April 20, 2013
Las Vegas, Nev. - NC State wrestlers Thomas Gantt and Nick Gwiazdowski have both qualified for the World Team Trials, thanks to their performances this weekend at the U.S. Senior Nationals and ASICS Junior Nationals held in Las Vegas.
"We will continue to build off of these performances and prepare for the World Team Trials in June," said NC State head coach Pat Popolizio. "We gained valuable experience this weekend competing against some of the best wrestlers in the country."
Gwiazdowski entered the U.S. Senior Nationals as the seventh seed at 120 KG, and that spot held true, as his seventh place finish advanced him to the next stage in qualifying to become part of the U.S. national team and participate in the Senior World Championships to be held in Budapest, Hungry. Gwiazdowski, who redshirted this past season at NC State after earning All-America honors as a freshman at Binghamton in 2012, will next compete at the World Team Trials,June 20-23,in Stillwater, Okla.
Gwiazdowski was in action Friday, starting with an 8-3, 6-0 win over David Lopez. He then fell to former two-time All-American Dom Bradley 3-0, 2-0. Gwiazdowski then defeated Riley Orozco 4-3, 6-0 before falling to Division II 2013 NCAA Champion Tyrell Fortune 4-2, 5-3. In a battle for the final spot to advance, he defeated Jeremy Johnson 3-1, 4-0 for a seventh place showing.
Gantt also advanced to the World Team trials, as he was the runner-up at the ASICS Junior Nationals at 70 KG. Gantt will join Gwiazdowski in fighting for a spot on the U.S. team, with Gantt vying for a spot at the Junior World Championships also in Budapest, Hungry.
"I feel like I wrestled well, I just have to make some minor adjustments to compete at the trials," said Gantt. "It feels good to be one of the better guys in the country at this level."
Along with Gantt and Gwiazdowski, Cohl Fulk also earned All-America honors, but he fell one spot short of advancing with his eighth place finish at 66 KG. Fulk lost his opening round, but then won five straight to place eighth."I was really frustrated with the outcome of my first match, but I kept my confidence up and got on a roll and ended up an All-American," said Fulk.
Tyler Hunt reached the quarterfinals at 66 KG, while Ryan Fox went 1-2 at 74 KG.
3 @packwrestle grapplers return home with hardware. @ngwizzz and Tommy Gantt are automatic World Team Trials qualifiers #PackMentality
— PackWrestling (@PackWrestle) April 20, 2013