USA Wrestling released their pre-seeds for the US Open coming up later this week. It's a much anticipated tournament with the competition for World Spots at a high level for two main factors.
Firstly, it's the last Worlds of the cycle before the Olympics. Even if you are not in an Olympic weight class for this year's World Championships, it is still really valuable experience for the Olympics next year. Secondly, the USA is hosting the World Championships this year in Las Vegas. That may not sound like a big deal, but the decision to sit this year out for the veteran stars could be swayed heavily with the idea of taking a short flight to Vegas instead of having to travel to some former Soviet Block country. It's a great chance to medal with home turf advantage this year and really add to the resume.
The pre-seeds are a bit confusing. While some seeds seem to favor veterans over the upstarts, some completely are in the opposite. USA Wrestling giving their own rankings and pre-seeds for their own team is a little confusing and can lead to some odd results. Maybe a committee in the future could be a better approach, but in the end someone has to win a tournament by beating everyone in the bracket along the way.
Unfortunately we will not see Jordan Burroughs or Kyle Dake which all the sudden makes 65 kg probably the most interesting weight class (and possibly the weirdest seeds outside of Jake Herbert being seeded 10th). Brent Metcalf appears to be America's 2nd best wrestler currently but he will have to fend off Jordan Oliver, Aaron Pico, Frank Molinaro, Jimmy Kennedy, Logan Stieber, Jason Chamberlain, and Kellen Russell (who won the 2014 US Open but is seeded 8th). Stieber just finished one of the most dominant seasons in NCAA history to cap his 4-time NCAA Champion career, but this weight class will be a tremendous test in his quest to go to Rio.
This US Open will be exciting stuff and I am really looking forward to it. It's a big year in the Olympic cycle and exciting for the USA to be hosting Worlds this September after a poor showing in 2014. Outside of 55kg, we have a veteran lineup. What young studs could be knocking them off for the Olympic spot next year could start to be revealed this weekend.
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
1. Tony Ramos, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
2. Matt McDonough, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
3. Tyler Graff, Dublin, Ohio (New York AC)
4. Joe Colon, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
5. Angel Escobedo, Ames, Iowa (New York AC)
6. Dan Mitcheff, Cornwall, N.Y. (New York AC)
7. Zach Sanders, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
8. Andrew Hochstrasser, Boise, Idaho (Titan Mercury WC)
61 kg/134 lbs.
1. Coleman Scott, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Sunkist Kids)
2. Reece Humphrey, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
3. Joey McKenna, Towaco, N.J. (Lehigh Valley AC)
4. Cody Brewer, Kansas City, Mo.
5. Kyle Hutter, Virginia Beach, Va. (Titan Mercury WC)
6. Connor Beebe, Western Springs, Ill. (Beebe Trained)
7. Kyle Jahn, Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bristol Gladiators)
8. Alan Waters, Kansas City, Mo. (Sunkist Kids/Missouri RTC)
9. Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Ia. (Hawkeye WC)
10. Jon Morrison, Stillwater, Okla. (Cowboy WC)
65 kg/143 lbs.
1. Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (NYAC/Hawkeye WC)
2. Jordan Oliver, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
3. Aaron Pico, Whittier, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
4. Frank Molinaro, South Plainfield, N.J. (Nittany Lion WC)
5. Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
6. Logan Stieber, Monroeville, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
7. Jason Chamberlain, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC)
8. Kellen Russell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
70 kg/154 lbs.
1. Nick Marable, Morgantown, W.Va. (Sunkist Kids)
2. Dustin Schlatter, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
3. James Green, Willingboro, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC)
4. Jason Welch, Evanston, Ill. (Chicago RTC/Wrestling Prep)
5. Moza Fay, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
6. Kevin LeValley, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
7. Adam Hall, New York, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC)
8. Cyler Sanderson, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
9. Dan Vallimont, Long Beach, N.Y. (Blue & Gold WC/ New York AC)
74 kg/163 lbs.
1. David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
2. Andrew Howe, Norman, Okla. (New York AC)
3. Colt Sponseller, Edinboro, Pa. (New York AC)
4. Tyler Caldwell, Stillwater, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
5. Ian Miller, Oak Harbor, Ohio (Golden Pride WC)
6. Quinton Godley, Raleigh, N.C. (Wolfpack WC)
7. Anthony Valencia, Pico Rivera, Calif.
86 kg/189 lbs.
1. Ed Ruth, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
2. Keith Gavin, Charlottesville, Va. (Titan Mercury WC)
3. Chris Perry, Stillwater, Okla. (Cowboy WC)
4. Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics/Cowboy WC)
5. Richard Perry, Washington, D.C. (New York AC)
6. Deron Winn, Ames, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
7. Phillip Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
8. Jon Reader, Brookings, S.D. (Sunkist Kids)
9. Austin Trotman, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC)
10. Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
97 kg/213 lbs.
1. Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
2. Cayle Byers, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC)
3. Dustin Kilgore, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/OTC)
4. J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
5. Wynn Michalak, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC)
6. Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Ohio RTC)
7. Micah Burak, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
8. Enock Francois, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC)
9. Matt Gibson, Ames, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
10. David Zabriskie, Northampton, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
125 kg/275 lbs.
1. Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids WC/Ohio RTC)
2. Zach Rey, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
3. Tyrell Fortune, Portland, Ore. (Titan Mercury WC)
4. Nick Gwiazdowski, Delanson, N.Y. (Wolfpack WC/New York AC)
5. Dom Bradley, Morgantown, W.Va. (Sunkist Kids)
6. Tony Nelson, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
7. Matthew Meuleners, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC)
8. Eric Thompson, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
9. Justin Grant, Buffalo, N.Y. (New York AC/Buffalo WC)