21 articles in this category299
2021 Women's Nationals Preview
This week the women get a change to make some world teams in Texas. The annual Women’s Nationals(formerly Body Bar) is taking place with competition at the 14U, U15, Cadet, Junior, and U23 age levels. There will be 19 competitors from Indiana participating with some doubling up in age divisions. Competition starts today and will run through Sunday.
Four girls will be taking the mat in the Junior age group. Leading the way is Alara Boyd who was a team member in 2019. She was 4th at the Olympic Trials and is a favorite to make another world team. Three others that are still in high school will take the mat against a mixture of high school and college stars. State champions Trinity Malave and Torieonna Buchanan will be at 50kg and 53kg respectively. The last one to participate is Delta’s state runner-up anna Krejsa at 57kg.
Three girls will be on the mats for this age division with two of them doubling up as both Alara Boyd and Torieonna Buchanan will also participate in the Junior division. Mishawaka’s Salome Walker will be the other competitor in this division. She attends McKendree University with Boyd and will wrestle at 59kg.
Indiana will have six representatives in the cadet division at the Women's Nationals. Wrestlers that are doubling up include Heath Crull, Rianne Murphy, and Trinity Malave. The three that are going only this division include Devyn Moore at 49kg, Sydney Delois at 53kg, and Kaylie Petersen at 65kg. Moore was an IHSGW runner-up in 2019 and an ISWA freestyle champ this year. Delois was 4th at the IHSGW finals along with being a runner-up last week at ISWA freestyle state. Petersen was champion at both ISWA state and IHSGW state this year.
This is the largest representation for Indiana natives at this age division with 9 participants. This is a young and tough group of girls that will be tough outs and we could see more than one on the Pan Am team. Leading the way is Rianne Murphy who is attending Wyoming Seminary currently. Heather Crull was second at middle school state against the boys and placed 8th in freestyle against the boys. The O’campo sisters, Ysabella and Julianna, have both had a lot of success within the state and could surprise some folks in Texas. Amelia Murphy has had some success within the state and should be one to watch at 42kg. Joy Cantu is the daughter of former Hobart placer John Cantu and is another one with a lot of success within the state. Highland’s Aleksandra Bastaic and Pendleton’s Maddie Marsh will both be at 54kg and have won multiple ISWA titles during their short careers.
This age division will see five representatives from Indiana. Both Aleksandra Bastaic and Maddie Marsh will be doubling up age divisions here. The others include a pair of girls from Muncie in Paislee Chambers and Ella Gahl. Gahl won ISWA freestyle and folkstyle titles while she was runner-up at middle school state. Chambers was 2nd at freestyle state and middle school state, while winning a folkstyle title. Lastly, Olivia Crull will take the mat for Indiana. She was a runner-up in both ISWA freestyle and folkstyle state while finishing third at middle school state.
Friday, May 7th
Session I - Preliminaries
UWW Junior Women
9:30am to 1:00pm
Session II - Quarterfinals, semifinals, consolations
UWW Junior Women
2:00pm - 6:00pm
Session III - Best 2 out of 3 Championship Finals and 3rd, 5th, 7th place matches
UWW Junior Women
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Saturday, May 8th
Session IV - Preliminaries
14U & 10U girls
9:00am - 12:30pm
UWW Cadet Women
10:00am - 12:30pm
Session V - Quarterfinals, semifinals, consolations
UWW Cadet, 14U & 10U Girls
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Session VI - All placement matches
14U & 10U
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Best 2 out of 3 Championship Finals and 3rd, 5th, 7th place matches
UWW Cadet Women
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Sunday, May 9th
Session VII- Preliminaries, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolations
UWW U23, UWW U15, 12U & 8U Girls
9:30am to 2:00pm
Session VIII - All placement matches
12U & 8U Girls
3:00pm - 4:30pm
Best 2 out of 3 Championship Finals and 3rd, 5th, 7th place matches
UWW U23 and UWW U15 Girls
3:00pm - 5:00pm
Division Weight Name Club 14U Girls 119 lbs Aleksandra Bastaic Highland Wrestling Club 14U Girls 119 lbs Maddie Marsh Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES 14U Girls 127 lbs Ella Gahl Spartans Wrestling Club 14U Girls 136 lbs paislee chambers Spartans Wrestling Club 14U Girls 92 lbs Olivia Crull Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES U15 Women 42 kg Amelia Murphy Crown Point U15 Women 42 kg Ysabelle Ocampo Penn Wrestling Club U15 Women 46 kg Heather Crull Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES U15 Women 46 kg Julianna Ocampo Penn Wrestling Club U15 Women 50 kg Joy Cantu Legends of Gold Las Vegas U15 Women 50 kg Rianne Murphy Wyoming Seminary U15 Women 54 kg Aleksandra Bastaic Highland Wrestling Club U15 Women 54 kg Maddie Marsh Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES U15 Women 58 kg Ella Gahl Spartans Wrestling Club U23 Women 53 kg Torieonna Buchanan Team Green Wrestling Club U23 Women 59 kg Salome Walker McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club U23 Women 65 kg Alara Boyd McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club UWW Cadet Women 46 kg Heather Crull Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES UWW Cadet Women 46 kg Rianne Murphy Wyoming Seminary UWW Cadet Women 49 kg Devyn Moore Region Wrestling Academy UWW Cadet Women 49 kg Trinity Malave Munster UWW Cadet Women 53 kg Sydney Delois Indiana Girls Wrestling IGNITES UWW Cadet Women 65 kg Kaylie Petersen Maurer Coughlin Wrestling Club UWW Junior Women 50 kg Trinity Malave Munster UWW Junior Women 53 kg Torieonna Buchanan Team Green Wrestling Club UWW Junior Women 57 kg Anna Krejsa Delta UWW Junior Women 65 kg Alara Boyd McKendree Bearcat Wrestling Club
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ISWA State, Junior and Senior Nationals Preview
We are in full swing of the international styles and this weekend will be no different as three big events are taking place. First, we have the ISWA Freestyle and Greco-Roman state finals at Avon. The two other events will run simultaneously in Iowa. The UWW Junior World Team Trials and Senior Nationals will be held in Coralville, Iowa.
ISWA Freestyle and Greco-Roman State Finals
Over 900 wrestlers are currently registered for this year’s event that is schedule to take place at Avon High School. From 5 years old to 40+ wrestlers will be looking for a coveted ISWA state title. In the 14U, 16U, and Junior age groups spots on Team Indiana are on the line. Wrestlers who win those divisions will be offered the opportunity to represent the state in the USAW duals and potentially at Fargo this summer. There are many deep weight classes that will be fun to watch play out with many state qualifiers, placers, and champs in the brackets.
Here is the link to registration to see the current entries(click continue as guest)
ISWA Freestyle and Greco-Roman State Schedule
8 AM EST Pee Wee, Bantam, Schoolboy Junior, UN/SR/VT
2 PM EST: Intermediate, Novice & Cadet
8 AM EST Bantam, Schoolboy, Cadet, UN/SR,/VT
1:00 pm EST Intermediate, Novice, Junior
10 am EST SUNDAY Girls Freestyle all divisions
Iowa will once again play host to another big USAW event. The Senior Nationals will serve as a qualifier for the World Team Trials in September. After the Olympics UWW will still host a World Championship event, so the top 5 finishers will join the previous qualifiers that were at the Olympic Trials for a World team spot.
Indiana will be represented by eight wrestlers in the senior division. Vanessa Ramirez wrestling for McKendree and the former Warren Central wrestler will be in the women’s freestyle portion, while everyone else will be in the men’s freestyle division.
Former Junior World Team members Brayton Lee and Lucas Davision lead the way for the men’s freestyle division. Lee will be at 70kg, while Davison is scheduled to wrestle 125kg. Dylan Lydy who recently took his talents to Bloomington will represent the Indiana RTC at 79kg. He will be joined by current Indiana grappler Graham Rooks at 65kg. Current DIII wrestlers Kyle Hatch and Kobe Woods will test their skills at the senior level. Hatch will represent the Little Giants at 79kg, while Woods will represent Wartburg at 97kg. Lastly, two-time state champion Shawn Streck is entered at 125kg.
Senior Women's Freestyle
Preliminaries, Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Consolations
11:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Senior Women's Freestyle
Consolations and Medals
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Senior Women's Freestyle
1st Place Matches
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Senior Men’s Freestyle- All weights
Preliminaries, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and consolations
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Senior Men’s Freestyle- All weights
Consolations, Consolation Semifinals and 3rd, 5th and 7th place
4:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Senior Men’s Freestyle- All weights
1st Place Matches
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Freestyle 65 kg Graham Rooks Indiana RTC Freestyle 70 kg Brayton Lee Gopher Wrestling Club - RTC Freestyle 79 kg Dylan Lydy Indiana RTC Freestyle 79 kg Kyle Hatch Wabash Freestyle 97 kg Kobe Woods Burg Training Center Freestyle 125 kg Lucas Davison Wildcat Wrestling Club Freestyle 125 kg Shawn Streck Titan Mercury Wrestling Club (TMWC) Women's Freestyle 53 kg Vanessa Ramirez McKendree(Warren Central)
Junior World Team Trials
Indiana will be well represented in the Junior World Team Trials this weekend with 24 wrestlers taking the mat. Wrestlers will wrestle in a full bracket with the championship finals be a best of three series to determine a spot on the world team. The last time there was a Junior World Team trials Indiana was represented by three athletes in Brayton Lee, Lucas Davison, and Mason Parris. The Junior age group is basically anyone who turns 18-20 years old during the current year. This division is always very intriguing as it matches up some of the top high school talent with wrestlers who have a year or two of college experience. From the early registration it looks like Purdue, Indiana, and Marian all have sent a good number of athletes to compete.
Only one wrestler will participate in Greco-Roman as Christian Carroll will be doubling up at the event. He is slated to wrestle 97kg in both styles. There are a handful of other current high schoolers in the field including three-time state champion Jesse Mendez. Mendez is a former Cadet World Team member and would have been a favorite to represent the USA last year. Others still in high school include Mendez’s teammate Logan Frazier and a trio of Mater Dei wrestlers in Blake Boarman, Brody Baumann, and Gabe Sollars.
The other 18 entries from Indiana are all in college and have a mixture of experience in freestyle. Penn State’s Matt Lee will wrestle at 70kg. Two current Purdue Boilermakers will enter the field with true freshmen Cooper Noehre and Macartney Parkinson wrestling at 74kg and 86kg respectively. Five current Indiana wrestlers will join Lydy and Rooks at the event. True freshmen Jonathan Kervin, Isiah Levitz, Paul(Robert) Deters, and Andrew Irick will join sophomore Donnell Washington. The biggest contingent will be Steven Bradley’s Marian squad who will have ten wrestlers in the event. They will be lead by state champion Elliott Rodgers along with placers Jacob Simone, Aundre Beatty, Seth Johnson, and Will Stewart.
