Photo: Andrew Alirez in the 65 kg finals. Photo by Geoff Riccio.
CORALVILLE, Iowa – Putting an exclamation point on an exceptional weekend, Northern Colorado wrestler Andrew Alirez won the 65 kg bracket as the No. 9 seed and was named the 2020 Senior Nationals men’s freestyle Outstanding Wrestler on Sunday in Coralville, Iowa.
Facing No. 3 Evan Henderson, Alirez used a passivity point and a late first-period takedown to give him a 3-0 lead at the break. In the second period, he snagged another takedown for an eventual 5-1 win and a USA Wrestling national championship.
In addition to Henderson, Alirez took out three other seeded wrestlers over the weekend, including No. 1 and U23 World bronze medalist Joey McKenna, No. 8 and Junior World silver medalist Mitch McKee and No. 12 Yahya Thomas.
Two-time age-group World silver medalist Vitali Arujau scored his first USA Wrestling Senior-level national title, shutting down Dylan Ragusin, who strung together an impressive weekend, in the 57 kg finals.
Ragusin drew first blood with an early step out, but the Cornell All-American stormed back, scoring a takedown for the lead. Ragusin added two more on exposure from a chinwhip, but Arujau went behind for a takedown and finished off the bout with a trapped-arm gut, turning Raugsin five times for the win.
It was an action-packed match for the championship at 97 kg as No. 3 seed and U23 World silver medalist Kollin Moore took on No. 4 and NCAA champion for Iowa State Kyven Gadson. The two exchanged points back and forth the entire bout. Moore took an 8-4 advantage into the break, thanks to a pair of takedowns followed by turns.
In the second period, Gadson shot a double, but Moore came out on top with exposure. Gadson immediately scored a reversal, but Moore held on for a 10-5 victory and his first Senior national title.
It was the second time the two have met at a Senior Nationals as Moore defeated Gadson in the semifinals of the 2019 Senior Nationals in December, 6-3.
The finals at 125 kg lasted only 1:22 as 2019 Junior World champion Mason Parris dominated two-time Junior World Team member Tanner Hall for the title.
Parris and Hall traded exposure points early in the bout, but Parris’ top game propelled him to a Senior Nationals title as he scored three gut wrenches for a 12-2 technical fall.
In a rematch of the 2019 Senior Nationals quarterfinals, returning champion and top-seeded Logan Massa defeated No. 3 Anthony Valencia with a 13-2 technical fall.
Massa scored a big lift for four points and a go-behind takedown for a solid 6-1 lead at the break. The Michigan All-American collected three more takedowns to earn his second-straight Senior Nationals title.
In their last meeting, Massa won 18-8.
At 86 kg, two-time NCAA champion for Cornell Gabe Dean capped off his return to wrestling with a 1-1 decision on criteria over multiple-time NCAA All-American for Indiana Nate Jackson. The bout was decided by passivity points.
Dean and Jackson may meet up again later this month as both are entered in FloWrestling’s 195-pound tournament on Oct. 31.
In the team race, Titan Mercury Wrestling Club came out on top with three champions and 250 team points. In second place was Sunkist Kids with 87 points.
Find the complete results from this weekend’s action on FloWrestling.
1st - Vitali Arujau (TMWC) df. Dylan Ragusin (Cliff Keen WC), 13-3
3rd - Jack Mueller (TMWC) df. Sean Russell (Gopher WC RTC), 8-2
5th - Frank Perrelli (TMWC) TF Sam Latona (TMWC), 11-0
7th - Jakob Camacho (TMWC) df. Shelton Mack (TMWC), 5-2
1st - Andrew Alirez (unattached) df. Evan Henderson (TMWC), 5-0
3rd - Joseph McKenna (TMWC) df. Yahya Thomas (TMWC), 6-1
5th - Jaydin Eierman (TMWC) df. Matthew Kolodzik (New York Athletic Club), fall 1:08
7th - Nicholas Dardanes (TMWC) df. Kanen Storr (Cliff Keen WC RTC), 3-0
1st - Logan Massa (Cliff Keen WC) df. Anthony Valencia (Sunkist Kids), 13-2
3rd - Hayden Hidlay (TMWC) df. Evan Wick (TMWC), 11-8
5th - Ryan Deakin (TMWC/Wildcat Wrestling Club) dec. David Carr (C-RTC), 5-2
7th - Danny Braunagel (Illinois RTC) df. Joey Lavallee (TMWC), 10-0
1st - Gabe Dean (TMWC) df. Nate Jackson (NYAC), 1-1
3rd - Trent Hidlay (TMWC) df. Drew Foster (Panther WC RTC), 7-4
5th - Rocky Elam (Tiger Style WC) df. David McFadden (TMWC), 3-3
7th - Taylor Lujan (Panther WC RTC) df. Cj Brucki (Unattached), 8-4
1st - Kollin Moore (TMWC) df. Kyven Gadson (Cyclone RTC), 10-5
3rd - Hayden Zillmer MN (Gopher WC) df. Timothy Dudley SC (Sunkist Kids), 10-0
5th - Eric Schultz (Nebraska WTC) df. Kyle Snyder (TMWC/NLWC), injury default
7th - Ty Walz (TMWC) df. Lucas Davison (TMWC), 7-3
1st - Mason Parris (Cliff Keen WC) df. Tanner Hall (Sunkist Kids), 12-2
3rd - Dominique Bradley (Sunkist Kids) df. Trent Hillger (Badger RTC), 10-0
5th - Daniel Chaid (TMWC) df. Youssif Hemida (Cliff Keen WC/NYAC), 4-4
7th - Christian Lance (Nebraska WTC) df. David Tate Orndorff UT (TMWC), 6-4