Phase I World Team Trials wildcards for men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman announced

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | May 14, 2014, 2:54 p.m. (ET)
Photos of Nico Megaludis competing at the 2014 NCAA Championships by John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com. Megaludis is among six wildcards added to the World Team Trials.

USA Wrestling has announced the wildcard selections for Phase I of the 2014 U.S. World Team Trials in men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. Four men’s freestyle wrestlers and two Greco-Roman wrestlers have been added to the field.

The men’s freestyle wrestlers will compete in the U.S. World Team Trials for men’s and women’s wrestling in Madison, Wis., May 31-June 4. The Greco-Roman wrestlers will compete in the U.S. Greco-Roman World Team Trials in Daytona Beach, Fla., June 13.

Athletes were required to make a formal application for the wildcard positions. Wildcards were nominated by the national coaches in each style, and the selections reviewed and approved by a committee.

In men’s freestyle, three-time Penn State NCAA All-American Nico Megaludis (Murraysville, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) is the pick at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. Megaludis was fifth in the 2013 U.S. Open and a member of the 2013 World University Games team.

Of local interest in Madison is the wildcard selection at 125 kg/275 lbs., Connor Medbery (Loveland, Colo./Badger WC), who is the varsity heavyweight for the Univ. of Wisconsin and an NCAA qualifier.

Jack Jensen (Colorado Springs, Colo./Army WCAP) get the wildcard at 97 kg/213 lbs. Jensen was third in the 2011 U.S. Open, and has won the freestyle gold medal at the last two Armed Forces Championships. He was an All-American at Oklahoma State.

Also added as a wildcard is Enock Francois (New Windsor, N.Y./West Point WC) at 86 kg/189 lbs., a three-time NAIA All-American from Northwestern and Cal-Baptist. Francois was seventh in the 2013 U.S. Open and a medalist at the 2013 New York AC International.

In men’s freestyle, one wildcard could be named in each of the six Olympic weight classes. There were no petitions at two of the weight classes, so there will be only four wildcards in men’s freestyle this year.

Two athletes were added as wildcards in Greco-Roman, the most allowed under the approved World Team Trials procedures in Greco-Roman.

William Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army), who placed second in both the Northeast Regionals and the Northern Plains Regionals this year, will compete as a wildcard at 59 kg/130 lbs.

Veteran Ryan Hope (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who has an extensive age-group resume in Greco-Roman, is a wildcard at 85 kg/187.25 lbs.

The field for men’s freestyle has now been completed. The Greco-Roman field is not yet finalized, as the University Nationals in Akron, Ohio, May 22-25 is also a qualifier in that style.

There are no wildcards in the Phase I World Team Trials procedures in women’s wrestling.

Freestyle Phase I World Team Trials wildcards

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Nico Megaludis, Murraysville, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
86 kg/189 lbs. – Enock Francois, New Windsor, N.Y. (West Point WC)
97 kg/213 lbs. – Jack Jensen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
125 kg/275 lbs. – Connor Medbery, Loveland, Colo. (Badger WC)

Greco-Roman Phase I World Team Trials wildcards
59 kg/130 lbs. – William Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
85 kg/187.25 lbs. – Ryan Hope, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Biographies

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Nico Megaludis, Murraysville, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)

2013 World University Games team member… 2013 University Nationals champion… Fifth in 2013 U.S. Open… Second in 2009 Junior Nationals in freestyle… 2009 FILA Cadet Nationals champion… Fourth in 2007 Cadet Nationals… 2012 and 2013 NCAA runner-up for Penn State… Third in 2014 NCAA Championships… Three time Pennsylvania state high school champion for Franklin Regional High School (2000-2011)… Born: July 11, 1992… Age: 21

86 kg/189 lbs. – Enock Francois, New Windsor, N.Y. (West Point WC)
Second in 2013 and 2014 Northeast Regionals… Third in 2014 Guelph Open (Canada)… Third in 2013 New York AC International… Seventh in 2013 U.S. Open… Three-time NAIA All-American competing for Northwestern College and Cal-Baptist… Florida state high school qualifier for Palm Beach Gardens High School… Born: August 21, 1986… Age: 27

97 kg/213 lbs. – Jack Jensen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
2013 and 2014 Armed Forces champion… Third in 2013 Henri Deglane Challenge (France)… Fourth in 2013 New York AC International… Fourth in 2013 Northern Plains Regionals… Third in 2012 New York AC International… Second in 2012 Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup… Third in 2011 U.S. Open… Second in 2011 Northeast Regionals… Fifth in 2011 Cerro Pelado International… Seventh in 2005 University Nationals… Sixth in 2003 Dave Schultz Memorial International... Seventh in 2008 NCAA Championships for Oklahoma State… Three-time Wisconsin state high school placewinner for Sheboygan North High School… Born: January 20, 1984… Age: 30

125 kg/275 lbs. – Connor Medbery, Loveland, Colo. (Badger WC)
Fifth in 2013 University Nationals… Second in 2012 FILA Junior World Team Trials… 2012 Pan American Junior champion in freestyle and third in Greco-Roman… Third in 2012 FILA Junior Nationals… 2011 Junior Nationals freestyle champion and second in Greco-Roman… Seventh in 2010 Junior Nationals in freestyle and eighth in Greco-Roman… 2008 Cadet Nationals champion in freestyle and second in Greco-Roman… Three-time Colorado state high school champion for Loveland High School… Born May 26, 1992… Age: 21

Greco-Roman wildcard biographies

59 kg/130 lbs. – William Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)

Second in 2013 and 2014 Northern Plains Regionals… Third in 2014 Northeast Regionals… Second in 2013 Northern Plains Regional in freestyle… 2013 Armed Forces freestyle champion… Eighth in 2009 University Nationals in freestyle… Competed for U.S. Military Academy at West Point… Two-time Tennessee state champion for Montgomery Bell Academy… Born August 29, 1985… Age: 28

85 kg/187.25 lbs. – Ryan Hope, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Third in 2011 Northeast Regionals… Sixth in 2011 University Nationals… Second in 2010 Pan American Junior Championships in both styles… Fifth in 2010 FILA Junior World Team Trials… Fifth in 2010 University World Team Trials… Fifth in 2010 FILA Junior Nationals… Sixth in 2009 FILA Junior Nationals… attended Northern Michigan Univ… Born: January 25, 1990… Age: 24
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