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Final X Preview: Burroughs faces Martinez for shot at seventh Worlds berth
When Jordan Burroughs finished his college career at the University of Nebraska, not many people would have predicted that the two-time NCAA champion would go on to win seven World/Olympic medals.
This Saturday, Burroughs returns to Lincoln, where he hopes to take a step towards a sixth all-time World/Olympic title. But he must first beat out former Illinois two-time national champion Isaiah Martinez in what will be among 15 different weight classes that will send wrestlers representing the U.S. at the 2019 UWW World Championships in Kazakhstan this September.
Check out the best-of-3 matchup of Burroughs vs. Martinez, as well as a women’s meeting between Mallory Velte and Kayla Miracle and a Greco-Roman match-up between G’Angelo Hancock vs. Lucas Sheridan that will take place in either the 12 noon or 6 p.m. sessions on the University of Lincoln campus.
|MFS||74kg/163lb||Jordan Burroughsvs. Isaiah Martinez|
This is a rematch of last year’s Final X in Lincoln, where Burroughs, the former Nebraska two-time champion and WIN Magazine/Culture House Dan Hodge Trophy winner, defeated the former Illinois two-timer in two straight matches, 4-1 and 11-1.
Burroughs, the 30-year-old native of Camden, N.J., used that success to qualify for his sixth World Championships in Hungary, where he claimed a bronze medal; his seventh all-time World/Olympic medal. That also earned Burroughs an automatic berth to Final X Lincoln in 2019.
Since claiming that second NCAA title for Nebraska in 2011, when he also earned the Hodge, Burroughs has won four World championships (2011, 13, 15 and ’17) to go along with two World bronze medals (2014 and ’18). Burroughs also has competed in the past two Olympics, winning gold in 2012 and going 1-2 in 2016. Only Bruce Baumgartner (five gold, four silver and four bronze) has won more World/Olympic medals that Burroughs.
Martinez, the 24-year-old native of Lemoore, Calif., qualified for his second Final X by winning two of three matches again Penn State’s three-time national champion Jason Nolf at this May’s World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. The former Illini four-time NCAA finalist won NCAA titles his first two years (over Brian Realbuto and Nolf in 2015 and ’16, respectively), then settled for second in 2017 and ’18; losing both times to Penn State’s Vincenzo Joseph.
In other age-group World Championships, Burroughs finished tenth in the 2008 Junior Worlds, while Martinez claimed fifth in the 2017 U23 Worlds.
|WFS||62kg/136.5lb||Mallory Velte vs. Kayla Miracle|
This is another rematch from the Final X Series of 2018, when Velte defeated Miracle in three matches (2-4, 4-2, and 7-1) in State College, Pa., which sent the 24-year-old native of Sacramento, Calif., to the 2018 Worlds in Budapest, where she earned a bronze medal.
That World performance earned Velte an automatic spot in Final X Lincoln. Miracle, a 24-year-old native of Campbellsville, Ky., who now trains with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club in Iowa City, won both the U.S. Open in April and the World Team Trials Challenge tournament (over Desire Zavala in both events) in May for a chance at avenging last year’s Final X loss to Velte.
Overall, Velte, a three-time WCWA champion from Simon Fraser, has competed in three age-group World Championships, going 0-1 in 2017 in Paris and finishing fifth in the 2015 Junior Worlds.
Miracle, a former four-time WCWA champion at Campbellsville (where she wrestled for her father, Lee), has competed in seven age-group World tournaments. That began with two Cadet Worlds in 2011 and ’12 (silver medal), three Junior Worlds in 2014 (bronze), ’15 and ’16 (bronze) and two U23 Worlds in 2017 and ’18 (fifth both years).
|GR||97kg/213.5lb||G’Angelo Hancock vs. Lucas Sheridan|
Hancock, just a 21-year-old native of Ft. Carson, Colo., has been very busy at many different World Championships the two years; representing the USA in the Junior, U23 and Senior Worlds in 2017 and the U23 and Senior Worlds in 2018. Hancock beat Sheridan, 9-0, in the U.S. Open in April to earn the first spot at Final X Lincoln.
Sheridan, a member of Army’s World Class Athlete Program, needed three matches to beat Daniel Miller at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in May to earn an invite to Final X Lincoln. The 26-year-old native of Concord, Calif, who wrestled in college Indiana (2011-15), doesn’t have a lot of World-level Grecoexperience, except that he did compete in both the 2012 and ’13 Junior World Championships.
Hancock also claimed a bronze medal at the Junior Worlds in 2016.
Previous/Upcoming Daily Previews of Final X, Lincoln, Neb., June 15
(Click on date to read preview)
|MFS||57kg/125.5lb||Thomas Gilman vs. Daton Fix|
|WFS||53kg/116.5lb||Sarah Hildebrandt vs. Katherine Shai|
|GR||60kg/132lb||Leslie Fuenffinger vs. Ildar Hafizov|
|MFS||61kg/132lb||Joe Colon vs. Tyler Graff|
|WFS||55kg/121lb||Jacarra Winchester vs. Dominique Parrish|
|GR||63kg/138.5lb||Ryan Mango vs. Xavier Johnson|
|MFS||70kg/154lb||Ryan Deakinvs. James Green|
|WFS||59kg/130lb||Alli Ragan vs. Lauren Louive|
|GR||72kg:/158.5lb||Raymond Bunker vs. Alex Mossing|
Friday, June 14
|MFS||97kg/213.5lb||Kyven Gadson vs. Kyle Snyder|
|WFS||76kg/167.5lb||Precious Bell vs. Adeline Gray|
|GR||130kg/286.5lb||Cohlton Schultz vs. Adam Coon|
Last weekend in Rutgers, 14 other World Team weights were determined in another Final X event that was also hosted by USA Wrestling and FloWrestling. The only exception was at 79 kilograms, where World champ Kyle Dake requested a postponement for his meeting against Alex Dieringer because of an injury.