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Burroughs outlasts Dake to cap off exciting World Team Trials
Photo: Jordan Burroughs celebrated with his Nebraska fans after beating Kyle Dake in three matches at the 2017 World Team Trials in Lincoln, Neb. (Ashley De Jager photo).
June 12, 2017
By Mike Finn
LINCOLN, Neb. — Three wrestlers with former Nebraska ties made the most of performing before the “home crowd” in the Bob Devaney Sports Center, especially Thomas Gilman and Jordan Burroughs who provided stunning moments during the Best-of-3 Championship Finals of the World Team Trials last Saturday night.
Gilman, a former four-time state of Nebraska state champion from Skutt Catholic in Omaha, defeated his former University of Iowa teammate Tony Ramos in two straight bouts, 4-3 and 7-2, to claim the 57-kilogram weight class to clinch his first Senior World Team berth.
Both former Hawkeyes bragged about beating each other prior to the World Team Trials, especially after Ramos — the 2014 NCAA champion for Iowa — left Iowa in 2016 to train in Chapel Hill, N.C., after he failed to make the Olympic team.
“We are both Type-A personalities, we are both Alpha males and we are not going to back down when someone is talking,” said Gilman, who closed out his Iowa career with three All-American honors. “I had to keep a high pace on him; heavy hands. I told everyone I knew how to beat him.”
WIN Magazine’s late June/early July issue will comprehensively cover the Senior and Junior World Team Trials from June 9-10 in Lincoln, complete with analysis, stats and the background stories, and will help the wrestling look forward to the upcoming Worlds later this summer. An annual 12-issue print subscription is $29.95, and a digital subscription is $14.95, subscribe by clicking here or calling 888.305.0606.
Gilman did not even earn a spot in the World Team Trials until the final qualifier in May. And, his road to winning the spot on the talented U.S. team was an incredible one.
He had to defeat four tough foes in a row just to get to Ramos, including three other former NCAA champs, including a 9-0 shutout vs. Lehigh’s Darian Cruz, who upset Gilman in the 2017 NCAA semifinals; a 1-1 criteria win over top-seed Tyler Graff; an 11-0 technical fall over Nico Megaludis, who beat Gilman in the 2016 NCAA finals; and a last-second victory over Ohio State national champ Nathan Tomasello in the Challenge finals.
Meanwhile, Burroughs — the former two-time NCAA champ and 2011 Hodge Trophy winner from Nebraska — clinched his seventh straight World/Olympic berth with a stunning three-bout victory over Kyle Dake at 74 kilograms. After losing on criteria in the first match, Burroughs forced a third bout on a late takedown in the second match in an 8-4 victory before beating the former four-time NCAA champ from Cornell, 5-3, in the deciding match.
The victory was also somewhat of a redemptive one for Burroughs — the three-time World champ and 2012 Olympic gold medalist — who failed to win a medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio last August, and was left to deal with that disappointment after going in a gold-medal favorite.
“(Going 1-2 at the Olympics) was disappointment, any negative emotion you can imagine,” recalled Burroughs after he brought much of the crowd of over 4,600 fans to their feet in appreciation after the former Husker beat Dake in a rematch of their U.S. Open final in April, which earned Burroughs an automatic spot in the Championship Finals. “I felt like I lost a lot in that (Olympic) opportunity and people were doubting my abilities.”
Meanwhile, James Green a former three-time All-American from Nebraska, led the Husker fans in a “Go Big Red” chant after he defeated from Illinois All-American Jimmy Kennedy in two straight bouts at 70 kilograms to claim his third World Team berth.
“It feels great to do this in front of Nebraska fans,” said Green, the 2015 World bronze medalist. “It feels good to do this in front of one of the greatest wrestling audiences. I’ve won some big matches here before and the crowd was always great.”
In addition to Burroughs’ victory, two other Championship Finals also went to three bouts: 2017 Hodge Trophy winner Zain Retherford’s won over another former Penn State wrestler (and 2016 Olympian) Frank Molinaro at 65 kilograms to claim his first World Team berth; and J’den Cox defeated David Taylor, the former two-time NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner Penn State, at 86 kilograms
After losing the first match, 9-3, Cox — the 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and three-time NCAA champ from Missouri — defeated Taylor 4-3 and 6-3. The deciding victory was even more remarkable when Cox suffered a knee injury and appeared he might have to default the match but held off Taylor in the final 2:49 of their final bout.
“(The injury) hurt really bad,” said Cox, who led 3-2 before the injury. “(The coaches) said it was up to me if I wanted to continue. This is something I wanted.”
Other wrestlers who claimed spots on the 2017 World Team, which will compete in Paris, Aug. 21-26, were 2016 World champ Logan Stieber at 61 kilograms, World and Olympic champion Kyle Snyder at 97 kilograms and Nick Gwiazdowski, the former two-time NCAA champ from NC State, at 125 kilograms. All three needed just two matches to claim their berths.