UWW Junior Greco-Roman
Preliminaries, Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Consolations
10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
UWW Junior Greco-Roman
Consolations and Medals
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
UWW Junior Greco-Roman
Best 2 out of 3 Finals
4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
UWW Junior Freestyle- All weights
Preliminaries and consolations
10:00 AM – 2:30 PM
UWW Junior Freestyle- All weights
Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolations
4:30 PM - 9:00 PM
UWW Junior Freestyle- All weights
Consolation, Consolation Semifinals, 3rd Place, 5th Place and 7th Place
10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
UWW Junior Freestyle- All weights
UWW Junior Best 2 out of 3 Finals
12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Freestyle 57 kg Jacob Simone Marian Freestyle 57 kg Logan Frazier Region Wrestling Academy Freestyle 61 kg Jesse Mendez Region Wrestling Academy Freestyle 65 kg Aundre Beatty Marian Freestyle 65 kg Blake Boarman Maurer Coughlin Wrestling Club Freestyle 70 kg Matt Lee Nittany Lion Wrestling Club Freestyle 70 kg Ricky Hegedus Marian Freestyle 70 kg Seth Johnson Marian Freestyle 74 kg Brody Baumann Maurer Coughlin Wrestling Club Freestyle 74 kg Cooper Noehre Boilermaker RTC Freestyle 74 kg Elliott Rodgers Marian Freestyle 74 kg Jonathan Kervin Indiana RTC Freestyle 79 kg Aaron McKinley Marian Freestyle 79 kg Donnell Washington Indiana RTC Freestyle 79 kg Isiah Levitz Indiana RTC Freestyle 79 kg Joe Rice Marian Freestyle 79 kg Paul Deters Indiana RTC Freestyle 86 kg Gabe Sollars Maurer Coughlin Wrestling Club Freestyle 86 kg Macartney Parkinson Boilermaker RTC Freestyle 86 kg William Stewart Marian Freestyle 92 kg Christian Carroll Midwest Regional Training Center Freestyle 97 kg Austin Lane Marian Freestyle 125 kg Andrew Irick Indiana RTC Freestyle 125 kg Jacob Bullock Marian Greco-Roman 97 kg Christian Carroll Midwest Regional Training Center2873 2
Hildebrandt and Miracle punch their tickets to Tokyo
Photos by Tony Rotundo
One weekend, two matches, and a lifetime of preparation are what separated wrestlers from their dreams of being an Olympian. Five Indiana natives took the mat this weekend with a trip to Tokyo in August on their minds. The competition is a who’s who of wrestling with former Olympians, World medalists, World team members, NCAA champions, and more going after that elusive spot on the team.
In men’s freestyle we saw Nick Lee and Mason Parris put it on the line while they still had college eligibility. Lee lost to the eventual champion Jordan Oliver in his second match. That did not deter him as he take out three consecutive NCAA champions to earn a third place finish. In his first consolation match he took out former Cornell national champion Nahshon Garrett by tech fall 12-2. In the consolation semi-finals he faced off with Nittany Lion Wrestling Club teammate, friend, and training partner Zain Retherford. Utilizing two big 4-point moves Lee pulled the upset 10-4. The final match, with a spot on the US National team on the line, was no easier as he had two-time NCAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis. The match was an instant classic as they both let it fly. There were three crazy scrambles that ended up with multiple scores for each wrestler. Lee came out on top in the end by the score of 16-8. The National Team designation includes perks such as preference for national team camps, overseas competitions, a stipend, and more.
Mason Parris came into the weekend as the third seeded wrestler. His first match did not go as planned as he lost to Daniel Kerkvliet 4-4(criteria). Parris had defeated Kerkvliet at the Big Tens a month ago. Battling back through the consolations Parris beat Tanner Hall, Dom Bradley, and Anthony Nelson in succession to also earn a spot on the US National Team. In the end, he actually finished higher than Kerkvliet who defeated him in the quarter-finals.
The success did not stop on the women’s side of the bracket. Alara Boyd was in the challenge tournament, while Kayla Miracle and Sarah Hildebrandt both sat until Saturday’s best of three finals.
Boyd came into the event seeded 5th in the challenge bracket. She quickly upended the 4th seed, Ashlynn Ortega, in the quarter-finals to earn a spot in the semi-finals. Her next opponent was veteran Forrest Molinari. Boyd was up for the task, but came up short 4-3. Boyd battled back to make it to the third place match where she lost to the 2nd seeded Alexandria Glaude 2-2 on criteria. She was just shy of making the US National team designation. Being only a college sophomore, she has a bright future and will be in the hunt for the 2024 squad.
Sarah Hildebrandt had the luxury of sitting out of competition until the best of three finals on Saturday night. The only caveat was that she would have to make scratch weight both on Friday and Saturday for the competition. As she waited the bracket that would determine her finals opponent was hotly contested. There were a few upsets of the top seeds and the 3rd seeded Victoria Anthony prevailed to face Hildebrandt. Anthony was a formidable foe as she had twice placed 5th in the World on the senior level and was a two-time junior level champion.
In the first match Anthony fired off a double leg to start and took Hildebrandt down. Hildebrandt was able to get a takedown of her own before the end of the first period. It was almost two minutes into the second period when Hildebrandt got her second takedown. With about 30 seconds left, Hildebrandt got another takedown and three consecutive leg laces to end the match 12-2 and put herself one win from Tokyo.
The second match was slower getting started, but dominated by Hildebrandt from start to finish. She got a takedown and leg lace about 2 minutes into the first period to take a 4-0 lead to the break. In the second period she executed three takedowns to secure the tech fall and her spot in history.
Kayla Miracle was in the same situation as Hildebrandt with the privilege of waiting until Saturday night for the best of three series. Her challenge bracket was won by Macey Kilty who has many world level accolades including two junior level silver medals and a cadet level championship.
In the first match Miracle came storming out and lead 6-0 after the first period. The second period saw Kilty score a takedown and a couple step-outs to Miracle’s one takedown. The final score was 8-4 with Miracle one match from going to Tokyo.
The second match had a much different feel to it. Miracle was stifled by Kilty’s defense and never really got her rhythm. Kilty took Miracle down late in the first period and early in the second to storm out to a 4-1 lead. Miracle could only muster a couple step-outs to make the final score 4-3 and force a pivotal round three.
The third match saw Kayla Miracle come out with a sense of urgency and hunger for her spot in Tokyo. Less than 20 seconds after the whistle Kayla was in deep on a shot and looking for a turn. That is when it appeared that Kilty injured her shoulder. Kilty tried to finish the match, but it was ended 30 seconds into the match after she could not continue. While the type of win was not what Miracle envisioned, she punched her ticket to Tokyo and into history.
Hildebrandt and Miracle will join Stevan Micic in Tokyo in August. Micic qualified for the Olympics for Servia and will represent them at 57kg in men’s freestyle. This is the first time Indiana has had multiple Olympic participants in wrestling and the first since Muncie Northside’s David Butler in 1988. The last time an Indiana native brought back an Olympic medal was Richard Voliva when he took silver in 1936.
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2021 Olympic Trials Preview
Becoming an Olympian is the pinnacle of wrestling and something little boys and girls always dream of when growing up. The chance to represent the USA on the biggest stage in sports comes only once every four years. Obviously with COVID everything got pushed back a year and this is the weekend we have been waiting for in over a year. There are five Hoosier natives vying for the coveted spot on the Olympic team this weekend.
Watching the trials will be on NBCSN on TV along with the Peacock Network online. The Peacock Network has a free seven day trial to use that would be enough for this weekend. The schedule is at the bottom of this article for reference during the weekend. The format for the Olympic Trials differs slightly in each division, however the base is the same. Some weight classes have wrestlers sitting until the best of three finals, some do not. On Friday the bracket challenge will occur where wrestlers will wrestle in a single elimination tournament. The finals on Saturday will be a best of three series to determine the USA representative. If a weight has someone sitting out until the finals the bracket will be wrestled until a champion is determined. If not the bracket will halt at the finals with the finals being a best of three series.
For the Olympics each country must qualify their weight via their placement at the World Championships and a series of continental and last chance qualifiers. The USA is qualified in every weight for Women’s Freestyle. Men’s freestyle is not qualified at 65kg, while Greco-Roman is not qualified at 77kg and 130kg. There is one more last chance qualifier for every country that has not qualified the specific weight to enter. That event is May 6-9 in Bulgaria where the USA will look to qualify the remaining three spots.
Indiana has the most representatives in the Women’s Freestyle division at the Olympic Trials. Both Sarah Hildebrandt and Kayla Miracle have the privilege of already being in the best of three finals. They earned the bye to the finals via qualifying the weight class for the Olympic Trials at the Pan-Am championships a year ago. Yorktown’s Alara Boyd is in the challenge bracket at 68kg.
In 2018 Granger native and Penn grad Sarah Hildebrandt brought back a silver medal at the World Championships and is looking to make her first Olympic team. She is sitting until the finals on Saturday and will be the winner of a bracket that consists of 14 women battling it out for the right to wrestle her. The top seed is Whitney Conder while the second seed is Alyssa Lampe. Hildebrandt has recently beaten Conder in a special wrestle-off last February to wrestle at the Pan-Am championships. She teched Lampe in November on a Wisconsin RTC card.
Bloomington native and Culver Academies grad Kayla Miracle has had success at every level possible in this sport. She was the first girl to qualify for the state finals in Indiana and has been breaking down barriers since she strapped on her first headgear. She will be sitting out until the best of three finals at 62kg. The top seed in her weight is Maya Nelson and the second seed is Macey Kilty. All three of these women were on the 2019 U23 World Team where Miracle and Kilty both won silver medals. Nelson was at 65kg and Kilty was at 68kg. The last time Miracle wrestled Nelson was 2012 at Fargo and it does not appear as if she has wrestled Kilty. Nelson defeated Kilty at the World Team Trials tournament in 2019 and should be the favorite to win again.
Alara Boyd has brought back world medals two out of three times while representing the USA. She was a Cadet bronze medalist in 2016 and silver medalist in 2017. She also wrestled at the world championships in 2019 in the Junior age group. She comes into the Olympic Trials as a 5 seed at 68kg. Boyd qualified for the trials via winning the NCWWC championship about a month ago. In the first round she will have a familiar opponent in Ashlynn Ortega. Boyd defeated Ortega just over a year ago at the WCWC Nationals in the semi-finals by the score of 7-1. The likely next opponent would be Forrest Molinari. Molinari has been a mainstay on the women’s circuit that includes a 5th place finish in the world in both 2018 and 2019. The second seed and likely finalist out of the bottom bracket is Alex Glaude who was a 2019 Final X finalist. Sitting in the best of three finals in 2019 World Champion Tamyra Stock-Mensah.
On the men’s side of things Indiana will have two representatives in Mater Dei’s Nick Lee and Lawrenceburg’s Mason Parris. Others to watch include former Indiana University runner-up Nate Jackson at 86kg and Gable Steveson at 125kg. Steveson grew up in the state and won multiple ISWA titles during his youth.
Lee will come in as the 6th seed and have Minnesota’s Mitch McKee in the first round. They have wrestled multiple times in folkstyle with Lee gaining all the recent victories. McKee is very dangerous in folkstyle and will be an interesting first round match. The winner of that will face off with #3 seed Jordan Oliver, a former Oklahoma State national champion. Lee was teched by Oliver at the US Nationals in December of 2019. The two-seed at this weight is Yianni Diakomihalis that could be a potential semi-final opponent. Also lurking in that side of the quarter bracket is 2016 Olympian Frank Molinaro whom Lee beat at 2019 US Nationals. On the top half of the bracket is another Penn State stud in Zain Retherford along with multiple-time world team member James Green.
