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The 2015 United World Wrestling World Championships will eventually be held this September in Las Vegas. And for many of the American wrestlers who hope to fill any of the 24 spots in three different styles for that international event held at the Orleans Arena, Sept. 7-12, they must first perform well at this weekend’s ASICS U.S. Senior Open, also held in Las Vegas.
This is the 22nd year that Las Vegas will play host to the U.S. Open, but will be held at the South Point Hotel Casino, rather than at the Las Vegas Convention Center, which has been the host site in previous U.S. Opens.
The following is a schedule for this year’s U.S. Open:
Friday, May 8:
9 a.m. – Senior Men’s Freestyle (Prelims, Quarterfinals, Consolation), Senior Greco-Roman (66 kg, 71 kg, 85 kg, 130 kg – Prelims, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolation).
Noon – Senior Women’s Freestyle (Prelims, Quarterfinals, Consolation).
6:30 p.m. – Senior Greco-Roman (66 kg, 71 kg, 85 kg, 130 kg – Medal Matches)
7 p.m. – Senior Men’s Freestyle (Semifinals), Senior Women’s Freestyle (Semifinals)
Saturday, May 9:
9 a.m. – Senior Men’s Freestyle (Consolation, 3rd, 5th, 7th Place Matches), Senior Greco-Roman (59 kg, 75 kg, 80 kg, 98 kg – Prelims, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolation), Senior Women’s Freestyle (Consolation, 3rd, 5th, 7th Place Matches)
6:30 p.m. – Senior Greco-Roman (59 kg, 75 kg, 80 kg, 98 kg – Medal Matches)
7 p.m. – Senior Men’s Freestyle (Finals), Senior Women’s Freestyle (Finals)
A championship at this year’s U.S. Open will guarantee a wrestler an automatic spot in the World Team Trials next month; June 4 in Ithaca, N.Y., for Greco-Roman and June 12-14 in Madison, Wisc., for both men’s and women’s freestyle.
There are a couple exceptions to the qualifying systems.
In Greco-Roman, the U.S. Open championship match will be considered the first match of a Best-of-3 Championship Series to decide who will represent the United States in the World
Championships. The second (and possible third) matches of the Championship Series will be held on the campus of Cornell University on the first Thursday in June. The only Greco wrestlers to have already earned spots in the Championship Series are Spenser Mango (5th in last year’s Worlds at 59k/130 pounds) and Andrew Bisek (a 2014 World bronze medalist at 75k/164)
In men’s freestyle, both Jordan Burroughs and Tervel Dlagnev —
who earned silver and bronze medals at 163 pounds and heavyweight in last fall’s World Championships — have automatically clinched spots in the 2015 World Team Trials Championship Series, which is why Burroughs (the 2012 Olympic gold medalist and two-time World champion) will not wrestle at this year’s Open. Dlagnev has entered the U.S. Open and will be seeded No. 1, but is still guaranteed a spot in the WTT Championship Series.
Otherwise, a wrestler in men’s freestyle must finish in the Top 5 at the U.S. Open or win either the Northern Plains or Northeast Regionals or earn a wild card selection (by finishing in the Top 3 of the 2013/14 World Team Trials, 2012 Olympic Trials and/or 2015 NCAA Championships) to be eligible for the Challenge Tournament of the 2015 World Team Trials, held for a second straight year at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison on the second weekend in June.
Among the more notable entries in men’s freestyle includes six other members of the 2014 World team: Tony Ramos (57k/125.5 pounds), Brent Metcalf and Jimmy Kennedy (65k/143), Nick Marable (70/154), Ed Ruth (86/189) and Jake Varner (97/213), who also won an Olympic gold medal in 2012.
Meanwhile, Coleman Scott, a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist, will be seeded No. 1 at 61k/134 pounds, while David Taylor, the two-time NCAA champ and Hodge Trophy winner from Penn State, will head the 74k/163 weight class. Kyle Dake, the former four-time NCAA champ from Cornell, will not enter the Open because of injuries.
Click here to view pre-seeds for the 2015 U.S. Open in men’s freestyle.
In women’s freestyle, the U.S. Open champion will automatically qualify for the World Team Trials Championship Series in Madison, Wisc. Similar to men’s freestyle, The Open runner-up will be seeded No. 1 in a Challenge tournament at the World Team Trials. Otherwise, a wrestler in women’s freestyle must finish in the Top 7 at the Open or earn a wildcard based on previous success in international competition.
Among the notable entries in women’s freestyle include two-time World champion Adeline Gray (at 75 kilos/165 pounds) and other past World champions Elena Pirozhkova (63k/138.75), Clarissa Chun (48k/105.5) and Iris Smith (75k/165). Gray and Pirozhkova boast four career World medals, while Chun won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games and Randi Miller (69k/152) won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics.
Other World medalists in the mix are silver and bronze medalist Helen Maroulis (55k/121) and two-time bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe (48k/105.5).