Becker Captures Championship Title at Las Vegas Invitational

Posted: December 11, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

George Mason senior Rob Becker captured the individual championship at the 2003 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational wrestling tournament held last weekend at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Becker, who was unseeded entering the event, won the title after defeating Matt Murray of the University of Nebraska, 6-3 by decision, in the final.

Becker, who went 6-0 at the event, topped three ranked wrestlers en route to the crown, including 7th-ranked Jeff Ratliff (15-11 decision) of Ohio State University in the semifinals, No. 18 Max Meltzer (4-2 decision) of Harvard University in the quarterfinals, and 12th-ranked Joe Clarke (7-5 overtime decision) of West Virginia University in the round of 32.

Senior Adrian Austin earned an 8th-place finish at 149, helping the Patriots to a 21st-place tie with Adams State College and a team score of 35. The event marked the first time that the Patriots placed two wrestlers in the top eight at the Las Vegas tournament under head coach Brian Shaffer. Austin defeated 16th-ranked Cal Ferry of the University of Illinois in the round of 32, but dropped a 7-2 decision to Arizona State University’s Patrick Williams in the round of 16. He battled his way back into the main draw after going 3-1 in the consolation bracket and finished the tournament 4-3 overall.

The Patriots also received solid performances from junior Aaron Suranofsky (2-2) at 125-pounds, freshman David Emison (2-2) at 133, junior Nick Webster (2-2) at 174 and freshman Harry Zander (2-2) at 197.

“This tournament was a good gauge for our team,” says Shaffer. “There were several national caliber teams at this event and it gives us a good idea about where we stand and what we need to do.”

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