There are no short cuts in wrestling. Not in training, not in competition and not on the long road to making the U.S. team for the 2019 World Championships. The first step was the 2019 U.S. Open in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Over four days at the South Point Arena, all 30 classes in men’s and women’s Freestyle and Greco-Roman were contested with many of the winners moving on to the Final X selection tournament to select the U.S. team for the 2019 Worlds.
While Final X slots were already reserved for U.S. medal winners at the 2018 Worlds, there were three slots available in men’s Freestyle, nine in Greco-Roman and six in women’s Freestyle:
● Men’s Freestyle:
Daton Fix at 57 kg, Yianni Diakomihalis at 65 kg and Ryan Deakin at 70 kg all fought their way to Final X. Fix was U.S. Open runner-up in 2018, made it to Final X and lost two tough matches to Tom Gilman. This time he was able to overcome Gilman, 8-4 and advance to Final X once again.
Diakomihalis was NCAA champion at 141 pounds and defeated 2017 World Team member Zain Retherford, 6-4, in the final. He was named Outstanding Wrestler in the men’s Freestyle tournament, having defeated 2016 Olympic team member Frank Molinaro earlier.
Deakin, the World Junior silver winner in 2017, was only sixth in the NCAA tournament this year at Northwestern, and came into the tournament seeded 10th. But he stunned everyone by defeating top-ranked (and former Worlds medalist) James Green, 8-6 in the final and earned a Final X berth. He may well see Green there again.
● Women’s Freestyle:
There were six spots available, with five claimed by women who were 2018 Final X participants:
50 kg: Whitney Conder
55 kg: Jacarra Winchester
57 kg: Becca Leathers
59 kg: Alli Ragan
65 kg: Forrest Molinari
All five were either World Championships Team members or prior Worlds medalists (Ragan and Leathers). The last spot, at 72 kg, went to Alvia Fiske.
Only Adam Coon, at 130 kg, the Worlds silver winner last year, had a Final X spot locked up, so the other nine winners all advanced to Final X. Seven of those will be repeaters in Final X:
55 kg: Max Nowry
63 kg: Ryan Mango
67 kg: Ellis Coleman
72 kg: RaVaughn Perkins
77 kg: Kamal Bey
87 kg: Pat Martinez
97 kg: G’Angelo Hancock
For those advancing to Final X, training will be focused on June. But before then is the Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina from 16-19 May. It’s all part of the long road to the Worlds. Summaries from Las Vegas:
USA Wrestling U.S. Open
Las Vegas, Nevada (USA) ~ 25-27 April 2019
(Full results here)
57 kg/ Final: Daton Fix d. Thomas Gilman, 8-4; Third: Zane Richards d. Vito Arujau, 8-2. Fifth: Darian Cruz d. Nathan Tomasello, forfeit. Seventh: Frank Perrelli d. Zach Sanders, 2-1.
61 kg/ Final: Cody Brewer pinned Nico Megaludis (3:32). Third: Joey Palmer d. Tyler Graff, 2-2 (criteria). Fifth: Cory Clark d. Anthony Ramos, 7-4. Seventh: Earl Hall d. Beau Bartlett, 8-6.
65 kg/ Final: Yianni Diakomihalis d. Zain Retherford, 6-4. Third: Jayson Ness pinned Frank Molinaro (1:45). Fifth: Jaydin Eierman d. Jordan Oliver, forfeit. Seventh: Kanen Storr d. B.J. Futrell, forfeit.
70 kg/ Final: Ryan Deakin d. James Green, 8-6. Third: Jason Nolf d. Alec Pantaleo, 10-6. Fifth: Brandon Sorenson d. Nazar Kulchytskyy, forfeit. Seventh: Jason Chamberlain tech.fall Anthony Collica, 11-0.
74 kg/ Final: Isaiah Martinez d. Tommy Gantt, 6-4; Third: Anthony Valencia d. Logan Massa, 4-4. Fifth: Brian Murphy tech.fall Dan Vallimont, 10-0. Seventh: Jared Frayer tech.fall Quinton Godley, 15-4.
