We're still catching our breath from the most amazing men's freestyle World Team Trials in recent memory. Every match in Lincoln, NE, was momentous in its own way, including a fair share of stunning upsets. We highlight the biggest underdog victories from this past weekend below.
Farro Bounces Pletcher In QuarterfinalsLehigh's Nick Farro had a solid if not spectacular redshirt year last NCAA season but not nearly as impressive as Ohio State's Luke Pletcher. The Buckeyes blue-chipper bumped up to 141 and qualified for the NCAAs out of the brutal Big Ten Conference.
But it was Farro who jumped out to an early lead and then held position to stave off Pletcher's comeback attempt. The young Mountain Hawk gave the fans in Bethlehem, PA, something to cheer about as he notched a quarterfinal-round upset in the 60kg junior tournament.
You can watch Farro take out Pletcher in the video below.
Dardanes Exercises His NCAA DemonsMinnesota's Nick Dardanes qualified for four NCAA tournaments, but his best finish and only All-American honor was seventh during his sophomore year in 2013. It appears that the time the Illinois native spent with the Hawkeye Wrestling Club has paid dividends, as Dardanes kicked off his trials tournament with a 4-1 victory offer Michigan's two-time NCAA champ Kellen Russell in the 65kg bracket.
The proverbial icing on the cake came for Dardanes in the consolation round, when he tech-falled Oklahoma State's Dean Heil, another two-time NCAA champ of more recent vintage.
Watch Dardanes frustrate the Wolverines legend Russell in the video below.
Perrelli Stymies Two NCAA ChampsCornell's Frank Perrelli has been out on the senior circuit for a full Olympic cycle but has yet to break through in a major way. The crafty veteran may finally be turning a corner, however, as he took out two very promising up-and-comers in Darian Cruz and Nico Megaludis.
Though Perrelli never finished higher than fourth at the NCAA tournament, he took out the two most recent NCAA 125-pound champs in the consolation rounds of 57kg. Perrelli was most impressive against Megaludis, taking a page from the Nittany Lion's own playbook and completely shutting down his opponent's offense with his flexibility and creative counters.
Watch Perrelli end the three-time NCAA finalist's tournament in the video below.
Glosser's Furious Comeback Upends ParriotFew wrestlers arrived in Lincoln with as many credentials and high hopes as Purdue blue-chip redshirt freshman Griffin Parriot, as evidenced by his No. 2 seed in the 66kg bracket. Iowa's much less heralded redshirt sophomore Jaren Glossner did not let any of the accolades intimidate him, however, even when he went down 5-0 at the end of the first period in their round of 16 match.
After the intermission, though, it was all Glosser, who sealed the deal with the throw-by go-behind from short offense with less than 30 seconds to go in the match.
Their bout is found in the video below, and also FYI, there are plenty more great matches to chose from in that absolutely stacked junior bracket.
Nelson Gets Rey-Sized Monkey Off His BackZach Rey has been a mainstay on the senior freestyle national team at heavyweight since graduating from Lehigh in 2012. Minnesota's Tony Nelson had the NCAA trophy case and expectations to do the same when he graduated from Minnesota in 2014. Nelson, however, had yet to place in the top three until last weekend in Nebraska, when he finally got by the big man from New Jersey in a 1-1 white-knuckle criteria victory.
No one expected a high-scoring affair when these two met, but what we got was strategic, textbook heavyweight wrestling from start to finish. After finally summiting Mount Rey, Nelson made the most of his tournament by beating rival Bobby Telford of Iowa in the true second match, putting him on his first national team of his senior career.
You can watch these two giants go at it in the video below.
Gilman Sweeps RamosAfter running the gauntlet and winning nine consecutive matches, from the Last Chance Qualifier in May to his WTT finals series sweep over Tony Ramos, it's easy to forget that Thomas Gilman was considered an underdog in most of his matches in Lincoln.
Gilman needed to avenge his last two NCAA tournament losses, against Lehigh's Darian Cruz and Penn State's Nico Megaludis, just to get to the 57kg trials finals, where Gilman then had to face the two-time world team member (and former Iowa teammate) Ramos. Gilman pulled out a squeaker in the first match and then concluded his shocking run with a 7-2 victory over T-Ram.
You can watch the match and the spectators as they get swept up in Gilmania in the video below.