Clayton Foster (in blue) edged Ed Ruth 13-12 in a wild semifinal on Friday night. Tony Rotundo photo.
LAS VEGAS – Fans were treated to an entertaining display of wrestling during the semifinals of the U.S. Open on Friday night at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
That now sets the stage for what promises to be a compelling finals on Saturday night.
48 wrestlers landed spots in the finals by earning victories on Friday night before a packed house and a live television audience.
The finals are scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. local time Saturday in Las Vegas. The finals will be televised live on NBC Universal, starting at 7.
2012 Olympic gold medalists Jordan Burroughs and Jake Varner turned in strong performances to reach the finals.
Burroughs moved into the finals with a 10-0 win over Quinton Godley at 74 kg/163 lbs. Burroughs will face two-time Hodge Trophy winner David Taylor in the finals. Burroughs beat Taylor in the 2013 U.S. Open finals.
“I never have a game plan when I step out there – the game plan is to just score as many points as possible,” said Burroughs, a two-time World champion. “Obviously, you could see he’s a great athlete – quick, strong and good movement with his feet. He made it a little difficult for me. I did a good job slowing him down a little bit and initiating my offense.”
Varner cruised to an 11-0 technical fall over Deron Winn in the semis at 97 kg/213 lbs.
2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott fired in for two first-period takedowns en route to a hard-fought 4-3 win over B.J. Futrell at 61 kg/134 lbs.
Clayton Foster, coming off a superb performance at the World Cup, rallied to edge three-time NCAA champion Ed Ruth 13-12 at 86 kg/189 lbs. Foster scored a takedown just before time ran out to pull out the victory.
Brent Metcalf earned a 10-0 technical fall over Reece Humphrey in a battle of two-time World Team members at 65 kg/143 lbs.
Metcalf will face Kellen Russell in the finals. Russell beat Jordan Oliver 4-2 in the semis in a battle of two-time NCAA champs. Russell beat Oliver in the 2013 U.S. Open finals. Metcalf defeated Russell in the finals of the 2013 World Team Trials.
Wynn Michalak rallied to down two-time World Team member J.D. Bergman by fall at 97 kg/213 lbs.
Two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony rallied for a 6-3 win over World champion and Olympic bronze medalist Clarissa Chun at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. Anthony trailed 3-2 late in the match before hitting a headlock to earn the dramatic win.
“It did not feel very great for the first five and a half minutes,” Anthony said. “Chun stays in good position and she’s tough to score on. I was getting blocked a lot on my shots. It came down to the last 20 seconds and I had to find a way.”
Two-time World medalist Alyssa Lampe downed three-time Junior World medalist Erin Golston 11-1 in the other semifinal at 48 kilos.
World champions Elena Pirozhkova and Iris Smith, World silver medalist Helen Maroulis and Olympic bronze medalist Randi Miller also advanced to the women’s finals.
Pirozhkova rolled to a 10-0 technical fall over Shai Mason at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. Smith took charge early in earning a 12-4 win over Julia Salata at 75 kg/165 lbs.
Maroulis downed Hanna Grisewood by a 10-0 technical fall at 55 kg/121 lbs. Miller rolled to a 10-0 win over Brittany David at 69 kg/152 lbs.
Two-time World medalist Justin Lester and two-time Olympian Spenser Mango advanced to the finals in Greco-Roman.
Lester looked strong in defeating Santiago Martinez 9-0 at 71 kg/156.5 lbs.
“Everything is good,” Lester said. “I’m transitioning back to wrestling again after taking some time off and it feels good to be back. The new weight class is good for me and the extra five kilos is great. My training has been better and it’s fun.”
Mango scored on two first-period gut wrenches en route to a 5-0 win over U.S. Army teammate Jermaine Hodge at 59 kg/130 lbs.
Robby Smith took control early in a dominating 10-0 win over Sam Stoll at 130 kg/286 lbs. Smith continues to wrestle well after placing fifth in the World last year.
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Sam Hazewinkel (Sunkist Kids) dec. Zach Sanders (Minnnesota Storm), 9-7
Andrew Hochstrasser (Titan Mercury WC) pinned Tyler Graff (New York AC), 5:04
61 kg/134 lbs.
Jimmy Kennedy (New York AC) dec. Matt McDonough (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0
Coleman Scott (Titan Mercury WC) dec. B.J. Futrell (Titan Mercury WC), 4-3
65 kg/143 lbs.
Brent Metcalf (New York AC) dec. Reece Humphrey (New York AC), 10-0
Kellen Russell (New York AC) dec. Jordan Oliver (Titan Mercury WC), 4-2
70 kg/154 lbs.
