Securing the Lineup

This episode, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan talk NCAA Wrestling, World Team Trials Format, and who is most likely to medal at the World Championships. Askren starts by discussing the news 2018 All-American Shakur Rasheed announced he will be returning for another year of collegiate wrestling. This comes a few days after 2019 NCAA Champion Anthony Cassar announced his return. This secures Penn State’s lineup at the upper weights for this upcoming season. Dernlan says the lower weights are always hard to recruit and when you get interrupted by injuries and transfers it’s hard to rebuild. These announcements tip the scales in Penn State’s favor continue their dominance and win yet another team title. That being said, it will a tough task for the upper weights to carry especially losing bonus point machines in Bo Nickal and Jason Nolf.

Final X Format (17:54)

Askren talks about the benefit of having Final X added to the world team trials format. Dernlan discusses the much deserved raised exposure and visibility Final X brings to the senior level athletes. The access to watch these events and follow them on social media allows fans to really get into wrestling more than ever. Getting to know the athletes through their college careers is huge for growing a fan base that follows you after graduation. As women’s wrestling grows and schools start adding NCAA women’s teams their fan base will grow.

Most Likely to Medal at Worlds (24:49)

Askren and Dernlan give their predictions on the most likely U.S. team members to get a medal at the World Championships. Askren’s No. 1 is Kyle Snyder being that every world championship he’s been a part of he’s got a medal. Dernlan agrees and adds the improvements we got to see at Final X with Snyder’s parterre offense. Askren’s No. 2 is J’Den Cox who is also in the club of medaling every time at Worlds. Dernlan agrees and says in a list of most likely to medal you have to have Snyder and Cox tied for first. Dernlan’s No. 3 pick is Daton Fix. Fix has made 6 consecutive world championship teams. Askren’s No. 3 pick is the winner of Kyle Dake vs Alex Dieringer and Dernlan takes this as his No. 4. Askren’s No. 4 is Jordan Burroughs. Burroughs has had a lot of close matches recently but Askren still thinks he’ll likely medal. Dernlan agrees talks about the undeniability of Burroughs and his ability to win. No. 5 for Askren is Nick Gwiazdowski he sees the toughness at heavyweight and if he receives a hard seed it’ll be a tough path to the top. Dernlan’s No. 5 is our representative at 65 kg whether that is Yianni Diakomihalis or Zain Retherford.

No. 6 for Askren is Fix and he’s excited to watch him at the first Team USA international tournament. With a mix up in the numbers, Dernlan and Askren both take James Green at No. 7. No. 8 for Askren is either Diakomihalis or Retherford. Dernlan’s No. 9 is Tyler Graff and Askren agrees. Lastly, that leaves Pat Downey. Having Downey at the bottom of this list of world beaters is not a slight to Downey. Compared to the rest of the team he doesn’t have as much international experience. Askren and Dernlan wouldn’t be surprised if he goes and shocks the world as that has been his thing as of late.


Featured RUDIS Gear:

Askren is wearing the USA Distinguish Performance Shirt found here:

Dernlan is wearing the RUDIS Essential Hex Merit Quarter Zip found here:


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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.

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