Recap of STACKED U.S. Open, sets up road to Final X

Updated: May 3, 2023

Photos: Three of the 10 winners in men’s freestyle at the 2023 U.S. Open in Las Vegas were Zane Richards (left at 57k), Jason Nolf (74k) and Gable Steveson (125k), who all earned spots in the Final X event in June that will eventually determine the 2023 U.S. World Team.  Richards beat Nick Suriano, Nolf beat a fellow former Penn State star Vincenzo Joseph and Steveson beat Nick Gwiazdowski in his return to amateur wrestling. (Photos by Tony Rotundo/

The following is a breakdown of the men’s freestyle tournament from the 2023 U.S. Open, which was held April 27-30 in Las Vegas, Nev., where the 10 winners earned a place in USA Wrestling’s Final X, June 10, in Newark, N.J. There will also be a special World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, May 20-21 in Colorado Springs, to finalize the field at Final X, where the winners of the best-of-3 matches will determine the three U.S. teams that will compete in the 2023 UWW World Championships, Sept. 16-24, in Belgrade, Serbia.

Recaps from the women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman tournament will be available on Thursday and Friday. Also, WIN Magazine will provide even more features and notes and a comprehensive preview of Final X in the next issue, printed May 23. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe.

Men’s Freestyle

57 kilograms/125.5 pounds

Championship — Zane Richards (Illinois RTC) dec. Nick Suriano (Sunkist Kids WC), 3-3 — The former Illinois All-American, seeded No. 1, scored a takedown with 27 seconds left to give him criteria against the former two-time NCAA champions and No. 3 seed who led 3-1 on three stepouts in the second period.

Other Notes: Spencer Lee, Iowa’s three-time NCAA champion and No. 2 seed, withdrew from the tournament and did not face Suriano in the semis after beating Caleb Smith (North Carolina), 9-4, in the quarterfinals. Jakob Camacho (Wolfpack RTC) finished third after the No. 5 seed lost to Richards in the semis. The former NC State wrestler beat unseeded Austin Assad (Ohio) in the consolation final. Patrick Glory, the 2023 NCAA champ from Princeton, won two matches before losing 10-0 to Camacho in the quarterfinals.

Final X Preview: Richards will face 2021 World champ and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Gilman (NLWC), who earned an automatic spot in Final X by claiming a second silver medal in the 2022 Worlds.

61 kilograms/134 pounds

Championship — Vito Arujau (Spartan Combat WC) won by TF over Austin DeSanto (Hawkeye WC), 10-0 — The 2023 NCAA champ and No. 2 Open seed from Cornell needed just 54 seconds to put away the former Hawkeye and No. 5 seed with a takedown and four exposure moves.

Other Notes: DeSanto reached the finals when he upset No. 1 seed and 2022 World Team member Seth Gross, 5-4, on the strength of two takedown in the second period to lead 5-0.

Final X Preview: Arujau will face the winner of the WTT Challenge Tournament that includes DeSanto and Gross.

65 kilograms/143.5 pounds

Championship — Nick Lee (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Joey McKenna (PRTC), 10-5 — The former Penn State national champion and No. 3 seed trailed the top-seed and former Ohio State All-American 5-0 at the break before Lee scored five takedowns in the second period.

Other Notes: Beau Bartlett, who earned All-American honors at Penn State this past year, was seeded No. 10 but reached the semifinals where he lost 10-10 criteria to Lee. Bartlett, who settled for fourth place behind former Princeton AA Matt Kolodzik, reached the semis when he defeated No. 2 seed Evan Henderson, 11-6, in the quarters.

Final X Preview: Lee will face Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell’s latest four-time NCAA champion, who earned a Final X spot by claiming a bronze medal in the 2022 World Championships.

70 kilograms/154 pounds

Championship — Tyler Berger (Sunkist Kids WC) dec. Sammy Sasso (Cliff Keen WC), 10-9 — The No. 2 seed and former Nebraska All-American scored five points in the final eight seconds to beat the No. 4 seed and Ohio State All-American.

Other Notes: Alec Pantaleo, the former Michigan All-American and No. 1 Open seed, was upset in a Round of 32 match, when unseeded Jacob Butler (Oklahoma RTC) pinned the Cliff Keen WC wrestler. Despite the loss, Pantaleo won seven straight consolation matches, including a consolation semifinal fall against Hayden Hidlay and a third-place 4-2 victory over Jarrett Jacques of Missouri.

Final X Preview: Berger will face Zain Retherford, the former Penn State national champion, who earned an automatic spot in Final X with a silver-medal performance in the 2022 World Championships.

