Talented U.S. team to compete at Freestyle World Cup in Los Angeles, March 15-16

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Feb. 27, 2014, 4:16 p.m. (ET)
Photos of U.S. heavyweight star Tervel Dlagnev from the 2013 World Championships by Tony Rotundo/Wrestlers Are Warriors.

USA Wrestling has provided its lineup for the 2014 Freestyle Wrestling World Cup, which will be held at the Forum, presented by Chase, March 15-16 in Inglewood, Calif.

The team roster includes both 2012 Olympic gold medalists from the United States, Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Jake Varner (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) at 97 kg/213 lbs.

The World Cup is the annual international dual meet championships, and will feature the top 10 men’s freestyle wrestling teams in the world.

Burroughs, who also won World gold medalist in 2011 and 2013, has won the last two World Cup titles, with a 10-0 career record in this event.

Varner was a 2011 World bronze medalist. He recently returned to competition after a year in which he was not active. He is a native of Bakersfield, Calif. and won two California state high school titles for Bakersfield High.

The U.S. World Cup roster includes athletes who will participate in the World Cup Training Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., March 2-8, and be with Team USA at the World Cup for training in Los Angeles from March 10-13. The final 16-athlete competition lineup will be determined during the training camps.

2009 World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC) is on the team at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Dlagnev was fifth in the 2012 Olympic Games and is a three-time U.S. World Team member, also placing fifth in 2011 and 2013.

Another Olympian on the Team USA roster is 2012 Olympian Sam Hazewinkel (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) at 57 kg/125.5 lbs.

The Team USA roster includes eight past World Team members, including Burroughs, Varner, Dlagnev and
Angel Escobedo (Columbus, Ohio/New York AC/Ohio RTC) at 57 kg/125 lbs., Reece Humphrey (Columbus, Ohio/New York AC/Ohio RTC) at 61 kg/134 lbs. , Brent Metcalf (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC/Titan Mercury WC) at 65 kg/143 lbs., Keith Gavin (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) at 86 kg/189 lbs. and J.D. Bergman (Columbus, Ohio/New York AC/Ohio RTC) at 97 kg/213 lbs.

The U.S. roster includes nine athletes who have won a combined 13 NCAA Div. I national titles. Two-time champions include Burroughs, Varner, Metcalf and Kellen Russell (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Michigan RTC) at 65 kg/143 lbs. Other past NCAA champions on the team are Escobedo, Gavin, Jon Reader (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/USOTC) at 86 kg/189 lbs., Dustin Kilgore (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/USOTC) at 97 kg/213 lbs. and Zach Rey (Bethlehem, Pa./Lehigh Valley AC) at 125 kg/275 lbs.

Dlagnev was a two-time Div. II national champion. Tyrell Fortune (Portland, Ore./Titan Mercury WC), who competes at 125 kg/275 lbs., won NCAA Div. II and NJCAA national titles in college.

The roster includes a pair of native Californians, Varner and Jason Welch (Evanston, Ill./Wrestling Prep/Chicago RTC) at 70 kg/154 lbs. Welch won three California state high school titles, for Las Lomas High School, was an ASICS First Team All-American, and received the Junior Dan Hodge Trophy while in high school.

Serving as Team Leader for the U.S. delegation is Andy Barth of San Marino, Calif. Leading the U.S. coaching staff is USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones of Colorado Springs, Colo. The official U.S. World Cup coaches include Bruce Burnett of Dover, Idaho and Mark Manning of Lincoln, Neb., both who have served as Olympic coaches for the USA. Burnett, who recently retired as head coach of the U.S. Naval Academy, is a past USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach. Manning is the head coach at the Univ. of Nebraska.

The United States placed fifth at the 2013 World Championships, which were held in Budapest, Hungary. The USA was also third in the 2013 Freestyle World Cup, held in Tehran, Iran.

The 10 nations which will compete for the World Cup are (alphabetically): Armenia, Georgia, India, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States. Nations were invited based upon final team standings at the 2013 World Championships.

National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones is looking forward to putting his American team on the mat against this loaded field.