Just like the NCAA’s, the heavyweight bracket is loaded with talent at the Olympic Trials. Mason Parris will come in as the 3rd seed and have Daniel Kerkvliet in the first round. They recently wrestled at the Big Tens where Parris won by major decision. Kerkvliet has multiple world medals and a dangerous opponent in the international styles. The semi-finals would feature another familiar foe in Gable Steveson. While they have not met in freestyle, Steveson owns three folkstyle wins over Parris. The top half of the bracket features world team mainstay Nick Gwiazdowski and former NCAA champions Anthony Nelson and Dom Bradley. Parris was 1-1 with Gwiazdowski at the RTC cup this fall.
Indiana does not have any natives on the Greco-Roman side of things. However, former Indiana University starter Lucas Sheridan is the 2nd seed at 97kg. He has had a solid amount of success in Greco-Roman and would be Indiana’s first Olympic representative since Charles Burton in 2000. There are also four wrestlers participating that have wrestled at the IndianaMat Hoosier Preseason Open. Mason Manville is the 6th seed at 77kg in Greco-Roman. He was an IHPO runner-up in 2011. Nick Lee won IHPO as a 7th grader in 2011, while making the semi-finals in 2012. Logan Massa participated in the IHPO in 2010 as an 8th grader and will be at 74kg at the trials. Lastly, Gable Steveson was a middle school champion in 2012 at IHPO.
U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials Broadcast Schedule
Day Competition Time (ET) Network Friday Challenge Tournaments 11 a.m. Peacock | LIVE STREAMS Challenge Tournament Finals Mat 2 7:30 p.m. NBCSN | LIVE STREAM Challenge Tournament Finals Mats 1, 3, 4 7:30 p.m. Peacock | LIVE STREAMS ‘Rulon’ film premiere on Rulon Gardner 11 p.m. NBCSN | STREAM Saturday Challenge Tournament Consolations 1 p.m. Peacock | LIVE STREAMS Championship Series Mat 2 7:30 p.m. NBCSN | LIVE STREAM Championship Series Mats 1, 3, 4 7:30 p.m. Peacock | LIVE STREAMS
USAW's Olympic Trials Information Center
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Indiana natives in the hunt for World Team spots
The spring is always “rather throw you than know you’ season and while our state freestyle and Greco championships are complete the regional and national events are just getting started. Last week saw two Indiana natives make the World Team for women. Kayla Miracle, now wrestling out of Iowa City, won the U23 Trials along with Yorktown’s Alara Boyd making her first Junior World Team.
This weekend we will have the Junior World Team Trials and the final spots for the seniors for Final X determined in Raleigh, North Carolina. There will be a handful of Indiana natives looking to make the World Team and we’ll highlight them for you here.
Junior Men’s Freestyle
Three Indiana natives from the class of 2018 will be looking to join Alara Boyd in Tallinn, Estonia in mid-August. Leading the way will be Lucas Davison who will not wrestle until the best of three series on Saturday. He won the Junior Open, thus giving him an automatic berth in the finals. His biggest competition will be Arizona State’s Kordell Norfleet and North Carolina’s Brandon Whitman. Note that Indiana fans saw Whitman at the Dream Team Classic last year against Mason Parris.
Speaking of Parris, it seems as if he will be entered at heavyweight. He did not wrestle at the open and thus could see his seed affected by that. He also has very limited freestyle credentials, but he is training with Adam Coon, so that should help him. His biggest competition will be Iowa’s Anthony Cassioppi who is sitting until the best of three on Saturday. Cassioppi is also a two-time IHPO champion if you’re keeping track at home.
Brayton Lee is another contender for a trip to Tallinn at 70kg(154lbs). He was second at the open to Ohio State’s Sammy Sasso and should come in as the challenge tournament top seed. Lee’s budding rival, Jacori Teemer, looks to be dropping to 65kg which will make this weight a little “easier.” However, he will have to fend off Missouri true freshman All-American Brock Mauller along with Peyton Robb, and former Dream Teamer Jared Franek. Even without Teemer this is still a really tough weight class.
Thomas Penola had a great redshirt season for Purdue and continued doing well with a 6th place finish in Vegas. At 86kg, he will have to navigate a deep field of top level talent. Currently he is not registered, so we won't know for sure until Friday morning if he is attending the event.
The schedule for Juniors starts on Friday at 10am with the challenge tournament. The winner of the challenge tournament will wrestle Saturday in the best of three series against the Junior Open champion.
One former and one current Indiana Hoosier will be wrestling on the Greco side of things. Current Hoosier sophomore Liam Cronin will be at 60kg, while former Former Hoosier upperweight Lucas Sheridan will be at 97kg where he has been one of the top guys in the country recently.
Senior Women’s Freestyle
With Sarah Hildebrandt automatically advancing to Final X due to her silver medal at last year’s World Championships there is only one Indiana native to watch here. Kayla Miracle made the move from Kentucky to Iowa last year and it seems to have paid dividends. She won the US Open and thus will be in the best of three finals on Sunday. Just last week she earned what seems to be her 100th spot on a World Team by winning the U23 trials. She will be looking to make her first senior world team after advancing to Final X last year and losing to eventual world bronze medalist Mallory Velte.
The schedule for the women’s freestyle portion begins on Saturday with the challenge tournament. The best of three finals will be on Sunday starting at noon.
Senior Men’s Freestyle
Men’s freestyle is always exciting and provides a great crop of dream match-ups throughout the weekend. This weekend we will have four guys with Indiana ties looking to earn a spot in Final X in either Lincoln, Nebraska or Piscataway, New Jersey.
Current college star Ben Harvey is entered at 79kg after finishing 7th at the US Open. Harvey was a state runner-up at Cathedral and made the round of 12 for Army West Point this past season. He is currently a Junior and has one more year of NCAA eligibility left. The 79kg weight class is highlighted by the likes of three-time NCAA champion Alex Dieringer, three-time NCAA finalist Mark Hall, and freestyle extraordinaire Chance Marsteller. Harvey will likely be one of the lower seeds due to his US Open placement.
Another state runner-up still making an impact is Riley Lefever. Before he won four DIII NCAA titles for Wabash he was a runner-up for Carroll High School…the one in Fort Wayne. He has been training in State College, Pennsylvania with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club for the past two years. He placed 6th at the US Open and is likely going to slot in at the 5th seed in the challenge tournament at 92kg. He will likely see Ohio State’s Kollin Moore in the round of 8 and then Hayden Zillmer in the semi-finals.
Two others with ties to Indiana to keep your eye on is Indiana University All-American Nate Jackson. He is being coached by former three-time Indiana state champion Reece Humphrey at the New Jersey RTC. He will be entered at 86kg. Last, but not least we always like to keep tabs on Gable Steveson. Even though he is eligible for the Junior age group he has once again entered the Senior division. He didn’t wrestle at the US Open so he will get knocked down a little with his seed. The winner of the challenge tournament here will see Adam Coon in the best of three finals on Sunday.
The schedule for the men’s freestyle will start with the challenge tournament bracket on Saturday and finish with the best of three finals on Sunday. The challenge tournament should be about a 7-10 man bracket for most weight classes. You can follow along on FloWrestling.com and as always check out our social media, especially Twitter(@IndianaMat) for updates throughout the weekend.
Friday May 17
UWW Junior Freestyle: 1st Round, Quarterfinals and Consolation Rd. 1-2
10:00 am – 2:00 pm – UWW Junior Freestyle (2 MATS)
Senior Greco-Roman: 1st Round, Quarterfinals and Consolation Rd. 1-2
10:00 am – 3:00 pm – Senior Greco-Roman (2 MATS)
UWW Junior Freestyle: Semi-Finals, Finals, Consolation Rd. 3-Semis
4:00 pm – 8:30 pm – UWW Junior Freestyle (2 MATS)
Senior Greco-Roman: Semi-Finals, Finals, Consolation Rd. 3-Semis
4:00 pm – 8:30 pm – Senior Greco-Roman (2 MATS)
Saturday May 18
Senior Women’s Freestyle: 1st Round, Quarterfinals and Consolation Rd. 1
10:00 am – 12:00 pm – Senior Women’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
Senior Men’s Freestyle: 1st Round, Quarterfinals and Consolation Rd. 1-2
10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Senior Men’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
UWW Junior Freestyle: Best 2 out of 3 Championship, 3rd Place, True 3rd (If Necessary)
1:30 pm – 5:15 pm – UWW Junior Freestyle (2 MATS)
Senior Greco-Roman: Best 2 out of 3 Championship, 3rd Place, True 3rd (If Necessary)
1:30 pm – 5:15 pm – Senior Greco-Roman (2 MATS)
Senior Men’s Freestyle: Semi-Finals, Finals and Consolation Rd. 3, Cons-Semis.
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Senior Men’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
Senior Women’s Freestyle: Semi-Finals, Finals and Consolation Rd. 3, Cons-Semis.
5:30 pm – 9:00 pm – Senior Women’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
Sunday May 19
Senior Men’s Freestyle: Best 2 out of 3 Championship, 3rd Place, True 3rd (If Necessary)
12:00 pm – 3:45 pm – Senior Men’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
Senior Women’s Freestyle: Best 2 out of 3 Championship, 3rd Place, True 3rd (If Necessary)
12:00 pm – 3:45 pm – Senior Women’s Freestyle (2 MATS)
Penn salutes World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt
By STEVE KRAH
Sarah Hildebrandt has been traveling the planet.
The Team USA wrestler has already filled up her passport book. She’s been to more than 30 countries.
“It’s definitely a great perk,” says Hildebrandt. “I was in like 12 countries this past year. Rome. Thailand. Spain. Amazing places.”
Hildebrandt, 25, went to Budapest, Hungary in October and came back with a silver medal at the 2018 World Championships.
Competing at 53 kg (117 pounds), the graduate of Penn High School in Mishawaka, Ind., and King University in Bristol, Tenn., received a first-round bye and then bested Kazakhstan’s Zhuldyz Eshimova 5-1 in the second round, Azerbaijan’s Anzhela Dorogan 15-9 in the quarterfinals and Canada’s Diana Mary Weicker by 10-0 technical fall in the semifinals.
In the finals at Laszlo Papp Arena, Hildebrandt lost lost by 11-0 technical fall to returning world champion Haruna Okuno of Japan. A month later, Hildebrandt was back at Penn to be saluted by the wrestling community.
Hildebrandt was the guest of honor on a night where challenge matches for the current team were held and the “Long Black Line” of mat alums
marched into Penn Arena.
She’s back in Granger, Ind., to see her family and rest up. She will leave in about two weeks for training China as she gets ready for the 2019 competition season. For her, it begins in January at the Dave Schultz Memorial International in Colorado Springs, Colo., where she recently purchased a house and moved out of the U.S. Olympic Training Center complex.
“I’ve really grown to love this process — the nitty gritty of it all and the grind of the season,” says Hildebrandt. “In a weird way, that monotony of training and keeping to a schedule (eating, working out and going to sleep at the same time everyday) and when I’m out of it, I’m miserable. I love the structure and I love the grind.”
This past year, she competed about once a month and plans to be in about seven meets in 2019, including the World Championships in Kazakhstan. Then comes the run-up to the U.S. Olympic Trials and, Hildebrandt graduated from Penn in 2011 and King in 2015 with a marketing degree. She uses that knowledge to market herself.
“It’s part of the job,” says Hildebrandt. “Especially as a female wrestler, you’ve got to be able to get people to care about the sport. “Marketing myself and the sport is how you do that. Social media is a big tool for us and pairing up with sponsors.”
