Wrestlers draw mixed results in Vegas tourney

MU wrestlers visited a city that never sleeps this weekend for the Las Vegas Invitational. In true Vegas style, they broke even.

The Tigers finished in the middle of the 41-team pack. They placed 20th, tied with Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo.

The tournament was the first regular-season event for the team. It already hascompeted in two preseason events. Before the tournament, coach Wes Roper had his wrestlers cut back on their preseason training regimen.

"They've been tapering down [the week before the tournament]," he said before they left for Las Vegas last Thursday. "They'll be rested for the tournament."

The rested Tigers were led by a youngster and a veteran.

Redshirt freshman Jason Moore's fifth-place performance in the 167-pound weight class was the highest MU finish. Moore was sent quickly to the loser's bracket with a 7-6 loss in the first round. He then won his next five matches, lost in the semifinal consolation match and won his final match. His six wins were the most by any MU wrestler in the tourney.

Senior Mike Harp wrestled into the semifinals in the 142-pound weight class. In the semis, he met Oklahoma State's Steven Schmidt. Schmidt, the nation's No. 1 ranked wrestler in his class, is a Big 12 rival the Tigers will see again. Harp led Schmidt 5-4 after two periods before surrendering three points in the final period. Harp then lost in consolation rounds and finished sixth overall.

Oklahoma State was one of three other Big 12 teams in the tournament. The Cowboys finished first, Iowa State placed fifth and Nebraska placed seventh.

The Tigers will now concentrate on their first regular matches. Their home-opener is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Indiana.

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