Waters named Outstanding Wrestler, one of six U.S. freestyle champs at Dave Schultz Memorial

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Jan. 29, 2016, 7:44 p.m. (ET)
Alan Waters controls Stevan Micic in the 57 kg finals and was named Outstanding Wrestler in freestyle at the Dave Schultz Memorial International. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

VIDEO: Dave Schultz Memorial International champion interviews

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – It was a clean sweep of gold medals for American men’s freestyle wrestlers who won all six finals at the 18th Dave Schultz Memorial International on Friday.

Claiming the Outstanding Wrestler was the champion at 57 kg/125.5 lbs., former Missouri All-American Alan Waters of the Missouri Wrestling Foundation. In the championship finals, he dispatched 2015 Junior World bronze medalist Stevan Micic of the New York AC in a 17-5 technical fall.

Waters jumped to a 6-1 lead, with a two-point takedown followed by a four-point takedown, along with a Micic reversal. Micic closed it to 7-5 with a second-period takedown. However, Waters scored the next takedown, followed by a series of turns, to get the 17-5 technical fall.

Waters dominated all of his opponents, scoring 10-0 technical falls over his first three opponents. Included was a quarterfinals victory over 2010 World Team member Obe Blanc of the Titan Mercury WC.

"I had a good game plan out there. I wanted to get to my ties and get to my shots. I got a takedown and tried to get a turn up top but I couldn't get it so we went to back to our feet. I've always had a nice head lock but I don't hit it much but it gave me a big advantage in the match today,” said Waters.

Jayson Ness of the Minnesota Storm, a 2010 NCAA champion for Minnesota, was also dominant in his finals, scoring a 10-0 technical fall over B.J. Futrell of the Titan Mercury WC in the finals at 65 kg/143 lbs. Ness scored three takedowns and two ankle laces for the margin of victory.

"I thought I had a great day all day long," Ness said. "I was very sharp. Futrell is a great wrestler and a great guy but I was able to control position with him to get to my attacks."

Two-time World Team member J.D. Bergman of the New York AC scored a come-from-behind 10-9 win in an exciting battle with J.T. Felix of the Titan Mercury WC at 97 kg/213 lbs.

Felix led Bergman 4-1 after the first, with two takedowns. A Bergman takedown followed by three turns, and a Felix reversal made it 9-5 lead for Bergman. Felix added a takedown and two pushouts to tie it at 9-9. Bergman secured the win with a pushout in the closing 10 seconds for the 10-9 victory.

“That match was pretty sloppy. Hats off to J.T. though. He is big and strong. He had a good leg shot that I didn't know about but I was happy to get out of here with the win. I just have to keep doing what is best for me to be ready for April 10th. I need to be my best and I am going to be the best I've ever been,” said Bergman.

Another final went down to the wire as Austin Trotman of the Titan Mercury WC edged Deron Winn of the Titan Mercury WC, 9-8 at 86 kg/189 lbs.

Trotman led 4-2 at the break, on the strength of a four-point counter throw on the edge during a scramble. In the second, Trotman built a 9-6 lead, but Winn scored a late double leg takedown to make it 9-8. Winn was unable to score in the closing seconds.

"I have taken second, third and fourth but today, in 2016, I got over that hump. At a tournament, you have to take it one match at a time but it felt good to string them together and get good matches in,” said Trotman.

The tournament featured the six Olympic weight classes only. There were two weights classes which did not have matches during the championship finals.

At 74 kg/163 lbs., Kevin LeValley of the Buffalo Valley RTC won the gold medal when 2014 World bronze medalist Bekzod Abdurakhmanov of Uzbekistan did not compete in the finals due to injury. LeValley won three matches to reach the finals, with two technical falls in the preliminaries, before beating Andrew Sorenson of the Panther WC RTC.

There were two entries at 125 kg/275 lbs., and the weight class was completed in the morning session. Matthew Meuleners of the Titan Mercury WC defeated Benjamin Durbin of the Cyclone WC, 5-0.

All six American champions were first-time winners at this prestigious tournament, named in honor of the late Dave Schultz, an Olympic and World champion who was an ambassador of goodwill through wrestling.

The Dave Schultz Memorial International is included in the #Road2IowaCity series of events which serve as qualifiers for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling in Iowa City, Iowa, April 9-10. The highest placing American wrestler in each weight class who wins a medal and has not yet qualified will earn a spot in the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

Six athletes qualified for the Olympic Trials through the freestyle division at the Dave Schultz, including champions Waters, Ness, LeValley, Trotman and Meuleners, along with bronze medalist Cayle Byers of the Titan Mercury WC at 97 kg/213 lbs.

The tournament continues with women’s freestyle on Saturday, with the opening session at 9:00 a.m. and the medal match finals at 2:30 p.m.

At Colorado Springs, Colo.. January 29

Men’s freestyle results

57 kg/125.5 lbs.
1st - Alan Waters (USA/Missouri Wrestling Foundation) tech. fall Stevan Micic (USA/New York AC), 17-5
3rd – Dan Mitcheff (USA/New York AC) dec. Frank Perrelli (USA/Titan Mercury WC). 7-2

65 kg/143 lbs.
1st - Jayson Ness (USA/Minnesota Storm) tech. fall B.J. Futrell (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 10-0
3rd – Nazar Kulchytskyy (USA/Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Dave Habat (Slovenia), 10-0

74 kg/163 lbs.
1st - Kevin LeValley (USA/Buffalo Valley RTC) won by inj. dft. over Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Uzbekistan)
3rd – Anthony Valencia (USA/Sunkist) tech. fall Andrew Sorenson (USA/Panther WC RTC), 12-1

86 kg/189 lbs.
1st - Austin Trotman (USA/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Deron Winn (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 9-8
3rd – Victor Terrell (USA/U.S. Army WCAP) dec. Austin Morehead (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 8-2

97 kg/213 lbs.
1st - J.D. Bergman (USA/New York AC) dec. J.T. Felix (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 10-9
3rd – Cayle Byers (USA/Titan Mercury WC) dec. David Zabriskie (USA/Lehigh Valley AC), 2-1

125 kg/275 lbs.
1st - Matthew Meuleners (USA/Titan Mercury WC) dec. Benjamin Durbin (Cyclone WC), 5-0

Outstanding Wrestler – Alan Waters (Missouri Wrestling Foundation), 57 kg

Team Standings
1. Titan Mercury WC, 37
2. New York AC, 15
3. (tie) Missouri Wrestling Foundation, Minnesota Storm and Buffalo Valley RTC, 6
6. (tie) Cyclone WC and Uzbekistan, 5
8. (tie) Stoughton WC and Army WCAP 4
10. (tie) PWC, Slovenia, Lehigh Valley AC, 3