Those sponsors have approached her about collaborating with her. “That will do a lot for exposure not just for myself but for women’s wrestling and USA Wrestling.”
Kingsmen head coach Brad Harper, who coached Hildebrandt in high school and was in her corner providing support in Hungary, made sure she was recognized in the same place where she put in so much work at the beginning of her wrestling career.
“We’ve been together since her freshmen year,” says Harper of Hildebrandt. “We’ve developed an awesome bond. I know what gets her calmed and what gets her energized."
“I’ve been with her through the thick and the thin. We’ve been together through a lot. That’s why we have that good relationship.”
Being ranked No. 1 in her weight class going into the Worlds and being a three-year in-residence athlete at the OTC, Hildebrandt has the skill and the know-how.
“I’m just there as an extra support to bring the energy and give her a little bit of strategy on what the other wrestler is doing,” says Harper. “I want to keep her in the moment.
“Sometimes she gets so excited because she loves to compete. I try to slow her down and let it come natural and wrestle her match.”
Wrestling as the lone girl on a boys team, competing at a high level in college and then on the international stage has made Hildebrandt physically and mentally tough.
“She’s been through it all,” says Harper. “She’s going to wrestle and ‘Be Sarah.’”
Hildebrandt and Harper form a game plan going into competition. “I like those check-in points and for him to say them real intensely,” says Hildebrandt. “It’s two or three things. It changes from match to match and tournament to tournament. One is ‘next position,’ which is telling me to focus on the very next position I’m going to be in.
Where are your hands? Where is your head? Where are your hips? I don’t like to get too far ahead of myself, even by 20 or 30 seconds. It’s each chunk of time. It calms me down a little. I can’t get too high and can’t get too low in terms of emotion.”
Harper helps make that happen.
“He’s the most encouraging man to be around which is one of the main reasons I love having him in my corner and around still,” says Hildebrandt. “But, on top of that, he’s so good at not just talking to a group of people. He’s good at speaking directly to one person and making them feel his compassion toward them.
“He makes them believe they can do this. He’s changing lives.”
It’s with that enthusiasm that Penn now has a girls wrestling program with more than 20 athletes and coached by Matt Selis, Amy Hildebrandt (Sarah’s younger sister), Kristin Hills and Mariah Eberhart.
“It’s really amazing to share a goal like that with my sister — to empower women and break down these barriers and the prejudice people might have toward this sport and even women,” says Sarah of Amy. “I love that she’s teaching and giving back to this sport. It’s really a gift for me. The more she opens doors for girls in wrestling, it’s opening up everything for women in wrestling. That comes back to be because I’m a woman wrestler.”
Sarah says she gains motivation from younger brother Drew Hildebrandt, a highly-ranked 125-pound wrestler at Central Michigan University.
“My whole family inspires me, but my little brother is very much involved in the sport and he’s like the baby of the family,” says Sarah, daughter of Chris and Nancy Hildebrandt. “It’s cool to see him chasing goals and reaching them and improving right alongside with me. He understands what it takes."
“We give each other advice on the mental game and staying positive.”
Injured Hildebrandt keeps head high, eyes another run at Olympics
By STEVE KRAH
IOWA CITY, Iowa â€” Sarah Hildebrandtâ€™s U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials experience didnâ€™t end the way she wanted.
Wrestling with a right knee injury (impingement and torn meniscus) that few people knew about heading into the tournament, the Penn High School graduate went 3-2 in the 53 kg (116.5 pounds) bracket Sunday, April 10 at the University of Iowaâ€™s Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The former King University grappler was dominant in her three victories, but her losses were by superiority and pin.
â€œI actually felt pretty relaxed out there,â€ Hildebrandt said. â€œBut I didnâ€™t feel comfortable with my knee. I didnâ€™t trust my body. I didnâ€™t trust in my shots. When you have an injury, thereâ€™s always a little fear (of pain).
â€œ(My knee has) been bothering me. Itâ€™s really an everyday thing. Some days are better than others. Unfortunately, weight-cutting is part of this sport and running goes along with that. I put some time in on the treadmill â€” about an hour everyday â€” and itâ€™s pretty hard on my knees.â€
Like most Olympic hopefuls, Hildebrandt works out multiple times a day and it takes a physical toll and it did on her knee.
â€œI knew it could be a problem,â€ Hildebrandt said. â€œI just pushed through it and hoped the adrenaline would push me through. At times, it did, and at other times pain won out.â€
Hildebrandtâ€™s day began with a 10-2 win over Cady Chessin. She lost out on a chance at the 2016 Rio Olympics (only the champion advances) with a 10-0 loss to Katherine Fulp-Allen.
That was followed by two victories â€” 8-0 over Dajan Treder and pin of Amy Fearnside in 5:44. The day ended with a loss by pin to Michalea Hutchison in 2:44.
â€œItâ€™s a huge disappointment,â€ Hildebrandt said. â€œI know I had a lot of people cheering for me and supporting me. I wanted to wrestle well for them but for myself as well. Even if I have a bad day, I want to walk off the mat saying I did my best. I donâ€™t feel like that. Thatâ€™s rough. Thatâ€™s hard for me to swallow.â€
Brad Harper, Hildebrandtâ€™s coach at Penn, was in her corner at all her Iowa City matches and has continued to be there for her in the five years since she graduated from high school. The Kingsmenâ€™s head coach marveled at her willingness to go hard despite the agony.
â€œShe said she didnâ€™t do her best, but she did do her best with the situation she was in. To battle through what she had going on was amazing. I went out to the training center (in Colorado Springs, Colo.) and with her workouts, she was in pain at every practice.â€
Hildebrandt, who began her wrestling career at Discovery Middle School in Granger, was full of confidence in the months leading up to Iowa City.
â€œI really, really believed in myself,â€ Hildebrandt said. â€œIâ€™ve had tournaments where I didnâ€™t believe in myself and losing didnâ€™t sting as much. I definitely think I can be the best in the world.â€
Hildebrandtâ€™s immediate plans call for knee surgery then quality family time and some relaxation.
â€œIâ€™d like to go somewhere warm and sit on the beach,â€ Hildebrandt said.
But she wonâ€™t stay away from the sport she loves and still has Olympic dreams.
â€œI love the sport,â€ Hildebrandt said. â€œI have lotta lotta fun with it. This was not as fun as some other days. But Iâ€™ll always crave getting back in the mat room.â€
The 22-year-old hopes to take a shot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and all that entails.
â€œIâ€™ve worked so hard and nothingâ€™s going to change. Iâ€™ll just keep striving and burning the fire in my belly.â€
Harper believes in Hildebrandtâ€™s mat future.
â€œShe just needs to get healthy and train smarter,â€ Harper said. â€œShe needs to just keep getting better day by day. When 2020 comes, she will dominate.â€
And as for 2016?
â€œIâ€™m still an American and I want to help my team,â€ Hildebrandt said. â€œI know it will be a quick turn-around, but if I can get in there and help the girls on the Olympic team, I would love to.â€
Andrew Howe Advances to the Trials Championship
By STEVE KRAH
It took a three-time world champion and defending Olympic champion from allowing Indianaâ€™s Andrew Howe from getting a chance to represent the USA at the 2016 Rio Games.
For the second straight U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Jordan Burroughs bested Howe in the finals at 74 kg (163 pounds).
Burroughs, a New Jersey native who now lives in Nebraska and represents Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, beat Howe in 2012 and went on to win it all at the London Olympics. He has only lost twice in the past five years and never to Howe.
On Sunday, April 10, Burroughs bested the former Hanover Central High School, University of Wisconsin and Oklahoma University standout 9-3 and 10-0 in the best-of-3 finals before 11,162 at the University of Iowaâ€™s famed Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
In the first bout, Burroughs built a 7-0 lead before Howe scored a first-period reversal. The scoring in the second period was a takedown by Burroughs followed by a one-point push-out for Howe. Both periods were three minutes.
The second bout saw Burroughs win in just under 90 seconds. He got an early takedown and then executed four consecutive two-point â€œleg laceâ€ rolls to win by superiority and earn the Olympic berth.
â€œI dominated,â€ Burroughs said after celebrating with his family. â€œIâ€™m excited.
â€œThe approach is always to be one of the best ever. Itâ€™s hard to be a husband and father and be the best wrestler in the world. But I want to be a role model to all fathers out there.â€
On his way to the finals, the 26-year-old Howe drew a first-round bye then beat Mark Hall 10-0, Alex Dieringer 5-2 and Nick Marable 2-1 in the challenge tournament. Burroughs earned the right to by-pass the challenge and went right to the finals.
Before taking on Burroughs in a â€œdo-or-dieâ€ showdown (only the champion advances to the 2016 Rio Olympics), Howe said he needed to â€œjust relaxâ€ and â€œgo take it.â€
He just wasnâ€™t able to get the job completed and still remains winless against Burroughs during his mat career.
A five-year member of Team USA, Howe came in ranked No. 4 at 74 kg.
Howeâ€™s 2016 resume includes a U.S. Open championship and a fifth-place finish at the Yarygin Grand Prix in Russia.
An assistant coach at Oklahoma and a member of the Sooner Wrestling Club, Howe joined the staff after his senior season for the Sooners. He graduated from OU with a bachelorâ€™s degree in multidisciplinary studies and is currently working toward a masterâ€™s degree in human relations.
â€œItâ€™s a great situation I have. I really appreciate (head coach) Mark Cody and (associate head coach) Michael Lightner freeing me up at times during the year and letting me get ready for this event.
â€œI wrestle with the college guys almost daily and it helps.â€
The other wrestler from the Region at Iowa City was Angel Escobedo, who came in No. 3 in the Team USA rankings and a three-year member of Team USA.
The four-time state champion while at Griffith High School and three-time Big Ten Conference champion while at Indiana University, lost 12-9 to Nahshon Garrett in his only match Sunday.
Escobedo, 29, dropped out of the challenge tournament at 57 kg (125.5 pounds) because of injury. He is now an assistant coach at Iowa State University in Ames.
The member of the New York Athletic Club placed seventh at the 2016 U.S. Open.
Miracle Takes 4th at Olympic Trials
By STEVE KRAH
IOWA CITY, Iowa â€” Kayla Miracle is studying education at Campbellsville (Ky.) University.
The Culver Academies graduate knows about learning.
Miracle, 19, learned more about her herself while preparing for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials.
And while she came away from the event Saturday, April 9, at the University of Iowaâ€™s Carver-Hawkeye Arena with a 3-2 mark, fourth place at 58 kg (127.75 pounds) and disappointment, she also saw the positive in her performance and started looking toward her mat future.
Miracle, a Campbellsville sophomore who counts father Lee as her head coach, pinned Axa Molina (age 22) in 2:59 and beat Randi Beltz (25) 8-3 before losing 6-4 to national champion Alli Ragan (23) in the winners' bracket.
With her chances at the Rio Olympics gone (only the champion moved on), Miracle beat Jenna Burkert (22) 10-5 before losing 12-4 to Beltz in the fourth-place match.
â€œI feel like Iâ€™m ready technically to be with these girls,â€ Miracle said. â€œBut thereâ€™s so much more. Thereâ€™s the mental side and the game planning. Iâ€™ve never really had to gameplan for a match. I need to do that so I know exactly what I need to do.
â€œI just need to continue to develop. Iâ€™ve gotten so much better. Iâ€™ve made so many great strides.â€
Miracle, who turns 20 on April 26, said she â€œtook a really bad shotâ€ near the end of the match against Ragan.
