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Oliver tops Metcalf to storm into finals of U.S. Open freestyle competition



Jordan Oliver (in blue) battles Brent Metcalf in the U.S. Open semifinals on Thursday. John Sachs photo.

LAS VEGAS – Jordan Oliver and Kellen Russell weren’t expected to be in the finals, but that didn’t stop the pair of two-time NCAA champions from storming into the U.S. Open title bout.

The fourth-seeded Oliver knocked off No. 1 seed and past World Team member Brent Metcalf 1-0, 0-1, 1-0 in the freestyle semifinals at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. on Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The unseeded Russell pinned No. 2 seed Chase Pami in the first round before sweeping No. 3 Adam Hall 3-0, 5-2 in the semifinals. Russell wrestled for the second straight day after competing in the qualifying tournament on Thursday.

Oliver and Russell will meet in Friday night’s finals, set to start at 7 p.m. in Las Vegas. Oliver just capped his college career last month by winning his second NCAA title for Oklahoma State.

The third period of the Oliver-Metcalf match was scoreless after two minutes. Oliver won a ball draw and finished in the leg clinch to earn the win over Metcalf, a two-time NCAA champion who made the U.S. World Team in 2010.

Past World bronze medalist and Olympian Tervel Dlagnev rolled into the freestyle finals at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. He will battle past Junior World champion Dom Bradley in the finals. Dlagnev is seeking his second U.S. Open title.

U.S. National Team member Keith Gavin will face past NCAA runner-up Clayton Foster in the freestyle finals at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Two-time Olympian Spenser Mango will face 2012 Olympic Trials runner-up Max Nowry in the Greco-Roman finals at 55 kg/121 lbs. Mango and Nowry are past University World champions. Mango is seeking his fifth title in this event.

Unseeded Ryan Halsey knocked off top seed Pete Gounaridis in the first round en route to advancing to the Greco finals at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Halsey will face No. 2 John Wechter in the finals. Halsey made a U.S. Junior World Team in 2003.

World champion and Olympian Elena Pirozhkova moved one win away from her fifth U.S. Open title. She advanced to face Erin Clodgo in the women’s freestyle finals at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. Clogdo won this event in 2010.

World bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe and past Junior World champion Victoria Anthony will face off in the women’s finals at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. Lampe is seeking her second U.S. Open title.

The top seven finishers in each weight class qualify for June’s U.S. World Team Trials in Stillwater, Okla.

The three-day U.S. Open will conclude on Saturday in Las Vegas.

FINALS MATCHUPS

Freestyle

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Jordan Oliver (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Kellen Russell (New York AC)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Keith Gavin (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Clayton Foster (Grit Athletics/Cowboy WC)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Tervel Dlagnev (Sunkist Kids) vs. Dom Bradley (Sunkist Kids)

Women’s freestyle

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids) vs. Victoria Anthony (Sunkist Kids)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Elena Pirozhkova (Titan Mercury WC) vs. Erin Clodgo (Sunkist Kids)

Greco-Roman

55 kg/121 lbs.
Spenser Mango (U.S. Army) vs. Max Nowry (New York AC)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Ryan Halsey (No Mercy School of Wrestling) vs. John Wechter (Minnesota Storm)
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