BY TIM FOLEY, UWW | JAN. 01, 2019, 12:50 P.M. (ET)
CORSIER-SUR-VEVEY, Switzerland (January 1) - With the 2018 wrestling season officially at a close, United World Wrestling has awarded "Best Wrestler of the Year" honors to David TAYLOR (USA) for freestyle, Petra OLLI (FIN) for women's wrestling, and Peter BACSI (HUN) for Greco-Roman.
The award was based on the number of ranking points each of the wrestlers attained over the course of the 2018 season. A majority of points were earned at the world and continental championships, with additional points earned at a number of style-specific Ranking Series tournaments around the world.
For their efforts, Taylor, Olli and Bacsi each received a 10,000 CHF prize from United World Wrestling.
Taylor, the 86kg world champion in freestyle finished the season with 112 total ranking points. In addition to his world title Taylor took gold at 2018 Senior Pan-American championships, the Ivan Yariguin (Ranking Event), and the Yasar Dogu (Ranking Event). Taylor didn't lose a match all season.
"I'm really grateful for the opportunity to compete for the USA and represent the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club," said Taylor. "I wouldn't have been able to reach this point without my coaches, training partners, and the treigning lab. I'm honored to be the wrestler of the year and look forward to 2019!"
Nittany Lion Wrestling Club Resident Athlete David Taylor (86 kg/189 lbs.) scored pins in all four matches to win a gold medal at the Yasar Dogu International in Istanbul, Turkey this weekend. This was a pre-World Championships ranking tournament, and David set himself up for a high seed at the upcoming World Championships in October.
In his first match, David pinned Azamat Dauletbekov of Kazakhstan in 4:37; in his second match, he pinned 2017 World silver medalist Boris Makoev of Slovakia in 3:50; in the semi-finals, it was a pin in 4:05 over Ahmet Bilici of Turkey; and in the finals, he decked 2017 European silver medalist Murad Suleymanov of Azerbaijan in 1:22.
On Saturday in Penn State's Rec Hall, NLWC Resident Athlete David Taylor defeated North Carolina State star Nick Reenan in two straight matches at 86kg to win a spot on the U.S. World Team. David dominated, winning by technical fall in both matches, 13-2 and 10-0.
Rec Hall was full of Penn State and Nittany Lion Wrestling Club fans, and it was a great atmosphere. Thanks for the tremendous support of the NLWC and David!
David will be competing for team U.S.A. at the World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, October 20-28.
World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Rochester, Minnesota
Resident Athlete Nico Megaludis (61 kg) earned a silver medal at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. Nico earned a win over Tyler Graff in the semifinals but dropped two matches in the best-of-three finals to Nahshon Garrett. Regional Training Center Coach Jake Varner (125 kg) was upset in the semifinals by former Minnesota National Champion Tony Nelson, but wrestled back with wins over Tanner Hall and Dom Bradley to earn the bronze.
Beat the Streets in New York City
Resident Athlete Josh Rodriguez (57 kg) lost a 5-2 decision in the annual Beat the Streets dual meet in New York City. Josh faced U23 World Champion Reineri Andreeu Ortega of Cuba in the dual.
U.S. Junior World Team Trials
Collegian Brady Berge (70 kg), wrestling under the NLWC banner, had a tremendous weekend and earned a spot on the 2018 U.S. Junior Freestyle World Team. Brady won three straight matches to win the challenge tournament and face Austin O'Connor in the final best-of-three series. Brady won the first match, 7-4, lost by technical fall in the second match, and scored a 6-2 victory in the third match to win the World Team spot. Congratulations Brady!!!
Nick Lee (65 kg) won three straight matches over top opponents to make the finals of the challenge tournament where he lost to Andrew Alirez.
Jarod Verkleeren (65 kg) lost his first match, 2-2 criteria to Sammy Sasso. Jarod then won six straight matches to wrestle back and place third in the challenge tournament. In the match for the bronze, Jarod faced Sasso again and scored a 15-4 victory in the rematch.
