57 kg – 61 kg

On this episode Ben Askren and Dernlan breakdown the mini-tournament of the 2019 World Team Trials. They start out at the 57 kg weight class where Thomas Gilman beat Darian Cruz to head to the best of three finals. They also discuss the 61 kg weight class which is not an Olympic weight class and where some of those guys will go whether that’s up in weight to 65 or down to 57. Nico Megaludis who lost to Tyler Graff in the mini-tournament finals is an example of a guy who announced he will be going down to 57 kg. Moving down in weight is not a small task by any means and takes a lot of time upwards of a year.

65 kg (10:17)

The first match they break down is Jason Ness who got tech falled by Dom Demas. That is not something we’ve come to expect to happen to Ness although Demas has proven himself a force to be reckoned with. Demas went on to battle Jaydin Eierman in the consolations losing in a huge scoring match 20-15. Overall there are a lot of extremely talented young wrestlers at this weight class.

70 kg (17:08)

Askren didn’t expect to Anthony Ashnault to make the finals here but he is another really young wrestler immediately making an impact on the national scene. Ashnault will most likely go down to 65 kg next year. Askren and Dernlan disagree on if James Green will go up or down in weight.

74 kg (22:00)

Askren was blown away when Logan Massa beat Thomas Gant in the semi-finals of the mini-tournament 5-4. Dernlan talks about the difference in responsibility when you’re competing for a team vs when you’re competing representing yourself in freestyle. Jason Nolf looked great throughout the tournament. Askren likes that Nolf made the move to 74 kg now and didn’t wait.

79 kg (25:20)

Askren trains closely with Nick Becker who recently signed with the Badger RTC and took third place dropping to Mark Hall. In the finals, Mark Hall lost to Zahid Valencia 5-0. Even with such a close score Askren and Dernlan agree Valencia’s win was pure dominance. After this match, no one would have expected the outcome of the best of three finals against Alex Dieringer. These three guys are all wrestler who cannot get down to 74 kg which makes 86 kg a brutal weight class to be in as the 2020 Olympics approach.

86 kg (35:35)

Nick Heflin looked good throughout the mini-tournament but couldn’t get it done in the finals. Askren and Dernlan hope David Taylor is ready to compete at Final X.

92 kg (36:37)

Michael Macchiavello beat Hayden Zillmer in the finals. Askren and Dernlan agree Macchiavello has a good opportunity to go down in weight and compete.

97 kg (38:40)

Ty Walz turned it around from the U.S. Open and did well throughout the mini-tournament to make the finals.

125 kg (39:41)

Heavyweight was an exciting weight class during the World Team Trials. Gable Steveson being the shining star throughout. Given Steveson’s age and skill Dernlan and Askren are fully on board the Steveson train and are excited for Final X.


Featured RUDIS Gear:

Askren is wearing custom AWA team gear. Get your team outfitted here: https://rudis.com/custom-gear/

Dernlan is wearing the USA Merit Halverson Jacket found here: https://rudis.com/product/usa-merit-halverson-full-zip/

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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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