The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Three collegians earn spots in Final X men’s freestyle field
Photo: The Regional Sports Center at the Rochester Community Technical College drew a packed house for the 21 matches, including Zahid Valencia and Alex Dieringer, at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament that sends 10 wrestlers to three different Final X spots this summer. (David Peterson photo)
ROCHESTER, Minn. — Current college wrestlers Daton Fix (Oklahoma State), Nick Reenan (NC State) and Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) earned spots in one of three Final X events in June by sweeping two matches each in the Best-of-3 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament at the RCTC Sports Center.
Fix avenged a U.S. Open loss against two-time World Team member Tony Ramos at 57 kilograms, while Reenan avenged a U.S. Open loss t Richard Perry at 86 kilograms and Valencia, the 2018 NCAA champ outscored former Hodge Trophy winner Alex Dieringer by a combined 12-1 score.
Also avenging losses from the U.S. Open were former World champ Logan Stieber, who beat Jaydin Eierman in two straight bouts at 65 kilograms.
Isaiah Martinez (74 kilograms) and Adam Coon (125k), who finished second in their final NCAA tournament in Cleveland for Illinois and Michigan, respectively, advance to the Final X event with consecutive wins over Nazar Kulchytskyy and Anthony Nelson.
The only weight class that was extended to a third bout in the Best-of-3 Championship Series was a 70 kilograms, where former Boise State All-American Jason Chamberlain edged 2016 Olympian Frank Molinaro.
The following illustrates the highlights of the championships bouts and who each winner will face at either Lincoln, Neb., State College, Pa. or Bethlehem, Pa., over three straight Saturdays in June.
2018 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament
May 19-20 • Rochester, Minn.
57 kg/125.5 pounds: Daton Fix (Titan Mercury) defeated Tony Ramos (Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to none — Fix will face World silver medalist Thomas Gilman at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 9, in Lincoln, Neb.
Match 1 – Fix dec. Ramos, 4-1 — Fix clinched the match when he countered single by Ramos with 12 seconds left. Ramos also had a decent single at the end of the first period before Fix forced a stalemate. Both were penalized for passivity in the second period. The first point came when Fix forced Ramos out of bounds.
Match 2 – Fix dec. Ramos, 10-3 — Just when it looked like Fix might be cautioned for passivity, he caught Ramos with an inside trip for four points, then added two more to take a 7-0 lead at intermission. Ramos scored on a stepout and takedown to pull within 7-3 at the 1:04 mark before Fix added two more takedowns in the final 30 seconds.
61 kg/132 pounds: Nahshon Garrett (Sunkist Kids) defeated Nico Megaludis (Nittany Lion WC), 2 matches to none — Garrett will face U.S. Open champ Joe Colon at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 23, in Bethlehem, Pa.
Match 1 – Garrett won by TF over Megaludis, 11-0 — After Megaludis was twice penalized for passivity in the first period, Garrett’s first takedown in the closing seconds of the first frame also produced back points. The former NCAA champ from Cornell ended the bout with his second takedown of the second period with 1:12 left.
Match 2 – Garrett won by TF over Megaludis, 10-0 — Garrett opened the match with a takedown and leglace in the first 20 seconds, then added another takedown and gut for two to open the second period to lead 9-0. A stepout with 29 seconds left ended the bout.
65 kg/143.5 pounds: Logan Stieber (Titan Mercury) defeated Jaydin Eierman (Titan Mercury), 2 matches to none — Stieber will face U.S. Open champ Joey McKenna at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 16, in State College, Pa.
Match 1 – Stieber dec. Eierman, 10-5 — The former NCAA champ from Ohio State clinched the bout on a four-point takedown with one second left. The Missouri All-American took a 4-0 lead in the first period when he countered a Stieber single and put the former Buckeye on his back. Stieber took his first lead 6-4 on a takedown and trap-arm gut at the 1:38 mark. Eierman cut the lead t 6-5 on a stepout with 24 seconds left.
Match 2 – Stieber dec. Eierman, 7-3 — Stieber used a takedown and stepout to lead 4-1 at intermission, then added another takedown and stepout to lead 7-1. Eierman’s only takedown came with a second left.
70 kg/154 pounds: Jason Chamberlain (Titan Mercury) defeated Frank Molinaro (Titan Mercury), 2 matches to 1 — Chamberlain will face World bronze medalist James Green at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 9, in Lincoln, Neb.
Match 1 – Chamberlain dec. Molinaro, 4-1 — The former Boise State All-American clinched the match when he countered a Molinaro shot for two in the closing seconds. The previous points were passivity points as each wrestler failed to score on a shot clock, Molinaro twice.