Congratulations to all of the NLWC Wrestlers on fine performances!
From the desk of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club
The NLWC had an outstanding weekend with three wrestlers winning Gold Medals at the Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru!
One week after capturing a U.S. Open National Championship, Resident Athlete Ben Provisor (87 kg/192 lbs.) won a Bronze Medal in the Greco-Roman Championships. Ben had three wins on his way to the bronze. Ben was not expecting to compete in freestyle also, but after the U.S. team's J'den Cox became sick, Ben moved up to 92 kg (202 lbs.) and competed in the freestyle tournament. In an impressive performance, he then tech his way through the freestyle bracket to capture the Gold Medal.
Resident Athlete David Taylor (86 kg/189 lbs.) continued his winning ways by scoring four straight victories to capture the Gold Medal. In the finals, David knocked of two-time champion Yudenny Torreblanca of Cuba, 3-2. In the World Freestyle Rankings recently released by United World Wrestling, David is currently ranked 2nd in the World at 86 kg/189 lbs.)
Collegiate wrestler Mark Hall also competed under the NLWC banner for team U.S.A. at the Pan American Freestyle Championships. Mark dominated the competition to win a Gold Medal at 79 kg/174 lbs.
Congratulations to all three NLWC Wrestlers on outstanding performances at the Pan American Championships!
From the desk of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club
The NLWC had two gold medalists, two silver medalists, and one bronze medalist at the U.S. Open National Championships in Las Vegas this past weekend. It was an outstanding showing by the Club wrestlers!
Ben Provisor Wins Gold
At 87 kg/191.5 lbs., NLWC Resident Athlete Ben Provisor, already a 2X Olympian and 2017 World Team member, won his third U.S. Open National Championship. In the finals, Ben fell behind Joe Rau (Minnesota Storm) 0-6 before fighting back to take a 14-10 victory. On his way to the finals Ben scored wins over Austin Chaon (NMU-OTS), 10-1, Robert Hammers, 8-0, and Kevin Radford (Sunkist Kids), 8-1.
David Taylor Wins Gold
At 86 kg/189 lbs., NLWC Resident Athlete David Taylor continued his domination of this weight class. In the gold medal match, David defeated Richard Perry (New York AC/Penn RTC), 8-0 to capture his third U.S. Open title. On his way to the finals, David scored wins over Evan Hanson (Viking Wrestling Club), 10-0, Austin Coburn (Predator), 10-0, Noe Garcia (Roadrunner WC), 2-0, and Timothy Dudley (Sunkist Kids), 12-2.
Jake Varner Earns Silver and Nico Megaludis Bronze
In his first competition in several years, NLWC Coach Jake Varner made an impressive showing earning a Silver Medal 125 kg/275 lbs. Despite a significant size difference, Jake lost a close 1-3 decision to Adam Coon (NYAC/MWC) in the finals. Jake scored four straight wins to earn the spot in the finals.
In one of the tournament's deepest and toughest weight classes at 61 kg/134 lbs, NLWC Resident Athlete Nico Megaludis had a fine performance. In the bronze medal match, Nico defeated Tyler Graff (TMWC), 10-0. Nico's only loss was a 2-5 decision to eventual champion, Joe Colon (TMWC). Nico had five other victories in his performance, knocking off several top competitors.
At 57 kg/125.5 lbs., NLWC Resident Athlete Josh Rodriquez opened his tournament with two wins before dropping a 1-2 decision to eventual champion Tony Ramos (Sunkist Kids). Josh dropped his next match to fall short of placing.
