Pennsylvania Regional Training Center members, B.J. Futrell, Chase Pami, and Richard Perry will be competing to make their first World Team tomorrow in Lincoln, Nebraska. In order to do so, each wrestler will have to battle their way through a mini tournament and then face a well rested opponent in the finals in a best two out of three series. The wrestlers waiting in the finals earned their spots by winning Olympic medals in 2016 or winning the 2017 U.S. Open.
At 65 kg, B.J. Futrell is the second seed. In his opening match he will face 2x NCAA champion, Dean Heil, from Oklahoma State. If he makes it to the trial tournament finals he will most likely face 2x NCAA champion and last year’s Dan Hodge award winner, Zain Retherford from Penn State. Waiting in the finals is 2016 Olympian, Frank Molinaro, formerly of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club and now training out of Virginia Tech. B.J. is currently ranked 10th in the world, and has not yet wrestled the unranked Retherford or the 11th ranked Molinaro.
At 70 kg, Chase Pami earned the 3rd seed and will face freestyle veteran, Jason Chamberlain in his opening bout. The top seed in the bracket, Jimmy Kennedy, is bumped up from 65 kg where he competed in the US Open. Chase took third at the open only losing to Tommy Gannt, who will have to beat second seed Nazar Kulchytskyy in order to force a rematch. Waiting in the finals is 2015 World bronze medalist, James Green from the Nebraska RTC who is currently ranked 4th in the world.
Richard Perry earned the 2nd seed at 86 kg. Waiting in the best 2 out of 3 series is 2016 Olympic bronze medalist, J’Den Cox. Cox, who wrapped up his third NCAA title this past season at Missouri, is ranked 5th in the world. In order to reach him, Richard will have to defeat Nittany Lion Wrestling Club’s two time NCAA Champion and Hodge Trophy winner, David Taylor. Taylor, who is ranked 5th in the world, will be a tough test, as he has beaten Richard at both the Paris Grand Prix and the U.S. Open. That being said Richard gave him his toughest match of the year, which includes Taylor’s wins over World and Olympic gold medalists.
The action will off on Flowresting at 11 AM eastern time and will conclude around 4. The best 2 out of 3 series will start at 6 pm. Be sure to follow along on twitter for updates @pennsylvaniartc.