March Freestyle Rankings Powered by Adidas
Saturday marks the second opportunity for the men’s freestyle team to attempt to qualify their weight for the Olympics. The four athletes competing in Texas all sit at the top of the March Freestyle rankings. Representing Team USA in Frisco are Tony Ramos at 57kg, Brent Metcalf at 65kg, Jake Herbert at 86kg and Tervel Dlagnev at 125kg.
The second-to-last qualifier for the Olympic Team Trials is later this month. The winner of each of the 10 weight classes at the NCAA division 1 championships in New York City will be granted an automatic qualifying spot. The eyes will shift from Dr. Pepper Arena this weekend to Madison Square Garden the weekend of St. Patrick’s Day as the field gets filled out just a bit more.
1. Tony Ramos (1), Titan Mercury/Hawkeye WC*
2. Tyler Graff (2), NYAC/Scarlet Knight WC*
3. Dan Dennis (3), Titan Mercury/Hawkeye WC*
4. Coleman Scott (4), Sunkist Kids*
5. Sam Hazewinkel (5), Sunkist Kids*
6. Joe Colon (6), Titan Mercury/Panther WC*
7. Erkin Tadzhimetov (7), NYAC*
8. Angel Escobedo (8), NYAC*
9. Nathan Tomasello (9), Titan Mercury/Ohio RTC*
10. Alan Waters (NR), Missouri Wrestling Foundation*
This weight is not yet qualified for the Olympics. Tony Ramos has been America’s 57kg representative at worlds each of the past two years and will be attempting to make the finals on Saturday to qualify his weight for Rio. The primary obstacle standing in his way may be 2015 Pan Am Games gold medalist Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez, currently ranked eighth in the world at this weight by United World Wrestling. The Cuban has competed exclusively at 65kg since the world championships in Vegas, including just last week at the Pan Am championships, but will likely be down to weight for the qualifier. Ramos is 0-2 against Bonne, getting pinned at the World Cup in April and then teched 14-1 at the Salsa in the Square a month later.
Tyler Graff, Dan Dennis, Joe Colon and Alan Waters did not compete this past month. Graff is ranked No. 2 based on his 11-0 tech over Dennis in the semis at Bill Farrell. Dennis then won the Trials Qualifier in December, while Colon and Angel Escobedo took some losses. Coleman Scott won Pan Ams up at 61kg, while Hazewinkel won Pan Ams at 57kg. Tadzhimetov did not medal in going 1-2 at Medved and Escobedo went 2-1 did not medal at Yasar Dogu. Tomasello will attempt to win his second consecutive Big Ten title this weekend and is one of two undefeated wrestlers at his weight in the conference tournament.
1. Brent Metcalf (2), NYAC/Hawkeye WC*
2. James Green (1), Titan Mercury/NWTC*
3. Jordan Oliver (3), Sunkist Kids*
4. Jimmy Kennedy (4), NYAC/Cliff Keen WC*
5. Logan Stieber (5), Titan Mercury/Ohio RTC*
6. Reece Humphrey (6), NYAC/Ohio RTC*
7. Aaron Pico (7), Titan Mercury*
8. Frank Molinaro (9), Nittany Lion WC*
9. BJ Futrell (NR), Titan Mercury/CKWC
10. Kellen Russell (8), NYAC/Cliff Keen WC*
11. Jason Chamberlain (10), Titan Mercury*
This weight is not yet qualified for the Olympics. We finally got our first glimpse of Green down at 65kg and the results were underwhelming. Based on his performance at Yasar Dogu and the Pan Am championships, as well as USA Wrestling’s decision to use Metcalf for the qualifier, I have switched those two. While Metcalf lost a Russian backup at Yarygin in January, he has held down this spot for the past three years. Green lost his only match at Dogu to a Turkish backup, and then lost in the Pan Am finals to a young Venezuelan who has had some level of continental success at the cadet and junior levels. Oliver has not competed since winning the Bill Farrell in November, but has been runner-up the past two years at 65kg to Metcalf at World Team Trials.
Kennedy last competed at the Trials qualifier in December, beating Stieber 9-2 in the finals. He also has an 11-6 win over Logan in the true third match at WTT last year, which makes it harder to argue who will get the higher seed despite the Buckeye’s run of recent success overseas. Green and Humphrey went 0-1 at Yasar Dogu, but Reece bounced back with a bronze in Ukraine. Futrell beat Russell in Ukraine, and then lost to Stieber and Humphrey. Russell, Molinaro and Futrell all went 0-1 at Medved. Futrell beat Russell in Ukraine, and Molinaro won Pan Ams up at 70kg, so those two move up this month. Molinaro closed out the month with a 70kg title at Pan Ams.
