LEBANON, Tenn.--Cumberland made a strong showing at the Missouri Valley Invitational in Marshall, Mo., scoring well enough to rank 14th in 48 team which included many of the best squads in the NAIA. The high ranker for the Phoenix was Nathan Walton, finishing third at 174, while Keshawn Laws (141) and Carter Cox (125) rounded out the placers for the Phoenix at sixth and eighth in their weight classes, respectively.
Walton continued his excellent start to the season that has seen him climb up the individual rankings to 5th in the 174 weight class. After receiving a first round bye, the Sophomore made short work of his next three opponents, starting his tournament with a technical fall (TF; 19-1) before going on to pin his next two opponents to advance to the semifinals. Walton fell to the top-rated 174 pounder, Lucas Lovvorn via major decision, but picked up another fall and a medical forfeit to clinch third place.
In the 141 pound bracket, Laws hit a snag to start, losing a decision in the opening round before going on a streak, winning six straight matches in the consolation bracket. The consecutive victories set Laws up with a chance to compete for third in his weight class in the consolation bracket semifinals, but a close decision loss there (D; 3-0) and in the fifth place match (D; 2-1) saw Laws finish sixth.
Out of the three losses suffered by Cox, two of them came against wrestlers that are currently in the top-10 of the 125 pound rankings. After getting a bye and winning two matches to make it to the quarterfinals, Cox came just short against the third-ranked 125 pounder, Emmanuel Brown, (D; 7-4). The Junior won his first bout in the consolation bracket, but in the seventh-place match fell in a decision to the 10th-ranked (D; 5-2).
Esteban Remiliard (149) and Austin Antcliffe (184) both made it relatively deep into the consolation bracket after suffering early losses. Remiliard earned three wins-- two by decision and one by fall-- before losing in cosolation round five. Antcliffe pushed one round further, making it to the sixth round after collecting a victory by fall and three decisions.
Cumberland returns to dual matches with its next competition, facing conference foe, No. 10 Southeastern University Jan. 25 in Lakeland, Fla.
125. Carter Cox (3-3)
133. Dylan Burton (1-2)
141. Keshawn Laws (6-3)
149. Esteban Remiliard (3-2)
157. Jalen Brown (1-2)
165. Terrence Clayton (2-2)
165. Thierry Jean Baptist (1-2)
174. Nathan Walton (5-1)
184. Champ Leddon (1-2)
184. Austin Antcliffe (4-2)