79 kg/ Final: Alex Dieringer tech.fall Chance Marsteller, 11-0; Third: Nick Becker tech.fall Matthew Finesliver, 11-0; Fifth: Geno Morelli tech.fall Stacey Davis, 17-5; Seventh: Ben Harvey d. C.J. Brucki, 10-4,
86 kg/ Final: Pat Downey d. Nick Heflin, 10-4; Third: Sammy Brooks d. Brett Pfarr, 7-3; Fifth: Nate Jackson d. Myles Martin, forfeit; Seventh: Kenneth Courts d. Maxwell Dean, forfeit.
92 kg/ Final: Bo Nickal tech.fall Hayden Zilmer, 13-3; Third: Michael Macchiavello d. T.J. Dudley, medical forfeit; Fifth: Kollin Moore tech.fall Riley Lefever, 15-4; Seventh: Timmy McCall d. Scottie Boykin, 8-6.
97 kg/ Final: Kyven Gadson d. Benjamin Honis, 5-0; Third: Danny Chaid d. Ty Walz, 5-5;
Fifth: Kevin Beazley d. Michael Boykin, forfeit; Seventh: Wynn Michalak d. Jeremiah Imonode, 3-2.
125 kg/ Final: Adam Coon d. Tony Nelson, 5-2; Third: Dom Bradley d. Derek White, 3-3; Fifth: Youssif Hemida pinned Tate Orndorff (1:14); Seventh: Garrett Ryand.James Romero, forfeit.
55 kg/ Final: Max Nowry d. Dalton Duffield, 5-3. Third: Jabari Moody pinned Ibrahim Bunduka, 2:00. Fifth: Britain Longmire d. Jemone Carter, 8-0. Seventh: Joe Deangelo d. Bernardino Gomez, forfeit.
60 kg/ Final: Leslie Fuenffinger d. Ildar Hafizov, 6-4. Third: Dalton Roberts d. Randon Miranda, 6-0. Fifth: Taylor Lamont d. Matthew Schmitt, 4-4 (criteria). Seventh: Devon Jackson tech.fall Joshua Wright, 8-0.
63 kg/ Final: Ryan Mango tech.fall Sam Jones, 9-1. Third: Travis Rice tech.fall Kyle Evans, 10-0. Fifth: Nathan Cervantez d. Xavier Johnson, forfeit. Seventh: Dylan Gregerson d. Christopher Anderson, 10-8.
67 kg/ Final: Ellis Coleman tech.fall Hayden Tuma, 12-3. Third: Jamel Johnson d. Austin Morrow, 5-0. Fifth: Jarod Verkleeren tech.fall Morgan Flaharty, 12-4. Seventh: Jessy Williams tech.fall Daniel Van Hoose, 10-2.
72 kg/ Final: Raymond Bunker d. RaVaughn Perkins, 4-3. Third: Michael Hooker d. Lenny Merkin, 13-10. Fifth: Nick Tarpley d. Colin Schubert, 4-4 (criteria). Seventh: Connor Myers d. Eleazar Deluca, injury default.
77 kg/ Final: Kamal Bey d. Pat Smith, 7-5. Third: Mason Manville d. Corey Hope, 3-0. Fifth: Jesse Porter tech.fall Peyton Walsh, 8-0. Seventh: Tyler Dow d. Brandon Mueller.
82 kg/ Final: Kendrick Sanders tech.fall Spencer Woods, 10-0. Third: Chandler Rogers tech.fall Terrence Zaleski, 8-0. Fifth: John Stefanowicz (Marines) d. Cheney Haight, forfeit. Seventh: Carter Nielsen d. Jacob Fisher, 7-5.
