Final X Preview: Action in three styles begins tomorrow at the RAC

Updated: June 7, 2019
WIN Magazine has spent the past week previewing the 13 matches that will take place at Final X Rutgers this Saturday in Piscataway, N.J. … and here are the final two previews of a best-of-3 Greco-Roman match-up between Joe Rau and Ben Provisor and a similar women’s freestyle meeting between Alyvia Fiske and Victoria Francis.

Victories at the Rutgers Athletic Center … as well as a week from now in Lincoln, Neb., on June 15 … will eventually send 30 wrestlers in three styles to the 2019 UWW World Championships, Sept. 14-22, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. The only exceptions come at 79 kilos in men’s freestyle, where World champ Kyle Dake asked for a postponement in his meeting vs. Alex Dieringer because of injury, and at 86 kilos where World champ David Taylor was forced to withdraw because of injury, which will send Pat Downey to his first World tournament.

Here is a preview of one of the five women’s freestyle and five Greco-Roman matches that will take place starting during the 12 noon and 6 p.m. EDT sessions at the Rutgers Athletic Center (RAC) this Saturday in Piscataway, N.J.

GR-87k/191.5lb            Joe Rau vs. Ben Provisor

Both of these men have represented the USA at past World Championships, but Rau earned the automatic spot when the 28-year-old former NCAA Div. III champ from Elmhurst (Ill.) College, defeated Pat Martinez for the 2019 U.S. Open in April in Las Vegas. Provisor settled for third place at that event, after losing to Martinez in the semifinals. But, the native of Wisconsin came back to win two straight matches over Martinez at the World Team Trials Challenge tournament a month ago in Raleigh, N.C.

This is actually a rematch of the 2018 U.S. Open, where Provisor won a 14-10 shootout. That victory sent Provisor to the 2018 Greco-Roman World Team Trials, where he lost to Martinez. After that U.S. Open loss to Provisor, Rau chose to enter the men’s freestyle World Team Trials Challenge tournament in 2018 at 86 kilos but finished fourth after losing to Nick Reenan in the semifinals.

Rau enters this Final X after qualifying for the United States in Greco at 80 kilos in 2014 and nearly wrestled in the 2016 Olympics after winning the Trials at 98 kilos but fell short in qualifying the weight for the United States. Provisor, who will turn 29 on June 26, qualified for the 2016 Olympics and 2017 Worlds, both at 85 kilos, but is still looking for his first World/Olympic-level victory.

WFS-72k/158.5lb            Alyvia Fiske vs. Victoria Francis

This is a rematch of the 2019 U.S. Open where Fiske defeated Francis, 5-4, in the finals and earned the automatic spot in Final X Rutgers. Francis earned a second shot at Fiske when she won by technical fall and a pin against Iman Kazem at the World Team Trials Challenge tournament in May at NC State.

This will be the first time Fiske, a native of Napa, Calif., has a chance to qualify for the Senior Worlds after she wrestled in the 2018 Junior Worlds, but failed to win a match. The two-time California state champ will be a junior at Simon Fraser University in Canada, where she lost in the WCWA semifinals to Kazem, who wrestled for Menlo College.

Francis, a 2014 Junior World bronze medalist, qualified for the 2017 Senior Worlds at 75 kilos, but was unable to wrestle last season after she was suspended one year after she tested positive for the illegal substance Ostarine in her system.

WIN magazine will preview the 15 weight classes that are contested at Lincoln each day next week and provide comprehensive coverage of both Final X events. To get a Subscription to WIN’s Monthly Print or Digital Magazine so you get the Final X coverage, click here.

Previous and Upcoming Final X Rutgers Daily Previews

(Click on dates to read other previews)

Date Style/Wt Matchup
Monday, June 3 MFS-65k/143.5lb Yianni Diakomihalis vs. Zain Retherford
GR-55k/121lb Max Nowry vs. Brady Koontz
WFS-50k/110lb Whitney Conder vs. Victoria Anthony
Tuesday, June 4 MFS-79k/174lb Kyle Dake vs. Alex Dieringer
GR-67k/147.5lb Ellis Coleman vs. Jamel Johnson
WFS-57k/125.5lb Becka Leathers vs. Jenna Burkert
Wednesday, June 5 MFS-92k/202lb J’den Cox vs. Bo Nickal
GR-77k/169lb Kamal Bey vs. Pat Smith
WFS-65k/143.5lb Forrest Molinari vs. Maya Nelson
Thursday, June 6 MFS-125k/275lb Gable Steveson vs. Nick Gwiazdowski
GR-82k/180lb Jon Stefanowicz vs. Kendrick Sanders
WFS-68k/149.5lb Alex Glaude vs. Tamyra Mensah-Stock


Next week, WIN will break downthe 15 Final X matches in Lincoln, Neb., which will take place on Saturday, June 15

Men’s Freestyle

57k/125.5lb Thomas Gilman vs. Daton Fix
61k/134lb Tyler Graff vs. Joe Colon
70k/154lb James Green vs. Ryan Deakin
74k/163lb Isaiah Martinez vs. Jordan Burroughs
97k/213lb Kyven Gadson vs. Kyle Snyder


60k/132lb Ildar Hafizov vs. Leslie Fuenffinger
63k/138.5lb Xavier Johnson vs. Ryan Mango
72k/158.5lb Alex Mossing vs. Raymond Bunker
97k/213.5lb Lucas Sheridan vs. G’Angelo Hancock
130k/286.5lb Cohlton Schultz vs. Adam Coon

Women’s Freestyle

53k/116.5lb Katherine Shai vs. Sarah Hildebrandt
55k/121lb Dominique Parrish vs. Jacarra Winchester
59k/130lb Lauren Louive vs. Alli Ragan
62k/136.5lb Kayla Miracle vs. Mallory Velte
76k/167.6lb Precious Bell vs. Adeline Gray