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Will World Team Trials include a rematch of Burroughs vs Taylor?

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Updated: May 29, 2014

The following is a Preview of the 2014 World Team Trials, Phase I in Men’s and Women’s Freestyle, May 31 & June 1 • Madison, Wisc., at the Alliant Energy Center

(Note: Greco-Roman tournament will be held June 12-13 in Daytona, Fla.)

 

Schedule

Saturday, May 31

Men’s Freestyle — 57 KG (125.5 pounds), 97 KG (213) and 125 KG (275)

Women’s Freestyle — 48 KG (105.5), 58 KG (128) and 69 KG (152)

Challenge Tournament (Winner advances to Championship Series to meet US Open champ) — 10 am-3 pm

Championship Series (Best 2 of 3) — 6 p.m.

Sunday, June 1

Men’s Freestyle — 65 KG (143 pounds), 74 KG (163) and 86 KG (189)

Women’s Freestyle — 53 KG (116.5), 63 KG (138.75) and 75 KG (165)

Challenge Tournament (Winner advances to Championship Series to meet US Open champ) — 10 am-3 pm

Championship Series (Best 2 of 3) — 6 p.m.

Note: The two non-Olympic weights in each style (61k/134 and 70k/154 in men’s freestyle and 55k/121 and 60k/132 in women’s freestyle) will be determined July 19 in Fargo, N.D., as part of Phase II of the World Team Trials.

Click here for listing of all qualifiers:

http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Wrestling/Features/2014/May/21/World-Team-Trials-field-in-all-styles-updated

Men’s Freestyle Phase I Preview

57k/125.5 pounds

Sam Hazewinkel, the former four-time Oklahoma All-American and 2012 Olympian, earned a spot in the Championship Series when he defeated former Boise State All-American Andrew Hochstrasser, 11-0, in the final of the U.S. Open.

Angel Escobedo, the former NCAA champion from Indiana, finished fifth in last year’s World Championships and was seeded No. 1 at the U.S. Open but suffered an injury in a loss to Zach Sanders. Escobedo is expected to compete in this year’s Trials.

Among the other Trials qualifiers, keep an eye on former Wisconsin All-American Tyler Graff (who finished fourth at the U.S. Open), who will be competing before the home crowd in Madison.

65k/143 pounds

This weight class features more NCAA champions than any weight in Madison, but Brent Metcalf (the former Hodge Trophy winner and two-time NCAA champ from Iowa) dominated the field in Las Vegas, where he blanked Kellen Russell, 11-0, in a rematch of the 2013 World Team Trials final.

Russell, the former two-time NCAA champ from Michigan, now must face a tough field in the mini-tournament to see who faces Metcalf in the Championships Series.

That includes Coleman Scott (NCAA champ from Oklahoma State and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist), Logan Stieber (three-time NCAA champ from Ohio State), Frank Molinaro (champ from Penn State), Reece Humphrey (champ from Ohio State and 2011 World Team member) and Jordan Oliver (two-time champ from Oklahoma State).

74k/163 pounds

Jordan Burroughs, the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion (2011 and ’13), has been nearly perfect in men’s freestyle winning 82 of 83 matches since graduating as a two-time NCAA champion and 2011 Hodge Trophy winner from Nebraska.

But Burroughs, whose only loss came against fellow American Nick Marable in an overseas tournament in February to end a 69-match winning streak, had to come from behind to win in the finals of the U.S. Open.

David Taylor, the two-time NCAA champ and Hodge Trophy winner from Penn State, was beating the Olympic champ 6-3 with 40 seconds left. But Burroughs proved why he is the most successful American in freestyle since John Smith by scoring a pair of takedowns, the second with 10 seconds left to clinch a spot in the 2014 WTT Championship Series.

Taylor should emerge from the Challenge tournament, especially since his former college friend/rival Kyle Dake (second to Burroughs in the 2013 World Team Trials) injured his ankle this spring and will not compete.

The status of Andrew Howe (the former NCAA champ from Wisconsin who transferred to Oklahoma this past year and earned his fourth All-American honor by finishing second in the 2014 NCAAs) is unclear. Howe, who finished second to Burroughs in the 2012 Olympic Trials where he suffered an injury, did not compete at the U.S. Open.

Marable, the former Missouri All-American, is expected to wait until Phase II of the World Team Trials and vie for the 70k/154 World Team spot after winning that weight class at the 2014 U.S. Open.

86k/189 pounds

Keith Gavin, the former NCAA champ from Pitt and 2013 World Team member, is once again the man to beat at this weight class after winning the U.S. Open and will appear in the Championship Series.

There appears to be two wrestlers who could advance from the Challenge tournament and have a legitimate shot at beating Gavin.

One is Clayton Foster, the former Oklahoma State All-American, who took a lead against Gavin in the U.S. Open finals before Gavin rallied to win, 7-4.

The other is Ed Ruth, the three-time NCAA champ from Penn State, who finished third at the U.S. Open and nearly reached the finals before losing a wild back-and-forth 13-12 semifinal match to Foster.

