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WORLD TEAM TRIALS PREVIEW: Freestyle at 74 kg/163 lbs.

Andrew Howe turned in one of the surprise performances at the U.S. Open.

The 20-year-old Howe knocked off 2009 U.S. Nationals champions and twins Travis and Trent Paulson at 74 kg/163 lbs. to win the U.S. Open last month in Cleveland.

The 2010 NCAA champion from Wisconsin advances to the best-of-3 final-round series for the World Team Trials on June 11-12 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Howe will face the winner of the Challenge Tournament for the World Team spot.

Howe has continued to progress after winning a bronze medal at the 2009 Junior World Championships.

The Paulson twins will be competing at the World Team Trials in their hometown of Council Bluffs for the second straight year. Trent Paulson made the World Team last year at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. before bumping up a weight class this year.

Travis Paulson finished second to Dustin Schlatter in the 2009 Trials at 74 kilos. Schlatter suffered a knee injury at the end of the college season and is not expected to compete in the Trials.

The Paulsons could meet in the finals of the Trials. They have never faced each other before in competition.

2008 Olympian Ben Askren has returned to the mat and is expected to compete. Askren did not compete in the U.S. Open, but has wrestled frequently this season. He won the Hargobind and Dave Schultz titles earlier this season. Askren has been a busy man, competing in wrestling, grappling and mixed martial arts.

Past NCAA All-American Moza Fay was fourth in the U.S. Open. Terry Madden placed fifth.

Mike Poeta, who beat Trent Paulson in the World Cup Wrestle-Off, also is in the mix here. Poeta, a two-time NCAA runner-up, was sixth in the Open. Poeta won the Sunkist Kids event this season.

Lloyd Rogers also could be a factor after placing seventh at the Open.

Two-time NCAA All-American Nick Marable won the Northern Plains Regional to land a spot in the Trials.

2010 U.S. Open Results – 74 kg/163 lbs.
1st – Andrew Howe, Cedar Lake, Ind. (New York AC) dec. Trent Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 0-7, 1-0, 6-2
3rd – Travis Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) dec. Moza Fay, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 4-1, 1-0
5th – Terry Madden, New York, N.Y. (New York AC) inj. dft. Mike Poeta, Naperville, Ill, (Lehigh Valley AC),
7th – Lloyd Rogers, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC) dec. Ethan Headlee, Pittsburgh, Pa. (Pittsburgh WC), 0-1, 7-0, 2-1

2010 U.S. World Team Trials Qualifiers – 74 kg/163 lbs.
U.S. Open Champion – Andrew Howe, Cedar Lake, Ind. (New York AC)
U.S. Open, second place – Trent Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
U.S. Open, third place – Travis Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
U.S. Open, fourth place – Moza Fay, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
U.S. Open, fifth place – Terry Madden, New York, N.Y. (New York AC)
U.S. Open, sixth place - Mike Poeta, Naperville, Ill, (Lehigh Valley AC)
U.S. Open, seventh place - Lloyd Rogers, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
Northeast Regional Trials Champion – James Allen, Allentown, Pa. (Matrix)
Northern Plains Trials Champion – Nick Marable, Columbia, Mo. (Unattached)
Past U.S. World Team member – Dustin Schlatter, Massilon, Ohio (Minnesota Storm)
Past U.S. Olympic Team member – Ben Askren, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
University Nationals Champion – Colt Sponseller, Glenmont, Ohio (Ohio State)
University Nationals Runner-up – Ethen Lofthouse, Avon, Utah (Hawkeye WC)
International Tour medalist –
09 Deglane Challenge (FRA) bronze medalist – Michael Mitchell, Stanford, Calif. (Cardinal WC)
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