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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    US Unable to Qualify Two Men's Freestyle Weights; Five Past DI AA's Lock Up Olympic Berths

    On the final day of the Pan-American Olympic Games Qualifying, there were plenty of familiar faces who locked up spots at the 2024 Olympic Games. Unfortunately, none were wrestling for the United States. Two representatives from the US Men’s Freestyle team traveled to Acapulco, Mexico in hopes of qualifying their weights for the Olympics. Neither was successful; however, there were plenty of familiar faces who punched their tickets to the Paris Games. 

    Five former DI All-Americans, Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico), Roman Bravo-Young (Mexico), Austin Gomez (Mexico), Ethan Ramos (Puerto Rico), and Amar Dhesi (Canada) all made it to the semifinals of their respective weights and will wrestle at the Olympics. While the US has the Olympic Team Trials to determine our representative, these wrestlers will go to Paris after their performance today. 

    Both of the wrestlers representing the United States lost to an opponent who was(is) a prominent DI wrestler. At 65 kg, Nick Lee had an early lead on Austin Gomez; however, the Michigan star turned it up in the second stanza. Gomez once trailed 10-4, but used a four-point throw to turn the tide and spur him to a 22-12 tech. 

    Gomez locked up his Olympic berth after a 6-3 win over North Carolina All-American Lachlan McNeil, who was representing Canada. 

    Zane Richards was able to advance to the 57 kg semifinals after a quick 14-1 tech over Peter Hammer Cude (Costa Rica) in less than two minutes. For the Olympic berth, Richards needed to get past former Lehigh national champion Darion Cruz. A few months ago, Richards defeated Cruz at the Pan-American Games, 8-2. This time, Richards wasn’t able to get to his offense and settled for a pair of points on shot clock violations. In the final seconds of the bout, Cruz was able to get a step-out point to push him ahead on criteria, 2-2. 

    The winners of our Olympic Trials at 57 and 65 kg’s will travel to Istanbul in early May for the Last Chance Qualifier, along with three members of the Greco-Roman team. 


    US Results

    57 kg


    Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico) over Zane Richards (USA)  2-2


    Zane Richards (USA) over Peter Hammer Cude (Costa Rica)  14-1

    65 kg 


    Austin Gomez (Mexico) over Nick Lee (USA)  22-12


    Quotas Earned

    57 kg - Mexico, Puerto Rico

    65 kg - Cuba, Mexico

    74 kg - Cuba, Venezuela

    86 kg - Canada, Puerto Rico

    97 kg - Cuba, Dominican Republic

    125 kg - Canada, Puerto Rico

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