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|U.S. World Team Trials preview in men's freestyle at 84 kg/185 lbs.|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Veteran Keith Gavin has emerged as the favorite to win the U.S. World Team Trials men’s freestyle crown at 84 kg/185 lbs.
Gavin, a past NCAA champion and U.S. National Team member, won April’s U.S. Open in Las Vegas.
Gavin has clinched a spot in the best-of-3 finals at the Trials, set for June 21-22 in Stillwater, Oka. He will face the Challenge Tournament winner in the final-round series.
Gavin downed past NCAA runner-up Clayton Foster in three periods in the Open finals. Gavin is an experienced and skilled wrestler who has the potential to be a force internationally. Foster also has made significant gains in freestyle.
Gavin has moved up to No. 1 with 2012 Olympian Jake Herbert and 2012 Olympic Trials runner-up Travis Paulson not competing this year.
Past NCAA champion and University World Team member Jon Reader defeated two-time NCAA champion Ed Ruth in the third-place match in Vegas.
Reader has continued to excel in international events. He won the Dan Kolov and Dave Schultz events this season. Reader is a tough, hard-nosed wrestler with a tremendous attitude.
Ruth, who still has a year of eligibility left at Penn State, is making noticeable improvements in freestyle and made the U.S. University World Team last month. The explosive Ruth is unbeaten in his last two years in college.
Phillip Keddy downed Austin Trotman in a battle of past NCAA All-Americans in the fifth-place match at the U.S. Open. The talented Trotman made a big splash early in the season when he won the New York AC International in November.
Past NCAA champions Max Askren and Cam Simaz also have had strong seasons and could be in the mix in this weight class. Askren won a gold medal at the 2013 World Cup in Tehran, Iran.
Enock Francois was seventh in Vegas.
The U.S. is looking for its first World medal in this weight class since Herbert earned a silver medal in 2009.
The new FILA rules, implemented after the U.S. Open, also will be in place at the World Team Trials. There are now two three-minute periods with cumulative scoring. Takedowns are now worth two points instead of one.
2013 U.S. OPEN RESULTS AT 84 KG/185 LBS.
1st – Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics/Cowboy WC), 1-0, 1-1, 2-1
3rd – Jon Reader, Ames, Iowa (Cyclone WC) dec. Ed Ruth, Harrisburg, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC), 2-0, 3-1
5th – Phillip Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Austin Trotman, Boone, N.C. (AppState RTC/Titan Mercury WC), 4-0, 6-0
7th – Enock Francois, New Windsor, N.Y. (West Point WC) won by inj. dft. over Max Askren, Hartland, Wis. (New York AC)
U.S. WORLD TEAM TRIALS QUALIFIERS AT 84 KG/185 LBS.
’12 Olympic Team Trials Champion – Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (NYAC)
’12 Olympic Team Trials second place – Travis Paulson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
’12 Olympic Team Trials, true third place – Keith Gavin, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley AC)
’13 Pan American Championships Champion – Phillip Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
’13 MFS U.S. Open Champion – Keith Gavin, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC)
’13 MFS U.S. Open second place – Clayton Foster, Laramie, Wyo. (GRIT Athletics/Cowboy WC)
’13 MFS U.S. Open third place – Jon Reader, Ames, Iowa (Cyclone WC)
’13 MFS U.S. Open fourth place – Ed Ruth, Harrisburg, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
’13 MFS U.S. Open fifth place – Phillip Keddy, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
’13 MFS U.S. Open sixth place – Austin Trotman, Boone, N.C. (AppState RTC/Titan Mercury WC)
’13 MFS U.S. Open seventh place – Enock Francois, New Windsor, N.Y. (West Point WC)
’13 MFS University National Champion – Ed Ruth, Harrisburg, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
’13 MFS University National second place – Cam Simaz, Ithaca, N.Y. (Finger Lakes WC)
’13 Northeast Regional Champion – Cam Simaz, Ithaca, N.Y. (Finger Lakes WC)
’13 Northern Plains Regional Champion – Logan Storley, Roslyn, S.D. (Minnesota Storm)
’12 Dmitry Korkin International second place – Max Askren, Hartland, Wis. (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC)
’13 Cerro Pelado International third place – Evan Brown, Dubuque, Iowa (Cyclone WC)
’13 Dan Kolov International Champion – Jon Reader, Ames, Iowa (Cyclone WC)
’13 Alexander Medved International third place – Jon Reader, Ames, Iowa (Cyclone WC)