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Updated: Men's freestyle finals set after competitive semifinal round at U.S. Open

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids) trips Tyler Berger (California RTC/TMWC) in 70 kg semifinals. Photo by John Sachs,

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The finals has been set for the 2022 U.S. Senior Open in men’s freestyle, after a competitive semifinal round.

The finals will feature a number of proven stars, and a large group of young talents, all who are aiming for the 2024 Olympic Games, which are only a little more than two years away.

The finals at 70 kg will be a highly-anticipated battle between Alec Pantaleo of Cliff Keen WC/TMWC and Jordan Oliver of the Sunkist Kids. Pantaleo won a tight 3-2 match over surprising Doug Zapf of the Pennsylvania RTC, scoring first and holding the edge. Oliver had a close battle early with Tyler Berger of the California RTC/TMWC, but was able to get a second period takedown and secure a 6-2 win.

Returning U.S. Open champion Mark Hall of the Pennsylvania RTC/TMWC won his 86 kg semifinal with dominance, in an 10-0 first period technical fall over Cadden Steffen of the Mustang WC. His finals opponent will be Iowa State’s Marcus Coleman, who also had a semifinal technical fall win over Owen Webster of the Gopher WC RTC, 10-0.

A past U.S. Open champion who will have another chance for a national title is Dom Bradley of the Sunkist Kids at 125 kg. Bradley jumped to a 4-0 lead over Ty Walz of the Southeast RTC/TMWC, and held off a Walz comeback bid to win 5-3. His opponent will be Hayden Zillmer of the Gopher WC -RTC, a 6-1 winner over Demetrius Thomas of the Pittsburgh WC. This season, Zillmer has moved up to heavyweight after years at 97 kg.

Making a comeback at 65 kg was past national team member Kendrick Maple of the Sunkist Kids, who scored the only takedown in a tight 3-2 win over Patricio Lugo of the Hawkeye WC/TMWC. His opponent in the finals will be former Princeton star Matthew Kolodzic who opened up his offense to secure a 16-6 technical fall over Evan Henderson of Ohio RTC/TMWC. Kolodzik was dominant on his feet.

A veteran star of the Greco-Roman circuit, two-time World Team member Joe Rau of the Wildcat WC.TMWC used a front headlock to turn an pin Jonathan Aiello of the Cavalier WC/TMWC in 24 seconds at 97 kg. He will battle past NCAA champion Michael Macchiavello of the Wolfpack WC/TMWC, who had two takedowns in the last minute for a 5-2 win over Timothy Dudley of the Sunkist Kids.

No. 1 seed Jason Nolf of the Nittany Lion WC/TMWC powered to a 10-0 technical fall at 74 kg over unseeded U.S. Naval Academy wrestler Andrew Cerniglia. Nolf will face Joshua Shields of the Sunkist Kids, who emerged from a high-scoring battle against Thomas Gantt of the Wolfpack WC/TMWC, 11-7.

A majority of the rest of the finalists are young and hungry athletes who are seeking their first shot at the U.S. Open title.

The 79 kg finals will feature No. 8 seed Vincenzo Joseph of the California RTC/TMWC against No. 7 seed David McFadden of the Pennsylvania RTC/TMWC. Joseph, a two-time NCAA champion for Penn State, was strong on his feet in a 10-0 technical fall over Taylor Lujan of the Panther WC RTC/TMWC. McFadden, who fell behind No. 3 seed Chance Marsteller of the Annapolis RTC/TMWC, powered back for a clutch 11-10 win in the other semifinal.

At 57 kg, Campbell wrestler Anthony Molton of the Buies Creek WC powered into the finals with a technical fall over Aden Reeves of the Viking WC, 14-4. Molton was effective in turning Reeves multiple times in par terre. He will face Matthew Ramos of the Boilermaker RTC, who won a 3-3 criteria decision over Jakob Camacho of the Wolfpack RTC/TMWC. Ramos won on the highest point move. Officials had given Camacho a fourth point, but an extended review including a challenge determined Ramos as the winner.

Joshua Rodriguez of the Nittany Lion WC/TMWC punched his ticket into the 61 kg finals with a 9-5 victory over 2019 World bronze medalist Tyler Graff, 9-5 at 61 kg. Rodriguez came on strong in the second period, with a key takedown and turn, followed by another takedown to stretch his lead. Rodriguez will battle Nico Megaludis of the Pittsburgh WC, who scored the only takedown in a 4-1 decision over Seth Gross of the Sunkist Kids. Megaludis led 1-0 at the break, and his second period takedown proved the deciding factor.

