| Three-time U.S. World Team member Caylor Williams
(U.S. Army WCAP) in the finals of the 2015 U.S. Open.
Photo: Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com
Weight currently qualified for the Olympic Games? No
Three-time U.S. World Team member Caylor Williams (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) has commanded the 98 kg/215 lbs. Greco-Roman weight class since making his first World Team back in 2013.
The U.S. Army standout is one of the most powerful wrestlers stateside. He has developed into a more seasoned Greco-Roman wrestler over the past three seasons and one of the best par terre lift’s in the game today.
Williams owns two U.S. Open championships to go along with his three U.S. World Team Trials victories. In 2015, Williams won a silver medal at the Dave Schultz Memorial International, a performance that included a win over 2012 Olympic silver medalist Rustam Totrov of Russia.
Prior to this season, Williams had not lost to a U.S. opponent since making the 2013 U.S. World Team. However, the emergence of Josef Rau (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) to the 98 kg field has proven difficult for Williams.
Rau has beaten Williams twice since November. The first win for Rau came in the finals of the Bill Farrell International, 5-4, and the second in the finals of the U.S. Open, 9-6.
In addition to his domestic success, Rau has posted a handful of quality international performances in the past year. He picked up a silver medal at the Grand Prix Zagreb Open and bronze medals at the Grand Prix of Spain and Hungarian Grand Prix.
Last month, Rau represented the U.S. at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier at 98 kg, but was unable to secure the U.S. an Olympic berth by placing in the top-two at the competition. Rau lost to eventual champion Yasmany Lugo Cabrera of Cuba by fall in the semifinals and wound up with the bronze medal.
While it would appear a third installment of the Williams-Rau rivalry is expected in the finals in Iowa City, there are a handful of challengers to keep an eye on come tournament time.
Past U.S. Open champion John Wechter (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) could prove the most problematic for either of the top-two at 98 kg.
Wechter was second in the U.S. World Team Trials in 2014 and finished in third place last year. He fell to sixth at the U.S. Open in December, but has a long history of success on the Greco-Roman circuit and, if healthy, could make a deep run.
Third place finisher at the U.S. Open G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo. New York AC/OTC) is the youngest competitor in the field at 18-years-old.
Hancock was a 2015 U.S. Junior World Team member and has earned two international medals this season. He earned silver at the Dave Schultz Memorial International and bronze at the Austria Junior Greco-Roman Open.
Two-time University Nationals champion Jarod Trice (Ames, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC) has successfully transitioned down from 130 kg to 98 kg for the Olympic year and will be a tough out for any opponent.
Trice, a NCAA All-American for Central Michigan, qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials by taking the bronze medal at the Bill Farrell International last November.
Orry Elor (Walnut Creek, Calif. (New York AC/NMU) has the potential to make a splash at 98 kg. Elor was the fifth place finisher at the U.S. Open the past two seasons. He a two-time University National champion.
Fourth place finisher at the U.S. Open Marcus Finau (Ewa Beach, Hawaii/CSU Pueblo Wrestling RTC) was the U.S. World Team Trials runner-up in 2013 and has beaten many top competitors at 98 kg.
Also qualified for the 98 kg U.S. Olympic Team Trials is seventh place finisher at the U.S. Open Jacob Kasper (Mansfield, Ohio/Roughhouse), Grand Prix Zagreb Open bronze medalist Daniel Miller (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps) and Dave Schultz Memorial International bronze medalist Patrick Carey (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm)
2011 U.S. World Team Trials runner-up John Lorenz (LaCrosse, Wis./Unattached) was the final qualifier added to the 98 kg field after defeating Ethan Dondlinger (NMU-OTS), 1-0, in the finals of the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier.
The 98 kg champion at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will make a quick turnaround after Iowa City, travel to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia and attempt to qualify the weight class for the Olympic Games at the first of two Olympic Games World Qualifying Tournaments on April 22.
If unsuccessful in Mongolia, the U.S. will have one final chance to qualify 98 kg for the Olympic Games at the second Olympic Games World Qualifying Tournament being held in Istanbul, Turkey on May 6.
For more information on the U.S. Olympic Team Trials visit the official event website iowacitytorio.com.
U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifiers at 98 kg/215 lbs.
98 kg/215 lbs.
’15 World Team member – Caylor Williams, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
’15 Grand Prix of Spain bronze medalist - Joe Rau, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
’15 Bill Farrell International bronze medalist – Jarod Trice, Ames, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier third place – G’Angelo Hancock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC/OTC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier fourth place – Marcus Finau, Ewa Beach, Hawaii (CSU Pueblo Wrestling RTC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier fifth place – Orry Elor, Walnut Creek, Calif. (NYAC/NMU)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier sixth place – John Wechter, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier seventh place – Jacob Kasper, Mansfield, Ohio (Roughhouse)
’16 Grand Prix Zagreb Open bronze medal – Daniel Miller, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
’16 Dave Schultz Memorial third place – Patrick Carey, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
’16 Final Olympic Trials Qualifier champion – John Lorenz, LaCrosse, Wis. (Unattached)