â€œI donâ€™t know what was going through my mind,â€ Miracle said. â€œI just dove in.
â€œI had like 45 seconds left, so I had plenty of time to set up the perfect shot and score. Even 40 seconds seems like five hours.â€
The freestyle matches were contested with two three-minute periods and criteria was used to break ties.
After dominating Beltz earlier in the day, Miracle was not able to duplicate her result in the rematch.
â€œI just wasnâ€™t myself,â€ Miracle said. â€œI went against all these tough girls all day and then I just bogged down.â€
She said she also let a tweak to her back get the best of her.
â€œI donâ€™t know what was going on with my head,â€ Miracle said. â€œ(Finishing in the top three) was definitely important because it would have put me on the senior national team and I would get to train with these girls.
â€œI just lose a lot of respect for people who drop out after they lose. If youâ€™re going to retire as an Olympic athlete, thatâ€™s different. But if youâ€™re still and up-and-coming athlete, you can still get third and be on the national team. To forfeit is far worse.â€
Miracle, who came into Iowa City with University Nationals and Dave Schultz Memorial International championships on her 2016 resume, sees herself being in the 2020 Olympic Team Trials with a shot at the Tokyo Games.
â€œI wonâ€™t be satisfied until Iâ€™m on top of that Olympic podium,â€ Miracle said. â€œI had a goal and I didnâ€™t meet it. But give me four years and Iâ€™ll be back.â€
But her immediate focus will now turn to getting ready for University Worlds and Junior Olympic Trials and, of course, her studies back in Kentucky.
Saturdayâ€™s two Olympic Trials sessions drew 21,922 fans (11,067 for the finals).
Sundayâ€™s action from Carver-Hawkeye Area will air on NBC Sports Network on a tape-delay basis starting at 9:30 p.m. (CDT). All matches will be streamed live on the Internet at NBCOlympics.com.
Dingo in Vegas at the World Championships (Day 3)
Greetings from Las Vegas. While the first two days have had some really exciting moments, at the end of two days,the US has only 1 medal to show for their effort. I saw Harry Lester being interviewed after his repechage loss and he was extremely emotional about his day's work. Robby Smith was, conversely, ecstatic about his non-medal performance, and rightly so. He really energized the crowd in a way that only Bisek equaled or surpassed.
Day 3 brings the final Greco competition, and 3 women's freestyle weights. The US draws are as follows:
85kg/187 lbs Jordan Holm Vs. Javid Hamzatov (Belarus) --Three-time World team member Side Show Holm brings a high energy style, along with high energy hair, to the mat against Hamzatov. He won gold at the Dave Schultz and the Hungarian Grand Prix, and currently sports a #13 World ranking. Hamzatov sits one place higher at #12, but Holm, in my opinion, has the ability to surprise in this event. Of course, the kind draws for the US ended on day 1, so Holm will have to navigate a tough field that features former World champ #10 Melonin Noumonvi of France, #1 David Chekvetadze of Russia, #2 Zhan Belenyuk of Ukraine and #3 Habibollah Akhlaghi of Iran. If Cuba's heavyweight Lopez can be beat, anyone can be beat, so Holm might pull a surprise or two.
48kg/105.5 lbs Alyssa Lampe Vs. Thi Hang Vu (Vietnam) -- World #13 Lampe gets a nice opening matchup vs. unranked Vu of Vietnam. Of course, Vu was still a Junior World silver medalist in 2012, so she's no slouch. Lampe is coming off a 5th place finish at World's and could be poised to make a big move in this year's home country tourney. Standing at the very top of the weight class are two dominant competitors: #1 and multi-X World and Olympic champ Eri Tosaka, possibly the second most dominant woman wrestler in the world (to teammate Saori Yoshida), and the very consistent #2 Mariya Stadnyk of Azerbaijan. Lampe will need to use her physical, American style to wear down her opponents. She should win her opening match and has a very solid shot at a bronze.
53kg/116.5 lbs Whitney Conder Vs. Isabelle Sambou (Senegal) -- #11 Conder also draws an unranked opponent, although Sambou was fifth at the 2012 Olympics. Conder is a former Junior World champ and won Pan Am gold this year, so she has some nice accomplishments already. This is her 3rd World team,and this could be the one where she medals. The aforementioned Saori Yoshida of Japan is the most successful wrestler of all-time, male or female. She recently broke Karelin's record of World titles, as she currently has 15 World titles, including 3 Olympic golds. #2 Sofia Mattsson of Sweden is a 5-time World medalist and is very consistently in the money at Worlds. Conder is a similar bet for bronze as Lampe.
69kg/152 lbs Elena Pirozhkova Vs. Vs. Alison Keju (Marshall Islands) -- #8 Pirozhkova is one of the three former World champs in this division. She, like Lampe and Conder, drew an unranked opponent. I had no idea where the Marshall Islands were, so I looked it up. It's a part of Micronesia in the South Pacific. Keju is considered to be Marshallese...so now you know. Pirozhkova is plenty capable of medaling, as she has done so 4 times at the World level. This is a more open weight class than the two previously listed, and Pirozhkova could win the whole shebang. Hopefully, the 'home' crowd (she was born in Russia) gets her pumped and she wrestles to her full ability. Standing in her way are #1 Natalia Vorobieva (Russia), former World champs #3 Alina Makhinya (Ukraine) and #9 Jenny Fransson (Sweden), as well as #2 Feng Zhou of China.
Here's to hoping for 4 US medals tomorrow. U-S-A!!
Wrestling Wednesday: Humphrey Ready for World Title
Photo by Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers are Warriors
By JEREMY HINES
When Reece Humphrey was in sixth grade he told his dad he wanted to try wrestling. He remembers his dad, Jim, having a big smile on his face when he learned the news.
Soon Jim started showing up to Reeceâ€™s practices. Then he started running the practices. Reece thought his dad running practice was a little odd, until he found out that his dad was a World silver medalist and a two time Olympic wrestling coach.
â€œI didnâ€™t go out for wrestling because of my dad,â€ Reece said. â€œI didnâ€™t even know about his career. I went out for wrestling because my friends talked me into it.â€
Now, over a decade later, Reece wrestles for a living. He is the United Statesâ€™ top 61kg freestyle grappler and will represent his country at the World Championships this week in Las Vegas.
Reece grew up in Indiana, where he was a three-time state champion representing Lawrence North High School. He then went to Ohio State where he earned All-American honors twice with the Buckeyes.
â€œI remember back in high school, a state championship meant everything to me,â€ Humphrey said. â€œThen in college I wanted to be an NCAA champion. I ended up finishing second. But now, the ultimate goal is to win the World Championships, and I really feel like this is my year to do it.â€
Humphrey advanced to the Worlds by beating Daniel Dennis 12-1, 4-1 in the qualifying round.
Now, at 29, heâ€™s the second oldest member on the US team. Humphrey is joined by Tony Ramos (57kg), Brent Metcalf (65kg), James Green (70kg), Jordan Burroughs (74kg), Jake Herbert (86kg), Kyle Snyder (97kg) and Tervel Diagnev (125kg).
â€œIâ€™ve been practicing twice a day, 11 times a week all year long for this,â€ Humphrey said. â€œI love what I do. Wrestling is 24-7 for me.â€
Humphrey has cut nearly 30 pounds to get down to his competition weight.
â€œThatâ€™s all Iâ€™m thinking about every second,â€ Humphrey said. â€œIâ€™m on a strict diet. Making this weight is very tough for me. Iâ€™m pretty lean around 160 pounds.â€
His class, 61kg, is 134 pounds.
This time at the World Championships Humphrey feels it is his time to take gold.
â€œThe first time I competed at World I didnâ€™t know what to expect,â€ he said. â€œThe second time I lost a close one to a two-time medalist. Now I know how to train, how to prepare. The competition is on home soil and Iâ€™m so ready to go out and do this.â€
Humphrey feels this is his last chance to win a World medal.
â€œIâ€™m anxious, nervous and excited,â€ he said. â€œI feel the pressure, but I love it. You donâ€™t get that many shots at winning a world title. You have to take each one seriously. This really could be my last chance. I want to go out on top.â€
Reece is proud of the fact he grew up in Indiana.
â€œIndiana isnâ€™t known as one of the best wrestling states,â€ he said. â€œBut when I was wrestling we had about 10 really tough kids that did really well at nationals. Angel Escobedo is my training partner. He was a four-time champ from Indiana.â€
Humphrey teaches at a lot of camps throughout the state as a way of giving back.
â€œI do a lot of camps,â€ he said. â€œI plan on opening a club (in Ohio, where he currently resides) when Iâ€™m done with the Olympics in Rio. Iâ€™m all around the country doing camps. I have no weekends, ever. But I love working with the kids and spreading my knowledge. Itâ€™s my way of giving back to the sport that has given me so many opportunities.â€
Wrestling allows Reece to be able to spend a lot of time with his family. He and his wife Meredith have two children â€“ Parker, 4 and Reace, 3.
â€œI am fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time at home with the kids,â€ Reace said. â€œAnd when they start school Iâ€™ll be retired. I get to be a huge part of their life.â€
This has been one of Humphreyâ€™s most successful wrestling years so far. He won the US Open, made the world team and is now competing for a title.
â€œAleksander Bogomoev (Russia) is very tough,â€ Humphrey said of the top ranked 61kg grappler. â€œBut I feel like I can go out and compete with anyone right now. Iâ€™m at the top of my game.â€
Dingo in Vegas at the World Championships
Greetings from The Orleans in Las Vegas, Nevada! I'm one lucky Hoosier, as I will be covering the entire week of competition for my favorite website....this one. I got in this evening and walked around the casino and floor area a bit. I saw athletes, male and female, milling around the casino, some looking intense and focused, and some enjoying what Las Vegas is famous for. Athletes from countries like Japan, Kazakshtan, Bulgaria, Russia and, yes, Trinidad and Tobago are very easy to spot, with the telltale ears and scars that often grace high level wrestlers. There are a lot of folks here from around the world, and the buzz is palpable.
Tomorrow morning, Greco competition kicks off the action, as titles will be determined at 66, 75 and 98 kilos. Draws have been released for the US, and are as follows:
66 kg/145.5 lbs -- Bryce Saddoris vs Hugo Miguel Da Silva Passos (Portugal). Two-time World member Saddoris has a favorable draw for his first match in Passos, who has had minimal international success. A two-time All-American while competing at Navy, Saddoris is also a true hometown hero, as he was a four-time state champ in Nevada. Saddoris has a very solid chance to win his first match, but he has a very tough road for a medal. 2014 World champ Davor Stefanek of Serbia is the odds on favorite to win gold, and 2014 bronze medalist Tamas Lorincz of Hungary is another strong candidate to take it all. Outside of those two, many of the top competitors from the London Olympics and the 2014 World Championships are not representing their respective countries this year. An ideal scenario for Saddoris is for him to win his opening match and then get pulled into a repechage match, where a couple of upsets could spring a bronze medalist for the former Midshipmen standout, That said, it's likely too much to ask of Saddoris at this point in his career. Hope I'm wrong.
