J.D. Bergman planning to compete at World Team Trials in Greco

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | June 04, 2014, 2:13 p.m. (ET)

J.D. Bergman, shown after winning the 2013 U.S. Open in freestyle, made a U.S. National Team in Greco-Roman in 2005. John Sachs photo.

J.D. Bergman has thrown his hat into the ring for the U.S. World Team Trials in Greco-Roman wrestling. 

Bergman (Columbus, Ohio/NYAC/Ohio RTC) made the U.S. World Team in freestyle in 2010 and 2013.

Bergman confirmed Wednesday he will enter the Greco Trials, set for June 13 in Daytona Beach, Fla. He will compete at 98 kg/216 lbs. 2013 World Team member Caylor Williams won the U.S. Open at that weight class in April. 

Bergman placed third at the U.S. World Team Trials in freestyle at 97 kg/213 lbs. on Saturday in Madison, Wis.

“I hadn’t even entertained the thought, but after the freestyle Trials some people were talking to me about wrestling in the Greco Trials,” Bergman said. “Going from freestyle to Greco is probably a lot like a running back trying to play defensive back, especially at this level. But I feel like I have a good chance of making the World Team in Greco. I’m not going to go down to Florida unless I have a chance to make the team. 

“No disrespect at all to the other guys who wrestle Greco, because I know there are some talented guys in that weight class. I’m just going to take a shot at this and see what happens.”

Bergman hasn’t competed in Greco in eight years, but he was very successful in that style before turning his full-time focus to freestyle. 

Bergman made the U.S. Senior National Team in Greco in 2005 after finishing third at the U.S. World Team Trials that year. He won a University Nationals title in Greco in 2005, and also was a two-time Junior Nationals champion and a FILA Junior Nationals champion in that style.

Bergman was a three-time NCAA All-American for Ohio State. 

“I talked to J.D. about wrestling in the Greco Trials and I think it’s a good idea,” said Ohio State assistant coach Lou Rosselli, who coaches Bergman in freestyle at the Ohio Regional Training Center. “The way he competes and the way he wrestles, I think he will be fine. I think he will compete very well in Greco.”

USA Wrestling is holding separate World Team Trials in freestyle and Greco for the first time since 1999. 

One of the key reasons for hosting the events at different times was to allow men’s freestyle athletes an opportunity to try out for the Greco-Roman World Team.

Three other top freestyle wrestlers confirmed Tuesday they would compete at the Greco Trials. They include Sam Hazewinkel (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) at 59 kg/130 lbs. along with heavyweights Tyrell Fortune (Portland, Ore./Titan Mercury WC) and Jarod Trice (Ames, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC).

Based on the qualification procedures, many other wrestlers who have competed primarily in freestyle will be able to enter the U.S. Greco-Roman World Team Trials in Daytona Beach.

The U.S. World Team Trials in Greco-Roman will be held alongside the Cadet National Duals in freestyle and Greco-Roman, featuring the nation’s best 15-16 year olds competing for their state association teams. Both events will be broadcast live on Flowrestling’s Flo Pro platform.

The Universal Sports Network will air a one-hour show with highlights from the U.S. Greco-Roman World Team Trials. The expected broadcast date for this show is Monday, June 23 at 7 p.m. The announcing team for the Universal Sports Network show will be Van Stokes, Nick Garone and Jason Bryant.