NEW YORK, N.Y. – Seven U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers have qualified to compete in the finals in men’s freestyle on the final day of the New York AC International on Saturday.
Among the U.S. finalists is Raymond Jordan (Atlanta, Ga./Titan Mercury WC), who is competing in his first tournament since the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. Jordan won three matches at 84 kg/185 lbs. to qualify for the finals, where he will battle Vladislav Gabareev of Russia
“It feels good. The mat is my home. I have been on the mat since I was 12 years old. I roll around every day and never left the mat. It felt good. I have always believed in my abilities to be the best in the world on the mat,” said Jordan.
Jordan is planning to compete in both men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman in 2014, expecting to double in both styles at the 2013 Dave Schultz Memorial in February.
“I am going to do both styles. I’ve only had four days of Greco-Roman practice in my whole life, so I didn’t want to enter this with just four days of training. I feel like the skill set with the hand-fighting fits me. I think both of them will complement each other,” said Jordan.
There will be an all-USA finals at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., where returning champion Wynn Michalak (Champaign, Ill./Titan Mercury WC) will face Deron Wynn (Ames, Iowa/Cyclone WC).
Among the finalists is past NCAA champion Frank Molinaro (New Brunswick, N.J./Scarlet Knight Wrestling Club) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., who will face Alibeggediz Emeev of Russia in the finals. Molinaro, who won his NCAA title for Penn State, is now coaching at Rutgers.
NCAA Div. II and NJCAA national champion Tyrell Fortune (Portland, Ore./Titan Mercury) is a finalist at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., where he will face Korey Jarvis of Canada in the finals. Fortune was second in the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials.
The other U.S. finalists are B.J. Futrell (Champaign, Ill./Titan Mercury WC) at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Nick Marable (Columbia, Mo./Sunkist Kids) at 74 kg/163 lbs. Futrell was a star for Illinois, while Marable excelled at Missouri.
The Russian team put five athletes in the finals, the most of any of the visiting international teams.
The finals have been moved to 4:00 p.m. Eastern, with the gold and bronze medal matches.
Other nations in the men’s freestyle event includes Canada, Russia, Honduras, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Korea, Japan, Chile, Bulgaria, Puerto Rico and Moldova.
NEW YORK AC INTERNATIONAL
At New York, N.Y., November 9
Men’s freestyle finalists
55 kg/121 lbs. – Samat Nadyrbek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan) vs. Omak Syuryun (Russia)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Aleksandr Bogomoev (Russia) vs. B.J. Futrell (USA/Titan Mercury)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Frank Molinaro (USA/Scarlet Knight WC) vs. Alibeggediz Emeev (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Nick Marable (USA/Sunkist Kids) vs. Boris Makoev (Russia)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Raymond Jordan (USA/Titan Mercury WC) vs. Vladislav Gabareev (Russia)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Deron Wynn (USA/Cyclone WC) vs. Wynn Michalak (USA/Titan Mercury WC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Tyrell Fortune (USA/Titan Mercury WC) vs. Korey Jarvis (Canada)