U.S. Olympic Team Trials men's freestyle preview at 57 kg/125.5 lbs.

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | March 24, 2016, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
 
 Tony Ramos in the finals of the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier.
Photo: Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.
Date of Competition: Sunday, April 10

Weight currently qualified for the Olympic Games? Yes

Two-time U.S. World Team member Tony Ramos (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC) has placed a stranglehold on the 57kg/125.5 lbs. weight class since graduating from the University of Iowa and competing on the senior level nearly two years ago.

After winning the NCAA title at 133 pounds as a senior for the Hawkeyes, Ramos has torched the senior level stateside, holding an undefeated record against domestic competition.

Ramos has competed at two World Championships (2014, 2015) for the U.S. and has earned international gold medals at the Grand Prix of Paris and Canada Cup. He also won the U.S. Open last year.

Having qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials early, courtesy of making the 2015 U.S. World Team, Ramos has not faced domestic competition since last year’s trials where he beat Joe Colon (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC) in the best 2-of-3 finals.

Ramos was able to secure the U.S. a 57 kg Olympic birth at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier by navigating his way to the finals where he ultimately placed second to familiar foe Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba).

All in all, the 57 kg field will feature two Olympians, one of which won an Olympic bronze medal, two World Team members, six NCAA champions and a slew of other talented individuals ready to challenge for the Olympic spot.

2012 Olympic bronze medalist Coleman Scott (Chapel Hill, N.C./Sunkist Kids) is primed for another run at Olympic glory in 2016.

Scott is coming off his first season as head coach for the University of North Carolina where he coached Joey Ward to an All-American finish at 141 pounds. He is the only head coach at a NCAA Division I institution competing at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

After his grand Olympic run in London, Scott has been unable to make a World Team, but has been right in the mix every year. Last year he finished in third place at the U.S. World Team Trials at 61 kg/134 lbs.

Over the past year, Scott has sacrificed his body to cut down to 57 kg for his final hoorah. This is the lowest weight Scott has competed at since he made 125 pounds while competing for Oklahoma State as a sophomore during the 2005-06 season.

Trending upward at 57 kg is 2012 Olympian Sam Hazewinkel (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) who exceeded expectations at the U.S. Open in December with a runner-up finish. Hazewinkel has posted mixed results since making the London Olympic Team, but finally boasts a full bill of health and appears ready for another run.

In 2014, Hazewinkel won the U.S. Open and finished in second place at the World Team Trials to Ramos.

Last year’s World Team Trials runner-up at 61 kg, Daniel Dennis (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC), has positioned himself as a serious threat after making the move down to 57 kg and running through the U.S. Open field in Las Vegas. He defeated Hazewinkel by first period technical fall, 10-0, in the finals.

In 2015, Dennis made his return to active competition after taking a handful of years off the mat. During his first full year back he placed fourth at the U.S. Open at 61 kg before falling in the best 2-of-3 finals at the World Team Trials to three-time U.S. World Team member Reece Humphrey.

Angel Escobedo (Ames, Iowa/New York AC) had a subpar run by his standards at the U.S. Open in December, finishing in seventh place, but the past U.S. World Team member possesses the skill to take out anyone at 57 kg.

Escobedo finished in fifth place at the 2013 World Championships and was third at the 2015 World Team Trials at 57 kg. He was a 2008 NCAA champion for Indiana University.

Last year’s World Team Trials runner-up at 57 kg, Colon, will look to rebound from a sixth place finish at the U.S. Open in December. Colon was a NCAA All-American for the University of Northern Iowa in 2014 with a third place finish at 133 pounds. That NCAA bracket, oddly enough, was won by Ramos.

On top of Ramos, Scott and Escobedo, three other NCAA champions are expected compete at 57 kg in Iowa City.

Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello (Parma, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC), Penn State’s Nico Megaludis (Murraysville, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) and Cornell’s Nahshon Garrett (Chico, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) are all compelling candidates to make a deep run in Iowa City. All three just wrapped up their NCAA seasons and will now focus on the Olympic berth.

Also included in the field are Bill Farrell International champion Tyler Graff (New Brunswick, N.J./New York AC), Dave Schultz Memorial International champion Alan Waters (Columbia, Mo./Missouri WF) and U.S. Open fourth place finisher Erkin Tadzhimetov (Orem, Utah/New York AC).

One more athlete will be added to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials field at 57 kg with the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier being held next weekend in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Only the champion at the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier will qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

For more information on the U.S. Olympic Team Trials visit the official event website iowacitytorio.com.

U.S. Olympic Team Trials Qualifiers as of March 24

57 kg/125.5 lbs.
’15 World Team member – Tony Ramos, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
2012 Olympic medalist - Coleman Scott, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Sunkist Kids)
’15 Bill Farrell International champion – Tyler Graff, New Brunswick, N.J. (New York AC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier champion – Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa. (Titan Mercury WC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier runner-up – Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier fourth place – Erkin Tadzhimetov, Orem, Utah (New York AC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier fifth place – Nathan Tomasello, Parma, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier sixth place – Joe Colon, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier seventh place – Angel Escobedo, Ames, Iowa (New York AC)
’16 Dave Schultz Memorial champion – Alan Waters, Columbia, Mo. (Missouri Wrestling Foundation)
’16 NCAA Div. I champion – Nico Megaludis, Murraysville, Pa. (Penn State/Nittany Lion WC)
’16 NCAA Div. I champion – Nahshon Garrett, Chico, Calif. (Cornell/Titan Mercury WC)
’16 Final Olympic Trials Qualifier champion -