Session 1 recap from U.S. Olympic Team Trials
The 10am - 4pm Saturday session featured matches from Men's Freestyle 60kg, 74kg, 96kg, Women's Freestyle 55kg and 72kg, Men's Greco-Roman 55kg, 66kg, 84kg, 120kg. All could be seen live streamed on NBCOlympics.com. Saturday's 7pm - 10pm finals session can be seen a day later, Sunday on NBC Sports Network from 4pm - 7pm.
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Action from tomorrow's 10am - 4pm session will feature matches from Men's Freestyle 55kg, 66kg, 84kg, 120kg, Women's Freestyle 48kg, 63 kg, Men's Greco-Roman 60kg, 74kg, 96kg. All can be seen streamed live on NBCOlympics.com. Sunday's 7pm - 10pm finals session can be seen a day later, Monday on NBC Sports Network from 3pm - 6pm. All times are Eastern.
Here's a recap of what went down in in front of a record crowd of 13,520 in Carver-Hawkeye Arena and thousands more watching at home online:
The top two wrestlers at 66kg – Reece Humphrey and Shawn Bunch – did not compete at Trials, as they are in China looking to qualify the class.
Logan Stieber of the New York Athletic Club (NYAC) and Coleman Scott of the Gator Wrestling Club emerged as the two finalists in the morning session.
As a junior at Oklahoma State, Scott lost to UPenn senior Matt Valenti in the finals of the 2007 NCAA Championships. Revenge came Saturday, as Scott edged Valenti, 1-0, 0-1, 7-0 in the semis.
Stieber was able to hold off Beijing Olympian and current Iowa University assistant coach Mike Zadick in the semis, much to the chagrin of the hometown crowd. (GO BUCKS!!)
Whoever emerges from Scott and Stieber's best-of-three night series will not automatically qualify for London, as the winner will need to wrestle off with Humphrey and/or Bunch once the class is qualified.
Andrew Howe of the NYAC and Trent Paulson of the Sunkist Kids emerged as the two finalists from Saturday’s morning session. Their challenger’s final match saw Howe win by decisions, 1-0, 1-0.
That means Howe has the honor of taking on 2011 World Champion Jordan Burroughs, who received a bye into the finals. The chances he can knock off Burroughs in the best-of-three-series and claim the spot to London are slim, as the latter has won his previous eight matches and is considered a favorite for gold at the Games.*
Two 30-year-olds that emerged from the early morning matches battled it out for the right to take on 26-year-old 2011 World bronze medalist Jake Varner in a best-of-three series later tonight.
Tommy Rowlands of the Sunkist Kids - the 2007 and 2008 U.S. Open Champion – and Chris Pendleton of the Gator Wrestling Club, the 2010 Dave Schultz Memorial Champion squared off in the final of the 96kg challenger’s bracket. Rowlands earned the decision, 3-1, 4-0 and will now wrestle Varner in the night session.*
*Note: Even if Howe and/or Rowlands take the best-of-three series later tonight, they will still need to outplace Burroughs/Varner at a TBD international tournament to earn a spot to the London Games.