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Updated: Maple wins Outstanding Wrestler in comeback to U.S. Freestyle Open; seven win first career U.S. Open titles

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Kendric Maple of the Sunkist Kids cradles Matthew Kolodzic of the New York AC in the 65 kg finals. Photo by Robbert Wijtman.


LAS VEGAS, Nev. – It’s a great story. You just can’t make this stuff up.


Missouri assistant coach Kendric Maple made a deal with Mizzou star Keegan O’Toole that if he won the Junior World title last summer, Maple would make a comeback at the Senior level at the U.S. Open. O’Toole not only won the Junior Worlds, but he followed it up with his first NCAA title in March. There was no way that Maple was going to welch on that deal.


But who would have imagined that Maple would come out of the No. 6 seed to win the U.S. Open title at his new weight class, 65 kg? And score a stunning fall in the finals with a cradle against tough Matthew Kolodzic? And win the Outstanding Wrestler? Nobody in Hollywood would believe that story. But it happened tonight at the South Point Arena.


Maple scored a takedown to lead 2-0, then used the cradle for a second takedown and a 4-0 advantage. He used that cradle to roll through and secure the pin in just 54 seconds. This is Maple’s second career U.S. Open title, to go along with his 2017 U.S. Open crown.


Mark Hall of Pennsylvania RTC/TWMC won his second straight U.S. Open title at 86 kg, with a dominant 10-0 technical fall over Iowa State wrestler Marcus Coleman, 10-0. Hall closed out the victory with three ankle lace turns.


The only other champion with a previous U.S. Open title was 125 kg winner Hayden Zillmer of the Gopher WC-RTC, who scored a 2-2 criteria win over three-time U.S. Open champion Dom Bradley of the Sunkist Kids. Trailing 2-1, Zillmer forced a step out late in the match and won by scoring the last point. Zilllmer was a 97 kg U.S. Open champion in freestyle in 2019.


The other seven champions won their first career U.S. Open titles. It was a mix of young talents, as well as some experienced wrestlers who scored breakthrough wins here in Las Vegas.


The wildest finals win came at 79 kg, as David McFadden of the Pennsylvania RTC/TMWC scored a crotch lift turn in the closing seconds to defeat Vincenzo Joseph of the California RTC/TMNWC, 8-6. Joseph was a two-time NCAA champion for Penn State and is now on the coaching staff at Stanford, while McFadden, a Virginia Tech grad, now trains in Philadelphia.


A key to the match came on an attack by Joseph that went out of bounds and injured McFadden. Officials gave Joseph the points, which would have been an 8-4 lead, but a challenge by McFadden was confirmed, and the score was 6-5 for Joseph. McFadden was able to continue, and his crotch lift gave him the 7-6 lead. Joseph’s challenge was denied for an additional point.


There were four Penn State graduates in the finals, and three won gold medals: Hall, plus Nico Megaludis (Pittsburgh WC / TMWC) at 61 kg and Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC) at 74 kg.


Megaludis scored the only takedown in his 3-1 decision over Joshua Rodriguez of the Nittany Lion WC/TMWC. Megaludis is healthy after battling injuries in recent seasons. Nolf was dominant in his 11-0 technical fall over Joshua Shields of the Sunkist Kids. Nolf led 5-0 at the break, added an ankle pick takedown and two ankle laces to finish the win.


In a highly-anticipated finals at 70 kg, Alec Pantaleo of the Cliff Keen WC/TMWC scored the only takedown in a fierce 3-2 win over two-time U.S. Open champion Jordan Oliver of the Sunkist Kids.


Michael Macchiavello of the Wolfpack WC/TMWC, a past NCAA champion for NC State, broke a 1-1 tie with a clutch takedown and added a late counter takedown to score a 6-1 win over two-time Greco-Roman World Team member Joe Rau of the Wildcat WC/TMWC at 97 kg.


The other two finals featured talented college wrestlers who are making a mark on the Senior freestyle scene.


At 92 kg, Michigan State star Cameron Caffey of the Michigan WC won a wild shootout against NC State standout Isaac Trumble of the Wolfpack WC/TMWC, 11-7. The lead switched up during the match, which featured some great scrambles. Two key moves for Caffey were a four-point double leg takedown, and a spladle for a two-point exposure.


The 57 kg champion was Purdue’s Matthew Ramos of the Boilermaker WC, who defeated Campbell’s Anthony Molton of the Buies Creek WC, 9-3. Ramos jumped to a 7-0 lead, including a four-point takedown. Molton scored a second-period takedown, but was reversed for two points by Ramos. In 2018, Ramos was a Cadet World champion for the USA as a high school star from Illinois.


