Burroughs delivers again to make U.S. World Team

MADISON, Wis. -- Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs knew there was a lot on the line when he stood toe-to-toe with David Taylor in the best-of-three finals on the final day of the 2014 U.S. World Team Trials in Madison, Wisconsin.

Jordan Burroughs lifts David Taylor in the air off a double (Photo/Tony Rotundo,
Once again, Burroughs delivered when it mattered most. He defeated Taylor in two straight matches to get back on the U.S. World Team at 74 kilos.

"This is our well-being," said the 25-year-old Burroughs after his finals victory. "This is how we take care of ourselves. This is our legacy. We all want to become legendary in this sport."

In the first match Burroughs broke open a one-point match with a takedown and pushout in the final 40 seconds. The second match was a back-and-forth affair, and Taylor led 3-2 in the second period before Burroughs scored with consecutive takedowns to take control of the match.

"I wanted to go out there and basically fight and see if he wanted to fight back," said Burroughs.

Last year Burroughs defeated four-time NCAA champion Kyle Dake to make the U.S. World Team. This year it came over Taylor, who recently finished his collegiate wrestling career as a two-time NCAA champion and four-time NCAA finalist.

"I happen to be in the weight class with two of the best wrestlers in the last decade in Kyle Dake and David Taylor, and I'm still leading the charge," said Burroughs. "So despite all the negativity, despite all the doubters, when the smoke clears I'm always left standing."

Burroughs will now have an opportunity to win his fourth straight World or Olympic title.

"Each year brings its own adversity," said Burroughs. "Last year I broke my ankle when I was preparing for the World Championships. This year I've got a wife. I've got a baby on the way. August 3 is the due date. So I'm going to have to spend a lot of time away from my family at training camp in Italy, Colorado Springs and Arizona State.

"But tomorrow I'm going to go home and celebrate and mow my lawn, and sit on my porch and eat an ice cream cone with some rainbow sprinkles. That's the way I celebrate."

There were 12 champions crowed at the U.S. World Team Trials Saturday and Sunday in Madison (Photo/Larry Slater)
Brent Metcalf made his third U.S. World Team by defeating Jordan Oliver in two straight matches in the best-of-three finals at 65 kilos. In the first match Metcalf trailed 2-1 in the final period before scoring a takedown and pushout for the 4-2 victory. Metcalf controlled Oliver in the second match, 3-0, despite not registering a takedown. His points came off pushouts and the shot clock.

Metcalf has put together a strong season in international wrestling events. He went undefeated at the World Cup, and recently notched a win over world No. 1 Magomed Kurbanaliev of Russia. However, he has struggled at the World Championships.

"I think I've got a lot of experience on the international scene," said Metcalf. "We all know that. I know that. It's time to put it together and get what I want."

Ed Ruth, who recently finished his collegiate wrestling career at Penn State, made his first U.S. World Team by first coming through the challenge tournament, and then defeating Keith Gavin in the best-of-three finals at 86 kilos.

In the first match of the finals Ruth surrendered a 5-2 lead, giving up a pushout, takedown and turn in the final period to lose 7-5. Ruth came out a strong in the second match, scoring the first four points, and eventually earned a fall over Gavin in the second period. In the third and deciding match, Ruth overcame a 4-1 deficit to win a high-scoring battle, 11-7.

Ruth is not sure what to expect at the World Championships.

"Those guys wrestle a different style," said Ruth. "I'm willing to show them my style. They can show me theirs. I feel like I'm just going to have a lot of fun out there."

In the women's freestyle competition on Sunday, past World champions Elena Pirozhkova (63 kilos) and Adeline Gray (75 kilos) won titles, along with Whitney Conder (53 kilos).

Pirozhkova, who has won gold, silver and bronze medals at the World Championships, was pushed in the best-of-three finals at 63 kilos against Erin Clodgo. In the first match all four of Pirozhkova's points came off a first-period throw in a match she won 4-0. Clodgo came back to win the second match, 2-1, scoring the only takedown of the match with 1:40 remaining. Pirozhkova then eked out a hard-fought 2-1 victory in the third and deciding match, scoring both points off the shot clock.

"I definitely had a tough time this tournament," said Pirozhkova, who made her seventh World Team. "Sometimes it doesn't look pretty, but you just have to grit it out."

Gray, who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, won in two straight matches over Jackie Cataline in the best-of-three series at 75 kilos. Gray was dominant in the first match, earning a 10-0 technical fall. In the second match Cataline executed a headlock and put Gray in danger. But Gray fought off her back and battled back to win 7-5.

Said Gray of getting put to her back, "I'm trying to go a little more upper body, and anytime you do something out of your comfort zone you put yourself at risk in something that is traditionally not something you defend every day."

Conder made her second World Team by blanking Katherine Fulp-Allen in the best-of-three finals at 53 kilos. In the first match Conder scored off the shot clock in the first period and added a takedown in the second period for a 3-0 victory. In the second match she scored off the shot clock and picked up two takedowns, one in each period, for the 5-0 win.

The 12 champions crowned on Saturday and Sunday will compete at the World Championships, which take place in September in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Best-of-three finals results

Men's freestyle

65 kilos: Brent Metcalf over Jordan Oliver, 2 matches to 0
Match 1: Metcalf dec. Oliver, 4-2
Match 2: Metcalf dec. Oliver, 3-0

74 kilos: Jordan Burroughs over David Taylor, 2 matches to 0
Match 1: Burroughs dec. Taylor, 6-2
Match 2: Burroughs dec. Taylor, 6-5

86 kilos: Ed Ruth over Keith Gavin, 2 matches to 1
Match 1: Gavin dec. Ruth, 7-5
Match 2: Ruth pinned Gavin, 3:44
Match 3: Ruth dec. Gavin, 11-7

Women's freestyle

53 kilos: Whitney Conder over Katherine Fulp-Allen, 2 matches to 0
Match 1: Conder dec. Fulp-Allen, 3-0
Match 2: Conder dec. Fulp-Allen, 5-0

63 kilos: Elena Pirozhkova over Erin Clodgo, 2 matches to 1
Match 1: Pirozhkova dec. Clodgo, 4-0
Match 2: Clodgo dec. Pirozhkova, 2-1
Match 3: Pirozhkova dec. Clodgo, 2-1

75 kilos: Adeline Gray over Jackie Cataline, 2 matches to 0
Match 1: Gray tech. fall Cataline, 10-0
Match 2: Gray dec. Cataline, 7-5


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