Stieber, the former four-time NCAA champ and 2015 Hodge winner from Ohio State, rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the first match to beat former Oklahoma champ Kendric Maple. Snyder avenged an NCAA loss from his freshman year to former Iowa State collegian Kyven Gadson with two dominating tech falls; and Gwiazdowski scored a late stepout in the second match to beat Dom Bradley, the former Junior World champ from Missouri.
U.S. FREESTYLE WORLD TEAM TRIALS
At Lincoln, Neb., June 10
Championship Series Best-of-Three Finals
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Thomas Gilman, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC) dec. Tony Ramos, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Sunkist Kids WC/Tarheel RTC), two matches to none
Bout One – Gilman dec. Ramos, 4-3 — Halfway through the second period with the match tied 1-1, Gilman finished off an inside single for a takedown and then got a pushout to take a 4-1 lead over Ramos. Ramos responded with a takedown of his own with about a minute to go in the match but wasn’t able to score again.
Bout Two – Gilman dec. Ramos, 7-2 — About 30 seconds after Ramos scored a takedown with 1:24 left to tie the bout, 2-2, Gilman scored his only takedown on an inside single to lead 4-2 before adding a pair of stepouts in the final 40 seconds.
61 kg/134 lbs. – Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) dec. Kendric Maple, West Lafayette, Ind. (Titan Mercury WC/Boilermaker RTC), two matches to none
Bout One – Stieber dec. Maple, 9-8 — Stieber scored the match-winning takedown on a snapdown with seven seconds left to cap off an incredible come-from-behind-win that saw the former NCAA champ from Oklahoma take a 6-0 lead midway through the first period. After cutting Maple’s lead to 6-4 to close out the first frame, Maple did add another takedown with a whip-over with 2:38 left before Stieber turned a low shot into a double to cut the margin to 8-7 on a stepout with 35 seconds left.
Bout Two – Stieber won by TF over Maple, 10-0 — Stieber’s second takedown in the first 54 seconds also turned into a pair of guts to give the World champ an 8-0 lead before ending the bout on a single with 1:58 left in the first period.
65 kg/143 lbs. – Zain Retherford, Benton, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Frank Molinaro, Blacksburg, Va. (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), two matches to one
Bout One – Molinaro dec. Retherford, 7-6 — Trailing 6-4 … after Retherford battled back from a 4-1 deficit with a takedown and stepout in the final 1:25 … Molinaro scored a takedown on the edge of the mat with 15 seconds left, then earned a final point when Retherford’s corner lost a video challenge.
Bout Two – Retherford dec. Molinaro, 6-0 — The 2017 Hodge Trophy winner scored his first point when Molinaro failed to score when placed on the shot clock in the first minute, then added a high crotch, a stepout and a low single to force a third match.
Bout Three – Retherford dec. Molinaro, 7-4 — Molinaro led 2-0, but gave up four points on a takedown and a “caution-and-2” for pulling Retherford’s singlet with 29 seconds left in the first period, before the two wrestlers got a pair of two-point exposures in the second frame.
70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC) dec. Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC), two matches to none
Bout One – Green dec. Kennedy, 6-0 — Green’s first takedown in the first period turned into a tough gut to lead 4-0, before the Husker added two stepouts.
Bout Two – Green dec. Kennedy, 8-5 — Shortly after Kennedy tied the bout at 2-2 in the first period, Green turned a takedown into a leglace to lead 6-2 just before intermission. Green added a pair of stepouts in the final period.
74 kg/163 lbs.– Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC) dec. Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC), two bouts to one
Bout One – Dake dec. Burroughs, 6-6 — Dake first scored a takedown 32 seconds into the match then used a reverse gut for four points with 1:36 left in the first to lead 6-1 … before Burroughs scored a takedown and three stepouts, but lost on criteria.
Bout Two – Burroughs dec. Dake, 8-4 — Burroughs rallied from a 3-0 deficit with a four-point move with 37 seconds left, but more importantly countered a reverse gut into a takedown for himself and a 7-4 lead in the closing seconds.
Bout Three – Burroughs dec. Dake, 6-2 — Burroughs needed 39 seconds to score a takedown and two more off a gut to lead 4-0, then added a stepout before Dake earned a stepout with 11 seconds left.
86 kg/189 lbs. – J’den Cox, Columbia, Mo. (Titan Mercury WC/Missouri WF) dec. David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC), two bouts to one
Bout One – Taylor dec. Cox, 9-3 — Taylor led just 2-1 after one period before he exploded for four points off a strong double with 2:12 left. Taylor added a third takedown at the 1:52 mark before Cox scored two with 1:13 left.
