Men's freestyle team set for U23 World Championships in Budapest, Oct. 28-Nov. 3

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Oct. 21, 2019, 11:57 a.m. (ET)

Photo of Bo Nickal, 92 kg. 

The United States is sending a mix of international newcomers and veterans to the U23 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Oct. 28-Nov. 3.

Bringing the most international credentials to the tournament is Greg Kerkvliet, who will compete at 125 kg.

With two World finals appearances, Kerkvliet is a 2017 Cadet World champion and 2018 Cadet World silver medalist.

Beginning his freshman season at Ohio State this fall, Kerkvliet is one of the most talked about rising talents in folkstyle and freestyle.

Overall, Kerkvliet has made four age-group World Teams. In addition to his 2017 and 2018 Cadet World Teams, Kerkvliet also earned a spot on the 2018 Junior World Team but was not able to compete due to injury.

U23 Worlds next week will be Kerkvliet’s first international competition since 2018 Cadet Worlds in Zagreb, Croatia.

Joining Kerkvliet as a World medalist is Brady Berge, who won bronze at the 2018 Junior World Championships.

Last year, Berge won his Junior World bronze at 70 kg, and this year, he bumps up to 74 kg for U23 Worlds.

The Penn State sophomore heads to his third-career World Championships. As well as making the 2018 Junior World squad, Berge represented the United States at the 2015 Cadet Worlds.

Competing for the USA at 92 kg is three-time NCAA champion for Penn State and 2019 Hodge Trophy recipient Bo Nickal.

Now focused solely on freestyle, Nickal has put together an impressive season on the Senior level, winning the U.S. Open and then going on to win the Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament to earn a spot at Final X. There, he fell to returning World champion J’den Cox in two close bouts.

Because Nickal advanced to Final X, he was afforded an opportunity for a special wrestle-off for the U23 World spot, which he won, defeating Jake Woodley in two-straight matches.

U23 Worlds will mark Nickal’s first international event since the 2013 Cadet World Championships, where he took fifth.

Another athlete with Senior level accolades on the squad is Jaydin Eierman, who will compete at 65 kg.

This summer, Eierman put together one of the best performances of his Senior-level career with a bronze-medal finish at the 2019 Pan American Games. He has also had success domestically, earning a spot on the 2018 Senior National Team and taking fifth at the 2018 U.S. Open, shortly after wrapping up his NCAA season.

Eierman is a three-time All-American for Mizzou and has elected to take an Olympic redshirt for the 2019-20 season in order to concentrate on freestyle.

Alec Pantaleo, a three-time All-American and 2018 Big Ten champion for Michigan, returns to the World stage for the first time since 2016, when he wrestled for the USA at the Junior World Championships in Macon, France, and recorded a top-10 finish.

Next week, Pantaleo will compete at 70 kg.

Making the team at 57 kg is Gabriel Townsell, 2017 Junior Pan American silver medalist in freestyle. He also placed fifth in that same tournament in Greco-Roman.

Townsell is a senior and NCAA qualifier for Stanford.

Making their international debuts next week are 2019 NCAA runner-up Max Dean at 86 kg, Chas Tucker at 61 kg, Muhamed McBryde at 79 kg and Chase Singletary at 97 kg. 

Tucker and Dean are teammates at Cornell, while Singletary is a sophomore at Ohio State. McBryde graduated from the University of Buffalo.

Men’s freestyle action will take place Oct. 28-Oct. 30 in Budapest, Hungary. Fans can watch the action live on Trackwrestling.com.

2019 U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Budapest, Hungary (Oct. 28-Nov. 3)

U.S. men’s freestyle roster
57 kg: Gabriel Townsell (Oak Park, Ill./California RTC)
61 kg: Chas Tucker (Worcester, Mass./Finger Lakes WC/ Titan Mercury WC)
65 kg: Jaydin Eierman (Columbia, Mo./Titan Mercury WC)
70 kg: Alec Pantaleo (Canton, Mich./Titan Mercury WC)
74 kg: Brady Berge (Mantorville, Minn./Nittany Lion WC)
79 kg: Muhamed McBryde (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo Wrestling Club RTC)
86 kg: Max Dean (Lowell, Mich./Finger Lakes WC/ Titan Mercury WC)
92 kg: Bo Nickal (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC)
97 kg: Chase Singletary (Naples, Fla./Ohio RTC/ Titan Mercury WC)
125 kg: Daniel Greg Kerkvliet (Inver Grove Heights, Minn./Ohio RTC/ Titan Mercury WC)

U.S. Manager of Men’s Freestyle Programs – Joe Russell, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach – Mike Zadick, Iowa City, Iowa

Team Leader – Paul Kieblesz, New York, N.Y.

Medical – Dr. Mike Mattin
Medical – Warren Flautt, Williamsburg, Va.

Referee – Jason Babi, Centennial, Colo.          
Referee – Tim Pierson, Virginia Beach, Va.
Referee – Brock Zollinger, Idaho Falls, Idaho

Communications – Taylor Miller, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Schedule (Budapest is six hours ahead of U.S. ET)
Monday, Oct. 28
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (MFS 57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 97 kg)
6 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 97 kg)

Tuesday, Oct. 29
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (MFS 61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (MFS 57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 97 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
6 p.m. - (MFS 57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 97 kg)

Wednesday, Oct. 30
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (WFS 50 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (MFS 61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (WFS 50 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (MFS 61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)

Thursday, Oct. 31
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (WFS 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (WFS 50 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg)
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (WFS 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (WFS 50 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg)

Friday, Nov. 1
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (GR 55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 130kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (WFS 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg)
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (GR 55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 130kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (WFS 53 kg, 57 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 72 kg)

Saturday, Nov. 2
10:30 a.m. – Qualification rounds (GR 60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg)
10:30 a.m. – Repechage (GR 55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 130kg)
5:15 p.m. – Semifinals (GR 60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (GR 55 kg, 63 kg, 77 kg, 87 kg, 130kg)

Sunday, Nov. 3
3:30 p.m. – Repechage (GR 60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg)
5 p.m. – Finals (GR 60 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg, 97 kg)