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Olympic medalists Cox, Burroughs among men’s freestyle stars to reach World Team Trials finals series

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 11, 2021, 10:45 p.m. (ET)

2016 Olympic medalist and two-time World champion J'den Cox of the Titan Mercury WC in the World Team Trials semifinals. Photo by Jim Thrall,

A pair of past Olympic medalists were among the men’s freestyle stars to win their World Team Trials semifinals on Saturday evening, and earn a spot in the best-of-three championships series at their weights on Sunday at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb..

2016 Olympic bronze medalist and two-time World champion J’den Cox of the Titan Mercury WC was in control of his semifinals, an 8-0 victory over Myles Martin of the Titan Mercury WC. Cox, at the weight where he won his two World titles, will battle Kollin Moore of the Titan Mercury WC in the finals, after Moore defeated Nathan Jackson of the NYAC in his semifinals, 12-6.

2012 Olympic champion and four-time World champion Jordan Burroughs continued his strong run at a new weight class, with a crafty 5-3 win over former Penn State star Jason Nolf at 79 kg. Burroughs, a two-time Olympian who was second at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 74 kg, bumped up to this non-Olympic weight class for a chance at another Senior World Team. He will face Alex Dieringer of the Titan Mercury WC, who secured a 6-1 decision over Isaiah Martinez of Titan Mercury WC in the other final. Dieringer had been competing at 86 kg during the Olympic year.

Two-time World medalists James Green of the Titan Mercury WC at 70 kg and Nick Gwiazdowski of the Titan Mercury WC at 125 kg were also semifinals winners in their weight class.

Green stopped U,S. Olympic Trials champion Jordan Oliver of the Sunkist Kids in a close battle, 6-4 to advance to the finals. His opponent is past Senior Nationals runner-up Ryan Deakin of Titan Mercury WC, who advanced in an injury default at 4:36 over Alec Pantaleo of the Titan Mercury WC. Deakin led the match when Pantaleo’s injury prevented him from completing the bout.

Gwiazdowski was in control throughout the match on the way to strong 9-0 win over Jordan Wood of Pennsylvania. He will face past Junior World champion and Michigan college star Mason Parris of the Cliff Keen WC, winner over Hayden Zillmer, 8-4, who has moved up in weight to compete at heavyweight.

The 61 kg semifinals featured three past Senior World Team members, but only one was able to make the championship series. Daton Fix of the Titan Mercury WC won the battle of past World Team members, with a tight 2-0 win over World bronze medalist Tyler Graff in the first semifinal. Nathan Tomasello of the Titan Mercury WC, who is seeking his first Senior World Team, took out past World bronze medalist Joe Colon of Titan Mercury WC, un a 15-2 technical fall.

A highly anticipated finals series among young stars has developed at 65 kg, with Yianni Diakomihalis of Titan Mercury WC to battle Joey McKenna of the Titan Mercury WC. Diakomihalis had an easy time with Luke Pletcher of TMWC in a 10-0 technical fall, while McKenna edged Evan Henderson of the Titan Mercury WC in a tight 10-9 decision.

Four 2020 Olympic medalists chose to compete at the World Championships also, and their weight classes are not being contested this weekend: Olympic champion David Taylor (86 kg), Olympic silver medalist Kyle Snyder (97 kg), Olympic bronze medalist Thomas Gilman (57 kg) and Olympic bronze medalist Kyle Dake (74 kg).

Wrap stories on women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman will be posted shortly.

All of Sunday’s action will be live on FloWrestling. Consolation rounds are set for 10:00 a.m. CT and the Championship Series begins at 2:00 p.m. CT

Men’s freestyle final series pairings
61 kg - Daton Fix (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Nathan Tomasello (Titan Mercury WC)
65 kg - Yianni Diakomihalis (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Joey McKenna (Titan Mercury WC)
70 kg - James Green (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Ryan Deakin (Titan Mercury WC)
79 kg - Jordan Burroughs (Sunkist Kids) vs. Alex Dieringer (Titan Mercury WC)
92 kg - J’den Cox (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Kollin Moore (Titan Mercury WC)
125 kg - Nick Gwiazdowski (TMWC/SCRTC) vs. Mason Parris (Cliff Keen WC)

Men’s freestyle semifinal results

61 kg
Daton Fix (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Tyler Graff (Titan Mercury WC), 2-0
Nathan Tomasello (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Joe Colon (Titan Mercury WC), 15-2, 2:34

65 kg
Yianni Diakomihalis (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Luke Pletcher (TMWC/PWC), 10-0, 3:29
Joey McKenna (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Evan Henderson (Titan Mercury WC), 10-9

70 kg
James Green (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids), 6-4
Ryan Deakin (Titan Mercury WC) inj. dft. Alec Pantaleo (Titan Mercury WC), 4:36

79 kg
Jordan Burroughs (Sunkist Kids) dec. Jason Nolf (Titan Mercury WC), 5-3
Alex Dieringer (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Isaiah Martinez (Titan Mercury WC), 6-1

92 kg
J’den Cox (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Myles Martin (Titan Mercury WC), 8-0
Kollin Moore (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Nathan Jackson (NYAC), 12-6

125 kg
Nick Gwiazdowski (TMWC/SCRTC) dec. Jordan Wood (Pennsylvania), 9-0
Mason Parris (Cliff Keen WC) dec. Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC RTC), 8-4