LAS VEGAS -- USA Wrestling saved the best for last on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Jordan Burroughs after defeating David Taylor in the finals (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)In the final match of the U.S. Open, Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs found himself in a 6-3 hole late in his finals match against David Taylor at 74 kilos. But the 25-year-old Burroughs dug deep, picking up two takedowns in the final 30 seconds, including the go-ahead takedown with 17 seconds remaining on the clock, to win 7-6 in dramatic fashion. He was named Outstanding Wrestler of the men's freestyle competition.
Burroughs, a three-time World level champion, has a bye to the best-of-three finals of the U.S. World Team Trials. He will face the winner of the challenge tournament at 74 kilos, which is expected to include Taylor and potentially Kyle Dake and Andrew Howe.
Another 2012 Olympic champion, Jake Varner, came through to win a U.S. Open title on Saturday night at 97 kilos. Varner, who did not compete in 2013, controlled Wynn Michalak from the opening whistle and won 4-0 in match that was never in doubt.
Of the eight champions crowned in the men's freestyle competition on Saturday night, only Burroughs and Keith Gavin (86 kilos) were U.S. Open champions a year ago.
Gavin, a U.S. World Team member last year, came in as the top seed and topped a red-hot Clayton Foster in the finals at 86 kilos, 7-4. Foster, a World Cup champion, started quickly, scoring two takedowns in the opening period to lead 4-0. But it was all Gavin the rest of the way as he scored seven unanswered points.
Returning U.S. World Team members Brent Metcalf (65 kilos) and Tevel Dlagnev (125 kilos) claimed titles on Saturday night to put them in a strong position to get back on the U.S. World Team this year. Both beat returning U.S. Open champions.
Metcalf came through arguably the deepest weight class in the men's freestyle competition, 65 kilos, which included past U.S. World Team members and Junior World medalists. Metcalf dominated Kellen Russell in the finals, 9-0, to win his first U.S. Open crown. The former University of Iowa wrestler led 1-0 after the opening period, but broke it wide open in the second period by scoring a variety of different ways. It was a rematch from last year's U.S. World Team Trials championship at 66 kilos, also won by Metcalf.
Dlagnev, a four-time World or Olympic team member, earned a 10-0 technical fall victory over past Junior World champion Dom Bradley in the finals at 125 kilos. Dlagnev scored quickly with a low level attack, and then immediately followed up the takedown with a series of tilts to finish the match in the first period.
Jimmy Kennedy (61 kilos) and Nick Marable (70), both ranked in the top 10 in the world, claimed their first U.S. Open titles.
Kennedy, who trains at the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club in Ann Arbor, Mich., defeated 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott, 7-2, in the finals at 61 kilos. The match was tied 2-2 at the end of the first period, but Kennedy pulled away in the second period, scoring two takedowns to secure the victory. It was Kennedy's first win ever over Scott.
Marable, who is best known in international wrestling for being the wrestler who snapped the 69-match win streak of Jordan Burroughs, grinded out a 5-1 victory over Moza Fay in the finals at 70 kilos.
Sam Hazewinkel won his second U.S. Open title at 55 kilos, coming through as the No. 4 seed, which was the lowest seeded of any of the eight freestyle champions. He blanked Andrew Hochstrasser, 11-0, in the finals.
The Titan Mercury Wrestling Club finished with the team championship in the men's freestyle competition.
Spenser Mango defeated longtime teammate Joe Betterman (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)In the Greco-Roman competition, six of the eight titlists on Saturday night were U.S. World Team members last year. Those wrestlers include Spenser Mango (55 kilos), Justin Lester (71 kilos), Andy Bisek (74 kilos), Jordan Holm (86 kilos), Caylor Williams (98 kilos), and Robby Smith (130 kilos).
Mango won his sixth U.S. Open title, edging four-time U.S. Open champion and U.S. Army teammate Joe Betterman in the finals on criteria. The match ended 1-1, but Mango won by scoring last. Betterman had beaten Mango in a previous meeting earlier this year at the Dave Schultz Memorial.
Lester, a two-time World bronze medalist, captured his fifth U.S. Open title with a dominating 12-3 victory in the finals at 71 kilos over Pat Smith of the Minnesota Storm. Smith, a past University Nationals champion, scored with a takedown and pushout to lead 3-0 early. But Lester dominated the rest of the way, scoring with a series of takedowns and throws to run away with the victory.
Bisek, a two-time U.S. World Team member, won a low-scoring battle over Jon Anderson of the U.S. Army, 3-1, in the finals at 74 kilos. Bisek was pushed in multiple matches throughout the tournament, but was able to find ways to win and come through as the No. 1 seed.
Holm won his third U.S. Open title by blanking Minnesota Storm teammate Zac Nielsen, 8-0, in the finals at 85 kilos. He finished the competition with two shutout victories and a fall.
