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
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