It was a raucous weekend in Madison, Wisconsin as the freestyle World Team members were (mostly) determined. In large part, the favorites won and hope to build off a successful World Cup after a terrible 2014 World Championships.
Jake Herbert, with hair that made, 4 women in the audience pregnant from just seeing it in person, dominated Ed Ruth to return to the World Team for the first time since the 2012 Olympics. Herbert looks in amazing shape and has the experience to do serious damage to anyone in the World. Ed Ruth was in the center of contreversey when it appeared after a review he would be trailing Jon Reader 13-4. Instead he was ahead 7-6 magically after the review. It was a big negative reaction from the crowd. Everyone loves Ed Ruth, but Reader was seriously screwed.
Tony Ramos defeated Joe Colon twice to hold on to the spot. Colon had three amazing comeback wins in the challenge tournament, but Ramos limited Colon in every aspect.
Reece Humphrey made relatively easy work of the surprising finalist, Daniel Dennis. Coleman Scott fell in the challenge tournament to Dennis to knock him out of contention. Then the former Hawkeye had a takedown right at the buzzer to defeat US Open runner-up Kendrick Maple.
Zach Rey was able to force the lone rubber match on the men's side of things with the mainstay Tervel Dlagnev, but it was Dlagnev who would hold on to his spot.
Other controversy was about the guy who didn't wrestle this weekend, Nick Marable. Rumors emerged Friday night that he missed weight. Now word is they have appealed for a medical exemption to get his wrestle-off at a later date. There is yet to be official word, but this weekend James Green was able to beat Dustin Schlatter two straight matches to emerge as the current guy (legality pending).
Brent Metcalf made beating Jordan Oliver look like easy work as Oliver never really threatened offensively. Metcalf has held down the World Team spot, but has failed to medal on the world level. Many anticipate that will change in Las Vegas this fall, but it certainly won't be easy.
Olympic Gold Medalist Jake Varner battled through the challenge tournament, but didn't have much answer for 19 year-old Kyle Snyder. Varner never threatened in the matches and almost appeared uninterested. Give a ton of credit to Snyder though as he becomes the youngest world team member since Henry Cejudo.
Of course the main event of the weekend featured the embarrassment of riches USA Wrestling has at 74 kg. Andrew Howe nearly knocked off Kyle Dake late in their match but Dake somehow avoided giving up points in wild fashion. Dake then faced off with superstar David Taylor (who just tech'd the 3rd ranked guy in the World at Beat the Streets) and controlled the action the whole match to win 8-2. However, at the end it was a healthy Jordan Burroughs once again holding off the fray. He defeated Dake in two straight matches with an exciting tech fall in the 2nd match. Burroughs gave a great post-match interview calling for revenge on the Russian world champion, Tsargush. It was incredible to see the best athlete on the planet back healthy and hungry.
It was a great weekend in the great town of Madison. The Olympic Trials in Iowa City next year should be absolutely insane.
2015 Senior World Team Trials
June 13-14, Alliant Energy Center, Madison, Wis.
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Tony Ramos, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC) def. Joe Colon, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Titan Mercury), 2 matches to 0
Ramos dec. Colon, 6-0
Ramos dec. Colon, 3-1
70 kg/154 lbs.
James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC) def. Dustin Schlatter, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 2 matches to 0
Green dec. Schlatter, 5-0
Green dec. Schlatter, 4-2
86 kg/189 lbs.
Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC) def. Ed Ruth, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to 0
Herbert won by tech. fall over Ruth, 13-3
Herbert dec. Ruth, 10-2
125 kg/275 lbs.
Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids) def. Zach Rey, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC), 2 matches to 1
Dlagnev dec. Rey, 2-1
Rey dec. Dlagnev, 4-3
Dlagnev dec. Rey, 3-0
61 kg/134 lbs.
Reece Humphrey, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC) def. Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC), 2 matches to 0
Humphrey won by tech. fall over Dennis, 12-1
Humphrey dec. Dennis, 4-1
65 kg/143 lbs.
Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC) def. Jordan Oliver, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to 0
Metcalf dec. Oliver, 9-4
Metcalf dec. Oliver, 7-0
74 kg/163 lbs.
Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids) def. Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC), 2 matches to 0
Burroughs dec. Dake, 6-3
Burroughs won by tech. fall over Dake, 14-4
97 kg/213 lbs.
Kyle Snyder, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC) def. Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC), 2 matches to 0
Snyder dec. Varner, 4-1
Snyder dec. Varner, 3-0