Williams and Smith both won their first U.S. Open titles. Williams topped John Wechter, 2-0, in the finals at 98 kilos. Smith rolled to a 12-0 shutout victory over Toby Erickson in the finals at 130 kilos.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the Greco-Roman competition came at 66 kilos, where RaVaughn Perkins earned a fall over 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman. Perkins trailed 4-1 in the second period before using a body lock to put Coleman on his back and earn the fall. Perkins earned Outstanding Wrestler honors in the Greco-Roman competition.
Rising star Kendrick Sanders broke through to win his first U.S. Open title, beating Greco-Roman veteran Aaron Sieracki, 2-1, in the finals at 80 kilos. Last year Sanders was a runner-up at the U.S. Open and finished third at the U.S. World Team Trials.
The team titles in Greco-Roman went to the U.S. Army in Division I and the Minnesota Storm in Division II.
Alyssa Lampe proved to be too much for Victoria Anthony (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)World medalists Alyssa Lampe, Helen Maroulis, and Elena Pirozhkova were among the eight champions crowned in the women's freestyle competition on Saturday night.
Lampe, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, proved to be too much for two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony in the finals at 48 kilos. Lampe, a two-time returning World bronze medalist, earned a 10-0 technical fall victory over Anthony, who advanced to the finals by defeating Clarissa Chun, an Olympic bronze medalist and World champion.
Maroulis, a World silver medalist, also won by technical fall in the finals without surrendering a point. Her finals victory came over WCWA national champion Sarah Hildebrandt, 11-0. She was named Outstanding Wrestler in the women's freestyle competition.
Pirozhkova, a World champion and 2012 Olympian, shut out Erin Clodgo, 3-0, in the finals at 63 kilos. It was Pirozhkova's sixth U.S. Open title.
Randi Miller claimed her first U.S. Open title since 2008 with a 3-1 victory in the finals over 2013 World Team member Veronica Carlson at 69 kilos. Miller was an Olympic bronze medalist in 2008, but stepped away from the sport for five years and competed in MMA.
Jennifer Page (60 kilos) and Jackie Cataline (75 kilos) both became first-time U.S. Open champions with falls in the finals, and both were dominant throughout the two-day competition.
Page, competing at 60 kilos, won her first match by technical fall, and then followed it up with 5-0 shutout in the semifinals, before earning a fall over Jenna Burkert in the finals.
Cataline had two technical fall shutout victories en route to reaching the finals at 75 kilos. In the finals she pinned Iris Smith, a past World champion and five-time U.S. Open champion, with a half nelson.
Whitney Conder (53 kilos) and Alli Ragan (58 kilos) both won their second U.S. Open titles. Conder edged Katherine Fulp-Allen, 2-0, in the finals at 53 kilos. Ragan, a returning World Team member, won by fall in the first period over Trinity Griffin in the championship match at 58 kilos.
Team championships in the women's freestyle competition went to the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club in Division I and the Sunkist Kids in Division II.
The top seven finishers in the Olympic weight classes qualify for the U.S. World Team Trials. This year's Trials for men's freestyle and women's freestyle take place May 31-June 1 in Madison, Wis. The Trials for Greco-Roman are set for June 12-13 in Daytona Beach, Fla.
57 kilos: Sam Hazewinkel tech. fall Andrew Hochstrasser, 11-0
61 kilos: Jimmy Kennedy dec. Coleman Scott, 7-2
65 kilos: Brent Metcalf dec. Kellen Russell, 9-0
70 kilos: Nick Marable dec. Moza Fay, 5-1
74 kilos: Jordan Burroughs dec. David Taylor, 7-6
86 kilos: Keith Gavin dec. Clayton Foster, 7-4
97 kilos: Jake Varner dec. Wynn Michalak, 4-0
125 kilos: Tevel Dlagnev tech. fall Dom Bradley, 10-0
59 kilos: Spenser Mango dec. Joe Betterman, 1-1
66 kilos: RaVaughn Perkins pinned Ellis Coleman, 4:30
71 kilos: Justin Lester tech. fall Pat Smith, 12-3
75 kilos: Andy Bisek dec. John Anderson, 3-1
80 kilos: Kendrick Sanders dec. Aaron Sieracki, 2-1
85 kilos: Jordan Holm tech. fall Zac Nielsen, 8-0
98 kilos: Caylor Williams dec. John Wechter, 2-0
130 kilos: Robby Smith tech. fall Toby Erickson, 8-0
48 kilos: Alyssa Lampe tech. fall Victoria Anthony, 10-0
53 kilos: Whitney Conder dec. Katherine Fulp-Allen, 2-0
55 kilos: Helen Maroulis tech. fall Sarah Hildebrandt, 11-0
58 kilos: Alli Ragan pinned Trinity Griffin, 2:21
60 kilos: Jennifer Page pinned Jenna Burkert, 1:53
63 kilos: Elena Pirozhkova dec. Erin Clodgo, 3-0
69 kilos: Randi Miller dec. Veronica Carlson, 3-1
75 kilos: Jackie Cataline pinned Iris Smith, 2:54