The Future of Heavyweight

This episode of the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan breakdown the World Team Trials Junior’s tournament. Askren really enjoys watching the Junior tournament because it gives you a sneak peek on the talent that is entering college. One standout performance during the Greco-Roman tournament was heavyweight high schooler Cohlton Schultz who beat Olympian 32-year-old Robert Smith in the finals. To have this amount of success at the senior level while in high school is extremely impressive. There is an enormous amount of young talent at heavyweight which has Askren and Dernlan excited for the college season.

Juniors 57 kg (6:05)

Vitali Arujau tech falls Michael Colaiocco in the finals of the mini-tournament and then is very dominant in his two wins over Malik Heinselman. Arujau showed he can compete at the senior level in the U.S. Open and according to Dernlan made the right choice by dropping down to the junior division and was able to get the win.

Juniors 61 kg (9:28)

Askren says the story of the mini-tournament is Roman Bravo-Young. During the U.S. Open, he lost to high schooler Gabe Tagg and in this tournament, he loses to 10-5 to Jaime Hernandez. Askren brings up something off topic, all Iowa Hawkeyes wrestlers didn’t participate in the Juniors World Team Trials.

Juniors 65 kg (15:16)

Keegan O’Toole wrestling out of Askren Wrestling Academy had an extremely dominant road to the best of 3 finals including 2 tech falls and an 11-6 decision. He then drops to Yahya Thomas in the finals. Askren may be biased in his opinion but tells everyone to keep and eye on O’Toole these next few years as he makes huge level changes.

Juniors 70 kg (17:57)

Brayton Lee is the story of this weight class. He went down in each match and battled back tremendously each time. Dernlan talks about how maybe the strategy for his opponents should be to keep it close don’t go up too much because Lee will start dominating. Lee beats Sam Sasso in the best of three finals. Askren says Lee is right there at the top of the heap to compete for an NCAA title next year.

Juniors 74 kg (22:14)

Someone who wasn’t on Askren’s radar in high school was Shane Griffith who tech falled his way to the finals but lost to David Carr in the best of three finals.

Juniors 79 kg (23:50)

Another wrestler out of Askren Wrestling Academy makes the finals. Parker Keckeisen who loses to Aaron Brooks in the best of three finals. Dernlan thinks Brooks ready and good enough to compete at the senior level but Askren needs some convincing. That being said Brooks is the most likely to not only medal this year but win gold on the junior team.

Juniors 86 kg (27:28)

Fourth seed Victor Marcelli makes the finals but doesn’t have quite enough to beat Trent Hidlay in the best of three finals.

Juniors 92 kg (28:43)

Askren could see the champ Lucas Davison getting a world medal this year.

Juniors 97 kg (30:41)

Tanner Sloan gets the win at 97 kg and Dernlan talks about how well the national team coaching staff is at getting guys ready to win medals.

Juniors 125 kg (31:51)

Mason Parris beats Trent Hillger. Askren and Dernlan bring up just how good heavyweight is looking.


Featured RUDIS Gear:

Askren is wearing custom AWA team gear. Get your team outfitted here:

Dernlan is wearing the USA Merit Halverson Jacket 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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