75 kg/165 lbs -- Andy Bisek vs Luis Eduardo Avendano Rojas (Venezuela). 2014 bronze medalist Bisek opens up against an opponent he handled easily at this year's Pan Am games. Bisek has been competing internationally for a solid decade and this is his fourth World Championship. He really seems to be peaking, as evidenced by his medal at last year's competition. Despite his recent success, he's still ranked only 14th in the world, a testament to the depth of talent at this weight. Like Saddoris, Bisek has a favorable early draw, and, hopefully, he can parlay an early win into a run to the medal session. Hyeon-Woo Kim (Korea), the 2013 world champ, and Arsen Julfalakyan (Armenia), the 2014 world gold medalist, lead a strong, deep group and are the top favorites to win it all this year, although it would be foolish to underestimate Roman Vlasov of Russia, the 2012 Olympic champion and silver medalist at the 2013 Worlds. In a perfect world, Bisek puts it all together and makes a title run, but more realistically, he wins his opening match and benefits from a repechage situation. Bisek was the lone medalist in Greco for the US in 2014, and his performance on the opening day of competition could be an omen of things to come for the entire US Greco team.
98 kg/216 lb -- Caylor Williams vs Davi Jose Albino (Brazil). Three-time World team member Caylor Williams, who competed in college at UNC-Greensboro, has a tougher opening round match than Bisek and Saddoris in Albino. While Williams hasn't produced a lot of topnotch international finishes, he has displayed big-match potential, as evidenced by his huge upset of 2012 Olympic Silver medalist Rustam Totrov of Russia. However, in order to have any shot to medal tomorrow, Williams has to wrestle at his best each minute of each match. This is an especially loaded field, led by Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia), a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, 2013 World silver medalist and 2014 World champ, Islam Magomedov (Russia), the latest in a long line of nightmarish Russian grapplers, and Ghasem Rezaei (Iran), the London Olympic champion. It would be a fairly substantial upset if Williams managed a medal this year.
I will update this thread during the competition, although I have to be careful with the picture-taking, as they are very particular about this topic. I have my fingers crossed that Bisek can reproduce last year's impressive run, and either Saddoris or Williams can pull some upsets. LET'S GO U-S-A!!!!!
Penn graduate Sarah Hildebrandt taking a shot at wrestling in 2016 Rio Olympics
By Steve Krah
FORT WAYNE â€” Olympic hopeful Sarah Hildebrandt has a big decision to make in the upcoming months.
The Penn High School graduate and King University senior has to choose whether she will pursue her goal of making the U.S. women's wrestling team for the 2016 Rio Games by training at home in Granger or at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"The two options are very even right now," Hildebrandt said Saturday, Jan. 10, while helping King to a second straight title at the National Wrestling Coaches Association Duals at Memorial Coliseum. "I kind of have to come to a decision within the next two months.
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Hildebrandt facing training decision
By Tim Creason Tribune Correspondent
Over the years, tremendous athletes have trained in the wrestling room at Penn High School.
State champs. National champs.
But a contender for the U.S. Olympic Team?
Kingsman coach Brad Harper says, â€œWhy not?â€
Sarah Hildebrandt, a senior at King University in Tennessee, has to make her decision in the next couple months.
The defending womenâ€™s collegiate wrestling champion in the 123-pound weight class, Hildebrandt is going all-out to make the U.S. Olympic Womenâ€™s Wrestling Team in 2016.
Itâ€™s not a pipe dream. Hildebrandt, a 2011 Penn graduate, is ranked No. 2 in the nation in the 55-kilogram (121-pound) weight class by USA Wrestling. Sheâ€™s a member of Team USA, and will be leaving for St. Petersburg, Russia, to compete in the World Cup this March.
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Alex Dolly Ranked 19th in World Freestyle Rankings
Mishawaka native Alex Dolly remains in the latest FILA Freestyle rankings. He dropped from 17th to 19th in the World. Currently he wrestles for Ireland due to having dual citizenship in both the USA and Ireland.
Russians Crowd Men's Freestyle Rankings After Successful Ali Aliev Tourney
by William May
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (June 3) â€“ Russian wrestlers won seven of the eight gold medals on offer at the Ali Aliev wrestling tournament and crowded onto the FILA World Rankings after a quiet month for senior-level competition following the continental championships.
Russian representatives won 18 of the 32 medals awarded in the capital of the Dagestan Republic, Makhachkala, with 10 wrestlers making their way into the top 20 at their respective weights.
Artyom GEBEKOV (RUS) took his second Ali Aliev crown, this time at 57kg, and was joined by world bronze medalist Nariman ISRAPILOV (RUS) as they led the Russian assault on the rankings.
World and Olympic team veterans Albert SARITOV (RUS) and Anzor URISHEV (RUS) pushed their way up the rankings at 86kg behind European champion Abdul Rashid SADULAEV (RUS) and ahead of 2013 world team member Shamil KUDIYAMAGOMEDOV (RUS).
Four of the eight weight categories now feature four wrestlers from Russia in their ranks with a total of 26 wrestlers from Russia named in this monthâ€™s rankings.
Despite the rush of Russians onto the rankings, diversity reigns on top as six countries â€“ Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, the United States, and Turkey -- can boast top-ranked wrestlers with only Russia and Iran having two each.
Veteran Ali ISAEV (AZE), who hails from Dagestan but wrestles for neighboring Azerbaijan, was the only wrestler not representing Russia to win a title Ali Aliev as he defeated junior world runner-up Abdollah GHOMI AVILI (IRI) at 125kg.
The only casualty at the top of the rankings was Asia champion Rasul KALIEV (KAZ), who slipped from No.1 after finishing in seventh place at 57kg. European champion and London 2012 silver medalist Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) became the new bantamweight leader.
Entries in the rankings are listed by name, country code, most recent or most significant result in the last 12 months, and ranking the previous month.
Click Here for FILA Ranking Criteria
57kg â€“ Artyom GEBEKOV (RUS) won his second title at the Ali Aliev tournament while Universiade gold medalist Nariman ISRAPILOV (RUS) bagged his third bronze medal since winning last summerâ€™s University Games to join the rankings at No.8 and No.9, respectively.
1. Vladimir KHINCHEGASHVILI (GEO) â€“ Europe No.1 (2)
2. Rasul KALIEV (KAZ) â€“ Asia No.1 (1)
3. DAMDINBAZAR Tsogtbaatar (MGL) â€“ Asia No.2 (3)
4. Fumitaka MORISHITA (JPN) â€“ Asia No.3 (4)
5. Samat NADYRBEK UULU (KGZ) â€“ Asia No.3 (5)
6. Viktor LEBEDEV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.5 (6)
7. Hassan RAHIMI (IRI) â€“ World Cup No.1 (7)
8. Artyom GEBEKOV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.1 (not ranked)
9. Nariman ISRAPILOV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (nr)
10. BATBOLD Nomin (MGL) â€“ Yasar Dogu No.1 (10)
11. Amit KUMAR (IND) â€“ Schultz Memorial No.2 (9)
12. Rustam AMPAR (RUS) â€“ Yarygin No.1 (8)
13. Ghenadi TULBEA (MON) â€“ Europe No.2 (11)
14. Garik BARSEGHYAN (ARM) â€“ Europe No.3 (12)
15. Zoheir EL QUARRAQE (FRA) â€“ Europe No.3 (13)
16. JIN Jong-Hak (PRK) â€“ Takhti Cup No.1 (14)
17. Sezer AKGUL (TUR) â€“ Yasar Dogu No.3 (15)
18. Andrei DUKOV (ROU) â€“ Dan Kolov No.3 (16)
19. Vladislav ANDREEV (BLR) â€“ Medved Prizes No.3 (17)
20. Mehrab REZAZADEH (IRI) â€“ Asia No.5 (18)
61kg â€“ Murshid MUTALIMOV (RUS) defeated two-time world champion Victor LEBEDEV (RUS), who was wrestling up one category, in the semifinals and went on to win the Ali Aliev crown and earn No.7 in the rankings.
Junior world champion Akhmednabi GVARZATILOV (AZE), a bronze medal winner at Yasar Dogu in February like Mutalimov, held steady at No.8 after a bronze medal in Makhachkala.
1. Haji ALIEV (AZE) â€“ Europe No.1 (1)
2. Dyamal OTARSULTANOV (RUS) â€“ Yarygin GP No.1 (2)
3. Bekhan GOYGEREEV (RUS) â€“ Europe No.2 (3)
4. Masoud ESMAILPOUR (IRI) â€“ Asia No.1 (4)
5. Daulet NIYAZBEKOV (KAZ) â€“ Asia No.3 (5)
6. Bajneesh BAJRANG (IND) â€“ Asia No.2 (6)
7. Murshid MURTALIMOV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.1 (nr)
8. Akhmednabi GVARZATILOV (AZE) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (8)
9. ENKHSAIKHAN Nyam-Ochir (MGL) â€“ Yasar Dogu No.2 (7)
10. Behnam EHSANPOUR (IRI) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (nr)
11. LHAMGARMAA Nazmandakh (MGL) â€“ Asia No.3 (9)
12. Vasyl SHUPTAR (UKR) â€“ Europe No.3 (10)
13. Andrei PERPELITA (MDA) â€“ Europe No.3 (11)
14. Krzysztof BIENKOWSKI (POL) â€“ Europe No.5 (13)
15. Vladimir DUBOV (BUL) â€“ Dan Kolov No.3 (7)
16. James KENNEDY (USA) â€“ Yasar Dogu No.1 (9)
17. Bazar BAZARGURUEV (KGZ) â€“ Mongolian Open No.2 (15)
18. Vasyl FEDORISHIN (UKR) â€“ Takhti Cup No.2 (16)
19. Noriyuki TAKATSUKA (JPN) â€“ Takhti Cup No.3 (17)
20. Sayatpek OKASOV (KAZ) â€“ Medved Prizes No.1 (nr)
65kg â€“ Yarygin Grand Prix bronze medalist Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) won his second tourney of 2014 at Ali Aliev and leapt into the rankings at No.7. It was Chakaevâ€™s third international triumph in Russia over the last seven months.
Frank CHAMIZO MARQUEZ (ITA), a world bronze medalist at 55kg for Cuba in 2010, stood on the medals podium for a third straight tourney with a bronze medal at Ali Aliev to climb to No.12 in the rankings.
1. Magomed KURBANALIEV (RUS) â€“ Europe No.1 (1)
2. Franklin GOMEZ MATOS (PUR) â€“ CAC Games No.1 (2)
3. Servet COSKUN (TUR) â€“ Europe No.2 (3)
4. Borislav NOVACHKOV (BUL) â€“ Europe No.3 (4)
5. Konstantin KHABALASHVILI (GEO) â€“ Europe No.3 (5)
6. Sayed Ahmad MOHAMMADI (IRI) â€“ Asia No.1 (6)
7. Akhmed CHAKAEV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.1 (nr)
8. Mustafa KAYA (TUR) â€“ Yasar Dogu No.3 (7)
9. KANG Jin-Hyeok (PRK) â€“ Asia No.2 (8)
10. GANZORIG Mandakhnaran (MGL) â€“ Mongolian Open No.1 (9)
11. Daichi TAKATANI (JPN) â€“ Takhti Cup No.5 (10)
12. Frank CHAMIZO MARQUEZ (ITA) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (18)
13. BATMAGNAI Batchuluun (MGL) â€“ Asia No.3 (11)
14. Furkat FARMANOV (UZB) â€“ Asia No.3 (12)
15. Andrey KVIATKOVSKI (UKR) â€“ Ali Aliev No.2 (13)
16. Magomed MUSLIMOV (AZE) â€“ Yasar Dogu No.2 (14)
17. Azamat NURIKOV (BLR) â€“ Medved Prizes No.1 (15)
18. Dauren ZHUMAGAZIEV (KAZ) â€“ Takhti Cup No.3 (16)
19. Alibeggadzhi EMEEV (RUS) â€“ Yarygin GP No.2 (17)
20. Hernan GUZMAN IPUZ (COL) â€“ CAC Games No.2 (20)
70kg â€“ Dshamaluddin KURBANALIEV (RUS), the Ali Aliev runner-up one year ago. defeated London Olympian Andrey KVIATKOVSKI (UKR) in this yearâ€™s final to rebound from a lackluster showing at the Medved Prizes in March and grab No. 10 in the rankings.
