The Bill Farrell Invitational (formerly the NYAC) has been a staple for over 50 years. The tournament will see some changes though as it is now going to be called the Bill Farrell International Open, and will now be held at Hofstra University's Mack Arena. The name change is in honor of the late NYAC Wrestling Chairman, and 1972 Olympic Head Coach Bill Farrell.
Sam Hazewinkel- Like nearly every tournament that he enters, Haze is the class of the field here. The last time we saw him Haze was only in the World Team Trial finals in both freestyle and greco. Although he fell short in both finals, Haze is still one the worlds best at this weight in both styles, and will sure to be a factor not only this weekend, but at the 2016 Olympic trials as well.
Angel Escobdeo- In 2013 after World Team member Obe Blanc failed a drug test Angel Escobedo was called on short notice to take his place, and Escobedo made the most of his opportunity. Escobedo reached the quarterfinals before falling to Amit Kumar of India. Escobedo rebounded though making the bronze medal match before losing to Sezar Akgul of Turkey to take fifth in the world. At the 2014 US Open Escobedo was forced to default after injuring his ankle, and at World Team Trials Escodbedo was upset by Tony Ramos. Angel will try to return to his 2013 form this weekend.
Nico Megaludis- Since the Penn State 3x All-American will be redshirting this season expect to see him wrestling in more tournaments like these. Megaludis proved this year at World Team Trials he can be a factor at this weight after he took fourth at this summers World Team Trials. Megaludis losses came to World Team member Tony Ramos (1-0), and then to Matt McDonough (4-0) for third. I expect Megaludis to be in contention for a title this weekend.
Joe Colon- Colon shocked the wrestling world last December in the Midlands finals when he pinned eventual national champion Tony Ramos in the third period. Colon fell short of his goal of a national title in March, but has continued to find success on the freestyle cicuit placing fifth at the 2014 US Open. Colon will look to claim his first post graduate tournament win this weekend.
Joey McKenna- Just over two months ago we saw McKenna make the junior world finals as he claimed a silver medal. Now we will get to see him make his senior level debut, and how he stacks up against some of the best from the United States, and around the world.
Artem Umarov (Russia) - Umarov was a Cadet World bronze medalist.
Reece Humphrey- Humphrey has been a mainstay on the senior freestyle scene since 2009, and has made two world teams, taking eighth in 2013, and ninth in 2011 at the world championships. Recently Humphrey has bounced back and forth between 61kg and 65kg, but from this point forward Humphrey will stay at 65kg.
Jordan Oliver- Since graduating from Oklahoma State in 2013 many thought he would be the United States guy at 65kg for years to come, but Oliver is yet to make a world team, and that is in large part dueto Brent Metcalf. In 2013 at the US Open when he did beat Metcalf, Oliver fell to Kellen Russell in the finals. In May he reached the World Team Trials after avenging a loss to Russell before falling to Metcalf in the finals. Oliver is now the volunteer assistant at Arizona State, and training along side former US National team coach Zeke Jones.
Jason Chamberlain- A mainstay at 65kg since his graduation from Boise State, Chamberlain has been a tough out for all of the elite guys at this weight, and proved that he can hang with anyone.
Chase Pami- Much like Chamberlain, Pami is a guy who has been right there with the elites at this weight, and on any given day could beat any guy at this weight.
Montell Marion- We hadn’t seen much of Marion on the freestyle scene until he made a 3-2 appearance at the US Open this year. Marion has a wide open style of wrestling, and could prove to be an X-factor at this weight this weekend.
Evan Henderson- A two time All-American at North Carolina, this season Henderson will use his redshirt season. Much like Nico, since he is using his redshirt season expect him to wrestle in more events like this. It will be interesting to see how Henderson matches up against some of the top senior level guys at this weight.
NIkko Villarreal- The Arizona State commit will be making his senior level debut. Like Joey Mckenna, Villarreal is an accomplished freestyler, and it will be fun to see how he stacks up against senior level competition.
Adam Hall- Since graduating from Boise State Hall has been a guy who has been right there with everyone at this weight, but is yet to really breakthrough and win a big tournament.
Derek St John- Four time NCAA All-American, national champion, and now North Dakota State assistant coach, Derek St John, will make his senior level international debut. St John will look to rebound from his disappointing finish at University Nationals in May.
Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Uzebekistan) - An All-American at Clarion, Abdurakhmonov recently took bronze at the world championships at this weight, and is the class of the field here.
Cyler Sanderson- The youngest Sanderson was a two time All-American, once at Iowa State under older brother Cael, and the following year at Penn State after following Cael to Happy Valley. Cyler hasn’t competed since 2010, and it will be interesting to see how he looks after such a long time without wrestling competitively.
Fox Baldwin- Fresh off a Super 32 championship, Baldwin will switch styles looking to knock off some of the United States', and world's best at this weight. The University of Virginia commit has beaten college guys before, but never anyone who of the caliber of the guys entered here.
Nazar Kulchytskyy- Formerly of the Ukriane, Kulchytskyy was a three time Division III national champion. Kulchytskyy was had plenty of freestyle experience both in the United States and the Ukraine, and is a threat to anyone.
Clayton Foster- Over the past year or so, Clayton Foster has been on fire. Foster finished second at the 2014 US Open, beating Ed Ruth before falling to Keith Gavin in the finals. Foster then made the finals of the challenge tournament at the 2014 World Team Trials where he fell to Ed Ruth in a close battle. Foster also knocked off two world champion Ibragrim Aldatov of Ukraine at the 2014 World Cup.
Jon Reader- A 2012 University World Team Member, Jon Reader is an elite guy at this weight in the United States, and also had international success as he won gold at the 2012 Hari Ram Grand Prix.
Robert Hamlin- Fresh off his win over Chris Perry in the inagural Flo Premier Event, Robert Hamlin will try to continue to stay hot. Hamlin controlled the match with University silver medalist, Perry, and has shown he can be very competitive at this weight taking fifth at the 2014 US Open.
Deron Winn- For the past couple years Winn has been one of the elite guys at this weight in the United States. Winn took third at the 2013 Dave Schultz, second at the 2014 Dave Schultz, second at last years NYAC Holiday Open, and fourth at the 2014 US Open. Winn will try to improved upon last years runner-up finish in New York this weekend. This will be the first time we will see Deron Winn down at 86kg.
Jaime Espinal (Puerto Rico)- Espinal was a 2012 Olympic silver medalist.
Chris Pendleton- In recent years Pendleton has become more and more active on the freestyle scene, and some great success. Pendleton was second at the 2013 World Team Trials. Pendleton did have a disappointing finish at the 2014 US Open, falling to Deron Winn before injury defaulting out.
Tyrell Fortune- Since 2009 Tyrell Fortune has seen success on the international level in both freestyle and greco. In 2009 he was seventh in the Junior World Championships. In 2013 he was third in the University World Games in freestyle, and fifth in greco, while also taking second at the US Open and World Team Trials. In 2014 he took home gold at the University World Games, and was third at both the World Team Trials and US Open.
Dom Bradley- Much like Fortune, Bradley has had many years of international success in freestyle. In 2009, Bradley was a junior world champion, and was also third at the senior level World Team Trials. In 2013, Bradley won the US Open after defeating Olympian Tervel Dlagnev, but was suspended for the World Team Trials after failing a drug test. This year at the US Open, Bradley fell short placing second to Dlagnev.