Updated: June 6, 2023

There are several matches at the 2023 Final X event, where club teammates will meet each other in a best-of-3 series — June 10 in Newark, N.J. —  that will determine the men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling teams that will compete in the 2023 UWW World Championships in September.

And as part of WIN’s Magazine’s countdown to the event, where we examine three of the 30 match-ups between May 31 and June 9, today’s “IV (4) Days Until Final X” preview will include a look at two of those match-ups as David Taylor and Aaron Brooks, both from the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club, will meet at 86 kilos in men’s freestyle, while Spencer Woods and Ryan Epps of the Army WCAP will wrestle at 82 kilos in Greco. Meanwhile, Mallory Velte and Macey Kilty will be going after the 65-kilo crown in women’s freestyle.

We also invite you to subscribe to WIN Magazine in time to receive the next issue of WIN, printed June 22, that will provide comprehensive coverage and a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Final X.

Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe.

The following is WIN’s daily preview of all 30 weight classes. Click on previous days to view those previews:

  • June 7: III (3) Days before Final X: 92k MFS, 68k WFS, 87k GR
  • June 8: II (2) Days before Final X: 97k MFS, 72k WFS, 97k GR
  • June 9: I (1) Day before Final X: 125k MFS, 76k WFS, 130k GR

June 6 Final X Previews

Men’s Freestyle – 86k/189lbs: David Taylor (Nittany Lion WC) vs. Aaron Brooks (Nittany Lion WC)

David Taylor

Both of these men have and are still wrestling for Cael Sanderson at Penn State. Taylor was a two-time Hodge Trophy winner, two-time champ and four-time finalist (2011-14) in State College, Pa., where Brooks, currently a senior Nittany Lion, hopes to become a four-time NCAA champ next winter.

On the international map, Taylor has much more experience, winning a 2020 (held in 2021) Olympic gold medal in Tokyo as well as two World championships in 2018 and 2022; the latter earning him an automatic spot in this year’s Final X event. He also earned a World silver medal in 2021. The 32-year-old Taylor was born in Wyoming, but grew up in St. Paris, Ohio, where he was a four-time Ohio state champ for Graham High (between 103 and 135 pounds) and also competed in the 2007 Junior Worlds at 50 kilos.

Aaron Brooks

Brooks, meanwhile, is trying to make his first Senior World Team and earned a spot in Final X with a 10-6 victory over Zahid Valencia at the U.S. Open. (Valencia later moved up to 92 kilos at the World Team Trials Challenge tourney and also qualified for Final X). When he was younger, Brooks won two age-group World championships (2017 as a Cadet and 2019 as a Junior). He also finished second in the 2018 Junior Worlds. The 22-year-old native of Hagerstown, Md., won four Maryland state titles for North Hagerstown High before he eventually claimed NCAA championships at Penn State in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Women’s Freestyle – 65k/143.5lbs: Mallory Velte (Beaver Dam RTC/TMWC) vs. Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids WC)

Mallory Velte

Velte has earned two bronze medals at the UWW World Championships in 2018 and 2022; the most recent earning her a spot in Final X. Kilty also booked a trip to Newark when she defeated Emma Bruntil, 5-1, in the finals of the U.S. Open. (Bruntil also moved up to a higher weight at the Challenge tourney to also qualify for Final X.)

Macey Kilty

Velte, 28, is a native of Sacramento, Calif., where she was a two-time California state champ for Christian Brothers High School. She later earned two WCWA titles for Simon Fraser University. She competed in two Junior Worlds (2015 and 2017) and finished third in the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Kilty also has had success in age-group World championships, winning a gold medal in the 2018 Cadets. She also earned silver medals in the 2018 Junior Worlds as well as the 2019 Junior and U23 Worlds to go along with a bronze medal from the 2016 Cadet Worlds. The 22-year-old Kilty is a native of Stratford, Wisc., and became her state’s first female finalist in 2016. She finished second in the 2020 Olympic Trials when she suffered an injury against Kayla Miracle at 62 kilos.

Greco-Roman – 82k/180.5lbs: Spencer Woods (U.S. Army WCAP) vs. Ryan Epps (U.S. Army WCAP)

Spencer Woods

Woods wrestled in the 2022 World Championships when Ben Provisor (who beat Woods in the 2022 Final X) chose not to compete in the Worlds. Woods did not place at the Worlds, but earned another shot at a Final X series when he defeated Provisor, 4-3, at the U.S. Open in April. Epps, meanwhile, claimed the other Final X spot by beating Provisor, 2-1, at the World Team Trials Challenge tourney in May.

Ryan Epps

Woods, 25, is a native of Shungnak, Alaska (50 miles above the Arctic Circle) and was a two-time state champ from Kotzebue High School. He first enrolled at Maryland in 2016, but eventually wound up at Northern Michigan University’s Greco program. He later joined the Army’s World Class Athlete Program in 2020 and represented the United States in the 2021 U23 World Championships.

Epps is a newcomer to the WCAP after wrestling in the past for the Minnesota Storm. He is a native of Cannon Falls, Minn., where he was a Minnesota state champion. He later wrestled at Augsburg in Minneapolis, capturing two NCAA Division III championships (2018 and 2019). He started his Greco career in 2020 and reached the semis of the 2022 U.S. Open, where he lost to Woods, 8-0.