Ramazan SHAMSHUTDINOV (RUS), an early rankings leader at 70kg after a runner-up finish at the Yarygin Grand Prix in January, finished with a bronze medal at Ali Aliev to regain No.11 in the rankings after a lackluster winter and spring.
1. Moustafa HOSSEINKHANI (IRI) â€“ Asia No.1 (1)
2. Ruslan DIBIRGADZHIYEV (AZE) â€“ Europe No.1 (2)
3. Yakup GOR (TUR) â€“ Europe No.3 (3)
4. Peyman YARAHMADI (IRI) â€“ Takhti Cup No.2 (4)
5. Grigor GRIGORYAN (ARM) â€“ Europe No.2 (5)
6. Israil KASUMOV (RUS) â€“ Yarygin GP No.1 (6)
7. Khetag TSABOLOV (RUS) â€“ Yarygin GP No.3 (7)
8. Miroslav KIROV (BUL) â€“ Europe No.3 (8)
9. Somirshoh VOKHIDOV (TJK) â€“ Asia No.2 (9)
10. Dshamaluddin KURBANALIEV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.1 (nr)
11. Ramazan SHAMSHUTDINOV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (nr)
12. Ken HOSAKA (JPN) â€“ Asia No.3 (10)
13. Ibrahim NURIDDINOV (UZB) â€“ Asia No.3 (11)
14. LING Haiwei (CHN) â€“ Asia No.5 (12)
15. Amit Dhankar KUMAR (IND) â€“ Asia No.5 (13)
16. Zhombor GULYAS (HUN) â€“ Europe No.5 (14)
17. Adrian Ionut MOISE (ROU) â€“ Europe No.5 (15)
18. Geandry GARZON CABALLERO (CUB) â€“ Granma Cup No.1 (16)
19. BUYANJAV Batzorig (MGL) â€“ Buryatia Cup No.1 (19)
20. Zaur EFENDIEV (SRB) â€“ Paris GGP No.1 (11)
74kg â€“ Kamal MALIKOV (RUS), a bronze medal winner in 2013, took the Ali Aliev crown after ninth-place finishes at the Golden Grand Prix Final in November and the Yarygin Grand Prix in January to enter the rankings at No.9.
Ali Aliev runner-up Magomed ZUBAIROV (RUS), who bounces back-and-forth between 74kg and 86kg, comes in at No.10.
1. Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) â€“ World No.1 (1)
2. Aniuar GEDUEV (RUS) â€“ Europe No.1 (2)
3. Reza AFZALI PAEMAMI (IRI) â€“ Asia No.1 (3)
4. Yabrail HASANOV (AZE) â€“ Europe No.2 (8)
5. Ali SHABANOV (BLR) â€“ Medved Prizes No.1 (6)
6. Soner DEMIRTAS (TUR) â€“ Europe No.3 (4)
7. Krystian BRZOZOWSKI (POL) â€“ Europe No.3 (5)
8. Akhmed GADZHIMAGOMEDOV (RUS) â€“ Yarygin GP No.2 (7)
9. Kamal MALIKOV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.1 (nr)
10. Magomed ZUBAIROV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.2 (nr)
11. PUREVJAV Unurbat (MGL) â€“ Asia No.2 (9)
12. Innokenti INNOKENTYEV (KGZ) â€“ Asia No.3 (12)
13. Hamid Reza REZAEI (IRI) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (nr)
14. Leonid BAZAN (BUL) â€“ Dan Kolov No.1 (11)
15. Ryoichi YAMANAKA (JPN) â€“ Asia No.3 (13)
16. Essadollah AKBARI (IRI) â€“ Takhti Cup No.3 (14)
17. Kiril TERZIEV (BUL) â€“ Europe No.7 (15)
18. Yakob MAKARASHVILI (GEO) â€“ Europe No.9 (16)
19. Parveen RANA (IND) â€“ Schultz Memorial No.1 (17)
20. Akzhurek TANATAROV (KAZ) â€“ Intâ€™l Kunaev No.1 (18)
86kg â€“ 2011 world bronze medalist Albert SARITOV (RUS) added the Ali Aliev crown to earlier wins in the Mongolian Open and Buryatia Cup and climbed to No.6 in the rankings.
Two-time former European champion and London Olympian Anzor URISHEV (RUS) narrowly missed a chance to meet Saritov in the Ali Aliev final, but takes a bronze medal for No.7 in the rankings.
1. Abdul Rashid SADULAEV (RUS) â€“ Europe No.1 (1)
2. Murad GAIDAROV (BLR) â€“ Europe No.2 (2)
3. Meisam MOSTAFA JOUKAR (IRI) â€“ Asia No.1 (3)
4. Rashid KURBANOV (UZB) â€“ Asia No.3 (4)
5. Azlan KAKHIDZE (KAZ) â€“ Asia No.2 (5)
6. Albert SARITOV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.1 (14)
7. Anzor URISHEV (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (nr)
8. Ibragim ALDATOV (UKR) â€“ World No.1 (6)
9. Reineris SALAS PEREZ (CUB) â€“ Granma Cup No.1 (7)
10. Ehsan LASHGARI (IRI) â€“ World No.3 (8)
11. Istvan VEREB (HUN) â€“ Europe No.3 (9)
12. Gamzat OSMANOV (AZE) â€“ Dan Kolov No.1 (10)
13. Shamil KUDIYAMAGOMEDOV (RUS) â€“ Yarygin GP No.2 (11)
14. Dato MARSAGISHVILI (GEO) â€“ Europe No.5 (12)
15. Musa MURTAZALIEV (ARM) â€“ Europe No.3 (13)
16. Clayton FOSTER (USA) â€“ Yasar Dogu No.5 (16)
17. Uitumen ORGODOL (MGL) â€“ Asia No.3 (15)
18. Pedro CEBALLAS FUENTES (VEN) â€“ CAC Games No.1 (19)
19. Alexander DOLLY (IRL) â€“ Europe No.5 (17)
20. Taymuraz FRIEV NASKIDEAVA (ESP) â€“ Paris GGP No.1 (18)
97kg â€“ Yuri BELONOVSKI, eighth place at the Yarygin Grand Prix, defeated London 2012 gold medalist Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE), 5-2, to go from unranked to No.5 with his triumph at Ali Aliev.
Sharifov, who won the gold medal in London at 84kg, won the Dan Kolov crown in February as he battles for a place in the Azerbaijani line-up between promising newcomer at 86kg Gamzat OSMANOV (AZE) and veteran Khetag GAZUMOV (AZE), 96kg silver medalist at the 2013 world meet.
1. Reza YAZDANI (IRI) â€“ World No.1 (1)
2. Abdusalam GADISOV (RUS) â€“ Europe No.1 (2)
3. Khetag GAZUMOV (AZE) â€“ Europe No.2 (3)
4. Ivan YANKOUSKI (BLR) â€“ Europe No.3 (4)
5. Yuri BELONOVSKI (RUS) â€“ Ali Aliev No.1 (nr)
6. Sharif SHARIFOV (AZE) â€“ Ali Aliev No.2 (5)
7. Pavlo OLEYNIK (UKR) â€“ Europe No.5 (6)
8. Nicolae CEBAN (MDA) â€“ Europe No.3 (7)
9. William HARTH (GER) â€“ Europe No.5 (8)
10. Lyuben ILIEV (BUL) â€“ Dan Kolov No.3 (9)
11. Riza YILDIRIM (TUR) â€“ Medved Prizes No.1 (10)
12. DORJKHAND Khuderbulga (MGL) â€“ Asia No.1 (11)
13. Magomed MUSAEV (KGZ) â€“ Asia No.2 (12)
14. Satyavart KADIAN (IND) â€“ Asia No.3 (13)
15. Rustam ISKANDARI (TJK) â€“ Asia No.3 (14)
16. Ibrahim BOLUKBASI (TUR) â€“ Dan Kolov No.3 (15)
17. Dato KERASHVILI (GEO) â€“ Takhti Cup No.3 (16)
18. Radoslaw BARAN (POL) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (nr)
19. Hamed TALEBIZARRINKAMAR (IRI) â€“ Takhti Cup No.1 (18)
20. Yusup JALILOV (BLR) â€“ Medved Prizes No.2 (19)
125kg â€“ Former European champion and Beijing 2008 Olympic team member Ali ISAEV (AZE) defeated 2010 Asia junior champion Abdollah GHOMI AVILI (IRI) in the only Ali Aliev final without at least one Russian representative in the final.
World silver medalist Alen ZASEEV (UKR) slipped a notch to No.8 after a bronze medal in Makhachkala. European bronze medalist Aleksander KHOTSIANIVSKI (UKR) held steady at No.5 with the second bronze medal at Ali Aliev.
1. Taha AKGUL (TUR) â€“ Europe No.1 (1)
2. Komeil GHASEMI (IRI) â€“ Asia No.1 (2)
3. Alan KHUGAEV (RUS) â€“ Europe No.2 (3)
4. Khadshimourad GATSALOV (RUS) â€“ World No.1 (4)
5. Aleksander KHOTSIANIVSKI (UKR) â€“ Europe No.3 (5)
6. Ali ISAEV (AZE) â€“ Ali Aliev No.1 (nr)
7. Jamalladin MAGOMEDOV (AZE) â€“ Dan Kolov No.1 (6)
8. Alen ZASEEV (UKR) â€“ Ali Aliev No.3 (7)
9. Parviz HADI (IRI) â€“ Takhti Cup No.1 (8)
10. Daulet SHABANBAY (KAZ) â€“ Asia No.3 (10)
11. Abdollah GHOMI AVITI (IRI) â€“ Ali Aliev No.2 (nr)
12. Daniel LIGETI (HUN) â€“ Europe No.3 (9)
13. NATSAGSUREN Zolboo (MGL) â€“ Asia No.2 (11)
14. Andranik GALSTYAN (ARM) â€“ Dan Kolov No.3 (12)
15. JARGALSAIKHAN Chuluunbat (MGL) â€“ Mongolian Open No.2 (14)
16. Tervel DLAGNEV (USA) â€“ World No.5 (15)
17. Aiaal LAZAREV (KGZ) â€“ Asia No.5 (13)
18. David MODZMANASHVILI (GEO) â€“ Europe No.5 (16)
19. Kurban KURBANOV (UZB) â€“ Asia No.7 (17)
20. Luis VIVENES URBANESA (VEN) â€“ CAC Games No.2 (19)
U.S. World Team Trials womenâ€™s freestyle preview at 58 kg
By Gary Abbott
This weight class could draw athletes from the two non-Olympic divisions of 55 kg and 60 kg, making it possible that the World Team Trials will be stronger than the U.S. Open field. Regardless if anybody switches into this class, the talent at the U.S. Open here was considerable by itself.
