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Nick Suriano, Anthony Ashnault Capture Cliff Keen Titles for Rutgers Wrestling

Both wrestlers state case to be No. 1

Photo courtesy of Rutgers Wrestling

They both rolled through their brackets and boy was it enjoyable.

Nick Suriano and Anthony Ashnault both captured a gold medal at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas on Saturday night.

Suriano kicked things off with an 11-3 win over Micky Phillippi of Pittsburgh to remain undefeated. It was a surprising bout after Phillippi upset Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher. It was all Suriano from the get go, using tremendous hand defense and counter attacks to keep Phillippi off balance. The constant pressure led to the major decision for Suriano and now he states his case to be the No. 1 ranked wrestler at 133 lbs. Michigan’s Stevan Micic did not wrestle due to not being 100% according to his head coach Sean Bormet.

While Suriano is ranked No. 2 behind Seth Gross of South Dakota State according to Flo Wrestling, he is No. 3 according to InterMat behind Micic and Gross. He should certainly be a unanimous No. 2 by the next rankings and his resume now compares with the defending National Champion Gross.

At 149 lbs. Anthony Ashnault rolled his way to a 14-10 victory over the two seed, Micah Jordan of Ohio State. Ashnault led 10-1 after two periods but let his large lead slip due to Jordan’s quick takedowns and let ups. Jordan remained on the offensive but Ashnault did just enough to hang on for the win. It is nothing to get concerned over considering Ashnault is known to improve in rematches versus almost all opponents.

He too, will have a case to be No. 1 at 149 lbs. While Princeton’s Matthew Kolodzik keeps winning, Ashnault will likely still sit behind him, but should be the unanimous No. 2. However, like Suriano, Ashnault boasts a nice resume with this tournament victory.

The Rest:

John Van Brill was the only one alive today in addition to Ashnault and Suriano. He lost to Ohio State’s Ke’Shawn Hayes in the “blood round” and did not medal at the tournament. Besides the two champs, Rutgers turned in a relatively disappointing performance but were saved in the team standings due to bonus points (falls, techs, major decision).

Here are the rest of the results from the rest team:

125: Shane Metzler (0-2)

141: Peter Lipari (0-2)

174: Joe Grello (2-2)

184: Jordan Pagano (0-2)

197: Matthew Correnti (0-2)

HWT: Christian Colucci (1-2)


Rutgers will wrestle Rider University at the RAC on December 16th. Head coach Scott Goodale will go for a new program record for career wins.