The Titan Mercury WC won the Div. I team title, ahead of the Sunkist Kids. The Div. II team title went to the New York Athletic Club


USMC U.S. MEN’S FREESTYLE OPEN

At Las Vegas, Nev. April 30, 2022


57 KG

1st - Matthew Ramos (Boilermaker RTC) dec Anthony Molton (Buies Creek WC), 9-3

3rd - Jakob Camacho (Wolfpack WC / TMWC) dec Gregory Diakomihalis (Spartan Combat RTC / TMWC), 7-5

5th - Caleb Smith (Boone RTC) dec Aden Reeves (Viking WC (IA)), 9-7

7th - Gabriel Townsell (New York Athletic Club) tech Noah Cortez (Grays Harbor WC), 10-0 0:23


61 KG

1st - Nico Megaludis (Pittsburgh WC / TMWC) dec Joshua Rodriguez (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC), 3-1

3rd - Jesse Mendez (Region Wrestling Academy) inj Daniel Deshazer (Gopher WC - RTC)

5th - Tyler Graff (NJRTC / TMWC) no contest Seth Gross (Sunkist Kids WC)

7th - Josh Kramer (Sunkist Kids WC) dec Cullan Schriever (Hawkeye WC / TMWC), 9-5


65 KG

1st - Kendric Maple (Sunkist Kids WC) fall Matthew Kolodzik (New York Athletic Club), 6-0 0:54

3rd - Ian Parker (Iowa) dec Luke Pletcher (Pittsburgh WC / TMWC), 6-3

5th - Evan Henderson (Ohio RTC / TMWC) no contest Patricio Lugo (Hawkeye WC / TMWC)

7th - Dean Heil (Oklahoma RTC / TMWC) dec Cole Matthews (Pittsburgh WC), 5-1


70 KG

1st - Alec Pantaleo (Cliff Keen WC / TMWC) dec Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids WC), 3-2

3rd - Doug Zapf (Pennsylvania RTC) dec Michael Blockhus (Gopher WC - RTC), 4-1

5th - Sam Sasso (Ohio RTC / TMWC) no contest Tyler Berger (California RTC (CA RTC) / TMWC)

7th - Dayne Morton (Wolves WC) dec Harold 'Brock' Mauller (Sunkist Kids WC), 3-3


74 KG

1st - Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC) tech Joshua Shields (Sunkist Kids WC), 11-0 4:47

3rd - Collin Purinton (Sunkist Kids WC) tech Peter Pappas (Unattached (George Mason)), 10-0 1:34

5th - Andrew Cerniglia (Pennsylvania) inj Thomas Gantt (Wolfpack WC / TMWC)

7th - Joshua Ogunsanya (New York City RTC) tech Evan Delong (Clarion RTC), 14-4 4:08


79 KG

1st - David Mcfadden (Pennsylvania RTC / TWMC) dec Vincenzo Joseph (California RTC (CA RTC) / TMWC), 8-6

3rd - Alex Dieringer (Cliff Keen WC / TMWC) fall Taylor Lujan (Panther WC RTC / TMWC), 4-0 1:37

5th - Chance Marsteller (Annapolis RTC / TMWC) dec Brayden Thompson (Illinois), 3-0

7th - Evan Wick (SoCal RTC / TMWC) no contest Isaiah Martinez (Beaver Dam Wrestling RTC / TMWC)


86 KG

1st - Mark Hall (Pennsylvania RTC / TWMC) tech. Marcus Coleman (Iowa), 10-0 4:19

3rd - Nick Reenan (Wolfpack WC / TMWC) tech Caden Steffen (Mustang WC), 10-0 2:13

5th - Owen Webster (Gopher WC - RTC) tech Caleb Hopkins (Buies Creek WC), 10-0 1:19

7th - Julien Broderson (Iowa) forfeit Timothy Young (Illinois), 0-0


92 KG

1st - Cameron Caffey (Michigan WC) dec Isaac Trumble (Wolfpack WC / TMWC), 11-7

3rd - Max Shaw (Tar Heel WC) dec Michael Battista (Cavalier WC), 5-4

5th - Christopher Smith (Southeast RTC, Inc / TMWC) dec Jacob Koser (Navy-Marine Corps Mat Club), 10-8

7th - Levi Hopkins (Buies Creek WC) tech Rodsean Graham (Illinois), 10-0 2:23


97 KG

1st - Michael Macchiavello (Wolfpack WC / TMWC) dec Josef Rau (Wildcat WC / TMWC), 6-1

3rd - Jonathan Aiello (Cavalier WC / TMWC) inj Timothy Dudley (Sunkist Kids WC)

5th - Samuel Mitchell (Bulls WC) dec Ethan Laird (Broncs WC), 9-4

7th - Duncan Lee (Iowa) forfeit Marco Retano (La Grande Mat Club), 0-0


125 KG

1st - Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC - RTC) dec Dominique Bradley (Sunkist Kids WC), 2-2

3rd Ty Walz (Spartan Combat RTC / TMWC) dec Demertius Thomas (Pittsburgh WC), 5-0

5th Lucas Davison (Wildcat WC / TMWC) dec Christian Lance (Nebraska Wrestling Training Center), 10-2

7th - Jordan Wood (Lehigh Valley WC) dec Samuel Schuyler (New York), 8-1

Men’s Freestyle Champions

57 - Matthew Ramos (Boilermaker RTC)

61 - Nico Megaludis (Pittsburgh WC / TMWC)

65 - Kendric Maple (Sunkist Kids WC)

70 - Alec Pantaleo (Cliff Keen WC / TMWC)

74 - Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion WC / TMWC)

79 - David Mcfadden (Pennsylvania RTC / TWMC) 

86 - Mark Hall (Pennsylvania RTC / TWMC)

92 - Cameron Caffey (Michigan WC)

97 - Michael Macchiavello (Wolfpack WC / TMWC)

125 - Hayden Zillmer (Gopher WC - RTC)


Outstanding Wrestler- Kendric Maple of Sunkist Kids WC, 65 kg

Team Standings


Division 1

1st - Titan Mercury WC - 127

2nd - Sunkist Kids WC - 62


Division 2

1st - New York Athletic Club - 13
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