Freestyle Wrestling World Team Trials Underway

The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club has a number of competitors at this weekend's World Team Trials, a tournament to see who will earn the right to compete for the U.S. in the World Championships in Turkey this September. All of the NLWC's wrestlers are competing in Men's Freestyle, so we're holding off on Greco-Roman and Women's Freestyle updates. Last night's champions include:

60kg/132lbs

Reece Humphrey defeated Shawn Bunch, but hasn't yet earned a spot on the U.S. World Team. Bunch won an international event earlier this year, so they will both be entered in an international event in July and the highest finisher will earn the spot.

74kg/163lbs

Jordan Burroughs defeated Andrew Howe again and seems ready for a nice run heading into the Olympics next year. Intermat asked him about his mindset heading into his first World Championships:

"Keep winning," said Burroughs. "When I enter any tournament, that's what I do ... I go to win, no matter what I'm doing. I'm a competitor and that's what I love to do is win. I've been doing this for a long time. This is my craft. This is my sport. This is my lifestyle."

96kg/211.5lbs

NLWC's Jake Varner beat surprise finalist Chad Hanke. From the Intermat article:

"I went out there, wrestled my match, felt really good, and stuck to my plan," said Varner. Varner has trained under Penn State coach Cael Sanderson for most of his college and post-college career, first at Iowa State and now with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. "He's a big reason why I'm at where I am today," said Varner, a two-time NCAA champion and four-time NCAA finalist at Iowa State.

And speaking of Cael Sanderson, the brackets for the four remaining weight classes are up (and Challenge Tourney matches underway) and Sanderson and Quentin Wright are on opposite sides, such that they wouldn't possibly meet unless both made it to the final. I linked to brackets hosted at trackwrestling.com. Intermat also has live TheMat.tv video feeds that actually don't suck too bad. Check it out.

55kg/121lbs

Bracket. NLWC's Mark McKnight has been bumped to the consolations with a first-round quarterfinal loss. Former Indiana wrestler Angel Escobedo beat Northwestern's Brandon Precin to advance to the semis. Former Hawkeye, Daniel Dennis has won once and lost once so far.

66kg/145.5lbs

Bracket. Former Hawkeye and top-seed (in the Challenge Tourney), Brent Metcalfe had a first round bye and is set to face Bucknell's Kevin Levalley next. The winner of the Challenge Tourney will face the NLWC's Teyon Ware in tonight's best-of-three Final. The NLWC's Andrew Long and Andrew Alton had qualified at this weight but are not competing. Another qualifier not wrestling is 38-year-old Cary Kolat.

84kg/185lbs

Bracket. Sanderson received a first-round bye into the quarterfinals, where he beat Raymond Jordan, and Quentin continued his awesome unbeaten streak by beating journeyman Andy Hrovat in round one and then top seed Keith Gavin by pin in the quarterfinals. Jon Reader beat Mack Lewnes (who pinned former Mizzou national champ Max Askren) to set up a fun semifinal match with Quentin. The winner of the Challenge Tourney faces U.S. Open champion Jake Herbert tonight.

120kg/264.5lbs

Bracket. This weight has only six wrestlers competing in the Challenge Tourney for the right to face 2009 World bronze medalist, Tervel Dlagnev in tonight's final, but two of them, Steve Mocco and Tommy Rowlands are former World Team members. Missing from the bracket is NLWC's Les Sigman.

I'll put updates in the comments.

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