year senior was named the meet’s most outstanding wrestler.
The Wisconsin transfer went 5-0 in the tournament with a technical fall, a major decision and three decisions, lifting his record for the season to 9-0. Cal Poly’s Ryan DesRoches claimed the 174-pound title in 2011.
“An outstanding performance by Evan, knocking off the returning national champion and earning the tournament’s most outstanding wrestler award,” said sixth-year Mustang head coach Jon Sioredas.
Against Amine, the fourth seed, neither wrestler scored in the first period. Amine chose the neutral position for the second round and Wick tallied a takedown for a 2-0 lead. Wick chose bottom for the final period and earned an escape and riding time for the 4-1 win. Amine’s point was for stalling by Wick.
In the finals, Wick scored a takedown and Griffith escaped in the first period. With Griffith chose bottom for the second period and there was no scoring. From the bottom position in the final period, Wick scored an escape, takedown and riding time en route to the 6-2 triumph.
Wick is a three-time national qualifier and two-time NCAA All-American. Griffith claimed the NCAA title at 165 pounds last season and is a two-time national qualifier, two-time Pac-12 Wrestler of the Year and three-time Pac-12 champion. They met for the first time Saturday.
Cal Poly’s other semifinalist Saturday was Adam Kemp at 174 pounds. Seeded 14th with a pair of upsets already under his belt, the Fresno State transfer dropped a tight 3-2 decision to second-seeded Ethan Smith of Ohio State. Smith earned a takedown and Kemp escaped in the first period. Smith escaped in the second period and Kemp did the same in the final period, coming up just short of a spot in the finals.
Kemp, who upset the third and sixth seeds on Friday, forfeited his two matches in the consolation bracket Saturday due to injury and placed sixth.
Following a second-round loss Friday, Mustang 125-pounder Antonio Lorenzo won four of five matches en route to his fifth-place finish. He finished with a 5-2 mark which included one falll, a technical fall, a major decision and two decisions, improving to 6-4 on the year.
On Saturday, the unseeded Lorenzo earned a 5-2 decision over No. 3-seeded Malik Heinselman of Ohio State, dropped an 8-2 decision to Jack Medley of Michigan, the fourth seed, and defeated unseeded Jake Svihel of Wyoming 8-3.
Legend Lamer placed seventh at 149 pounds, the sixth seed earning an 11-7 decision over No. 9 Michael Blockhus of Minnesota in his final match. Lamer was 4-2 in the tournament and sports a 7-2 mark for the season.
At 141, seventh-seeded Lawrence Saenz fell 3-2 to unseeded Cole Mattin of Michigan in a wrestleback match Saturday morning and was eliminated.
Cal Poly finished 10th among the 26 teams competing in the tournament, scoring 60.5 points. Nebraska won with 125 points followed by Ohio State (104) and Michigan (94.5).
Cal Poly has not had multiple placewinners in the Las Vegas Invitational since 2011 when DesRoches won the 174-pound title and both 141-pounder Boris Novachkov and 285-pounder Atticus Disney placed fifth.
Tom Lane was third at 197 in 2019 while Devon Lotito was third at 133 in 2012. Mustang 157-pounder Colt Shorts placed seventh in 2016 and Blake Kastl placed eighth at 149 pounds in 2013.
“We are incredibly proud of our team performance, finishing in the top 10 this weekend,” said Sioredas.
Selected Cal Poly wrestlers will compete in the Ken Kraft Midlands Championships on Dec. 29-30 at NOW Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
Results for Cal Poly wrestlers:
Antonio Lorenzo tech. fall Kyle Randall (Sacred Heart) 16-1 (4:07), was dec. by Patrick Glory (Princeton) 3-0, maj. dec. Jack Creamer (Oklahoma) 14-1, pinned Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State) 4:43, dec. Malik Heinselman (Ohio State) 5-2, was dec. by Jack Medley (Michigan) 8-2, dec. Jake Svihel (Wyoming) 8-3 (fifth place)
Abe Hinrichsen bye, was dec. by Chris Cannon (Northwestern) 6-1, dec. Dillon Murphy (Harvard) 5-4, was maj. dec. by Job Greenwood (Wyoming) 12-3.
Lawrence Saenz dec. Kenny Duschek (Columbia) 6-2, pinned Ty Smith (Utah Valley) 5:56, was tech. fall by Andrew Alirez (Northern Colorado) 20-5 (7:00), was dec. by Cole Mattin (Michigan) 3-2.
Legend Lamer dec. Daniel Kimball (South Dakota State) 9-4, tech. fall Ethan Willis (The Citadel) 16-0 (2:10), was dec. by Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) 7-4, dec. Sam Turner (Nebraska-Kearney) 9-2, was dec. by Mitch Moore (Oklahoma) 11-7, dec. Michael Blockhus (Minnesota) 7-3 (seventh place)
Brawley Lamer bye, was maj. dec. by Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) 10-2, was dec. by Andrew Cerniglia (Navy) 8-6.
Evan Wick tech. fall Augustine Garcia (CSU Bakersfield) 15-0 (3:20), dec. Val Park (Navy) 4-2, maj. dec. Matthew Malcom (Nebraska-Kearney) 9-0, dec. Cameron Amine (Michigan) 4-1, dec. Shane Griffith (Stanford) 6-2 (first place)
Adam Kemp bye, dec. Christopher Foca (Cornell) 3-2, dec. Troy Fisher (Northwestern) 4-2 OT, was dec. by Ethan Smith (Ohio State) 3-2, lost by medical forfeit to Christopher Foca (Cornell), lost by medical forfeit to Troy Fisher (Northwestern) (sixth place)
Samuel Aguilar was dec. by AJ Nevills (South Dakota State) 6-0, was pinned by M McAleavey (The Citadel) 5:27.
Photos courtesy of Lawrence Slater.