The first of two Final X sessions to select the U.S. World Championships team for 2019 showcased Tamyra Mensah-Stock as one of the emerging stars in women’s wrestling. She dominated Alexandria Glaude to win the 68 kg division at Piscataway, New Jersey and confirmed her status as one of the medal favorites at the 2019 Worlds.
Ranked no. 2 worldwide and a 2018 Worlds bronze medalist, Mensah-Stock won both of her bouts vs. Glaude decisively, pinning her in 4:50 in the first bout and then scoring a 10-0 technical fall to secure her spot on the U.S. team.
Mensah-Stock was one of three 2018 World Championships medal winners on the mat on Saturday, and all three logged wins to earn their spot on the U.S. team for 2019. World 92 kg Champion J’Den Cox defeated Bo Nickal by 4-2 and 5-0 to sweep his series and Nick Gwiazdowski – the Worlds bronze medalist last year at 125 km – edged Gable Stevenson in 4-4 and 3-3 matches that were decided on criteria.
While the 2018 medalists were three-for-three in their Final X contests, the U.S. Open winners won only half of their bouts against the Team Trials Challenge victors:
● Men/Freestyle: There were plenty of raised eyebrows when Yianni Diakomihalis defeated Zain Retherford at the U.S. Open at 65 kg. But this time Retherford was in charge and will once again represent the U.S. at the Worlds – as in 2017 – with 10-4 and 6-6 (criteria) wins. It looked like Diakomihalis won the second bout, 8-6, but a protest from Retherford’s camp initiated a review and the score was revised to 6-6, which allowed Retherford to win on criteria.
● Men/Greco-Roman: Max Nowry (55 kg), Ellis Coleman (67 kg) and Joe Rau (87 kg) were U.S. Open winners who won, but Pat Smith reversed his loss to Kamal Bey at 77 kg (two bouts to one) and John Stefanowicz upset two-time U.S. Open winner Kendrick Sanders (2-0).
● Women/Freestyle: Whitney Conder (59 kg) and Forrest Molinari (65 kg) won their divisions as they did the U.S. Open, but Jenna Burkert (57 kg) and Victoria Francis (72 kg) reversed their losses at the U.S. Open and will represent the U.S. at the Worlds.
Eleven of the 13 bouts were decided in sweeps; only the Smith vs. Bey (Greco: 77 kg) and Molinari vs. Maya Nelson (Women/Freestyle: 65 kg) went to third bouts.
There were two other contests scheduled, but World 86 kg Champion David Taylor was injured and Pat Downey will be the U.S. entry at that eight. World 79 kg Champion Kyle Dake is also injured, but requested a wrestle-off at a later date – which was granted – against Alex Dieringer.
The final Final X contests will take place next week in Lincoln, Nebraska to settle the final 15 U.S. entries for the World Championships. Summaries:
USA Wrestling Final X
Piscataway, New Jersey (USA) ~ 8 June 2019
(Full results here)
65 kg: Zain Retherford d. Yianni Daikomihalis, 2-0 (10-4, 6-6)
92 kg: J’Den Cox d. Bo Nickal, 2-0 (4-2, 5-0)
125 kg: Nick Gwiazdowski d. Gable Steveson, 2-0 (4-4, 3-3).
55 kg: Max Nowry d. Brady Koontz, 2-0 (3-0, 11-5).
67 kg: Ellis Coleman d. Jamel Johnson, 2-0 (9-1, 6-0).
77 kg: Pat Smith d. Kamal Bey, 2-1 (2-11, 2-1, 6-3).
82 kg: John Stefanowicz d. Kendrick Sanders, 2-0 (8-5, 3-2).
87 kg: Joe Rau d. Ben Provisor, 2-0 (2-1, 5-1).
57 kg: Jenna Burkert d. Becka Leathers, 2-0 (4-2, 5-0).
59 kg: Whitney Conder d. Victoria Anthony, 2-0 (7-4, pin 1:57).
65 kg: Forrest Molinari d. Maya Nelson, 2–1 (3-5, 12-2, 4-1).
68 kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock d. Alexandria Glaude, 2-0 (pin 4:50, 10-0)
72 kg: Victoria Francis d. Alyvia Fiske, 2-0 (7-2, pin 3:30).