Nick Marable (Sunkist Kids) dec. James Green (Titan Mercury WC), 5-1
Moza Fay (U.S. Army) dec. Kevin LeValley (Minnesota Storm), 14-4
74 kg/163 lbs.
Jordan Burroughs (Sunkist Kids) dec. Quinton Godley (Wolfpack WC), 10-0
David Taylor (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Tyler Caldwell (Sunkist Kids), 4-0
86 kg/189 lbs.
Keith Gavin (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jon Reader (Sunkist Kids), 5-0
Clayton Foster (GRIT Athletics) dec. Ed Ruth (Nittany Lion WC), 13-12
97 kg/213 lbs.
Wynn Michalak (Titan Mercury WC) pinned J.D. Bergman (New York AC), 5:20
Jake Varner (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Deron Winn (Titan Mercury WC), 11-0
125 kg/275.5 lbs.
Tervel Dlagnev (Sunkist Kids) dec. Matthew Meuleners (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0
Dom Bradley (Sunkist Kids) dec. Tyrell Fortune (Titan Mercury WC), 6-1
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids) dec. Erin Golston (New York AC), 11-1
Victoria Anthony (Sunkist Kids) dec. Clarissa Chun (Sunkist Kids), 6-3
53 kg/112.25 lbs.
Katherine Fulp-Allen (New York AC) dec. Carlene Sluberski (New York AC), 13-0
Whitney Conder (U.S. Army) dec. Jessica Medina (Sunkist Kids), 10-2
55 kg/121 lbs.
Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) dec. Hanna Grisewood (King), 10-0
Sarah Hildebrandt (King) dec. Jacarra Winchester (Titan Mercury WC), 6-4
58 kg/128 lbs.
Alli Ragan (New York AC) dec. Michaela Hutchison (Titan Mercury WC), 6-4
Trinity Griffin (Sunkist Kids) dec. Othella Feroleto (U.S. Army), 13-2
60 kg/132 lbs.
Jennifer Page (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Shauna Isbell (Titan Mercury WC), 5-0
Jenna Burkert (New York AC) pinned Briena Delgado (OKCU/Gator), 1:37
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Elena Pirozhkova (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Shai Mason (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0
Erin Clodgo (Sunkist Kids) vs. Amanda Hendey (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0
69 kg/152 lbs.
Randi Miller (U.S. Army) dec. Brittany David (Lindenwood), 10-0
Veronica Carlson (New York AC) dec. Tamayra Mensah (Titan Mercury WC), 10-0
75 kg/165 lbs.
Jackie Cataline (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Mary Westman (Jimmie WC), 12-0
Iris Smith (U.S. Army) dec. Julia Salata (New York AC), 12-4
59 kg/130 lbs.
Joe Betterman (U.S. Army) pinned Nikko Triggas (New York AC). 1:55
Spenser Mango (U.S. Army) dec. Jermaine Hodge (U.S. Army), 5-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Ellis Coleman (U.S. Army) dec. Jamel Johnson (U.S. Army), 8-0
RaVaughn Perkins (ReadyRPNationals) dec. Bryce Saddoris (U.S. Marines), 10-6
71 kg/156.5 lbs.
Justin Lester (U.S. Army) dec. Santiago Martinez (Florida Jets), 9-0
Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) dec. Bo Beckman (New York AC), 2-0
75 kg/165 lbs.
Andy Bisek (Minnesota Storm) dec. Geordan Speiller (Florida Jets), 10-7
Jon Anderson (U.S. Army) dec. Jake Fisher (Minnesota Storm), 2-1
80 kg/176 lbs.
Aaron Sieracki (U.S. Army) dec. Josh Greer (USOEC), 8-0
Kendrick Sanders (USOEC) dec. Tarrence Williams (Clackamas WC), 7-0
85 kg/187 lbs.
Jordan Holm (Minnesota Storm) dec. Mark Stenberg (New York AC), 5-0
Zach Nielsen (Minnesota Storm) dec. Peter Hicks (U.S. Army), 8-0
98 kg/216 lbs.
Caylor Williams (U.S. Army) dec. Daren Burns (AppStateRTC), 9-4
John Wechter (Minnesota Storm) dec. Marcus Finau (New York AC), 4-1
130 kg/286 lbs.
Robby Smith (New York AC) dec. Sam Stoll (Minnesota Storm), 10-0
Toby Erickson (New York AC) dec. Nikola Bogojevic (Minnesota Storm), 8-0