Eric Barone places seventh, Joey Gunther finishes eighth

By University of Illinois Athletics

Final Brackets and Results

LAS VEGAS – Junior Travis Piotrowski (125) and redshirt sophomore Mike Carr (141) each placed sixth and were the team’s top finishers as Fighting Illini wrestling wrapped up competition at the Cliff Keen Invite in Las Vegas on Saturday. Redshirt junior Eric Barone won the 157-pound seventh-place match, upsetting No. 17 Hunter Willits of Oregon State in a 4-0 decision for his second win against a nationally ranked opponent in the tournament. Redshirt junior Joey Gunther placed eighth in the 165-pound division. Illinois finished 15th out of 43 teams competing in the Vegas tournament.

“We have some glaring weaknesses and issues with changing some bad habits that need to be addressed,” said head coach Jim Heffernan. “We had good effort from most guys but we need to be more consistent.”

Mike Carr made the semifinal matchup in the championship bracket after winning all four of his matches yesterday. He was defeated by Jaydin Eierman of Missouri in a 5-2 decision. Carr was a medical forfeit in his next two consolation matches.

After advancing through his first consolation matchup after a medical forfeit by his opponent, Piotrowski went on to defeat No. 13 Devin Schroder in a 5-3 decision. Piotrowski would go on to place sixth after dropping a close decision in the fifth-place bout to No. 16 Drew Mattin, 3-2.

Eric Barone concluded a strong weekend on Saturday by going 2-1 and finishing seventh in the 157-pound division. He started the day with a 4-2 decision victory over Missouri’s Jarrett Jacques. After dropping a hard-fought decision against No. 4 Tyler Berger of Missouri, Barone went on to face No. 17 Hunter Willits of Oregon State in the seventh-place bout. Barone was sound against his nationally ranked opponent, shutting out Willits and earning a point for riding time at the end of the match to win a 4-0 decision. The win for Barone was the second against a FloWrestling nationally ranked wrestler of the weekend. Barone upset No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes of Ohio State Friday in the round of 16.

In the 165-pound consolation bracket, Gunther won his first match of the day in a 3-1 decision over Cam Coy of Virginia. Gunther placed eighth after being defeated in the seventh place bout by No. 15 Connor Flynn of Missouri.

Day 1 Highlights:

Ranked No. 7 at 141-pounds heading into the Vegas tournament, Carr looked in control in his first action since the Grapple in the Grove on Nov. 3, outscoring his opponents by a combined total of 40-11. He started the day with a dominant performance in a 12-3 decision over Dalton Young of Stanford. Carr then recorded two more decision victories in the rounds of 32 and 16. He first defeated Brown University’s Colin Realbuto in an 8-3 decision, then followed up that performance by downing Garrett O’Shea of Air Force, 6-2 to advance to the quarterfinals. Carr ended his first day of action with his strongest performance of the day against Wyoming’s Sam Turner, picking up five takedowns on his way to a 14-3 major decision victory.

Barone came away with the performance of the day for the Orange and Blue, upsetting No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes of Big Ten rival Ohio State in a 2-1 decision. Prior to beating Hayes, Barone fought his way too a tough victory in the round of 32, pinning Brown’s Christian LaBrie in overtime to advance to the round of 16 matchup with Hayes. After Hayes received a stall warning in the first period, he was eventually called for stalling in second, giving Barone the 1-0 advantage. Barone then took a 2-0 lead after landing an escape point with 49 seconds left in the second. Barone was sound defensively the rest of the way and held on to acheive the 2-1 upset victory and head to the quarterfinal round.

No. 10 Travis Piotrowski notched two wins in his first action of the season on Friday. After receiving a first round bye, Piotrowski was sound in his first matchup of the season against Cornell’s Dominic LaJoie, shutting out LaJoie in a 4-0 decision. Piotrowski moved on to the round of 16 where he faced off against No. 20 Cole Verner of Wyoming. Piotrowski jumped out to an early lead 6-0 lead with a two-point takedown and four-point nearfall. LaJoie answered with an escape, a takedown and a two-point nearfall to make cut Piotrowski’s advantage to 6-5. However, Piotrowski never trailed and a third period takedown proved to be the difference as Piotrowski came away with a 9-7 decision over Verner.