74 kilograms/163 pounds

Championship — Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Vincenzo Joseph (Sunkist Kids WC), 10-5 — In a battle between two former NCAA champs from Penn State, Nolf (the No. 1 seed) trailed 4-0 at the break against the No. 3 seed, but came back to win off a pair of four-point takedowns in the final 1:36.

Other Notes: Keegan O’Toole, the two-time NCAA champ from Missouri, reached the semifinals before losing 9-2 to Nolf. The Tiger came back to beat Josh Shields 10-2 in the consolation final. Shields, the former Arizona State All-Amerian and No. 7 seed, also reached the semis with a 4-2 victory over No. 2 seed Joey Levallee. Shields lost 5-3 to Joseph in the semis.

Final X Preview: Nolf will face Kyle Dake, the former four-time NCAA champ from Cornell and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist, who earned an automatic berth in Final X after capturing a fourth World title last fall.

79 kilograms/174 pounds

Championship — Chance Marsteller (NYCRTC) dec. Alex Dieringer (Cliff Keen RTC), 3-2 — The former All-American from Lock Haven No. 1 seed scored on a stepout — the only point scored in the second period — to beat the No. 3 seed and  former NCAA champ from Oklahoma State. Both men scored takedown in the first period.

Other Notes: Dieringer reached the finals with a 7-1 victory over No. 2 seed and Penn State’s three-time NCAA champ Carter Starocci in the semis.

Final X Preview: Marsteller will face Jordan Burroughs, the seven-time World/Olympic champion, who claimed a Final X berth with his latest World crown last fall.

86 kilograms/189 pounds

Championship — Aaron Brooks (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Zahid Valencia (Sunkist Kids WC), 10-6 — The No. 3 Open seed and three-time NCAA champ from Penn State trailed the No. 1 seed and former NCAA champ from Arizona State, 6-0 before scoring all of his points in the final 1:45. That included six points off a takedown and two exposure moves that gave him an 8-6 lead with 1:27 left.

Other Notes: Brooks reached the finals with a 7-1 victory over No. 2 seed and former Penn State NCAA champ Mark Hall in the semis. Hall came back to claim third with a 13-2 TF over Trent Hidlay.

Final X Preview: Brooks will face another former Penn State national champion and 2020 Olympic gold medalist David Taylor, who claimed an automatic spot in Final X with his second World championship last fall.

92 kilograms/202 pounds

Championship — Michael Macchiavello (Wolfpack RTC) won by TF over Kollin Moore, 12-2 — Macchiavello, the former NCAA champ from NC State and No. 3 seed, trailed then dominated the No. 1 seed and former Ohio State All-American by scoring all his points in the second period, including a takedown and three exposure moves with 45 seconds left in the bout.

Other Notes: Macchiavello reached the finals with a 4-2 victory over No. 2 seed and 2022 Final X runner-up Nate Jackson.

Final X Preview:  Macchiavello will face the winner of the WTT Challenge Tournament, which could Moore and Jackson.

97 kilograms/213.5 pounds

Championship — J’den Cox (Cliff Keen WC) dec. Isaac Trumble, 12-3 — Cox, who could have earned an automatic Final X spot at 92 kilos after claiming a World silver medal at that weight in 2022, won his first three matches by technical fall before beating the unseeded Trumble off six takedowns.

Other Notes: Trumble, a sophomore at NC State, reached the finals when he pinned No. 2 seed Timothy Dudley (Sunkist Kids WC) in the semifinals after leading 12-4.

Final X Preview: Cox, the 2018 and ’19 World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, will meet Kyle Snyder, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist, who earned an automatic Final X berth by claiming his third World championship last fall.

125 kilograms/265 pounds

Championship — Gable Steveson (Gopher RTC) won by TF over Nick Gwiazdowski (Spartan Mat WC), 10-0 — The 2020 Olympic gold medalist, who had “retired” to enter professional wrestling, enjoyed a successful return to the amateur wrestling mat when he scored technical falls in all four bouts as a No. 1 seed. That included his final victory over the former World bronze medalist and No. 2 seed with five takedowns.

Other Notes: Mason Parris, the 2023 NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner, came back to claim third place — after losing 12-1 to Steveson in the semis — when he defeated Wyatt Hendrickson, the All-American and Schalles Award winner from Air Force, 20-7 in the consolation final.

Final X Preview: Steveson will face the winner of the WTT Challenge Tournament, which could including Gwiazdowski, Parris, Hendrickson and 2022 World Team member Hayden Zillmer, who did not compete in the U.S. Open.