In just over three week’s time the U.S. Men’s Freestyle circuit will ratchet up the intensity, with the 2017 U.S. Open set to take place in Las Vegas on April 25th-29th. A lot will be on the line at the Open as the top seven wrestlers from each weight will qualify for the World Team Trials held in Lincoln, Nebraska later this summer.
That said the Hawkeye Wrestling Club competitors have been anything but quiet with a trio of wrestlers bringing home hardware from separate International competitions.
Competing at 97 kg, Nathan Burak brought home a silver medal at the Paris International tournament in the month of January defeating Wladimir Remel of Germany 7-2 and winning by tech fall agaisnt Maxime Francois of France. Burak fell in the final 7-0 to Ivan Yankouski from Belarus.
At that same tournament Bobby Telford lost his first round match against 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Geno Petriashvili from Georgia by tech fall and he would later finish fifth at the tournament, falling to former World Team member Zach Rey in the bronze medal match, 1-1 on criteria. Telford would go on to win silver at the Cerro Pelado International in Cuba the next month. He was ranked third in USA Wrestling’s January Men’s Freestyle rankings.
Finally, Nick Dardanes went 1-1 in Paris losing to fellow American Jimmy Kennedy in the quarterfinals, but bounced back to a bronze medal performance at the Cerro Pelado. His only loss in Cuba was to Franklin Maren a 2015 Pan American silver medalist. Dardanes is currently ranked eighth in USA’s January rankings.
As of now only Dan Dennis is the only member of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club to be officially qualified for the World Team Trials in June. Iowa’s 133-pound NCAA champion Cory Clark could also compete in the Trials though in his interview with Richard Immel, Clark said he does not plan to compete at the Trials this year.
Tom Brands also confirmed that Thomas Gilman, a 2014 Junior World medalist in freestyle, would also not be competing at the Open.
Hawkeye Wrestling Club – Men’s Freestyle Wrestlers
Chris Dardanes – 61 kg
Nick Dardanes – 65 kg
Nathan Burak – 97 kg
Bobby Telford – 125 kg