No. 14 Joey Gunther advanced to the quarterfinals after winning his first three matchups of the day. Gunther first bested Jacob Thalin of Cal State-Bakersfield in an 8-5 decision. He proceeded to the round of 16 after defeating Dylan Miracle of Cal Poly, tallying five takedowns on his way to a 12-3 major dec. In the round of 16, Gunther battled against No. 20 Jake Wentzel out of Pittsburgh. Trailling 1-0 heading into the third period, Gunther made an escape to tie the score at 1. A takedown by Gunther with 52 seconds remaining was the deciding factor, and the Illini redshirt junior advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-2 decision victory.

Illinois Results:

125: #10 Travis Piotrowski (Jr.) // 4-3 // 6th Place

Champ Round 1: Bye
Champ Round 2: Travis Piotrowski Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Dominic Lajoie Ithaca, NY (Cornell), 4-0
Champ Round 3: Travis Piotrowski Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC #20 Cole Verner Laramie, WY (Wyoming), 9-7
Quarterfinals: #8 Sean Russell Minneapolis, MN (Minnesota) DEC Travis Piotrowski Champaign, IL (Illinois), 2-0
Cons Second Round of Eight: Travis Piotrowski Champaign, IL (Illinois) FOR Colby Smith Wentzville, MO (Missouri)
Cons First Round of Four: Travis Piotrowski Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC #13 Devin Schroder West Lafayette, IN (Purdue), 5-3
Cons. Semifinals: Brent Fleetwood Fargo, ND (North Dakota State) DEC Travis Piotrowski Champaign, IL (Illinois), 4-0
5th Place Match: #16 Drew Mattin Delta, OH (Michigan) DEC Travis Piotrowski Champaign, IL (Illinois), 3-2

133: #11 Dylan Duncan (r-So.) // 4-2

Champ Round 1: Dylan Duncan Champaign, IL (Illinois) F Lukus Stricker Rootstown, OH (Harvard), 2:30
Champ Round 2: Dylan Duncan Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Ty Smith Philadelphia, PA (Drexel), 9-2
Champ Round 3: #12 Korbin Myers Blacksburg, VA (Virginia Tech) DEC Dylan Duncan Champaign, IL (Illinois), 4-3
Cons Second Round of 16: Dylan Duncan Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Anthony Madrigal Norman, OK (Oklahoma), 4-1
Cons First Round of 8: Dylan Duncan Champaign, IL (Illinois) MD #16 Colin Valdivez Lee’s Summit, MO (Northwestern), 12-4
Cons Second Round of 8: Charles Tucker Ithaca, NY (Cornell) DEC Dylan Duncan Champaign, IL (Illinois), 5-3

141: #7 Mike Carr (r-So.) // 4-3 // 6th Place

Champ Round 1: Mike Carr Champaign, IL (Illinois) MD Dalton Young Palo Alto, CA (Stanford), 12-3
Champ Round 2: Mike Carr Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Colin Realbuto Providence, RI (Brown University), 8-3
Champ Round 3: Mike Carr Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Garrett O’shea U.S. Air Force Academy, CO (Air Force), 6-2
Quarterfinals: Mike Carr Champaign, IL (Illinois) MD Sam Turner Laramie, WY (Wyoming), 14-3
Semifinals: #3 Jaydin Eierman Columbia, MO (Missouri) DEC Michael Carr Champaign, IL (Illinois), 5-2
Cons. Semifinals: #15 Dom Demas Norman, OK (Oklahoma) M FOR Michael Carr Champaign, IL (Illinois)
5th Place Match: #11 Josh Alber Cedar Falls, IA (Northern Iowa) M FOR Michael Carr Champaign, IL (Illinois)

149: Christian Kanzler (Jr.) // 0-2

Champ Round 1: Robert Lee Pittsburgh, PA (Pittsburgh) DEC Chrisitan Kanzler Champaign, IL (Illinois), 5-1
Cons Round of 32: Davion Jeffries Norman, OK (Oklahoma) DEC Chrisitan Kanzler Champaign, IL (Illinois), 14-7

