With a couple surprises, the freestyle US Open finals on Saturday helped paint the picture of what this summer's trials finals (Final X) will look like. With the new weight classes, and no returning World medalists at 61 kg and 65 kg, the final four seats were taken giving us 10 guys now "in the seat".
David Taylor & Kyle Dake are expected to take those spots, but Dake's path is not going to be simple. Alex Dieringer, a 3-time NCAA champion and improving freestyle wrestler, is proving to be world class himself. Dake ended up with the 5-5 criteria win with some controversy. When Dake shut down the engines with a lead, Dieringer scored on a couple shots. The last exchange found Dake coming out on top with just a few seconds left. It looked at first it was scored 2-1, but they scored it 2-2 handing Dake the win. Dieringer will have some work to do at the trials, but this could be the summer's most exciting series. Taylor found no such difficulty and now both him and Dake are just two wins from finally heading to the World Championships.
Another enthralling summer series could be an Ohio State affair. Logan Stieber was upset by Missouri's Eireman in the quarterfinals. Joey McKenna's stingy defense carried over from the college season into the summer as he controlled his matches on the way to the title. With 65 kg being an open weight, he's in Final X. Stieber will have to go through the trials to get the other spot to meet him.
There will be points at 61 kg as Joe Colon won his spot in Final X by besting Nahshon Garrett 20-13. Any match with Colon is an exciting affair, and plenty of guys will be happy to oblige by getting through the trials for the other spot. Garrett will have a slew of competition including Kendrick Maple, Seth Gross (a 18-13 semifinal), and the moved up Megaludis.
J'Den Cox is a returning medalist, but needed to win for his spot in the new weight class. Cox controlled the action slipping through the competition.
Tony Ramos survived the battle of the veteran and the phenom. He gets his spot and now 57 kg will be wide open to see who will get the other spot in Final X.
MARINE CORPS U.S. OPEN
At Las Vegas, Nev., April 28
Men’s freestyle results
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
1st - Tony Ramos, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Daton Fix, Sand Springs, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC), 2-2
3rd - Zach Sanders, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Frank Perrelli, Charlottesville, Va. (TMWC), 4-3
5th - David Terao, Washington, D.C. (DCAC) tech. fall Brent Fleetwood, Smyrna, Del. (Bison WC), 10-0 3:15
7th - Edward Klimara, Joliet, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Skyler Petry, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 10-0 0:19
61 kg/134 lbs.
1st - Joe Colon, Fresno, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Nahshon Garrett, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids), 20-13
3rd - Nico Megaludis, Murrysville, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) tech. fall Tyler Graff, Blacksburg, Va. (TMWC), 10-0 5:34
5th - Brandon Wright, Indianapolis, Ind. (New York AC/Indiana WC) inj. dft. Seth Gross, Rosemount, Minn. (Sunkist Kids)
7th - Darrius Little, Bethlehem, Pa. (New York AC/LVWC) dec. Jens Lantz, Ellsworth, Wis. (University of Wisconsin), 5-4
65 kg/143 lbs.
1st - Joseph McKenna, Towaco, N.J. (OSC-unattached) dec. Jaydin Eierman, Columbia, Mo. (Missouri Wrestling RTC), 7-3
3rd - Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Nicholas Dardanes, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC), 13-2 4:07
5th - Jayson Ness, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) tech. fall Evan Henderson, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0 1:44
7th - John Simmons, Williamston, Mich. (New York AC/MWC) tech. fall Robbie Mathers, Phoenix, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids), 10-0 1:02
70 kg/154 lbs.
1st - Jason Chamberlain, Fresno, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Hayden Hidlay, Lewistown, Pa. (Wolfpack WC), 4-1
3rd - Alec Pantaleo, Canton, Mich. (Michigan RTC) dec. Dylan Ness, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 8-2
5th - Ryan Deakin. Broomfield, Colo. (Northwestern) inj. dft. Frank Molinaro, Blacksburg, Va. (Titan Mercury WC)
7th - Griffin Parriott, Webster, Minn. (Boilermaker RTC) VPO1 Josh Reyes, Corvallis, Ore. (Orange Crush WC), 2-1
74 kg/163 lbs.
1st - Isaiah Martinez, Leemore, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Dan Vallimont, Philadelphia, Pa. (New York AC/Penn RTC), 10-0
3rd - Jake Sueflohn, Watertown, Wis. (Boilermaker RTC) tech. fall Quinton Godley, Raleigh, N.C. (Wolfpack WC), 11-0
5th - Evan Wick, San Gabriel, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC/ Univ. of Wisconsin) tech. fall Carson Brolsma, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 10-0, 1:59
7th -Taleb Rahmani, Marysville, Ohio (Pittsburgh WC) tech. fall Nicholas Bonomo, Downers Grove, Ill. (Warhawk WC), 13-2 3:23
79 kg/174 lbs.
1st - Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Alex Dieringer, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC), 5-5
3rd - Joshua Asper, Annapolis, Md. (Navy-Marine Corps RTC) dec. Michael Evans, Lillington, N.C. (Buies Creek RTC), 6-1
5th - Nathan Jackson, Princeton, N.J. (NJRTC) tech. fall Ben Harvey West Point, N.Y. (Army West Point), 10-0 4:30
7th - Stacey Davis, Raleigh, N.C. (Wolfpack WC) tech. fall Michael Thelen, Aurora, Colo. (Western Colorado WC), 11-0 1:18
86 kg/189 lbs.
1st - David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Richard Perry, Philadelphia, Pa. (New York AC/Penn RTC), 8-0
3rd - Nick Reenan, Dallas, Texas (Wolfpack WC) tech. fall Timothy Dudley Columbia, S.C. (Sunkist Kids), 10-0, 1:45
5th - Austin Coburn, Moseley, Va. (Predator) inj. dft. Ryan McWatters, Hesperia, Calif. (Unattached)
7th - Pat Downey, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Brandon Supernaw, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Western Colorado WC), 10-0 0:26
92 kg/202.5 lbs.
1st - J’den Cox, Columbia, Mo. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Hayden Zillmer, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 2-0
3rd - Enock Francois. Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC/FLWC) pin Deron Winn, Ames, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC), 1:32
5th - Nikko Reyes, Fresno, Calif. (Valley RTC) inj. dft. Timmy McCall, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC)
7th - Cody Walters, Lattimore, N.C. (Bulldog Elite WC) tech. fall Jeremiah Imonode, West Point, N.Y. (Army West Point), 10-0 2:05
97 kg/213 lbs.
1st - Austin Schafer, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC/FLWC) dec. Ty Walz, Blacksburg, Va. (Titan Mercury WC), 14-7
3rd - Kyven Gadson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) dec. Nathan Burak, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC), 3-2
5th - Ben Honis, Jamesville, N.Y (Cornell University) dec. Ross Larson, Des Moines, Iowa (Viking WC), 13-11
7th - Braden Atwood, Highl