LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Led by a second-place showing by senior captain John Boyle, the American University wrestling team wrapped up competition at the prestigious Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, tying for 12th in the team standings with 54.5 points.
In addition to Boyle's runner-up finish, two other Eagles made it onto the podium. Senior David Terao placed seventh at 125 pounds, while sophomore Jeric Kasunic added an eighth-place finish at 197 pounds.
"AU Wrestling had a very successful tournament here in Las Vegas," said American head coach Teague Moore. "John, David and Jeric all earned hardware, but the team as a whole took a big step forward.
"We finished ahead of a lot of teams who were expected to do much better than us. Our success came because of the work our wrestlers put in year-round and the commitment they have made to this journey."
Boyle, ranked 18th in the nation at 157 pounds, began the day with a semifinal match versus Russell Parsons of Army West Point. After trailing 4-3 late in the third period, Boyle scored the winning takedown with less than 10 seconds remaining to pick up the 5-4 decision.
Boyle then advanced to the final against second-ranked Ian Miller, but was unable to come up with the victory, dropping a 6-2 decision in the championship match.
Boyle became just the second AU wrestler in program history to advance to the finals at the CKLV Invitational, joining 2014 graduate Daniel Mitchell, who placed second at 197 pounds at the 2013 event.
"I'm very happy for John because this placement shows he is among the nation's elite," said Moore. "He has earned it by living the right lifestyle and doing what it takes to succeed."
Terao, ranked sixth in the nation, earned a medical forfeit victory in his first bout of the day, but fell to 13th-ranked Barlow McGhee of Missouri in the next round. With the loss, Terao moved into the seventh place match, where he scored a commanding 19-10 major decision over Northern Colorado's Trey Andrews.
"David had some exciting matches in an all-star weight class," said Moore. "This is another notch in David's belt and something he will use as motivation moving forward."
Kasunic also won his first bout on Saturday, earning a 4-0 decision over 19th-ranked Derek Thomas of Utah Valley to move into medal contention. However, he dropped a 10-2 major decision against Cal State Bakersfield's Ruben Franklin and concluded the tournament with a medical forfeit in the seventh-place match.
"Jeric fought back from a first-round loss and, as a true sophomore, shows that he can be among the best at 197," said Moore.
Also competing for American on Saturday was redshirt junior Esteban Gomez-Rivera, who dropped a 5-3 decision to Nebraska-Kearney's Daniel DeShazer to finish one win shy of a medal.