BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—The CSU Bakersfield wrestling team returns to the mats this week as the Roadrunners travel to the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational this week. The tournament is similar to the NCAA Division I National Tournament in that each of the 35 teams scheduled to compete are allowed only to enter 10 wrestlers.

The meet begins Friday at 9 a.m. with the preliminaries. The quarterfinals and the first consolation round are set for Friday night at 6 p.m. Round seven of the consolations kicks off Saturday’s action at 9 a.m. before the semifinals get underway at 10 a.m. The finals are set for 3 p.m. on Saturday. The Roadrunners placed ninth at the 2015 CKLV, the highest finish for CSUB since 2010 (8th, T).

Matt Williams has received the seventh seed at 197 pounds. Williams is 7-0 and is now ranked for the first time in his career as he enters the Intermat rankings at No. 19.

Probable Roadrunner starters this week are schedule to be; Sean Nickell (125, 7-0), Carlos Herrera (133, 6-3), Russell Rohlfing (141, 7-3), Coleman Hammond (149, 8-0), Sean O'Rourke (157, 4-3), Lorenzo De La Riva (165, 4-3), Bryan Battisto (174, 7-3), Mark Penyacsek (184, 5-2), Williams, Alex Encarnarcion-Strand (285, 2-1).

Teams traveling to Las Vegas are Air Force, American (received two votes in this week’s USA Today/NWCA Division I coaches poll), No. 19 Arizona State, Army West Point, Binghamton, Boise State, Bucknell, Cal Poly, No. 14 Central Michigan, Clarion, Columbia, No. 8 Cornell, CSU Bakersfield, Eastern Michigan, Edinboro (received two votes in this week’s USA Today/NWCA Division I coaches poll), Harvard, Iowa State, Kent State, No. 10 Michigan, No. 18 Minnesota, Navy (received two votes in this week’s USA Today/NWCA Division I coaches poll), Nebraska-Kearney, North Idaho College, Northern Colorado, No. 4 Ohio State, Oregon State (received three votes in this week’s USA Today/NWCA Division I coaches poll), Purdue, No. 15 Stanford, Utah Valley, No. 6 Virginia Tech, West Virginia, No. 17 Wisconsin, Western Wyoming CC, and Wyoming (received five votes in this week’s USA Today/NWCA Division I coaches poll).

Hammond is off to a hot start for CSU Bakersfield this season. The 149-pounder is 8-0 with two pins and three victories by technical fall. The redshirt junior is ranked in three polls this week; 13th in Amateur Wrestling News, 14th in The Open Mat, and 18th in Track Wrestling.

Nickell is nationally ranked for the first time this week at 125-pounds. He is 20th in The Open Mat polls. Nickell is 7-0 after winning the Roadrunner Open Nov. 20 in Fresno.

~www.GoRunners.com~