Bout Two – Cox dec. Taylor, 4-3 — Cox broke a 2-2 deadlock with the match’s only takedown with 52 seconds left. Taylor’s second stepout against Cox with 12 seconds left closed the margin to one.
Bout Three – Cox dec. Taylor, 5-3 — Cox jumped out to a 3-0 lead when he scored his only takedown with one second left in the first period. In the second period, the Mizzou Tiger outscored Taylor 2-1 with a pair of stepouts after Cox suffered a severe knee injury with 2:49 left as Taylor scored a takedown on the edge of the mat, with Cox sustaining the injury defending the shot.
97 kg/213 lbs.– Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) dec. Kyven Gadson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout One – Snyder tech. fall Gadson, 10-0 — Snyder turned his first takedown into a gut to lead 5-0 before the Olympic champ added two more takedowns before the first period ended.
Bout Two – Snyder tech. fall Gadson, 13-2 — Gadson was twice penalized for fleeing a hold before Snyder’s second takedown off a double with 2:23 left in the match ended the bout.
125 kg/275 lbs.– Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC) dec. Dom Bradley, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout One – Gwiazdowski dec. Bradley, 5-0 — Gwiazdowski gave himself what ended up being the match-winning cushion about 15 seconds into the first period after leading 1-0 at the break. After hitting an inside single to take the 3-0 lead, a quick transition to an ankle lace and a turn made it 5-0.
Bout Two – Gwiazdowski dec. Bradley, 3-1 — With the match tied 1-1 late in the match, Bradley got a lead with 14 seconds left in the bout, getting a second stepout on the two-time champ; but, the former Wolfpacker responded with a flurry on the edge of his own, forcing a Bradley step-out with three seconds to go; Bradley’s corner challenged the call, but the call stood as Gwiazdowski made his first World Team.
Challenge Tournament results
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
1st – Thomas Gilman, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC) dec. Nathan Tomasello, Parma, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), 6-2
3rd – Tyler Graff, New Brunswick, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Frank Perrelli, Charlottesville, Va. (Titan Mercury WC/Cavalier RTC), 10-0 2:31
61 kg/134 lbs.
1st – Kendric Maple, West Lafayette, Ind. (Titan Mercury WC/Boilermaker RTC) dec. Brandon Wright, Indianapolis, Ind. (RNO/IPWA), 10-4
3rd – Cody Brewer, Evanston, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Chicago RTC) pin Chris Dardanes, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), 0:39
65 kg/143 lbs.
1st – Zain Retherford, Benton, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) tech. fall B.J. Futrell, Philadelphia, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC), 10-0, 3:50
3rd. – Nick Dardanes, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) dec. Evan Henderson, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC), 4-3
70 kg/154 lbs.
1st- Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC) dec. Nazar Kulchytskyy, Madison, Wis. (Titan Mercury WC), 7-0
3rd – Jason Nolf, Yatesboro, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Chase Pami, Philadelphia, Pa. (Sunkist Kids/Pennsylvania RTC), 8-0
74 kg/163 lbs.
1st – Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC) dec. Alex Dieringer, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC), 2-1
3rd – Isaiah Martinez, Leemore, Calif. (Illinois RTC) dec. Chance Marsteller, New Park, Pa. (Dark Knights), 9-6
86 kg/189 lbs.
1st- David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) dec. Nick Heflin, Bordentown, N.J. (Princeton WC), 13-9
3rd – Richard Perry, Philadelphia, Pa. (New York AC/Pennsylvania RTC) pin Austin Trotman (TMWC), 4:59
97 kg/213 lbs.
1st- Kyven Gadson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall Micah Burak, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC), 10-0, 3:53
3rd – Hayden Zillmer, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Nathan Burak, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), 3-3
125 kg/275 lbs.
1st- Dom Bradley, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) dec. Tony Nelson, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 8-1
3rd – Bobby Telford, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) dec. Nathan Butler, Leavenworth, Kan. (Stanford-California RTC), 7-0
True Third Place for National Team
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Nathan Tomasello, Parma, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) dec. Tyler Graff, New Brunswick, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC), 8-2
61 kg/134 lbs. – Brandon Wright, Indianapolis, Ind. (RNO/IPWA) won by TF over Cody Brewer, Evanston, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Chicago RTC), 14-4 2:21
65 kg/145.5 lbs. – B.J. Futrell, Philadelphia, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC) dec. Nick Dardanes, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), 8-2
74 kg/163 lbs. – Alex Dieringer, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Isaiah Martinez, Leemore, Calif. (Illinois RTC), 4-2
97 kg/213 lbs. – Hayden Zillmer, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Micah Burak, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC), 2-1
125 kg/275 lbs. – Tony Nelson, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Bobby Telford, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC), 4-1