157: Eric Barone (r-Jr.) // 4-2 // 7th Place

Champ Round 1: Bye
Champ Round 2: Eric Barone Champaign, IL (Illinois) F Christian Labrie Exeter, RI (Brown University), 8:00
Champ Round 3: Eric Barone Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC #4 Ke-Shawn Hayes Columbus, OH (Ohio State), 2-1
Quarterfinals: #10 Taleb Rahmani Marysville, OH (Pittsburgh) MD Eric Barone Champaign, IL (Illinois), 12-4
Cons. Second Round of Eight: Eric Barone Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Jarrett Jacques Columbia, MO (Missouri), 4-2
Cons. First Round of Four: #4 Tyler Berger Lincoln, NE (Nebraska) DEC Eric Barone Champaign, IL (Illinois), 5-1
7th Place Match: Eric Barone Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC #17 Hunter Willits Corvallis, OR (Oregon State), 4-0

165: #14 Joey Gunther (r-Jr.) // 4-3// 8th Place

Champ Round 1: Joey Gunther Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Jacob Thalin Bakersfield, CA (Cal State Bakersfield), 8-5
Champ Round 2: Joey Gunther Champaign, IL (Illinois) MD Dylan Miracle Madera, CA (California Poly), 12-3
Champ Round 3: Joey Gunther Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC #20 Jake Wentzel Pittsburgh, PA (Pittsburgh), 3-2
Quarterfinals: #10 Isaiah White Lincoln, NE (Nebraska) DEC Joey Gunther Champaign, IL (Illinois), 7-3
Cons. Second Round of Eight: Joey Gunther Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Cam Coy Charlottesville, VA (Virginia), 3-1 SV
Cons. First Round of Four: #13 Demetrius Romero Orem, UT (Utah Valley) DEC Joey Gunther Champaign, IL (Illinois), 6-3
7th Place Match: #15 Connor Flynn Columbia, MO (Missouri) DEC Joey Gunther Champaign, IL (Illinois), 4-0

174: Carver James (r-Jr.) // 2-2

Champ Round 1: Carver James Champaign, IL (Illinois) MD Kettner Fields Seattle, WA (Highline College), 15-4
Champ Round 2: Carver James Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Zachary Stodden Broomfield, CO (Nebraska-Kearney), 7-2
Champ Round 3: #9 Taylor Lujan Cedar Falls, IA (Northern Iowa) F Carver James Champaign, IL (Illinois), 5:43
Cons. Second Round of 16: Devin Kane Chapel Hill, NC (North Carolina) DEC Carver James Champaign, IL (Illinois), 11-4

197: Andre Lee (r-Sr.) // 3-2

Champ Round 1: Bye
Champ Round 2: #15 Jake Woodley Norman, OK (Oklahoma) DEC Andre Lee Champaign, IL (Illinois), 5-2
Cons. Round of 32: Andre Lee Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Casey Jumps Platte City, MO (Air Force), 11-4
Cons. First Round of 16: Andre Lee Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Chasen Blair San Diego, CA (North Carolina), 3-1 SV
Cons Second Round of 16: Andre Lee Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Wyatt Koelling Columbia, MO (Missouri), 3-1 SV
Cons. First Round of 8: Cordell Eaton Fargo, ND (North Dakota State) DEC Andre Lee Champaign, IL (Illinois), 3-1

HWT: Deuce Rachal (r-Sr.) // 1-2

Champ Round 1: Bye
Champ Round 2: Deuce Rachal Champaign, IL (Illinois) DEC Zach Schrader Manhattan Beach, CA (California Baptist University), 5-4
Champ Round 3: Brian Andrews Laramie, WY (Wyoming) DEC Deuce Rachal Champaign, IL (Illinois), 2-0
Cons. Second Round of 16: Zach Elam Kansas City, MO (Missouri) DEC Deuce Rachal Champaign, IL (Illinois), 4-0

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