The U.S. Open champion for the second straight year is Alli Ragan, who completed her college career this year with a WCWA national title. Ragan competed at the 2013 Senior World Championships and is a two-time Junior World medalist. By sitting out until the finals series, Ragan is looking to be fresh while her finals opponent could be tired from earlier bouts.
2012 Olympian Kelsey Campbell, who placed as high as fifth at the World Championships, becomes a top challenger in Madison. Campbell won a silver medal at this weight at the Grand Prix of Paris this winter, but also dropped to 55 kg to wrestle in the World Cup. After taking last year off, Campbell should be rounding into top form for the World Team Trials.
With the best performance of her career, Trinity Plessinger Griffin claimed the silver medal at the U.S. Open this year. A veteran who has struggled with injuries in the past, Griffin looked strong in Las Vegas until the finals, where she was pinned by Ragan. This could be the year that Griffin puts it all together when it counts.
Placing third at the U.S. Open was talented Michaela Hutchison. She was a three-time WCWA college national champion and has many high placements at the Senior level in the past. Now a college coach, Hutchison is capable of reaching the finals with a good run in Madison.
Othella Feroleto, a past U.S. Open runner-up, took fourth in Las Vegas, and won the Minnesota Storm Cup at this weight class. An Army teammate of Feroletoâ€™s and making a comeback after many years off the mat is two-time World bronze medalist Sally Roberts. Roberts finished fifth at the U.S. Open, and if she can reclaim the abilities she had prior to her retirement, she will be a major force at this division.
The U.S. Open finalists at 60 kg were champion Jennifer Page and runner-up Jenna Burkert are eligible to drop here for the Trials. Of the two, Burkert, a three-time Junior World Team member, is more likely to drop to 58 kg and make a run. The University Nationals champion at 58 kg was Jacarra Winchester, who had a solid college career and is showing strong freestyle abilities.
The finalists at 55 kg at the U.S. Open were champion Helen Maroulis and runner-up Sarah Hildebrandt. If either chooses to enter at the Phase I Trials, it is most likely that it will be Hildebrandt at this weight class. A WCWA college champion with extensive international experience, Hildebrandt could surprise people if she moves up to wrestle.
High school star Kayla Miracle entered her first Senior Open this year and placed an impressive sixth. A past Cadet World medalist and Junior World Team member, Miracle has a bright future ahead at both the college and Senior levels. Earning a spot in the field with her seventh place finish at the Open is 2012 Open runner-up Melissa Apodaca, who joined the U.S. Marines this season.
Read more on TheMat.com U.S. World Team Trials womenâ€™s freestyle preview at 58 kg
World Team Trials preview in freestyle at 74 kg
By Craig Sesker
Jordan Burroughs has been the king of the wrestling world at 74 kg/163 lbs. over the past three seasons.
Burroughs has won an Olympic gold medal and two World titles in that span, but just making another American freestyle team will be a challenge again this year.
Burroughs rallied for a wild 7-6 win over two-time Hodge Trophy winner David Taylor in an epic U.S. Open final in April in Las Vegas. Burroughs scored two takedowns in the last 30 seconds to prevail.
Burroughsâ€™ U.S. Open victory clinched him a spot in the final-round series for the U.S. World Team Trials, set for May 31-June 1 in Madison, Wis. He will face the winner of the Challenge Tournament in the best-of-3 match finals.
The champion at the Trials will advance to Septemberâ€™s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Burroughs, now 82-1 in his remarkable career, is coming off an impressive pin over Russiaâ€™s Atsamaz Sanakoev in the Beat the Streets Dual in New York City.
Taylor will have to win the Challenge Tournament to earn another shot at Burroughs in the final-round series. Taylor won a bronze medal at the 2013 World University Games. Taylor looked strong in defeating two-time World bronze medalist Yabrail Hasanov of Azerbaijan 6-0 in New York.
Tyler Caldwell, second to Taylor at the 2014 NCAAs, is another top wrestler in this class. Caldwell finished third at the U.S. Open.
Quinton Godley turned in a strong showing at the Open, placing fourth in Vegas.
Top young college star Taylor Massa, a dominant performer coming up through the USA Wrestling age-group ranks, placed fifth at the Open.
Thomas Gantt was sixth and Jesse Stafford seventh in Las Vegas.
Past NCAA champion Andrew Howe also has excelled in this division, but he may bump up a class for the Trials. Howe was second at the 2012
Read more on TheMat.com World Team Trials preview in freestyle at 74 kg
Leathers named Outstanding Wrestler at Body Bar FILA Junior Nationals in Texas
IRVING, Texas â€“ High school star Becka Leathers of Oklahoma won a loaded 55 kg/121 lbs. division and was named Outstanding Wrestler at the Body Bar FILA Junior Nationals on Sunday.
Leathers, a 2013 Cadet World Team member, defeated past Junior World Team member and Cadet World champion Haley Augello, who competes for the New York AC and King College in two straight matches in the championship series. Leathers won the first bout 10-1 and the second bout 6-2.
Leathers was seventh at the 2013 FILA Cadet World Championships, which was her first international event.
Champions in the eightWorld Championships weights earn a spot on the U.S. FILA Junior World Team, which will compete in the FILA Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, August 5-10.
All nine of the championship best-of three series were finished in two straight matches.
Qualifying for the U.S. Junior World Team for the second straight year was Cody Pfau of the Gator Womenâ€™s RTC, the champion at 48 kg/105.75 lbs. Pfau, who was fifth at the FILA Junior World Championships last year, won in the finals in two straight bouts over Amy Hou of the USOTC. In bout one, Pfau won a wild 11-10 decision, but came back in bout two to score a pin in 1:17. Pfau attends Oklahoma City University.
It was a rematch of last yearâ€™s Junior Nationals finals, also won by Pfau.
Qualifying for her second U.S. age-group World Team of the year was Amy Fearnside of the Titan Mercury WC, the college star from Jamestown University at 51 kg / 112.25 lbs. Fearnside scored a pair of technical falls in the finals, stopping New Jerseyâ€™s Sierra Blasone in the finals 10-0 and 12-2. Fearnside also earned a spot on the 2014 U.S. University World Team with a victory at the University Nationals earlier this spring.
In addition to Leathers, there were two other members of the 2013 FILA Cadet World Team members who made this yearâ€™s FILA Junior World Team, Marina Doi of California at 44 kg / 97 lbs. and Alexis Porter of New York at 63 kg / 138.75 lbs.
Doi defeated her twin sister Regina Doi of California in the championship finals in two straight bouts, 7-0 in bout one and by injury default in bout two. Marina Doi was third at the 2013 Cadet World Championships and was a 2012 Cadet World champion.
Porter defeated Olivia Seppinni of California in the championship series, 5-2 and 11-4. Porter, who competes for the New York AC, was a 2012 and 2013 Junior Nationals champion, while Seppinni placed fourth at the 2014 U.S. Senior Open.
Perhaps the most dominant performance of the day came from 2012 Cadet World silver medalist Kayla Miracle of the Sunkist Kids, a high school star from Indiana, who defeated Gabrielle Weyhrich of Nebraska in the championship series, with a pin in 3:56 and an 11-0 technical fall.
Continue reading on TheMat.com Leathers named Outstanding Wrestler at Body Bar FILA Junior Nationals in Texas
World Team Trials preview in freestyle at 65 kg
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Brent Metcalf is ready for a breakthrough.
The two-time World Team member is ready to win a World medal this season for the United States.
Metcalf looks well on his way after shutting out all four of his opponents en route to winning the U.S. Open freestyle title at 65 kg/143 lbs. He outscored his four Open foes a combined 39-0.
Metcalfâ€™s U.S. Open victory clinched him a spot in the final-round series for the U.S. World Team Trials, set for May 31-June 1 in Madison, Wis. He will face the winner of the Challenge Tournament in the best-of-3 match finals.
Champions at the Trials advance to Septemberâ€™s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Metcalf also went 5-0 at the World Cup this year and is coming off an 11-8 win over World No. 1 Magomed Kurbanaliev of Russia at the Beat the Streets Dual in New York City.
Metcalf is in a strong weight class with plenty of firepower.
Two-time NCAA champion Kellen Russell was second to Metcalf at the 2013 Trials and 2014 Open.
Past Junior World medalists Logan Stieber and Jordan Oliver also canâ€™t be counted out. Stieber will look to win his fourth NCAA title next season and Oliver has beaten a number of top foreign opponents, including Kubanaliev.
Past NCAA champion Frank Molinaro has turned in a strong season. He was fourth at the Open.
Two-time World Team member Reece Humphrey took fifth at the Open while wrestling up a weight class.
Continue reading on TheMat.com World Team Trials preview in freestyle at 65 kg
World Team Trials preview in men
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
2012 Olympian Sam Hazewinkel turned in a strong performance at the U.S. Open in the new freestyle weight class of 57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Hazewinkel won the U.S. Open to clinch a spot in the final-round series for the U.S. World Team Trials, set for May 31-June 1 in Madison, Wis. He will face the winner of the Challenge Tournament in the best-of-3 match finals.
Champions at the Trials advance to Septemberâ€™s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Hazewinkel defeated Andrew Hochstrasser by technical fall in Aprilâ€™s U.S. Open finals in Las Vegas.
Veteran Danny Mitcheff was third at the Open after downing NCAA runner-up Tyler Graff. Past University World silver medalist Zach Sanders was fifth in the Open.
Ryan Mango, second in the 2013 World Team Trials in Greco-Roman, is expected to compete in freestyle in this class. He was sixth at the 2014 Open. Mark McKnight placed seventh at the Open.
Angel Escobedo, fifth in the World in 2013, could be in the mix if he is able to return to competition. Escobedo suffered a leg injury at the Open.
Continue reading on TheMat.com: World Team Trials preview in men's freestyle at 57 kg
U.S team set for FILA Cadet Pan American Championships in Recife, Brazil, May 2-4
Evansville Mater Dei freshman Nick Lee and Jeffersonville head coach Danny Struck will both represent the USA at this event. Last year Lee won this event at 58kg in the freestyle division. This year he will be wrestling in both styles at 58kg.
By Chris Casper
The U.S. will send a competitive team in the three Olympic styles to compete at the FILA Cadet Pan American Championships in Recife, Brazil, May 2-4. FILA Cadets are athletes who are 15-17 years old.
Athletes in the menâ€™s team will compete in both freestyle and Greco-Roman at the competition.
The menâ€™s team will feature 2013 Cadet World Greco-Roman bronze medalist Cade Olivas of California at 46 kg. Another 2013 Cadet World Team member, Taylor LaMont of Utah, will compete at 63 kg. He also was a Cadet National freestyle champion last summer.
Also competing at 69 kg is Mason Manville of New Jersey, a 2014 FILA Junior Nationals Greco-Roman champion and a 2013 Cadet Nationals double champion.
Kaden Gfeller of Oklahoma, who is wrestling at 50 kg, was a 2013 FILA Cadet Pan American champion in Greco-Roman and a 2013 Cadet Nationals freestyle champion. Another Oklahoma star, Daton Fix at 54 kg, was a double champion at the 2013 FILA Cadet Pan American Championships and was a 2013 Cadet Triple Crown winner.
Continue Reading at TheMat.com U.S team set for FILA Cadet Pan American Championships in Recife, Brazil, May 2-4