1. Jordan Burroughs (1), Sunkist Kids*
2. Andrew Howe (2), NYAC*
3. Chris Perry (3), Titan Mercury*
4. Dan Vallimont (4), NYAC/Blue and Gold WC*
5. Kevin LeValley (5), Buffalo Valley RTC*
6. Nick Marable (6), Sunkist Kids*
7. Adam Hall (7), Titan Mercury*
8. Logan Massa (8), NYAC/Cliff Keen WC*
9. Anthony Valencia (9), Sunkist Kids
10. Andrew Sorensen (10), Panther Wrestling Club
This weight is qualified for the Olympics and Burroughs sits in the Trials Finals. Jordan won the Yasar Dogu and Pan Am championships in February, giving up just seven points in his eight matches. He had five shutouts and won seven of his matches by tech. Howe did not compete in February after going 3-2 to finish fifth at the Yarygin; he will likely be the top seed in the challenge tournament. Perry went 1-1 at Medved, but his win over Iranian 74kg Alireza Ghasemi at the Paris GP in January knocked Ghasemi out of the Olympic trials. Despite qualifying the weight for Rio with his 5th place finish in Vegas, the Iranian Wrestling Federation said he will not be able to participate in the wrestle-off with Hassan Yazdani for the spot.
Vallimont went 1-1 at Dogu. LeValley and Marable did not compete in Februray. Adam Hall 3-1 to get silver in Ukraine and 1-1 at Medved. Massa and Valencia did not compete in February. Sorensen went 0-1 in Ukraine. Keep an eye on Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma Stat at this weight. An overwhelming favorite to win NCAAs, he was a junior world silver medalist in 2013.
1. Jake Herbert (1), NYAC/Cliff Keen WC*
2. Kyle Dake (2), Titan Mercury*
3. David Taylor (3), Nittany Lion WC*
4. Keith Gavin (5), Titan Mercury*
5. Rich Perry (7), NYAC*
6. Jon Reader (6), Sunkist Kids*
7. Ed Ruth (4), Sunkist Kids*
8. Clayton Foster (8), GRIT*
9. Austin Trotman (9), Titan Mercury*
10. Deron Winn (10), Titan Mercury
This weight is not yet qualified for the Olympics, but Jake Hebert will attempt to change that this weekend. There is some concern about Herbert being selected to qualify the weight because he has never beaten the Cuban in his weight, Reineris Salas Perez, and also because he is coming off shoulder surgery just a few months ago. Depending on the draw though, it may not matter if Salas is on the opposite side of the bracket. Following the performance of Richard Perry at the Medved, I have moved him up to No. 5 this month. Perry pinned Sandro Aminashvili in the quarters, a world bronze medalist last year and the guy who beat Herbert in round one at worlds. He also beat Amarhajy Mahamedau of Belarus in the semis, so he has common opponent over the two top ranked guys in this weight domestically, but also suffered 11-0 losses at the trials qualifier to Taylor and Gavin. Dake went 2-1 at the Medved while Winn went 1-1 at Yasar Dogu.
1. Kyle Snyder (1), Titan Mercury/Ohio RTC*
2. Jake Varner (2), Nittany Lion WC*
3. JD Bergman (3), NYAC/Ohio RTC*
4. Wynn Michalak (4), Titan Mercury*
5. Kyven Gadson (5), Sunkist Kids/Cyclone WC*
6. Scott Schiller (6), Minnesota Storm*
7. Dustin Kilgore (7), Sunkist Kids*
8. Jeffery Felix (8), Titan Mercury/Cliff Keen WC*
9. Cayle Byers (9), Titan Mercury*
10. Enock Francois (10), NYAC*
This weight has been qualified for the Olympics and Kyle Snyder sits in the Trials finals. Snyder has now taken losses to two high level 97kg Russians, but his focus right now is on winning an individual NCAA and team championship for Ohio St. Byers went 0-1 in Ukraine and Felix went 2-2. Varner went 0-1 at Yasar Dogu while Schiller went 2-2. Kilgore went 1-1 in both Ukraine and at Medved, while Gadson and Francois both went 0-1.
1. Tervel Dlagnev (1), Sunkist Kids*
2. Zach Rey (2), Lehigh Valley WC*
3. Nick Gwiazdowski (3), NYAC*
4. Dom Bradley (4), Sunkist Kids*
5. Tyrell Fortune (5), Titan Mercury WC*
6. Bobby Telford (6), Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC*
7. Tony Nelson (7), Minnesota Storm*
8. Eric Thompson (8), Nittany Lion WC*
9. Connor Medbery (9), TMWC*
10. Matt Meuleners (10), TMWC*
This weight is not yet qualified for the Olympics. It appears Tervel Dlagnev is finally fully healthy. It was clear by the end of last year’s World Cup that Dlagnev was not 100%, but he was still able to win WTT. However, Tervel was a scratch at both the Pan Am Games and worlds, being replaced by Zach Rey. In reviewing the top-ranked NCAA wrestles at heavyweight, it appears the title may be won by someone who already knows their Olympic Trials fate. Rey went 2-2 at Yasar Dogu and 1-1 in Ukraine, with all three of his losses coming to world finalists. Bradley won the Pan Am championships. Nelson was the silver medalist at the Dogu, while Medbery brought home silver from Ukraine. Thompson went 0-1 at the Medved