The World Team Trials continued on Saturday with action in men’s and women’s freestyle and Greco Roman.
Numerous wrestlers with New York ties took the mat, with West Point graduate Jon Anderson making it all the way to the best-of-three championship series against Andy Bisek in Greco at 74 kg/163 pounds. Anderson began his journey with a 6-0 victory over Corey Hope and followed it up with a pin of Jake Fisher, the number two seed. Fisher, a former World Team member, had taken a significant lead over Anderson early in the match, but the former Black Knight fought back to not only tie the score but also get the fall.
That set up the meeting with Bisek. In the first match, there was a lot of action early, but the first points weren’t put on the board until there were just seconds left in the opening period as Anderson grabbed a 1-0 advantage. Bisek didn’t waste much time tying things up in the second and with two minutes to go, the Minnesota Storm wrestler pulled ahead 3-1. Anderson stayed aggressive, but his opponent effectively countered multiple times, resulting in a 10-1 Bisek triumph in match one.
In the second match, Anderson went ahead with a push out less than a minute into the bout for a 1-0 lead. Seconds later, however, Bisek responded with a takedown and after a series of turns, it was 7-1. Toward the end of the stanza, Anderson looked in position for a big throw, but Bisek was able to fight it off and in the second period, Bisek ended the bout 9-2 with a pushout to take the World Team spot.
Anderson wasn’t the only placer with Empire State connections on Saturday, as three freestylers made the top four in the Challenge Tournament.
Former Duanesburg star Nick Gwiazdowski, who competes for North Carolina State, took bronze at 120 kg after racking up a 3-1 record. That included a pair of wins over two-time NCAA champion Tony Nelson of Minnesota. In fact, Gwiazdowski started the day against the Golden Gopher, getting to his legs often and piling up points in a 9-0 technical fall that ended midway through the second period. After dropping his next contest to Zach Rey, Gwiazdowski notched a 9-1 triumph over Kyle Massey before beating Nelson for third, 6-4.
Also making the bronze match in the Challenge Tournament were Cornell graduate Cam Simaz (84 kg) and Columbia assistant Adam Hall (66 kg), who both took fourth with 2-2 marks. Simaz opened and concluded with losses to Jon Reader. In between, he toppled Max Askren and Enock Francois by 7-0 and 9-2 scores, respectively. Hall’s setbacks came to Challenge Tournament champion Brent Metcalf and third placer Chase Pami while he defeated Kyle Ruschell and Phillip Simpson.
Speaking of Simpson, the Army graduate went 3-2 with wins over Rollie Peterkin, Jason Chamberlain and Kyle Borshoff. Borshoff, an American assistant coach originally from the Rochester area, dropped a one-pointer to Kyle Ruschell in round one before facing Simpson.
Another Simpson – William Simpson – picked up one victory at 60 kg in Greco with a pin, while Army assistant Enock Francois also had a 1-2 mark (at 84 kg) with a 7-0 win over Austin Trotman.
Yet another West Point coach, Danny Mitcheff, also collected a victory (at 55 kg), eliminating Cornell All-American Frank Perrelli in the consolations. Mitcheff was then knocked out of the competition by former Buffalo grappler Mark McKnight, who also went 1-2.
On the women’s side, Jenna Burkert, recorded a technical fall at 63 kg against Lauren Louive, while another New York native, Joe Uccellini, competed at 74 kg in Greco.
Wrestling continues on Sunday in Stillwater with the Junior World Team Trials in both Freestyle and Greco.
For full results, see here.