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|University Nationals will carry added significance this year|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
USA Wrestling's University Nationals will carry added significance this year as it will serve as the qualifying event for the World University Championships.
The University Nationals for freestyle and Greco-Roman, along with the FILA Cadet Nationals in both styles, are scheduled for April 28-30 at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Champions at the University Nationals qualify to represent the United States at the World University Championships in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on June 15-20.
Finalists from the University Nationals qualify for the World Team Trials on May 27-28 in Sioux City, Iowa.
Wrestlers 18-24 years old who are U.S. citizens and whose class has graduated from high school are eligible to compete at University Nationals. This event showcases future stars of the sport and is an important stepping stone for Olympic hopefuls on their path to winning medals for the United States.
Wrestlers who may be back to defend their titles in Greco-Roman are 2005 U.S. World Team member Harry Lester of the U.S. Olympic Education Center/Gator Wrestling Club (145.5 lbs.) along with NCAA All-Americans Trent Paulson of Iowa State (163) and J.D. Bergman of Ohio State (211.5). Bergman also won a title in freestyle last year.
Lester has been the Outstanding Wrestler in Greco-Roman the past two years.
Minnesota heavyweight Cole Konrad, who won his first NCAA title last month, is expected to compete in Evanston. Konrad placed third at the World Team Trials in 2005. Konrad did not compete at the U.S. Nationals in Las Vegas and needs to reach the finals at University Nationals to make this year's World Team Trials.
Michigan State's Nick Simmons, third at 121 pounds in freestyle at the World Team Trials last year, also may compete in Evanston since he did not wrestle in Vegas. He still has not qualified for the World Team Trials. He won University Nationals last year and went on to place fifth in the 2005 World University Games.
University of Missouri teammates Ben Askren (185) and Matt Pell (163) also could be in the field. Askren, the reigning Hodge Trophy winner, was second in freestyle at University Nationals last year while Pell is the defending champion at 163.
Justin Millard of the U.S. Air Force likely will return to defend his Greco-Roman title at 185.
Northwestern All-American Jake Herbert, who lost to Askren in the NCAA finals at 174, placed fourth at University Nationals at 185 last year.
NCAA champion Dustin Schlatter of Minnesota may compete in the University Nationals. He could meet another talented true freshman, Virginia Tech's Brent Metcalf, at 145.5 pounds in Evanston. Metcalf won the FILA Junior Freestyle title last week in Las Vegas.
Another possibility for University Nationals is Cornell true freshman Troy Nickerson, who placed second at the NCAA meet at 125.
In the FILA Cadet Nationals, a number of top young stars may be entered in Evanston.
Ohio's David Taylor, a double FILA Cadet National champion last year at 92.5 pounds, also won Cadet Nationals last summer. Cadet National champions Andrew Long of Iowa, Eric Grajales of Florida and Tyler Clark of Illinois also could be in the mix to take home more hardware.
Long was third in Greco-Roman and fifth in freestyle last year at 92.5 pounds in FILA Cadets. Grajales was third in Greco-Roman and fifth in freetyle at 101.25. Clark was third in freestyle at 110.
Cadet All-American Andy Pokorny of Nebraska is a returning FILA Cadet National champion as is Esai Dominguez of Iowa.
2006 SCHEDULE FOR UNIVERSITY/FILA CADET NATIONALS
Thursday, April 27
7-8 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet Greco-Roman registration
8-8:30 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet Greco-Roman weigh-ins
Friday, April 28
9 a.m.-1 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet Greco-Roman preliminaries
3 p.m.-conclusion - University and FILA Cadet Greco-Roman preliminaries through finals
6-7:30 p.m. - University freestyle registration
6-8 p.m. - FILA Cadet freestyle registration
8-8:30 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet freestyle weigh-ins
Saturday, April 29
9 a.m.-noon - University and FILA Cadet freestyle preliminaries
2-5 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet freestyle preliminaries
6-9 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet freestyle preliminaries
Sunday, April 30
9 a.m.-conclusion - University and FILA Cadet freestyle preliminaries through finals
2005 CHAMPIONS FROM UNIVERSITY/FILA CADET NATIONALS
50 kg/110 lbs. - Ricardo Osorio (U.S. Air Force). 55 kg/121 lbs. - Joe Betterman (USOEC). 60 kg/132 lbs. - Jeremiah Davis (USOEC). 66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Harry Lester (USOEC). 74 kg/163 lbs. - Trent Paulson (Cyclone WC). 84 kg/185 lbs. - Justin Millard (U.S. Air Force). 96 kg/211.5 lbs. - J.D. Bergman (Ohio International WC). 120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Jake Marquardt (Viking WC).
50 kg/110 lbs. - Daniel Jackson (Minnesota Storm). 55 kg/121 lbs. - Nick Simmons (Michigan WC). 60 kg/132 lbs. - Drew Headlee (Pitt WC). 66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Jason Mester (Central Michigan). 74 kg/163 lbs. - Matt Pell (Tiger WC). 84 kg/185 lbs. - Tyler Nixt (Hawkeye WC). 96 kg/211.5 lbs. - J.D. Bergman (Ohio International WC). 120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Israel Silva (Chattanooga).
FILA Cadet Greco-Roman
42 kg/92.5 lbs. - David Taylor (Ohio). 46 kg/101.25 lbs. - Andy Pokorny (Nebraska). 50 kg/110 lbs. - Brian Owen (Washington). 54 kg/119 lbs. - Dak Adamson (New Mexico). 58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Spencer Jasper (Arizona). 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Esai Dominguez (Iowa). 69 kg/152 lbs.- Jon Reader (Michigan). 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Brent Chriswell (Washington). 85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Patrick Flynn (Pennsylvania). 100 kg/220.25 lbs. - Ryan Nachtrab (Ohio).
FILA Cadet Freestyle
42 kg/92.5 lbs. - David Taylor (Ohio). 46 kg/101.25 lbs. - Riley Adamson (New Mexico). 50 kg/110 lbs. - Brandon Davis (North Carolina). 54 kg/119 lbs. - Alex Meade (Delaware). 58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Coby Boyd (Ohio). 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Matt Ballweg (Iowa). 69 kg/152 lbs. - Jon Reader (Michigan). 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Scott Giffin (New Jersey). 85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Brent Chriswell (Washington). 100 kg/220.25 lbs. - Christopher Lewis (California).