The 92 kg final will feature NC State’s Isaac Trumble of the Wolfpack RTC/TMWC against Michigan State’s Cameron Caffey of the Michigan WC. Trumble was behind early to Max Shaw of the Tar Heel WC, but got his offense untracked in a 15-4 technical fall. Caffey also had a slow start, trailing 1-0 at the break to Michael Battista of the Cavalier WC, but turned Battista repeatedly in the second period for a 13-1 technical fall.


At Las Vegas, Nev., April 29

Men’s freestyle Finals pairings

57 kg - Anthony Molton (Buies Creek WC) vs. Matthew Ramos (Boilermaker RTC)

61 kg- Joshua Rodriguez (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC) vs. Nico Megaludis (Pittsburgh WC / TMWC)

65 kg - Matthew Kolodzik (New York Athletic Club) vs. Kendric Maple (Sunkist Kids WC)

70 kg - Alec Pantaleo MI (Cliff Keen WC / TMWC) vs. Jordan Oliver NC (Sunkist Kids WC)

74 kg -Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC) vs. Joshua Shields (Sunkist Kids WC)

79 kg - Vincenzo Joseph (California RTC (CA RTC) / TMWC) vs. David McFadden (Pennsylvania RTC / TWMC)

86 kg - Mark Hall (Pennsylvania RTC / TWMC) vs.  Marcus Coleman IA (Iowa)

92 kg - Isaac Trumble (Wolfpack WC / TMWC) vs. Cameron Caffey (Michigan WC)

97 kg - Michael Macchiavello (Wolfpack WC / TMWC) vs. Josef Rau (Wildcat WC / TMWC)

125 kg - Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC - RTC) vs. Dominique Bradley (Sunkist Kids WC)

Semifinal results

57 kg

Anthony Molton IL (Buies Creek WC) tech. fall Aden Reeves IA (Viking WC (IA)), 14-4 1:34

Matthew Ramos IL (Boilermaker RTC) dec. Jakob Camacho NC (Wolfpack WC / TMWC), 3-3

61 kg

Joshua Rodriguez PA (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC) dec. Tyler Graff VA (NJRTC / TMWC), 9-5

Nico Megaludis PA (Pittsburgh WC / TMWC) dec. Seth Gross MN (Sunkist Kids WC), 4-1

65 kg

Matthew Kolodzik NJ (New York Athletic Club) tech. fall Evan Henderson OH (Ohio RTC / TMWC), 16-6 4:11

Kendric Maple MO (Sunkist Kids WC) dec. Patricio Lugo FL (Hawkeye WC / TMWC), 3-2

70 kg

Alec Pantaleo MI (Cliff Keen WC / TMWC) dec. Doug Zapf PA (Pennsylvania RTC), 3-2

Jordan Oliver NC (Sunkist Kids WC) dec. Tyler Berger NE (California RTC (CA RTC) / TMWC), 6-2

74 kg

Jason Nolf PA (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC) tech. fall Andrew Cerniglia PA (Pennsylvania), 10-0 1:49

Joshua Shields AZ (Sunkist Kids WC) dec. Thomas Gantt NC (Wolfpack WC / TMWC), 11-7

79 kg

Vincenzo Joseph CA (California RTC (CA RTC) / TMWC) tech. fall Taylor Lujan GA (Panther WC RTC / TMWC), 10-0 4:43

David McFadden VA (Pennsylvania RTC / TWMC) dec. Chance Marsteller PA (Annapolis RTC / TMWC), 11-10

86 kg

Mark Hall PA (Pennsylvania RTC / TWMC) tech. fall Caden Steffen MN (Mustang WC), 10-0 1:28

Marcus Coleman IA (Iowa) tech. fall Owen Webster MN (Gopher WC - RTC), 10-0 3:43

92 kg

Isaac Trumble NC (Wolfpack WC / TMWC) tech. fall Max Shaw NC (Tar Heel WC), 15-4 3:54

Cameron Caffey IL (Michigan WC) tech. fall Michael Battista VA (Cavalier WC), 13-1 4:11

97 kg

Michael Macchiavello NC (Wolfpack WC / TMWC) dec.Timothy Dudley SC (Sunkist Kids WC), 5-2

Josef Rau IL (Wildcat WC / TMWC) pin Jonathan Aiello VA (Cavalier WC / TMWC), 0:24

125 kg

Hayden Zillmer MN (Gopher WC - RTC) dec. Demertius Thomas MO (Pittsburgh WC), 6-1

Dominique Bradley MO (Sunkist Kids WC) dec. Ty Walz VA (Spartan Combat RTC / TMWC), 5-3