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New Fairfield’s Opsal wins pair of matches at Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational

Junior Alec Opsal won two matches at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational this weekend. (Photo courtesy Air Force Athletics)

LAS VEGAS, December 1, 2018 – Air Force’s Alec Opsal, a junior from New Fairfield, beat two nationally ranked wrestlers to earn a spot in the quarterfinals of the 2018 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational at 149 pounds.

Opsal, who went 2-2 in the tournament, fell one victory short of earning All-Tournament honors.

In his first match of the tournament, Opsal got revenge on No. 13 ranked Tommy Thorn of Minnesota with a thrilling 10-6 decision. The win avenged his tough loss in the dual earlier this season. In the round of 16, he knocked another top 20 grappler with an 8-5 win over No. 17 Ryan Blees of Virginia Tech get to the quarters.

In the quarterfinals, he met top seeded and No. 3 ranked Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers. He put up his best fight, but eventually fell by tech fall, 18-2.

In the first round of the consolations, Opsal was defeated by No. 15 Josh Heil of Campbell, 12-2.

As a team, Air Force totaled 17½  points to place 30th out of 43 teams in the elite tournament at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The Falcons will return to the mats next Sunday, Dec. 9, for a home dual against Big 12 foe North Dakota State. Start time against the Bison is set for 2 p.m.

Lind makes finals as RIT wins title
ROCHESTER, N.Y., December 1, 2018 – Chase Lind (Fairfield) earned a spot in the finals at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tournament Saturday to help WPI win their second straight team title in the 15-team tournament.

Lind made his season debut at 174 a memorable one, collecting three victories, including a first period pin over a wrestler from RIT in the second round and a 7-0 shutout of a Williams grappler in the quarterfinals.  The junior dropped a tight 8-7 decision to Tariq Grissom of Williams in the finals.

Matt Rothman (Orange) also rebounded from opening round losses to win twice on the day.  Rothman tallied a pin versus his opponent from Williams and a 10-6 decision over a wrestler from Scranton at 184.

Christian Chadwick (Orange) was also victorious for the Engineers in consolation bouts.  Chadwick posted a 6-4 triumph over his opponent from New England College at 125 pounds.

WPI now turns its focus to its final competition of the 2018 portion of its schedule.  The Engineers host No. 5 Wabash (IN), No. 3 Johnson & Wales and Oneonta State in a super quad that also features No. 21 Castleton and Coast Guard. Action is slated to begin at 11 a.m. in the Sports & Recreation Center in Worcester.

Connecticut Wrestling Online has been covering the sport of wrestling in Connecticut and New England since 2001.

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