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Garrett, Valencia, Parris advance to Final X with World Team Trials Challenge Tournament men’s freestyle victories

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Nahshon Garrett celebrates as his arm is raised in victory at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.
Nahshon Garrett celebrates as his arm is raised in victory at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The final three men’s freestyle wrestlers to qualify for Final X were determined during the finals at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament on Sunday afternoon.

Today’s winners will compete in Final X against the 2023 U.S. Open champion at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., June 10.

Advancing to Final X with victories were Nahshon Garrett at 61 kg, Zahid Valencia at 92 kg and Mason Parris at 125 kg. None of these athletes have yet to make a Senior World Team, although Valencia and Parris boast age-group World medals..

Garrett returns to Final X for the first time since 2018, when he won the U.S. Senior World Team berth but could not compete in the World Championships due to an injury in training.

Seeded No. 4, Garrett claimed the title with a 12-4 victory over 2021 World silver medalist Daton Fix in the finals. He hit a four-point move early in the match, and powered to a 7-0 lead. Fix battled back, chipping away at the lead with step outs and a takedown to make it 8-4. However a four-pointer by Garrett late closed out the win.

Garrett deated No. 1 seed and 2023 U.S. Open runner-up Austin DeSanto in the semifinals, 10-0. He advances to face 2023 U.S. Open champion Vito Arujau in Final X.

Valencia, who was beaten in the U.S. Open finals at 86 kg and decided the next day to move up to 92 kg, was able to earn another trip to Final X in a new weight class. He knocked off top seed and 2023 U.S. Open runner-up Kollin Moore in the finals, 12-1. Valencia was able to turn Moore multiple times when he got on top in par terre.

Valencia will now face 2023 U.S. Open champion Michael Macchiavello in Final X.

Parris, a 2023 NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner, grinded out a 6-2 win over two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski. With the bout tied at 2-2, Parris added two key takedowns in the second period to secure the victory.

He survived a 12-11 match against Wyatt Hendrickson in the semifinals, setting up the battle with Gwiazdowski.

Parris will battle longtime college rival and 2020 Olympic champion Gable Steveson in Final X. Steveson beat Parris in the 2023 U.S. Open finals.


At Colorado Springs, Colo., May 21

61 kg 

1st - Nahshon Garrett, Titan Mercury WC/ Lehigh Valley WC dec. Daton Fix, Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC, 12-4

Garrett advances to Final X against Vitali Arujau (TMWC/Spartan Combat RTC)

3rd - Austin DeSanto, Hawkeye WC/Titan Mercury WC tech fall Nathan Tomasello, Cliff Keen WC/Titan Mercury WC, 15-4

92 kg

1st - Zahid Valencia, Sunkist Kids WC tech fall Kollin Moore, Ohio RTC/Titan Mercury WC, 12-1

Valencia dvances to Final X against Michael Macchiavello (TMWC/Wolfpack RTC)

3rd - Nathan Jackson, New York AC/NJRTC pin Eric Schultz, Nebraska WTC, 4:32

125 kg 

1st – Mason Parris, Cliff Keen WC/Titan Mercury WC dec. Nick Gwiazdowski, Spartan Combat RTC/Titan Mercury WC, 6-2

Parris dvances to Final X against Gable Steveson (Gopher WC RTC)

3rd - Dominique Bradley, Sunkist Kids WC dec. Wyatt Hendrickson, Air Force RTC, 5-4