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NEW YORK – The Columbia wrestling team will return to the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas, which gets under way Friday and concludes on Saturday. 

Action from the Las Vegas Convention Center gets under way at 9 a.m. on Friday with pig tail rounds before the first two championship rounds, and three consolation rounds. At 6 p.m., the quarterfinals and another round of consolation bouts will cap the day. Saturday begins with a consolation round at 9 a.m., before the semifinal matches take place around 10 a.m., feeding into the consolation rounds that provide the place bouts. At 3 p.m., the Finals and Third Place matches will conclude the tournament.

This year marks the fourth straight season in which Columbia has ventured to Vegas for the Cliff Keen Invitational, as the Lions are looking to put a current member of the team on the podium for the first time. A total of 44 of the top teams in collegiate wrestling stand in the way, including No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Michigan, No. 6 Arizona State, No. 11 Virginia Tech, No. 12 Minnesota, No. 15 Northern Iowa, No. 18 Central Michigan, No. 19 Wyoming, No. 20 Oregon State, No. 21 Pittsburgh, No. 22 Edinboro, No. 23 Duke, and No. 24 Navy.

The best chance for Columbia to find the podium falls on the shoulders of three seniors that have all impressed in the early portions of the 2017-18 slate.

Garrett Ryan is currently ranked No. 14 in The Open Mat, No. 15 in Trackwrestling, and No. 16 in the Intermat poll, behind an 8-1 record. The heavyweight opened the season with a title at the Binghamton Open, before taking second place at the Navy Classic. Aside from his 4-0 loss to Hofstra’s Michael Hughes, Ryan has only surrendered as many as three points in a match once, as he has a pair of pins to his name.

Jacob Macalolooy found himself at No. 22 in the latest Trackwrestling rankings, as he has opened the season at 9-2 in the 149 pound weight class. The senior claimed second during the Binghamton Open before a third place finish at the Navy Classic. Macalolooy also has two pins and two major decisions this season.

Tyrel White joins Ryan as the only members of the current squad to have advanced to the second day of action at the Cliff Keen Invite, after he found himself in the quarterfinal round a season ago. This year, the 174-pounder is 7-3, thanks to a runner-up finish at the Binghamton Open, before claiming fourth place during the Navy Classic.

Columbia Lineup
Spencer Good
133Alec Kelly
141JP Ascolese
149Jacob Macalolooy
157Tyler Zimmer
165Laurence Kosoy
174Tyrel White
184Andrew Psomas
197Michael Bulkin OR Matt Doggett
HWTGarrett Ryan