Others who could challenge for this weight class World Team berth is former NCAA champ Jon Reader of Iowa State (fourth at the U.S. Open) and Chris Perry, the two-time NCAA champ from Oklahoma State, who recently won the University Nationals.

97k/213 pounds

If there was a prohibitive favorite at any weight class in men’s freestyle, it has to be Jake Varner, the 2012 Olympic champion who returned from a year off from wrestling and completely dominated the U.S. Open field, including a 4-0 shutout of Wynn Michalak in the Open final.

The bigger question is who will emerge from the Challenge Tournament to face Varner, the two-time NCAA champ from Iowa State, in the Championship Series?

Michalak has built an impressive freestyle resume since earning three All-American honors at Central Michigan. He advanced to the U.S. Open finals by defeating two-time World Team member J.D. Bergman, the former Ohio State All-American.

125k/275 pounds

Tervel Dlagnev has competed in the 2012 Olympics and two World Championships (2011 and ’13) and finished fifth in each of those international tournaments. But the former two-time NCAA Division II champion from Nebraska-Kearney possibly has never looked better than he did at the recent U.S. Open where he dominated Dom Bradley, 10-0, in the finals.

Bradley, the former Junior World champ and Missouri All-American, should lead the Challenge tournament field, but could receive a stiff challenge from Tyrell Fortune, the 2013 NCAA Div. II Wrestler of the Year from Grand Canyon, who finished third at the U.S. Open.

Other former All-Americans to keep an eye on are Zach Rey, the 2012 NCAA champ from Lehigh, and Jarod Trice, the three-time AA from Central Michigan.

 

Women’s Freestyle

48k/105.5 pounds

Both Alyssa Lampe and Victoria Anthony competed in last year’s FILA World Championships … at two different weights  … as Lampe earned a bronze medal at 105.5 pounds and Anthony settled for fifth place (after she was seconds away from qualifying for a gold-medal match) at what was then the non-Olympic weight of 112.5 pounds.

With changes to FILA’s weights, both wrestlers are now competing at 105.5 pounds and both reached the finals of the 2014 U.S. Open. That was where Lampe, a native of Tomahawk, Wisc., and a three-time World Team member (who also earned a bronze in 2012), dominated Anthony, 10-0, and will earn a spot in the Championship Series.

For Anthony to get another crack at Lampe, she will have to first defeat the former 2008 World champion and 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Clarissa Chun, who finished third at the U.S. Open, where Anthony prevailed in a semifinal bout.

53k/116.5 pounds

Whitney Conder, who finished second to Helen Maroulis in last year’s 121-pound Trials final, qualified for her second straight Championship Series when she defeated Katherine Fulp-Allen, 2-0, in this year’s U.S. Open final.

Fulp-Allen, the daughter of the late USA Wrestling coach Lee Allen, will be the No. 1 seed in this year’s mini-tournament and will most likely have to get past former World Team member Jessica Medina, who finished third in this year’s Open.

Meanwhile, Helen Maroulis, a 2012 Olympian and former World medalist, should also be in the mix. Maroulis dropped down after winning the U.S. Open at 121 pounds, which was an Olympic weight class until this past winter.

58k/128 pounds

Ali Ragan has proved she can pin foes, whether it was Russian Svetlana Lipatova in last year’s Worlds … or at this year’s U.S. Open final when she flattened Trinity Griffin to earn a spot in this year’s Championship Series.

Among those who will also look for a shot against Ragan are Alaskan Michaela Hutchison, who finished third at the Open. Another woman with past World credentials is Sally Roberts, who earned a bronze medal in 2003 and returned to action at this year’s U.S. Open where she finished fifth.

63k/138.75 pounds

No current American woman has more impressive World-level credentials than Elena Pirozhkova, the 2012 World champion, 2012 Olympian and 2010 World silver medalist who was born in Russia but grew up in Massachusetts.

And Pirozhkova, who has qualified for six World Teams, continued to prove her mettle at the U.S. Open where she defeated Erin Clodgo, 3-0, in the final.

Clodgo will be seeded No. 1 in the mini-tournament where she will have to get past a pair of former World Team members in Leigh James, who finished third in this year’s Open and Deanna (Rix) Betterman, a former World medalist, and wife of Greco-Roman-star Joe Betterman.

69k/152 pounds

Randi Miller is wrestling at higher weight than when she won a 2008 Olympic bronze medal at 138.75 pounds. She eventually retired but came back recently to win the 2014 U.S. Open championship with a 3-1 victory over Veronica Carlson.

Among those who will challenge Carlson will be Tamyra Mensah of Katy, Texas, and Wayland Baptist, and Brittany David of Lindenwood University. These two finished third and fourth in Las Vegas.

75k/165 pounds

A lot had happened to Jackie Cataline … between finishing second in the 2006 U.S. Open to Sara McMann and winning the 2014 Open by pinning former World champion Iris Smith in Las Vegas. That victory earned the mother of two children a spot in this year’s Trials Championship Series. She’ll have to outlast the likes of Smith, who won her World championship in 2005, and Adeline Gray, a two-time World bronze medalist, who missed this year’s Open because of injury.

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