Date: April 17th-19th, 2014
Time: Click here for full schedule
Location: Las Vegas Convention Center- Las Vegas, NV
Online: FLOwrestling.org (Early round matches)
TV: Universal Sports Network. Friday 7PM Semi-Finals and Saturday 7PM FINALS
It seems like just yesterday we were trying to save Olympic wrestling and now we are just two years away from the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This year the U.S. Open in Las Vegas will have TONS of wrestling from several different age groups. Here is a list of all the divisions that will be competing this weekend: US Senior Open, the Junior National Championships (ages 17-20), the Western Junior Regional (high school athletes in grades 9-12), and the Veterans National Championship for athletes older than 30.
The Hawkeyes have four wrestlers competing in the US Senior Open and eight wrestling in the Junior Nationals.
US Senior Open
61 kg/134 lbs.
1. Reece Humphrey, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
2. Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)
3. B.J. Futrell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (Titan Mercury WC/Cliff Keen WC)
4. Coleman Scott, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC)
5. Tyler Graff, Loveland, Colo. (New York AC)
6. Alan Waters, Kansas City, Mo. (Sunkist Kids/Missouri RTC)
7. Matt McDonough, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
8. Devin Carter, Blacksburg, Va.
9. Joe Colon, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Panther WC)
10. Brandon Wright, Des Moines, Iowa (Viking WC)
Two-time NCAA champion Matt McDonough has a tall hill to climb but this is his first year being full-time so a lot of people don’t know what he is capable of at this level. From the people I have talked to Matt is at full strength after surgery and is eager to perform on a big stage like the US Open.
65 kg/143 lbs.
1. Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC)
2. Kellen Russell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)
3. Jordan Oliver, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC)
4. Logan Stieber, Monroeville, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
5. Chase Pami, Champaign, Ill. (Sunkist Kids/Illinois RTC)
6. Frank Molinaro, New Brunswick, N.J. (Scarlet Knight WC)
7. Jason Chamberlain, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska RTC)
8. Adam Hall, New York, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC)
9. Montell Marion, College Park, Md. (Titan Mercury WC)
10. Drew Headlee, Waynesburg, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
Brent Metcalf has proven that he is the man to beat at this weight class and holy heck it is a strong weight class to be the favorite in. Kellen Russell, Jordan Oliver and Logan Stieber are not new to this scene or winning big titles. They have a combined 7 NCAA Championships and more than enough hardware in freestyle tournaments for me to list. Metcalf has been widely criticized since he graduated from Iowa and it is always great to see him shut the critics up.
86 kg/189 lbs.
1. Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
2. Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (Cowboy WC/GRIT Athletics)
3. Phil Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
4. Jon Reader, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/OTC)
5. Raymond Jordan, Atlanta, Ga. (Sunkist Kids)
6. Ed Ruth, Harrisburg, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
7. Robert Hamlin, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
8. Enock Francois, New Windsor, N.Y. (West Point WC)
9. Austin Trotman, Boone, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC)
10. Quentin Wright, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
Phil Keddy is now a veteran on the international circuit. Look at the competitors he is ranked above and a lot of you will probably think to yourself, “No way”. Yes way! Ed Ruth is a name that sticks out to me at this weight class that can be a contender. Gavin and Foster both could be considered the favorites so look for them both to be wrestling for the title. My pick to win would be Foster.
97 kg/213 lbs.
1. J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
2. Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
3. Chris Pendleton, Laramie, Wyo. (Titan Mercury WC)
4. Dustin Kilgore, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/OTC)
5. Wynn Michalak, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC)
6. Deron Winn, Ames, Iowa (Cyclone WC)
7. Cam Simaz, Ithaca, N.Y. (Finger Lakes WC)
8. Jack Jensen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
9. David Zabriskie, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
10. Evan Brown, Dubuque, Iowa (Cyclone WC)
Burak made the U.S. University World Team in 2013 so we know he can wrestle this style and be successful. Burak finished fourth at the Schultz tournament and will look to build on that momentum in the US Open. Really see Burak in the 8-10 range on a good US Open. 213lbs seems like a big weight class for Burak’s build but we will see how he looks compared to the other guys this weekend.
Full Rankings HERE
FILA Junior Championships
Phillip Laux – 55kg
Last year Thomas Gilman won this weight class and Phillip Laux looks to follow in his footsteps. Laux went 23-1 in open tournaments this year for the Hawkeyes. Being behind Gilman and Clark at 125 lbs has to be tough for Laux, but he is showing how much of a competitor he is by sticking it out and competing this weekend for the HWC. Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State) would be my favorite to win this weight class. Some others to look for at this weight class from the state of Iowa would be Tanner Rohweder from Iowa City West and Nolan Hellickson from Southeast Polk.
Topher Carton – 63kg
Carton went 23-7 this year for the Hawkeyes and is wrestling at 63KG. I’d really like to see him wrestle Joey McKenna from New Jersey. McKenna is the favorite to win this weight class so it would be nice to see what level McKenna (and Cartin) is really on.
Jake Marlin – 66kg
Redshirt Jake Marlin did not see a lot of mat time this year for the Hawkeyes and had several Iowa fans asking, “What’s up with Jake Marlin?” I don’t know the details and nor do I really care. The season is over and it is time to move on. I hope to see him come out guns a-blazing this weekend. Marlin has some tough company at this weight class. Aaron Pico will win this weight class but he is not the only heavy hitter. Zain Retherford and Jake Short stick out to me as potential wrestlers to give Mr. Pico trouble but they will have to catch him to beat him. Incoming recruit Seth Gross will also be wrestling at this weight class, but if he doesn’t win a lot of matches we shouldn’t get too concerned. This is a freestyle tournament, not folkstyle competition.
Brandon Sorenson- 70kg
Sorenson may be one of the most highly anticipated wrestlers to step on the mat for the Hawkeyes in quite a while. Sorensen went 24-4 this year during his redshirt campaign. I believe my first tweet after the 149 lb NCAA Championship a few weeks ago was to say “Watch for the name Brandon Sorenson next year.” This kid is powerful at all levels and has me excited about next year. This weight class could be for the taking and my money is on Sorenson.
Logan McQuillen- 74kg
McQuillen went 10-12 at 174lbs last year so it is great to see him continue to try and improve in the offseason.
Logan Thomsen- 74kg
Thomsen went 20-7 this past season and 14 of those wins were bonus point wins. I need to watch more of him before giving an opinion on his future as a Hawkeye.
Alex Meyer- 79kg
Alex Meyer received The John and Dorothy Sill Award for most dedicated wrestler along with redshirt freshman Thomas Gilman. Receiving that award is a testament to Alex Meyer’s work ethic. Meyer filled in for the Hawkeyes twice this year, recording a decision win over Patrick Kissel (Purdue), 5-3, and a technical fall against Kevin Nash (Michigan State), 21-6. Meyer will continue to get better and I think we will see his face in the lineup a lot more often next season.
Broc Berge- 96kg
Berge went 11-7 in his redshirt freshman year, which was a bit surprising to me. Berge was a highly recruited wrestler and has some good experience in freestyle. Berge should place towards the middle of the pack this weekend.