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Lions go to Vegas for Cliff Keen Invite




NEW YORK For the 15th time in the program’s history, Columbia Wrestling will hop on a plane and travel west to Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite, which kicks off Friday, December 3 at noon EST. run on weekends and end the evening of Saturday, December 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Hall.


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitation – Live stats | Look (FloWrestling) [$]) | Social Media (@culionswr)

LAST TIME OFF: Columbia last took on No. 4 Michigan in the first game at Schiller Court at Levien Gym since 2015, which also doubled as Columbia’s double meet and home opener for the 2021-22 season. Despite a 34-3 fall from the No. 4 Wolverines, Aaron Ayzerovi opened the game with a comeback decision, 8-4, over Michigan’s Max Maylor.

Joshua Ogunsanya battled No. 13 Cameron Amine all the way to the finish at the end of the game, falling in a narrow 3-1 decision in a match that Ogunsanya was active in from start to finish.

VEGAS LINKED: This weekend will be the 39th annual Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite, and for the Lions it will be their first time competing in the national tough tournament since 2017. That visit to Vegas in 2017 was the Lions’ fourth straight season to make the trip, and they’ve been going to the tournament since the 1999 season.

The Lions will be joined by nationally ranked programs and Ivy League programs in the competitive tournament. Heading to Vegas from the Ivy League, next to Columbia, are Cornell, Harvard, and Princeton.

Along with the four Ivy League programs, the tournament is rounded out by Binghamton (EIWA); California Baptist University (WAC); Cal Poly (Big Sky); CSU Bakersfield (Big West); The Citadel (South); Kent State (MAC); Nebraska (BIG10); Northwest (BIG10); State of North Dakota (BIG12); Northern Colorado (BIG12); Ohio State (BIG10); Oklahoma (BIG12); Oregon State (PAC12); Purdue (BIG10); Sacred Heart (EIWA); Stanford (PAC12); State of South Dakota (BIG12); Utah Valley (BIG12) and Wyoming (BIG12).

LIONS RANKED: Columbia enters the weekend in Vegas with three nationally ranked by FloWrestling or Intermat. Showing the way is Joe Manchio, coming in at number 16 in Flo’s rankings and number 17 in the Intermat rankings.

After his solid weekend at the Southeast Open, Ogunsanya broke the Intermat rankings at number 33 and has stayed on ever since to go into the weekend at number 31. 21 (Flo) and No. 14 (Intermat).

SOUTHEAST STRONG: On November 7, Columbia opened the 2021-22 season with a trip to Salem, Virginia to participate in the Southeast Open. A pair of Lions, Manchio and Ogunsanya, each took home titles, with Manchio winning by 125lbs and Ogunsanya taking the title by 165lbs.

Manchio knocked off then No. 7 125-pounder in the nation, Virginia Tech’s Sam Latona. Manchio got a late takedown against the defending ACC champion and 2021 NCAA All-American to take the win in his first league weekend of the season.

As for Ogunsanya, he defeated four opponents en route to first place in the first collegiate action of the sophomore career. Ayzerov (174) and Matt Arciuolo (149) rounded out Columbia’s weekend with a few third-place finishes, as the Lions placed 12 in total during the event.

CAPTAINS OF THREE: At the start of the season, during Columbia’s outdoor practice session during the Columbia Football Homecoming game on October 16, Andrew F. Barth Wrestling Head Coach Zach Tanelli announced that Kazimir and Manchio will be joined by Brian Bonino as the 142nd, 143rd and 144th Lions to be named team captains for the 2021-22 season.

“All three bring unique elements to the program that consistently elevate the men and women of this team into better versions of themselves,” said Tanelli. “They deserve to have a title that comes with their leadership.”

LEVIEN HOUSE: The last time the Lions were at Levien Gym was when they hosted a doubleheader in 2015 and this season they are stuck for at least one more game. The opening of the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association against LIU on January 9 will also be held at Schiller Court in Levien Gym.

“We want to grow Columbia Wrestling and every year that I’m here it’s evolving and growing,” Tanelli said. “And for us, we want to create a better atmosphere for both our fans and the students. We’re excited to grow the Columbia Wrestling experience by moving to Levien Gym.”

LOCATION POLICY:Fans should enter from street level at the doors on the southeast corner of 120th & Broadway. Fan capacity at Schiller Court in Levien Gymnasium is limited to 70 percent of the site’s listed capacity according to University Task Force protocols. All fans aged 12 and older must present a vaccination certificate upon entry. All fans must wear a mask at all times. All fans must also complete a COVID-19 protocol certificate.

Fans coming to Schiller Court at Levien Gymnasium must adhere to Columbia Athletics and Columbia University venue protocols.


Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitation
Las Vegas, Nev. (Las Vegas Convention Center)

125 no. 16 Joe Manchio
133 Mason Clarke
141 Kenny showerk
149 Matt Arciuolo
157 Kyle Mosher
165 Joshua Ogunsanya
174 Aaron Ayzerovi
197 Joe Franzese
285 Danny Conley

THE LIONS FOLLOW:Stay up to date on all things Columbia Wrestling by following the Lions on Twitter (@CULionsWR), Instagram (@culionswr) and on Facebook (@ColumbiaAthletics).




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