NORMAN — After a two-week hiatus, the Oklahoma wrestling team is back in action this weekend at the competitive Cliff Keen Invitational. The two-day tournament will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 1 (Friday-Saturday) at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Cliff Keen Invitational features 42 teams from across the nation, with 13 of those ranked in InterMat’s latest top-25 release: No. 2 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 Minnesota, No. 8 Missouri, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 11 Northern Iowa, No. 13 Northwestern, No. 14 Rutgers, No. 15 Cornell, No. 16 Virginia Tech, No. 18 Illinois, No. 21 North Carolina, No. 23 Oregon State.
The event will also include competition from six Big 12 squads in Fresno State, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, Utah Valley and Wyoming.
Last Time Out
OU heads to Las Vegas after two weeks off. In the Sooners’ last competition, redshirt freshman Dom Demas captured the title at 141 pounds and the Oklahoma wrestling team finished fifth at the Journeyman MyHouse Collegiate Classic in Schenectady, N.Y.
Demas won decisions in the first two rounds, defeating Wyoming’s Sam Turner 4-2 and Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven 11-4. Demas finished off the day by pinning InterMat No. 15/FloWrestling No. 14 Nate Limmex of Purdue in just 1:31. The Columbus, Ohio, native earned the Hammer Award for most outstanding wrestler at the tournament.
Three OU wrestlers finished second in their respective pools: Christian Moody (125), Davion Jeffries (149) and Justin Thomas (157).
Newcomer Demas has now recorded three pins this season through just two weekends of competition. Demas is 8-1 on the year and has won his last six matches straight dating back to OU’s first competition, the Michigan State Open on Nov. 3, where he took fourth in his weight class. The redshirt freshman also earned Big 12 Wrestler of the Week honors for Nov. 12, becoming the first OU wrestler to do so since Moody in January 2018.
Sooners in the Rankings
Two Sooners are ranked in InterMat’s latest rankings: Demas is No. 18 at 141 pounds, while Jake Woodley checks in at No. 17 at 197. Additionally, OU landed three wrestlers in Trackwrestling’s rankings, with Demas No. 17, Woodley No. 17 and graduate transfer Kayne MacCallum (184) No. 22.
At 157, Justin Thomas is No. 13 in FloWrestling’s release.
Competition is slated to begin at 11 a.m. CT on both Friday and Saturday. A full event schedule can be found on the tournament’s website, and brackets and results will be available on FloArena. Additionally, FloWrestling will live stream the event for a fee.
The Sooners’ home opener is set for Friday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. when OU will host South Dakota State. Tickets for the event can be purchased online or by calling the OU Athletics Ticket Office at (405) 325-2424.
OU heads to Stillwater, Okla., on Sunday, Dec. 9 for a Bedlam clash. The match will be broadcast on ESPNU.