Match 2 – Molinaro dec. Chamberlain, 7-1 — The 2016 Olympian forced a third bout when his second takedown with 1:42 left also put Chamberlain on his back and a 7-0 lead.
Match 3 — Chamberlain dec. Molinaro, 2-1 — Chamberlain won it with a stepout and passivity point.
74 kg/163 pounds: Isaiah Martinez (Titan Mercury) defeated Nazar Kulchytskyy (Titan Mercury), 2 matches to none — Martinez will face World champ Jordan Burroughs at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 9, in Lincoln, Neb.
Match 1 – Martinez won by TF over Kulchytskyy, 13-2 — The former two-time NCAA champ from Illinois scored four takedowns and earned two more lace points off the second and third takedowns for the dominating win. The final takedown off a single came with 1:55 left.
Match 2 – Martinez won by TF over Kulchytskyy, 13-2 — Martinez scored three of his four takedowns in the second period and his fourth was a double that put Kulchytskyy on back with 1:24 left.
79 kg/174 pounds: Zahid Valencia (Sunkist Kids) defeated Alex Dieringer (Titan Mercury), 2 matches to none — Valencia will face U.S. Open champ Kyle Dake at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 16, in State College, Pa.
Match 1 – Valencia dec. Dieringer, 7-0 — The 2018 NCAA champ from Arizona State scored all three takedowns in the final period (at 2:53, 1:55 and 0:14) for the shutout over the former Hodge Trophy winner from Oklahoma State. Valencia led 1-0 at intermission when Dieringer failed to score on a passivity shot clock.
Match 2 – Valencia dec. Dieringer, 5-1 — Valencia scored two takedowns, the first with 40 seconds left in the first giving him a 2-1 lead, the second on single with 1:32 left on a single in the bout’s final points.
86 kg/189 pounds: Nick Reenan (Titan Mercury) defeated Richard Perry (New York AC), 2 matches to none — Reenan will face U.S. Open champ David Taylor at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 16, in State College, Pa.
Match 1 – Reenan dec. Perry, 4-0 — The redshirt freshman from NC State clinched the match when he scored his only takedown with 29 seconds left after he was placed on the shot clock. Perry, who gave up two passivity points, scored a takedown as time expired.
Match 2 – Reenan dec. Perry 6-3 — Reenan clinched the bout on a takedown in the final seconds after Perry cut the margin to 4-3 with a pair of stepouts in the second frame. Reenan built a 4-1 lead with a passivity call, stepout and takedown with 45 seconds left.
92 kg/204 pounds: Hayden Zillmer (Minnesota Storm) defeated Deron Winn (Titan Mercury), 2 matches to none — Zillmer will face U.S. Open champ J’den Cox at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 23, in Bethlehem, Pa.
Match 1 – Zillmer dec. Winn, 8-2 — Zillmer scored seven of his points in the final minute, starting with a single and followed with a passivity point against Winn and a two-point gut from par terre. The final two points came when he defended a high crotch by Winn.
Match 2 – Zillmer dec. Winn, 9-7 — Down 7-3 after Winn scored the first seven points of the second period — including a four-point takedown 30 seconds into the second frame — Zillmer battled back in the final minute with two stepouts, a takedown and gut for two back points for the victory.
97 kg/213.5 pounds: Kyven Gadson (Sunkist Kids) defeated Austin Schafer (New York AC), 2 matches to none — Gadson will face World champ Kyle Snyder at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 9, in Lincoln, Neb.
Match 1 – Gadson dec. Schafer, 8-1 — Moments after giving up a passivity point, the former NCAA champ from Iowa State clinched the match when he scored the only takedown with 28 seconds left and added a two-point exposure. Gadson added two more exposure points off a leg lace from par terre. Schafer was also penalized twice for passivity.
Match 2 – Gadson won by medical forfeit — Schafer scored a knee injury in the first bout, which prevented him from competing in the second bout.
125 kg/275.5 pounds: Adam Coon (New York AC/ Michigan WC) defeated Anthony Nelson (Minnesota Storm), 2 matches to none — Coon will face World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski at the Best-of-3 Final X event, June 23, in Bethlehem, Pa.
Match 1 – Coon dec. Nelson, 6-1 — The two-time NCAA runner-up scored four individual points, two via a stepout for the shutout, before clinching the match on a takedown with 30 seconds left. Nelson scored his only point via a stepout with one second left.
Match 2 – Coon dec. Nelson, 8-3 — Coon used his strong hips to counter a Nelson single attempt into four points in the first minute of the bout, then added a stepout and takedown in the second period for the victory.