World Team Trials preview in freestyle at 86 kg
Keith Gavin is determined to keep his hold on the top spot in freestyle wrestling at 86 kg/189 lbs.
Gavin, a 2013 World Team member, rallied to down Clayton Foster 7-4 in April’s U.S. Open finals in Las Vegas.
Gavin’s U.S. Open victory clinched him 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.
The champion at the Trials will advance to September’s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Foster has had a superb season. He knocked off two-time World champion Ibragim Aldatov of Ukraine at the World Cup and also defeated Olympic and World bronze medalist Ehsan Lashgari of Iran in the event.
Three-time NCAA champion Ed Ruth also made a big splash at the U.S. Open by placing third. Ruth lost a wild semifinal bout to Foster.
Ruth, a 2013 University World Team member, earned a 10-0 technical fall over Taymuraz Friev of Spain at May’s Beat the Streets Dual in New York City. Friev placed fifth at the 2013 Worlds.
Past NCAA champion and University World Team member Jon Reader finished fourth at the Open.
Robert Hamlin was fifth in Vegas, followed by Phil Keddy and Quentin Wright. Keddy was third at the 2013 World Team Trials.
Past Junior World silver medalist Pat Downey is another talented young wrestler who could make some noise at the Trials.
Veterans Raymond Jordan and Enock Francois also have qualified in this division.
Past NCAA champions Chris Perry and Andrew Howe also could be factors in this class. Both are past Junior World medalists who have excelled on the Senior level.
Gavin remains the favorite in this class, but Foster, Ruth, Reader and others also will definitely be a factor in determining who lands the World Team berth in this division.
2014 U.S. Open Results
86 kg /189 lbs.
1st – Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC) dec. Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics/Cowboy WC), 7-4
3rd – Edward Ruth, Harrisburg, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Jon Reader, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 12-11
5th – Robert Hamlin, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley Athletic Club) injury default Phillip Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
7th – Quentin Wright, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC) won by forfeit Raymond Jordan, Atlanta, Ga. (Titan Mercury WC)
2014 World Team Trials Qualifiers
86 kg/189 lbs.
Final Wrestle-off Qualifier
2014 U.S. Open champion – Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
Trials Tournament Qualifiers
2014 U.S. Open second place – Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo (GRIT Athletics/Cowboy WC)
2014 U.S. Open third place – Edward Ruth, Harrisburg, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
2014 U.S. Open fourth place – Jon Reader, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids/OTC)
2014 U.S. Open fifth place – Robert Hamlin, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley Athletic Club)
2014 U.S. Open sixth place – Phillip Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
2014 U.S. Open seventh place – Quentin Wright, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
2012 Olympic Team Trials champion – Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC)
2012 Olympic Team Trials runner-up – Travis Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
2014 Northeast Senior Regionals champion – Austin Trotman, Boone, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC)
2014 Northern Plains Senior Regionals champion – Patrick Downey, Oviedo, Fla. (NYAC)
2014 NCAA Div. I champion, 174 – Chris Perry, Stillwater, Okla. (Oklahoma State)
2013 New York AC International champion – Raymond Jordan, Atlanta, Ga. (Titan Mercury WC)