(Kennedy Blades tackles Adeline Gray)

Las Vegas, NVThe U.S. Open took place between April 26th – April 30th in Las Vegas, NV. In the course of 5 exciting days, athletes of all ages gathered under one roof to compete for the first stop of their Olympic journey. Among all the competing wrestlers, a few Team RUDIS athletes stood out from the crowd. 

(Kennedy Blades wins victory over Adeline Gray)

The highly anticipated women’s match, which had been generating significant buzz for some time, took place at the US Open, appropriately serving as the final women’s match of the tournament. In the quest for a spot in Final X, Kennedy Blades faced Adeline Gray, a six-time Senior World Champion and 2020 Olympic silver medalist. Blades secured a technical fall and was awarded Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. Kennedy Blades, the 2019 U20 World Champion and 2022 U.S. Olympic Trials runner-up, emerged victorious in a stacked bracket that included seven current or former members of the Senior National Team to claim her first U.S. Open title. As a result, she advances to Final X and will face the winner of the Senior World Team Trials Challenge.

(Rae McDonald wins his weight class)

Rae McDonald, a former University of Mount Union wrestler and two-time All American, triumphed in the Masters Division at 62kg. Rae was able to shut out his opponents 21-0 and claim victory by technical fall in both matches. At 69 years old, and in his final year of eligibility for the U.S. Open, McDonald demonstrated his skill and prowess by winning one of the nation’s most prominent wrestling tournaments.

(Kollin Moore takes down his opponent)

On June 10, Team RUDIS will represent a multitude of athletes on the grand stage. The following RUDIS wrestlers have officially secured their spots in Final X: Sarah Hildebrandt (50kg), Kayla Miracle (62kg), Amit Elor (72kg), Kennedy Blades (79kg), Zain Retherford (70kg), Jordan Burroughs (79kg), and Kyle Snyder (97kg).

Final X will determine the 2023 U.S. Senior World Teams in men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman, with 30 weight classes contested, 10 in each discipline. The top two U.S. athletes in each weight class will compete in a best-of-three series to determine who will compete in the 2023 Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.