College Athletes Competing under the NLWC Banner
Brady Berge, competing at 70 kg/154 lbs., had an incredible tournament earning a silver medal in the UWW Junior freestyle division. Although Brady dropped a 2-2 decision in the finals, he scored four technical falls and 8-0 shutout on his way to the championship bout. Jarod Verkleeren also in the UWW Junior freestyle division had several good wins at 70 kg/154 lbs. but fell short of placing. Luke Gardner, competing at 70 kg/154 lbs. in the senior division, lost his first match to eventual champion Jason Chamberlain (Titan Mercury WC), won his second match, but dropped his third bout.
Regional Training Center Competition
The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club finished as the Regional Training Center Cup runner-up in the tournament's Regional Olympic Training Center competition.
Congratulations to all of the NLWC Wrestlers and Coaches on an outstanding performance!
NLWC Resident Athlete David Taylor went undefeated at 86 kg/189 lbs. in helping the USA Team to a World Cup Championship this past weekend. This was the first United States World Cup title since 2003. The U.S. defeated India, Japan, Georgia, and Azerbaijan to win the championship.
David won by technical fall over all four opponents that he faced including 10-0 over Pawan Kumar (India), 12-2 over Masao Matsusaka (Japan), 11-1 over David Khutsishvili (Georgia), and 12-2 over Aleksander Gostiev (Azerbaijan).
Congratulations to David and Team USA!
Next up for the NLWC wrestlers will be the U.S. Open National Championship at the end of April.
Resident Athlete Franklin Gomez had a nice tournament and finished with a bronze at the Bill Farrell Memorial International Tournament held at the New York Athletic Club this past weekend. Franklin started the tournament with an 11-0 win over J. Peralta (unnattached) followed by a 9-0 win over T. Parks (NYAC). In the semifinals, Franklin was upset 7-11 by T. Gantt of (TMWC) before he wrestled back to earn the bronze with an 8-0 win over L. Van Anrooy (CKWC) and a 10-0 win over N. Taffur (Columbia).
Matt Brown (representing the U.S. Army WCAP) had a very successful weekend at MCB Camp Lejeune, N.C. Matt won a gold medal at 79 kg/174.1 lbs., leading the U.S. Army team to its 17th straight U.S. Armed Forces freestyle title. As a member of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program, Matt continues to train at the NLWC's Olympic Regional Training Center. Congratulations Matt!
Several NLWC Resident Athletes also had fine performances at the Outstanding Ukrainian Memorial Tournament in Kiev, Ukraine. Franklin Gomez placed second at 74 kg/163 lbs. with his only loss being to former World Champion and Olympic Medalist Frank Chamizo of Italy. Riley Lefever also wrestled very well, placing third in a tough 92 kg/202 lbs. weight class. Riley dropped a close decision to fellow American J'den Cox but defeated #10 in the world Pavlo Olejnyk (Video Below). Josh Rodriguez, competing at 57 kg/125 lbs., had several good wins and placed fifth. Nico Megaludis competing at 61 kg/134 lbs. dropped his first match and didn't get a chance to wrestle back after his opponent failed to make the finals.
Ben Provisor, competing at 87 kg in the Thor Masters Tournament in Nykobing Falster, Denmark finished in eighth place in a top Greco-Roman tournament.
Congratulations all of the NLWC Resident Athletes on their fine performances!
Riley Lefever Defeats #10 in the world Pavlo Olejnyk
Josh Rodriguez opening round match
Franklin Gomez semi finals battle
NLWC Resident Athlete David Taylor (86 kg/189 lbs.) captured gold earlier today at the Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk, Russia! David became only the 12th U.S. men's freestyle wrestler to ever win a Yarygin title. This accomplishment is especially noteworthy since the Yarygin is considered the toughest open tournament in the world!
David won his first match by 4-4 criteria over two-time Pan American champion Yurieski Torreblanca Queralta of Cuba. In the quarterfinals, David defeated 2016 Olympic silver medalist Selim Yasar of Turkey 4-1. He pinned Artur Naifanov of Russia in 2:27 in the semifinal round. And to finish the day, David won by fall in 2:00 over Fatih Erdin of Turkey in the gold medal match.
Stay tuned for more info!
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