87 kg/ Final: Joe Rau d. Patrick Martinez, 3-1. Third: Ben Provisor tech.fall Vaughn Monreal-Berner, 9-0 (1:37). Fifth: James Souza d. Barrett Stanghill, forfeit. Seventh: George Sikes d. Haszell West, forfeit.
97 kg/ Final: G’Angelo Hancock d. Lucas Sheridan, 9-0. Third: Daniel Miller tech.fall Eric Twohey, 9-1. Fifth: Khymba Johnson tech.fall Blake Smith, 8-0. Seventh: Orry Elor d. Easton Hargrave, 12-7.
130 kg/ Final: Jacob Mitchell d. Tate Orndorff, 7-0. Third: Toby Erickson tech.fall Haydn Maley, 8-0. Fifth: West Cathcart tech.fall Ike Okoli, 8-0. Seventh: Thomas Helton tech.fall Zach Schrader, 9-0.
50 kg/ Final: Whitney Conder d. Erin Golston, 7-0. Third: Victoria Anthony pinned Haley Augello, 0:24. Fifth: Amy Fearnside d. Emily Shilson, 12-3. Seventh: Alleida Martinez d. Maria Vidales, 8-0.
53 kg/ Final: Tiare Ikei tech.fall Katherine Shai, 14-4. Third: Gracie Figueroa d. Cody Pfau, forfeit. Fifth: Peyton Prussin d. Marissa Ritchie, 10-6. Seventh: Madison Angelito tech.fall Kierstien Bush, 10-0.
55 kg/ Final: Jacarra Winchester tech.fall Areana Villaescusa, 10-0. Third: Dominique Parrish tech.fall Alisha Howk (Sunkist Kids), 10-0. Fifth: Shauna Isbell-Kemp d. Alexandra Hedrick, 4-3. Seventh: Ronna Heaton (Sunkist Kids) d. Samantha Klingel, forfeit.
57 kg/ Final: Becka Leathers d. Jenna Burkert, 7-5. Third: Cameron Guerin pinned Kelsey Campbell, 0:57. Fifth: Allison Petix d. Koral Sugiyama, 8-8. Seventh: Dajan Treder tech.fall Sierra Brown-Ton, 12-2.
59 kg/ Final: Alli Ragan tech.fall Abigail Nette, 10-0. Third: Lauren Mason d. Lauren Louive, 2-2 (criteria). Fifth: Megan Black pinned Maya Porter, 1:52. Seventh: Daishea Jaime tech.fall Alayna Swilley, 10-0.
62 kg/ Final: Kayla Miracle tech.fall Desiree Zavala, 10-0. Third: Alexis Porter d. Brenda Reyna, injury default. Fifth: Alexandria Liles pinned Amber Strong, 1:22. Seventh: Natalia Hinojo d. Bridgette Duty, forfeit.
65 kg/ Final: Forrest Molinari d. Maya Nelson, 5-1. Third: Macey Kilty tech.fall Nicole Joseph, 11-0. Fifth: Destiny Lyng d. Julia Salata, forfeit. Seventh: Gabrielle Garcia pinned Melissa Jacobs, 1:56.
68 kg/ Final: Randi Beltz d. Jayden Laurent, 10-1. Third: Ashlynn Ortega d. Kayla Marano, 6-1. Fifth: Skylar Grote tech.fall Anna Naylor, 10-0. Seventh: Marilyn Garcia tech.fall Ophelia Lara, 12-2.
72 kg/ Final: Alyvia Fiske d. Victoria Francis, 5-4. Third: Iman Kazem tech.fall Lena Flanagan, 13-2 . Fifth: Rachel Watters d. Alexis Gomez, forfeit. Seventh: Dymond Guilford tech.fall Myranda Velazquez, 10-0.
76 kg/ Final: Precious Bell pinned Hannah Gladden. Third: Korinahe Bullock d. Nahiela Magee, 4-4 (criteria). Fifth: Kenya-Lee Sloan d. Paige Baynes, forfeit. Seventh: Payton Rigert d. Leilani Camargo-Naone forfeit.