Lee, Larkin, Nolf, Hidlay, Macchiavello, Gwiazdowski win Bill Farrell men’s freestyle titles
by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
The United States had all 12 finalists at the Bill Farrell Memorial International at the New York Athletic Club on Saturday, so everybody already knew that it would be a championship sweep for the Red-White-and-Blue.
The only question was which six U.S. wrestlers would go home with Bill Farrell gold medals. A highly competitive and entertaining finals provided the answers to those questions.
The Outstanding Wrestler in men’s freestyle was 74 kg champion Jason Nolf, who was dominant in his finals, in an 11-0 technical fall over Alex Marinelli. Nolf won a loaded weight class with a display of outstanding technique and skill.
Two-time Senior World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski was in control in his finals, stopping Christian Lance in a 7-0 shutout. Gwiazdowski, a native of New York state, has won this event a number of times in his career.
Six spots in the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling at Penn State in April were earned today. The top U.S. placewinner (in the top four) in each weight class who had not already qualified in each weight class advanced to the Challenge Tournament of the Olympic Trials.
Of the 12 finalists, Gwiazdowski was the only athlete to have already qualified for the Olympic Trials. That means that Lance has punched his ticket for the Olympic Trials by winning in the semifinals. The winner of the other five weight classes earned their spot in the Olympic Trials.
The youngest champion in the field was Arizona State freshman Kaleb Larkin, who fell behind 5-0 early, then stormed to a 16-5 technical fall over Matthew Kolodzic in the 65 kg finals. Larkin is 20 years old, and captured his first Senior-level international event.
Spencer Lee, a multiple age-group World champion, competed in freestyle for the first time in a number of years. Lee got the early lead and won a competitive 7-4 decision over past National Team member Nico Megaludis.
NC State star Trent Hidlay, a past age-group World medalist, won a fierce 2-1 battle over National Team member Alex Dieringer at 86 kg. No technical points were scored in the match between talented and powerful athletes, with Hidlay receiving the winning point due to his aggressiveness.
Current National Team member Michael Macchiavello shut out Jacob Warner, 4-0 in the 97 kg finals. Macchiavello has moved up from 92 kg, where he was a Final X finalist last year.
There were three wrestlers from NC State who won the event, graduates Gwiazdowski and Macchiavello and current NC State student-athlete Hidlay. Nolf was a star at Penn State and Lee was at Iowa.
Fans can find archives of all of the Bill Farrell Memorial matches on FloWrestling.
BILL FARRELL MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL
At New York, N.Y., November 18
Men’s freestyle finalist pairings
Gold - Spencer Lee (USA) dec. Nico Megaludis (USA), 7-4
Bronze – Luke Lilledahl (USA) dec. Muhammed Bilal (Pakistan), 5-0
Gold - Kaleb Larkin (USA) tech fall Matthew Kolodzik (USA), 16-5
Bronze – Austin DeSanto (USA) tech. fall Yahya Thomas (USA), 13-3
Gold - Jason Nolf (USA) tech fall Alex Marinelli (USA), 11-0
Bronze – Quincy Monday (USA) dec. Jarrett Jacques (USA), 5-2
Gold - Trent Hidlay (USA) dec. Alexander Dieringer (USA), 2-1
Bronze – Mark Hall II (USA) dec. Avtandil Kentchadze (Georgia), 5-4
Gold - Michael Macchiavello (USA) dec. Jacob Warner (USA), 4-0
Bronze – Jay Aiello (USA) tech fall Eric Schultz, Jr (USA), 10-0
Gold - Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) dec. Christian Lance (USA), 7-0
Bronze – Sam Schuyler (USA) dec Gary Traub (USA), 3-0
Qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at Penn State in April
57 kg - Spencer Lee
65 kg - Kaleb Larkin
74 kg - Jason Nolf
86 kg - Trent Hidlay
97 kg - Michael Macchiavello
125 kg - Christian Lance