U.S. Olympic Team Trials men's freestyle preview at 74 kg/163 lbs.

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | March 30, 2016, 3:36 p.m. (ET)
 
 Jordan Burroughs at the 2016 Pan American Championships
in Frisco, Tx. Photo: Stuart Spears.
Date of Competition: Sunday, April 10

Weight currently qualified for the Olympic Games? Yes

Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids), already one of the greatest U.S. wresters in history, resides at the 74 kg/163 lbs. weight class and is sitting out until the best two-of-three finals, giving him a strong edge to represent the the U.S. at the Olympic Games once more.

Burroughs has made every World and Olympic team for the U.S since 2011. He has captured a total of one Olympic gold medal, three World gold medals and a World bronze medal in that five-year span. He now owns an astounding senior-level record of 122-2.

In early February, Burroughs tore through the Yasar Dogu International held in Istanbul, Turkey. He added four victories to his ledger at the Yasar Dogu including a 14-3 technical fall over fifth place finisher at the 2015 World Championships Zelimkhan Khadjiev of France in the finals. He also teched his way through the Pan American Championships held in Frisco, Texas last month.

The U.S. qualified 74 kg for the Olympic Games after Burroughs won the 2015 World Championships in Las Vegas last September.

With Burroughs last two U.S. World Team Trials finals opponents, Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC) and David Taylor (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC), opting to move up and compete at 86 kg/189 lbs., those able to challenge Burroughs reign are dwindling. Topping the list of would-be challengers is 2016 U.S. Open champion Andrew Howe (Norman, Okla./New York AC).

Howe and Burroughs met in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials finals with Burroughs coming out the victor, but Howe has always been a tough out for anyone he has wrestled, including Burroughs.

This season Howe competed at the Ivan Yargin Grand Prix, considered one of the toughest tournaments in the World, and earned a fifth place finish. He was second at the Ivan Yarygin last year. Howe is a four-time NCAA All-American, never finishing lower than third place at the NCAA Championships, and a 2010 NCAA champion.

Two-time NCAA champion Chris Perry (Stillwater, Okla./Titan Mercury WC) is another strong favorite to make the finals. Perry and Howe have traded wins throughout their college and senior-level careers. Most recently, Howe defeated Perry in the U.S. Open finals, 3-2.

Perry competed at 86 kg the past two seasons on the senior-level, and finished as high as third in the U.S. World Team Trials (2014), but has elected to drop to 74 kg for the Olympic year. He is a 2014 University World silver medalist and a 2010 Junior World bronze medalist for the U.S.

Nick Marable (Morgantown, W. Va./Sunkist Kids), the only U.S. competitor to beat Burroughs on the senior-level, will be in contention at 74 kg. He defeated Burroughs on criteria, 4-4, at the 2014 Yasar Dogu International.

Wrestling the past two years at 70 kg/154 lbs., Marable made the U.S. World Team in 2014 before finishing in second place at the U.S. World Team Trials last year to eventual World bronze medalist James Green (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) in the best two-of-three wrestle-off.

Marable finished in third place at the U.S. Open behind Howe and Perry.

Also qualifying to compete in Iowa City by placing top-seven at the U.S. Open are Vladyslav Dombrovskiy (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP), Quinton Godley (Raleigh, N.C./Titan Mercury WC), Adam Hall (Raleigh, N.C./Titan Mercury WC) and Logan Massa (St. Johns, Mich./New York AC/Cliff Keen WC).

Three-time NCAA champion and 2016 Dan Hodge Trophy winner Alex Dieringer (Port Washington, Wis./Cowboy WC) could be a major x-factor at 74 kg. He has not competed on the senior-level yet, but he does own a Junior World silver medal from 2013.

Two-time NCAA champion Isaiah Martinez (Lemoore, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) could also be in the mix should he elect to compete at 74 kg in Iowa City.

Dave Schultz Memorial International champion Kevin LeValley (Lewisburg, Pa./Buffalo Valley RTC) and Bill Farrell International silver medalist Dan Vallimont (Long Beach, N.Y./New York AC/Blue and Gold WC) round out the list of current U.S. Olympic Team Trials qualifiers at 74 kg.

One more athlete will be added to the U.S. Olympic Team Trials field at 74 kg with the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier being held this 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 30

74 kg/163 lbs.

’15 World Medalist advances to Trials Finals Series - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids)

Olympic Team Trials Tournament qualifiers
’15 Bill Farrell International silver medalist – Dan Vallimont, Long Beach, N.Y. (New York AC/Blue and Gold WC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier champion – Andrew Howe, Norman, Okla. (New York AC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier runner-up – Chris Perry, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC),
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier third place – Nick Marable, Morgantown, W.Va. (Sunkist Kids)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier fourth place – Logan Massa, St. Johns, Mich. (New York AC/CKWC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier fifth place – Adam Hall, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier sixth place – Quinton Godley, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC)
’15 Olympic Trials Qualifier seventh place – Vladyslav Dombrovskiy, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
’16 Dave Schultz Memorial highest U.S. medalist – Kevin LeValley, Lewisburg, Pa. (Buffalo Valley RTC)
’16 NCAA Div. I champion – Isaiah Martinez, Lemoore, Calif. (Illinois/Titan Mercury WC)
’16 NCAA Div. I champion – Alex Dieringer, Port Washington, Wis. (Oklahoma State/Cowboy WC)
’16 Final Olympic Trials Qualifier champion –