Dec. 3, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. - While the bulk of the Mizzou wrestling team was busy helping the Tigers earn a runner-up finish at the Cliff Keen Invitational in Las Vegas over the weekend, the rest of the team was in Maryville, Mo., to take part in the Kaufman-Brand Invitational where Cody Johnston (174), Johnny Eblen (184 pounds) and Devin Mellon(HWT) earned individual titles for the Tigers.
Starting at 174 pounds, Johnston and teammate Jordan Gagliano(Lake St. Louis, Mo.) teamed to give Mizzou a 1-2 finish in that weight class with Johnston topping his teammate, 3-1, with a sudden victory win in the championship bout. The two beat out third-place Kristopher Klapprodt of No. 4 Iowa, who finished third. Johnston was very good in the tournament, earning a pair of falls and a major decision en-route to his 174-pound title. Gagliano was equally as impressive in the tournament, earning a fall and three major decisions before falling to Johnston in the title bout.
Moving to 184 pounds, Eblen put together a great tournament for the Tigers, defeating Oklahoma's Travis Rutt, 6-2, in the championship bout - Rutt came into the tournament as the No. 1 seed in the weight class. Eblen, the No. 2 seed in the class, opened the tournament with a bye before pinning Chris Johnson of Southern Illinois and earning two major decisions en-route to the Championship bout where he topped Rutt.
In the heavyweight bracket, Mellon came in as the top seed in his class and did not disappoint. Mellon opened the tournament by pinning Billy Swanson in 1:47 in the opening round and then earned a major decision in the second round over Oklahoma's Ross Larson. He then used a pair of one-point decisions to advance to the title bout where he topped Brandon Gebhardt of Baker, 3-2.
Also worth noting was the performance of Lavion Mayes
at 149 pounds as he took second place in the class. He lost to Northern Illinois' Robert Jillard in the championship bout. He earned a fall, a major decision and a pair of decisions en-route to the championship match. Other Tigers earning notable finishes at the Kaufman-Brand Open were:
Zach Synon- Fifth Place
Austin Roper- Third Place
Eric Wilson - Fifth Place
Tony DeAngelo - Seventh Place
Trevor Jauch- Eighth Place
Matt Lemanowicz- Sixth Place
Tyler Prazma - Fourth Place
For all the latest on Mizzou wrestling, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MizzouWrestling.