Coon Captures Heavyweight Title; U-M Places Fifth at Keen Invite
Adam Coon

Dec. 7, 2013

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Site: Las Vegas, Nev. (Las Vegas Convention Center)
Event: Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational (Day 2 of 2)
U-M Team Finish: 5th Place of 33 Teams (108.5 points)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Dec. 15 -- vs. Central Michigan (Cliff Keen Arena), 2 p.m.

LAS VEGAS, Nev. -- Freshman Adam Coon (Fowlerville, Mich./Fowlerville HS) became just the third Wolverine rookie to capture an individual Cliff Keen Invitational title, winning the heavyweight crown to headline the No. 20-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team's fifth-place finish (108.5 points) on the second and final day (Saturday, Dec. 7) of competition of the annual event held at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Six total Wolverines placed at their respective weight classes.

Coon used an overtime takedown to rally past Boise State's second-seeded J.T. Felix, 7-5, in the tournament's final match. Felix struck first in the bout, scoring on a pair of first-period single legs -- the only takedowns allowed by Coon in the tournament -- and carried a 4-2 lead into the second period. Coon escaped quickly and finished on a single-leg takedown of his own late in the third before Felix escaped to tie the score and send the match to overtime. Felix shot in on a single leg in the sudden-victory frame, but Coon quickly scrambled out, throwing the Bronco wrestler off balance. He toppled backward, and Coon jumped on top, wrapping up both legs for the winning takedown.

It was his second win over a top-five nationally ranked wrestler this weekend. He improved to 13-0 on the season.

The Wolverine rookie cruised in the semifinal round, scoring four takedowns and two back points to earn a 12-3 major decision against Utah Valley's Adam Fager. He jumped out to a quick lead on a four-point throw in the first period before scoring on one more takedown in frame, including two spin-behinds on sloppy Fager shots, and accumulating 1:59 in time advantage.

Fifth-year senior Dan Yates (Hesperia, Mich./Hesperia HS) fought off his back to collect a pin in the third-place match at 165 pounds. Northern Iowa's fifth-seeded Cooper Moore had him in trouble with a deep half, but Yates worked up and earned a reversal, catching the Panther wrestler to stick him at the 1:39 mark.

Yates split his morning session matches, dropping a 10-3 decision to Virginia's second-seeded Nick Sulzar in the semifinals before bouncing back with an 11-4 win over Cornell's Dylan Palacio in his first wrestleback match. The Wolverine senior rallied from an early deficit in the latter, hitting a reversal in the first period before putting Palacio on his back for an early four points. He added a counter takedown in the third and rode for 1:04 in time advantage.

Sophomore Rossi Bruno (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) posted a 3-1 mark on the day to claim fifth place at 133 pounds. He earned bonus points with a third-period pin -- his third of the weekend -- against Nebraska's sixth-seeded Colton McCrystal in his second bout, throwing the Husker to his back at 5:12 when he attempted a bodylock. Bruno closed his tournament with a 6-4 overtime win against CSU Bakersfield's Jose Mendoza, converting on a single midway through the extra frame.

Freshman Brian Murphy (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North HS) settled for fifth place at 157 pounds, posting a 4-2 weekend record in his varsity debut. He dropped a close 7-5 sudden-victory decision to Nebraska's top-seeded James Green in the semifinals, giving up an overtime single leg after Green evened up the match score late in the third on a reversal and disputed locked-handed call. The Wolverine freshman led the bout early on a late first-period single leg.

Murphy defaulted out of his subsequent wrestleback match after suffering a first-period injury against Oregon State's second-seeded R.J. Pena but earned bonus points with a forfeit victory in the placing bout.

Fifth-year senior Eric Grajales (Brandon, Fla./Brandon HS) went 0-3 on the day to take sixth place at 149 pounds. He dropped a controversial decision to Nebraska's second-seeded Jake Sueflohn in the semifinals when the Cornhusker wrestler was awarded a takedown after time had expired to win 7-6. Grajales led the entirety of the match after winning an early scramble, riding out the first period and earning a reversal midway through the second. Sueflohn was awarded a reversal at the second period buzzer and added a takedown on the edge and a fleeing point in the third. Sueflohn struck deep on a single leg late in the third, and Grajales worked to stalemate the position for the final 18 seconds of the match. The officials conferred after the buzzer sounded, however, and decided to award the Husker a takedown.

Senior/junior Chris Heald (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS) won his first bout of the day, earning bonus points with a 10-1 major decision, to secure his spot on the podium before dropping two close decisions to take eighth place in his first Cliff Keen appearance. Heald cruised past Wyoming's eighth-seeded Shane Woods in the 197-pound wrestlebacks, jumping out to a big lead after countering a single-leg shot and putting Woods on his back with a leg turk. He added takedowns in the second and third; the latter was a bodylock in the waning seconds to secure the bonus point.

The Wolverines will close first-semester action next Sunday (Dec. 15), hosting intrastate rival Central Michigan at 2 p.m. at Cliff Keen Arena.

Top 10 Teams

 1. Oklahoma              154.5
 2. Nebraska              130.5
 3. Ohio State            119.5
 4. Cornell               115.5
 5. MICHIGAN              108.5
 6. Northern Iowa          75.5
 7. Virginia               73.0
 8. Iowa State             62.5
 9. North Carolina State   59.5
10. Virginia Tech          56.5

Michigan Results (Day 2)

125 Pounds -- #7 Conor Youtsey
Consolations - pinned by #12 Earl Hall (Iowa State), 5:45
Eliminated with a 3-2 record

133 Pounds -- #5 Rossi Bruno
Consolations - dec. Dennis Gustafson (Virginia Tech), 12-9
Consolations - pinned #6 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska), 5:12
Consolations - dec. by #3 Mark Grey (Cornell), 3-2
Fifth Place - dec. Jose Mendoza (CSU Bakersfield), 6-4 SV
Finished in fifth place with a 5-2 record

149 Pounds -- #3 Eric Grajales
Semifinals - dec. by #2 Jake Sueflohn (Nebraka), 7-6
Consolations - dec. by Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State), 8-1
Fifth Place - dec. by #7 Ian Paddock (Ohio State), 8-2
Finished in sixth place with 3-3 record

157 Pounds -- Brian Murphy
Semifinals - dec. by #1 James Green (Nebraska), 7-5 SV
Consolations - injury defaulted to #2 R.J. Pena (Oregon State), 2:04
Fifth Place - won by forfeit over #7 Blaise Butler (Virginia)
Finished in fifth place with a 4-2 record

165 Pounds -- #3 Dan Yates
Semifinals - dec. by #2 Nicholas Sulzer (Virginia), 10-3
Consolations - dec. Dylan Palacio (Cornell), 11-4
Third Place - pinned #5 Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa), 1:39
Finished in third place with a 5-1 record

197 Pounds -- Chris Heald
Consolations - major dec. #8 Shane Woods (Wyoming), 10-1
Consolations - dec. by Cody Dixon (Boise State), 4-3
Seventh Place - dec. by #6 Braden Atwood (Purdue), 5-2
Finished in eighth place with a 4-3 record

Heavyweight -- #8 Adam Coon
Semifinals - major dec. #12 Adam Fager (Utah Valley), 12-3
Final - dec. #2 J.T. Felix (Boise State), 7-5 SV
Finished as the heavyweight champion with a 5-0 weekend

Day 1 Results

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423

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