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|WEEKEND UPDATE: Herbert downs Kish to win University Nationals|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Northwestern sophomore Jake Herbert looks like he's ready to bump up a weight class.
Herbert, who placed third and second at the NCAAs the past two seasons, captured the University Nationals 185-pound freestyle title Sunday, April 30 in his own backyard at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.
Herbert downed Minnesota's Roger Kish, who placed second at 184 in March's NCAA meet, by a 4-0, 5-1 margin in the final round at Welsh Ryan Arena. Herbert was named Outstanding Wrestler. He wrestled 174 his first two years in college, but is considering a move up to 184 next season.
Herbert and Kish, by virtue of finishing 1-2, qualify for the U.S. World Team Trials on May 26-28 in Sioux City, Iowa. Herbert also earned a trip to represent the United States at the World University Championships in Ulan Bator, Mongolia, on June 15-20.
Champions in each class in freestyle and Greco-Roman from University Nationals qualify for the World University Championships. The top two placewinners in each weight class in Evanston earn a trip to the World Team Trials.
J.D. Bergman of Ohio State successfully defended his freestyle title at 211.5 after coming up short of defending his championship in Greco-Roman. Reigning NCAA champion Cole Konrad breezed to the heavyweight title at 264.5. Bergman and Konrad both placed third at the World Team Trials last year. Bergman earned a bronze medal in Greco-Roman.
Also winning titles in freestyle were Franklin Gomez (121) of the Michigan Wrestling Club, Vic Moreno (132) of the Meat Head Wrestling Club, Michigan State's Andy Simmons (145.5) and Iowa State's Trent Paulson (163).
Nineteen-year-old Robbie Smith was named Outstanding Wrestler in Greco-Roman at the University Nationals after pulling out a 0-3, 3-0, 6-2 upset over Bergman in the 211.5 finals.
Champions in Greco-Roman also included Shao Lee (110) of the U.S. Marines, Spenser Mango (121), Jacob Curby (145.5), Jake Fisher (163) and Jake Marquardt (264.5) of the U.S. Olympic Education Center program, Nathan Piasecki (132) of the Sunkist Kids, and Kenneth Cook (185). Marquardt successfully defended his title.
Double champions numerous at Southern Plains
Winning one title was not enough for an abundance of wrestlers April 28-29 at the Southern Plains Regional Championships in Hutchinson, Kan.
Six wrestlers captured both freestyle and Greco-Roman titles at the Junior level. They included Brandon Goodwin (98 pounds), Nathan Furches (105), Donny Altman (119) and Jarrett Edison (215) of Kansas, Justin Forrest (112) and Scott O'Donnell (135) of Missouri.
Oklahoma's Chris Hacker (152), a Cadet National runner-up in freestyle and Greco-Roman last year, won the Southern Plains Regional in Greco-Roman and was second in freestyle.
Five wrestlers were double champion at the Cadet level. They included Jerry Huff (91) and Eric Wilson (112) of Colorado, Mitchell Means (135), Nick Flynn (140) and Jordan Brown (160) of Kansas.
Two-time state champion Tyler Sackett, a super sophomore from Nebraska powerhouse Omaha Skutt, captured the 130-pound Cadet title in freestyle.
Coming Up: Last chance to qualify for World Team Trials
Wrestlers are now down to their final weekend to qualify for the World Team Trials. The last shot for men's freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers to qualify comes at the Northern Plains Regional May 4-6 in Waterloo, Iowa. Women's freestyle competitors have their last shot at University Nationals May 5-7 in Colorado Springs.
The men's freestyle and Greco-Roman champion in each weight class at the Northern Plains Regional will qualify for the World Team Trials on May 26-28 in Sioux City, Iowa.
The top two finishers in each weight class from the University Nationals for women will qualify for the World Team Trials for women's freestyle on June 30 in Colorado Springs.
USA Wrestling is hosting a Sombo competition at American University in Washington, D.C., on May 5-6. It is USA Wrestling's first Sombo event since FILA recognized it as a form of wrestling.