Keith and Fox finished third and seventh, respectively, to lead Harvard at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Gil Talbot).
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – No. 18 Steven Keith placed third and freshman James Fox took seventh to pace the Harvard wrestling team at the 2011 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. The Crimson placed 15th in the team competition with 34.5 points.
Keith began Saturday with a fall over 11th-seeded Thomas Kelliher at the 2:11 mark, guaranteeing himself a place on the podium. The junior followed that up with a 5-4 decision over Stanford's Ryan Mango, the second seed, to reach the consolation finals and then took out Michigan's Zachary Stevens, the fifth seed, with a 6-0 decision to take third. This marks the first time Keith has finished on the podium.
Fox opened the second day of competition with an 8-7 decision over Ohio State's Andrew Campolattano, seeded fifth, before falling to eighth-seeded Brandon Palik from Drexel, 7-4. Fox earned his seventh-place finish via a medical forfeit over Michigan's Maxwell Huntley.
No. 7 Walter Peppelman, the tournament's second seed, was also in the podium hunt on Saturday but was forced to drop out of the competition due to an injury.
Peppelman entered the tournament as the second seed at 157 lbs. and pick up a 4-0 decision over West Virginia's Dominic Prezzia in his first bout. A 13-3 major decision over Austin Sommer of Drexel earned the junior a spot in the quarterfinals where he was forced to medically forfeit to seventh-seeded T.J. Hepburn from Nebraska-Kearney. Peppelman is scheduled to face Ohio State's Josh Demas, the third seed, on Saturday with the winner being guaranteed at least an eighth-place finish.
Keith, the eighth-seeded grappler at 133 lbs., joined Keith in the quarterfinals. Keith picked up a 2-1 decision over Hofstra's Jamie Franco in the first round and then knocked off Army's Jordan Thome, the ninth seed, via a 9-0 major decision. The junior was bounced from championship contention by top-seeded Logan Stieber from Ohio State with a fall at the 4:40 mark. Keith will face 11th-seeded Thomas Kelliher from Wisconsin in the wrestlebacks on Saturday, with the winner earning a spot on the podium.
Fox entered the tournament unseeded at 197 lbs. but remains alive for a place on the podium after an impressive first day. The freshman opened with a 7-1 decision over Navy's Paul Rands, but suffered a 13-4 major decision loss to Indiana's Matt Powless, the second seed. Fox bounced back with a 4-3 decision over Nebraska's Jam's Nakashima and took a 10-2 major decision over North Carolina's Nick Tenpenny. Fox will meet fifth-seeded Andrew Campolattano from Ohio State on Saturday.