World Team Trials preview in men's freestyle at 57 kg
VIDEO: Hazewinkel vs. Hochstrasser in U.S. Open finals
2012 Olympian Sam Hazewinkel turned in a strong performance at the U.S. Open in the new freestyle weight class of 57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Hazewinkel won the U.S. Open to clinch a spot in the final-round series for the U.S. World Team Trials, set for May 31-June 1 in Madison, Wis. He will face the winner of the Challenge Tournament in the best-of-3 match finals.
Champions at the Trials advance to September’s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Hazewinkel defeated Andrew Hochstrasser by technical fall in April’s U.S. Open finals in Las Vegas.
Veteran Danny Mitcheff was third at the Open after downing NCAA runner-up Tyler Graff. Past University World silver medalist Zach Sanders was fifth in the Open.
Ryan Mango, second in the 2013 World Team Trials in Greco-Roman, is expected to compete in freestyle in this class. He was sixth at the 2014 Open. Mark McKnight placed seventh at the Open.
Angel Escobedo, fifth in the World in 2013, could be in the mix if he is able to return to competition. Escobedo suffered a leg injury at the Open.
Nick Simmons, fifth in the World in 2011, also could be a big factor in this class. Simmons did not compete at the Open, but has indicated he will wrestle at the Trials.
Hazewinkel beat Simmons, a dangerous wrestler with an arsenal of unorthodox moves, in the finals of the 2012 Olympic Trials.
Veterans Kyle Hutter and Frank Perrelli, along with FILA Junior Nationals champion Nathan Tomasello, have also qualified for the Trials in this division.
2014 NCAA champions Tony Ramos and Jesse Delgado have also qualified for the Trials by virtue of the titles they won at NCAAs. Ramos is a past Junior World Team member.
Three-time NCAA All-American Nico Megaludis earned a wild-card selection for the Trials in this class. Megaludis made the 2013 University World Team and also placed fifth in the 2013 U.S. Open.
This is a new weight class, but there have been a number of different faces representing the U.S. in recent years at the former lightest class of 55 kilos. Expect another great battle at 57 kilos in Madison.
2014 U.S. Open Results
57 kg /125.5 lbs.
1st – Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall Andrew Hochstrasser, Boise, Idaho (Titan Mercury WC), 11-0
3rd – Danny Mitcheff, Lorain, Ohio (NEORTC) dec. Tyler Graff, Madison, Wis. (NYAC), 7-4
5th – Zach Sanders, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Ryan Mango, Palo Alto, Calif. (Cardinal Wrestling Club), 6-2
7th – Mark McKnight, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Josh Heinzer, Lake Stevens, Neb. (MWC Wrestling Academy/Midland Univ.), 15-12
2014 World Team Trials Qualifiers
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Final Wrestle-off Qualifier
2014 U.S. Open champion – Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
Trials Tournament Qualifiers
2014 U.S. Open second place – Andrew Hochstrasser, Boise, Idaho (Titan Mercury WC)
2014 U.S. Open third place – Danny Mitcheff, Lorain, Ohio (NEORTC)
2014 U.S. Open fourth place – Tyler Graff, Loveland, Colo. (NYAC)
2014 U.S. Open fifth place – Zach Sanders, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
2014 U.S. Open sixth place – Ryan Mango, Palo Alto, Calif. (Cardinal Wrestling Club)
2014 U.S. Open seventh place – Mark McKnight, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
2013 World Team Trials champion – Obe Blanc, College Park, Md. (Titan Mercury WC)
2013 World Team Trials second place – Angel Escobedo, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC/Ohio RTC)
2012 Olympic Team Trials runner-up – Nick Simmons, Bloomington, Ind. (Sunkist Kids)
2014 Northeast Senior Regionals champion, 57 kg – Nathan Tomasello, Parma, Ohio (OSU RTC)
2014 Northeast Senior Regionals champion, 61 kg – Kyle Hutter, Norfolk, Va. (Virginia Beach RTC)
2014 Northern Plains Senior Regionals champion – Frank Perrelli (Ithaca, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC)
2014 NCAA Div. I champion, 125 – Jesse Delgado, Gilroy, Calif. (Univ. of Illinois)
2014 NCAA Div. I champion, 133 – Tony Ramos, Carol Stream, Ill. (Univ. of Iowa)
Wild card selection – Nico Megaludis, Murrysville, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)