American wrestling standouts J’Den Cox and Jordan Burroughs were both pushed to three matches but prevailed in the 2017 World Team Trials.
The 2017 World Team Trials delivered on the intrigue, excitement and excellent wrestling action as the USA world team was set. From start to finish, this event featured a number of spectacular matches from many of the best senior wrestlers in the country and the world.
Olympic veterans J’Den Cox and Jordan Burroughs had to fight through drastic measures in order to make the world team. Both men were pushed to three matches and had to win two straight in order to earn their spot and a trip to Paris to compete.
David Taylor dominated Cox in their first match, winning by the score of 9-3. It looked like he would find a way to defeat Cox in their second match, but J’Den pulled out a razor thin victory of 4-3 to keep his hopes alive and push the series to the tie break match. Taylor didn’t go away quietly as he remained aggressive in their third match, but the Olympic bronze medalist found a way to win by the margin of 5-3.
Kyle Dake came to Lincoln, Nebraska with the goal to get over the career hurdle that is Jordan Burroughs. He took a step in that direction when he defeated Burroughs in their first match with a higher magnitude, as they were tied at 6-6. Dake hit a huge throw on Burroughs that earned him four points in the match. However, Burroughs would go into rare form and put the pressure on Dake in the following two matches; winning by the scores of 8-4 and 6-2.
These weren’t the only pairings to go to three rounds as Zain Retherford needed all three matches to defeat Frank Molinaro to make his first Senior World Team. Molinaro won the first match 7-6, but Retherford would not be denied in the final two matches, winning 6-0 and 7-4.
Kendric Maple gave Logan Stieber a fight in their first match, losing 9-8, but the former NCAA champion steamrolled Maple in their second match, winning 10-0. Kyle Snyder continued his amazing run at 97 kilograms as he defeated Kyven Gadson by the combined score of 23-2 in two matches.
The full roster of the 2017 Senior World First Team is as follows:
57kg: Thomas Gilman (first team)
61kg: Logan Stieber (first team)
65kg: Zain Retherford (first team)
70kg: James Green (first team)
74kg: Jordan Burroughs (first team)
86kg: J’Den Cox (first team)
97kg: Kyle Snyder (first team)
125kg: Nick Gwiazdowski (first team)
The 2017 World Championships begins August 21 and goes through August 26 in Paris, France.