The last Final X is upon us, as USA Wrestling takes over Lehigh’s Leeman-Turner Arena at Grace Hall in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The event will wrap up three weeks of Final X – the first year of determining wrestling’s World Team members in three different cities across the country.

After Final X Lincoln saw two members of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club claim their spots on the world stage two weeks ago, we look out west as former Panther, Joe Colon, tries to secure his spot as the top man at 61 kilograms. Colon wrestled for UNI in 2012 and 2014, posting the best career winning percentage all-time at the school, winning the 2014 MAC tournament at 133 pounds and placing third in the country that same year.

More recently Colon took home first place for the United States at the Pan Am

Joe Colon
(Photo: Tony Rotundo | Wrestlers Are Warriors)

Championships in Lima, Peru. The former Panther won four matches in dominating fashion, racking up three tech falls and one fall. He also wrestled a match in the 2018 World Cup in Iowa City, getting a 6-4 win over India’s Sandeep Tomar.

Colon got to Bethlehem by winning the US Open, wrestling to his seed as number one. He dominated the field until the quarterfinals when the opponent talent went up significantly in Nico Megaludis, Brandon Wright, and Nahshon Garrett. He actually trailed in all three of his final matches, but if Colon was uncomfortable at all though he didn’t show it, winning 5-3, 7-5, and 20-13 against each, respectively.

Garrett gave Colon all he could handle, and will get at least two more tries to try to wear him out. Garrett has credentials of his own, winning the 2017 Guelph International, earning second at the 2017 US Open, the 2018 US Open, and earning silver at the Dave Schultz Memorial International tournament. In the latter two tournaments, dropping final matches to Saturday’s opponent, Joe Colon.

The matches Saturday night should be explosive, high-scoring affairs, if their past battles have anything to do with it. The two combined for over thirty points in their US Open final and Colon put 14 on the board in their first match at the Dave Schultz, winning by tech fall 14-3. Garrett has closed the gap since losing that first match and it will be interesting to see if he can finally get at least one win over Colon.

In addition to the first place matches there will be seven true third place matches before the main card on Saturday. Current Hawkeye Wrestling Club member Lauren Louive will wrestle Kelsey Campbell at 59 kilos on the women’s side. Tony Ramos, former Hawkeye and HWC member, will wrestle Zach Sanders at 57 kilos, while former Cyclone Pat Downey will take on Richard Perry at 86 kilograms.


Saturday, June 23 at Grace Hall, Bethlehem, Pa.
Bout Order for Main Card at 7:00 p.m.

Bout One – Men’s freestyle 61 kg
Joe Colon, Fresno, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC/Valley RTC) vs Nahshon Garrett, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)

Bout Two – Women’s freestyle 50 kg
Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP) vs Victoria Anthony, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)

Bout Three – Men’s freestyle 92 kg
J’den Cox, Columbia, Mo. (Titan Mercury WC) vs Hayden Zillmer, Crosby, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)

Bout Four – Women’s freestyle weight classes 53 kg
2018 U.S. Open champion – Sarah Hildebrandt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) vs Haley Augello, Lockport, Ill. (New York AC)

Bout Five – Women’s freestyle 65 kg
2018 U.S. Open champion – Julia Salata, Bristol, Tenn. (New York AC) vs Forrest Molinari, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)

Bout Six – Men’s freestyle 125 kg
Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC) vs Adam Coon, Fowlerville, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)


NOTE: A preliminary card of True Third matches for the 2018-19 U.S. National Team will be held starting at 5:00 p.m. A true-third wrestle-off occurs when the overall runner-up and third-place finishers from the Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge Tournament did not meet in the bracket. According to approved team selection procedures, the runner-up and third-place athlete must wrestle off to determine the No. 3 spot on the National Team.

Women’s freestyle

53 kg: Runner-up Cody Pfau (Titan Mercury) vs. third-place Gabrielle Weyhrich (Bearcat WC)

59 kg: Runner-up Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids) vs. third-place Lauren Louive (Hawkeye WC)

68 kg: Runner-up Yvonne Galindo (Aries WC) vs. third-place Alex Glaude (Bearcat WC)

Men’s freestyle

57 kg: Runner-up Tony Ramos (Sunkist Kids) vs. third-place Zach Sanders (Minnesota Storm)

65 kg: Runner-up Jaydin Eierman (Titan Mercury) vs. third-place Andy Simmons (New York AC)

86 kg: Runner-up Richard Perry (New York AC) vs. third-place Pat Downey (Titan Mercury)

97 kg: Runner-up Austin Schafer (New York AC) vs. third-place Ty Walz (Titan Mercury)