“You have the world’s 10 best teams. These are the best wrestlers on the planet. When you have that, it’s exciting to see. You can go up and down the lineups. We will wrestle World and Olympic champions. These aren’t just national champions. These are the best,” said Jones.

USA Wrestling is encouraging American wrestling fans to come out in big numbers and help establish a strong homefield advantage.

“Los Angeles is a great place to come out and watch. We need all the Americans to buy tickets and support our team. We need you there. Iran will have a lot of people in the stands, as well as Armenia and Russia and all the countries. We know their fans travel well. We don’t want to be out-cheered by another country,” said Jones.

Tickets are now available via Ticketmaster, through http://www.ticketmaster.com/, www.fabulousforum.com, and The Forum Box Office. The phone number for Ticketmaster is 800-745-3000.

The discounted All-Session tickets for the two-day event will be available for a limited time, and at three price levels:
• General Admission (Sections 201-211 and 225-236) for $50 face value
• Preferred Seating (in the 100 levels) for $130 face value
• VIP (100 levels center mat) for $270 face value.

All Ticketmaster purchases are subject to a convenience fee.

There will be two sessions of wrestling action each day of the Freestyle World Cup. On Saturday, March 15, there will be sessions held at 11:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, March 16, the first session is at 11:00 a.m., with the First Place and Third Place Championship Duals set for 5:00 p.m.

Media seeking accreditation should contact Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling via email at gabbott@usawrestling.org or via cell phone at 719-659-9637.

For more information on the Freestyle World Cup, visit www.wrestlingworldcup.com

U.S. Freestyle World Cup Team
57 kg/125 lbs. – Angel Escobedo, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
57 kg/125 lbs. – Andrew Hochstrasser, Boise, Idaho (Titan Mercury WC)
57 kg/125 lbs. – Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
61 kg/134 lbs. – Reece Humphrey, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
61 kg/134 lbs. – Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC)
65 kg/143 lbs. – Kellen Russell, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
65 kg/143 lbs. – Jason Chamberlain, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska RTC)
70 kg/154 lbs. – Nick Marable, Columbia, Mo. (Sunkist Kids/MWF)
70 kg/154 lbs. – Moza Fay, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP/USOTC)
70 kg/154 lbs. – Jason Welch, Evanston, Ill. (Wrestling Prep/Chicago RTC)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska RTC)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Dan Vallimont, Long Beach, N.Y. (Blue and Gold WC)
86 kg/189 lbs. – Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
86 kg/189 lbs. – Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (Cowboy WC/GRIT Athletics)
86 kg/189 lbs. – Raymond Jordan, Atlanta, Ga. (Sunkist Kids)
86 kg/189 lbs. – Jon Reader, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/USOTC)
97 kg/213 lbs. – J.D. Bergman, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
97 kg/213 lbs. – Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
97 kg/213 lbs. – Dustin Kilgore, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/USOTC)
97 kg/213 lbs. – Wynn Michalak, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC)
125 kg/275 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC)
125 kg/275 lbs. – Tyrell Fortune, Portland, Ore. (Titan Mercury WC)
125 kg/275 lbs. – Zach Rey, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
125 kg/275 lbs. –Dom Bradley, Columbia, Mo. (Sunkist Kids/MWF)
Team Leader – Andy Barth, San Marino, Calif.
National Freestyle Coach – Zeke Jones, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Assistant National Freestyle Coaches – Brandon Slay and Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo.
World Cup Coaches – Bruce Burnett, Dover, Idaho and Mark Manning, Lincoln, Neb.
Coaches – Andy Hrovat, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Sam Henson, Columbia, Mo.; Sam Portillo, Tucson, Ariz.; Jason Kutz, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Medical – Dr. A.J. Monseau, Morgantown, W.Va.; Dr. Fred Roberto, Atlanta, Ga.; Darryl Miller, Denver, Colo.
USOC Sports Dietician – Jennifer Gibson, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Massage Therapist – Amy Murry
USA Wrestling staff – Les Gutches, Cody Bickley, Dana Leenheer, Jaimie McNab, Colorado Springs, Colo.