USA sends stacked men's freestyle lineup to Pan Am Championships in Argentina

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | April 12, 2019, 5:45 p.m. (ET)

The United States boasts four World champions and two other Senior World medalists in a stacked men’s freestyle squad for the 2019 Pan American Championships in Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21.

Leading the squad is four-time World champion and 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs, who will compete at 74 kg. In addition to his four World titles, Burroughs has claimed two other Senior World bronze medals from 2014 and 2018.

Burroughs also has two Pan American Championships golds as well as two Pan American Games golds.

Since competing at the 2018 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Burroughs was crowned the 74 kg champion at the Dan Kolov International in Ruse, Bulgaria.

Two-time World champion and 2016 Olympic champ Kyle Snyder will represent at 97 kg in his second Pan American Championships appearance.

Similar to Burroughs, Snyder, who won silver at the 2018 World Championships, is fresh off a gold-medal performance at the Kolov last month.

Wrestling at 92 kg is 2018 World champion and World and Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox.

Next week marks Cox’s first competition since the Worlds in October. It will also be his first Pan American competition.

2018 returning World and Pan American champion David Taylor will suit up for the Stars and Stripes at 86 kg.

Taylor, who has earned gold at his last six individual international tournaments, will also compete for the first time since winning his first World title last fall.

World medalists Joe Colon and Nick Gwiazdowski highlight the lineup at 61 kg and 125 kg, respectively.

In October, Colon shocked the world, winning bronze in his first World outing as a Team USA alternate.

Since Budapest, Colon has put together two top-10 finishes in United World Wrestling Ranking Series events. He looks to defend his 2018 Pan Am title next week.

Gwiazdowski is a two-time World bronze medalist, winning in 2017 and 2018, which were his only two attempts. He also looks to return at the top of the podium after claiming Pan Am gold last year.

Two-time Junior Pan Am champion Josh Rodriguez will represent at 57 kg next week. Rodriguez recently competed at the Kolov International, where he took 16th. Last year, he claimed bronze at the Canada Cup.

Three Senior-level newcomers round out the team with Colton McCrystal at 65 kg, Anthony Ashnault at 70 kg and Chandler Rogers at 79 kg.

Ashnault and Rogers come to the Pan Ams after a quick turnaround from the collegiate season, where they both capped off their careers.

Ashnault helped make history at Rutgers University, becoming one of the first NCAA champions in program history. His teammate Nick Suriano also won an NCAA title that same night.

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Rogers finished his time at Oklahoma State as a two-time All-American.

Both have prior international experience as Ashnault was 10th at the 2014 University World Championships, and Rogers was eighth at the 2012 Cadet World Championships in Greco-Roman.

Colton McCrystal, a former Nebraska wrestler, repped the USA last fall at the U23 World Championships, where he was seventh.

The tournament serves two big purposes. First, it is a ranking tournament for the 2019 Senior World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, where the points go to the individual, not the country.

Also it is a qualifier for the 2019 Pan American Games in August, where only Olympic weights will be contested. The three highest-placing athletes at each weight from countries that have not yet qualified, will earn spots at the Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. Since this event will have two bronze winners, those two will face off for true-third to qualify their nation, if necessary.

The U.S. men’s freestyle team has already qualified all six weights (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg, 125 kg) for the 2019 Pan Am Games.

According to the 2019 USA Wrestling World Team Trials Qualification and Procedures for men’s freestyle, any U.S. representatives that medal at the Pan American Championships in men’s freestyle will earn a bid to the World Team Trials in May in Raleigh, N.C.

The men’s freestyle tournament will close the Pan American Championships on April 20-21. Greco-Roman opens the event on April 18-19, followed by women’s freestyle on April 19-20. For all four days, the tournament will begin at 10 a.m. local time with the qualification rounds and repechage. The finals are set for 5 p.m. local time each day.

Buenos Aires, Argentina, is situated one hour ahead of U.S. Eastern Time.

Fans can watch all the action live on Trackwrestling.com and keep up with live updates on Twitter @USAWrestling.

2019 SENIOR PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 18-21

U.S. Men’s Freestyle roster
57 kg: Josh Rodriguez (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC)
61 kg: Joe Colon (Fresno, Calif./Titan Mercury WC/Valley RTC)
65 kg: Colton McCrystal (Lincoln, Neb./Nebraska WTC)
70 kg: Anthony Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J./NJRTC)
74 kg: Jordan Burroughs (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids)
79 kg: Chandler Rogers (Stillwater, Okla./Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC)
86 kg: David Taylor (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC)
92 kg: J’den Cox (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/USOTC)
97 kg: Kyle Snyder (Columbus, Ohio/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
125 kg: Nick Gwiazdowksi (Raleigh, N.C./Titan Mercury WC)

National Freestyle head coach – Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo.
National Manager of Freestyle Programs – Joe Russell, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach – Kerry McCoy, College Park, Md.

Team leader – Elison Dantas, Garanhuns, Brazil

Medical – Jodi Loecke, Windsor, Colo.
Medical – Dr. Vermon Esplin, Chubbuck, Idaho
Nutritionist – Rob Skinner, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Referee – Casey Goessl, Osceola, Wisc.
Referee – Sammy Julian, Schuylkill Haven, Pa.
Referee – Jason Babi, Centennial, Colo.
Referee – Danny Blackshear, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Communications – Taylor Miller, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Schedule
Thursday, April 18
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds (GR 55-60-63-67-72-97-130kg)
4:30 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
5 p.m. – Finals (GR 55-60-63-67-72-97-130kg)

Friday, April 19
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds (GR 77-82-87kg & WW 55-59-65-72kg)
5 p.m. – Finals (GR 77-82-87kg & WW 55-59-65-72kg)

Saturday, April 20
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds (WW 50-53-57-62-68-76kg & FS 79-92kg)
5 p.m. – Finals (WW 50-53-57-62-68-76kg & FS 79-92kg)

Sunday, April 21
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds (FS – 57-61-65-70-74-86-97-125kg)
5 p.m. – Finals (FS – 57-61-65-70-74-86-97-125kg)