125kg World Team Trials Preview: It's Coon's Year

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With the World Team Trials challenge tournament finally upon us, all eyes are on 125kg. The deepest and most interesting weight at the U.S. Open in Las Vegas carries over to Rochester, Minnesota this weekend.

The world finally got the senior level debut of Gable Steveson, and he ended up fourth, losing to Adam Coon and Dom Bradley. The Coon match wasn't close, but Steveson was leading with fewer than 10 seconds remaining.

WATCH 2018 WORLD TEAM TRIALS LIVE ON FLO

WHEN: May 19-20 | WHERE: Rochester, MN

Coon would go on to beat Jake Varner in the Open finals, granting him a bye to the best-of-three finals on Saturday, May 20th. Whether it's Coon, or someone who comes out of the challenge tournament, they'll have Nick Gwiazdowski in Final X Lehigh on June 23rd.

In Final X: Nick Gwiazdowski

In Trials Finals: Adam Coon

WTT Qualifiers

Weight

Name

RTC

Club

Qualifier

125kg

Jake Varner

Nittany Lion WC


US Open runner-up

125kg

Dom Bradley

NWTC

Sunkist Kids

US Open 3rd place

125kg

Gable Steveson


Minnesota Storm

US Open 4th place

125kg

Tony Nelson


Minnesota Storm

US Open 5th place

125kg

Tanner Hall


Sunkist Kids

US Open 6th place

125kg

Mike Kosoy

Wolfpack WC

Titan Mercury

US Open 7th place

Commentary: What a year it's been for Adam Coon. He takes out Kyle Snyder in the dual meet, makes his second NCAA final, and wins the U.S. Open. He seems vastly improved since the last time he wrestled freestyle, which already may have been his best style. If he makes it to Final X, it will be on the strength of his knee pull single and body lock.

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Varner is a long way from his 2012 Olympic gold medal. But his most recent competition prior to the Open was in the 2016 World Cup as the heavyweight for Team USA. Varner went through the guys who finished fifth and sixth in Vegas, meaning he did not wrestle Bradley or Steveson. The offense he did display is even more mitigated by the big bodies at heavyweight.

Bradley dominated his opponents early on at the Open, but then totaled just six points from the semis on. He is more active than Zach Rey, who frequently won matches 1-1, and has a solid gut wrench, but may need to up his pace to topple Coon or Varner.

The difficult thing for Gable may be that he has to compete three days in a row after deciding to do both juniors and seniors. However, he very much proved he can still hit his snaps on seniors, as well as fire off shots and even launch a couple guys for 4s and 5s. His semis rematch with Dom Bradley will say a lot about the kinds of adjustments he can make.

125 3rd - Gable Steveson vs Dom Bradley

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Last year in Linclon, Tony Nelson knocked off Zach Rey. He will have a similarly difficult task in Jake Varner in the semis, assuming he gets by Mike Kosoy in the quarters. Tanner Hall will get a crack at avenging his 11-0 tech to Steveson in the quarters.

I think Gable Steveson is the greatest high school wrestler of all-time, and has a great shot to be a four-time NCAA champ. I also think he will have a Tervel-like run on the senior level of making world teams and winning medals. Getting teched by Coon may wind up being the worst senior level loss of his career. But I think between also wrestling juniors and the size of Bradley and Varner, Steveson is just a hair short right now of being able to knock them off.

WTT Previews: 57kg61kg65kg70kg74kg79kg86kg92kg97kg

As I mentioned at the top, Varner did not have to wrestle either Bradley or Steveson in Vegas, so the winner of that one may just vanquish Varner quickly. But that semi might take too much out of the victor, leaving Varner a little fresher. If he faces Bradley, the over/under on that one is about four points. With Gable, he'll need to score more.

Either way, Adam Coon is a mountain, moves people around like a tractor, and clearly seems to be in the best shape of his life. It's his time to make Final X and get himself another rematch with Nick Gwiazdowski. I'm not sure when it's coming, but he'll get his body lock a couple times on Sunday.

Nomad's Picks

Trials Finals: Coon over Varner two matches to none

Challenge Finals: Varner over Bradley

By The Numbers: Iowa & Oklahoma State's Season So Far

The Hawkeyes and Cowboys are on a collision course scheduled for impact on Sunday, February 24th in historic Gallagher-Iba Arena. Both teams are loaded, with marquee matchups slated for just about every weight. Both teams have also gone through plenty of changes this season. We breakdown their respective journeys below. 

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Second Coaches Poll And RPI Breakdown

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The second coaches' poll was released this week, this time with an RPI accompaniment. Over 400 individual wrestlers made at least one of the lists. We've copied those two lists at the end of this article. Before them is a breakdown of the implications of both lists. 

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Daton Fix's Path To The 1 Seed At NCAAs

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Daton Fix came into his redshirt freshman year as one of the most hyped recruits in history, having won a Junior world title in 2017 and wrestling in Final X before ever wearing the Oklahoma State singlet.

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Iowa Travels To Wisconsin On Sunday With B1G Seeding Implications At 165

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Iowa finishes up their Big Ten schedule this weekend, starting with senior day against Indiana at Carver Hawkeye on Friday. Two days later, they make the trip to Madison to close out their conference duals.

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Can Oklahoma State End Missouri's 35-Match Winning Streak This Saturday?

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The #4 Oklahoma State Cowboys and #10 Missouri Tigers renew their rivalry this weekend in Columbia. The home team owns a 35-dual winning streak, which includes last year's 21-19 win in Stillwater.

Chris Ayers' 7 Ways To Defend A Leg Rider

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Plenty of us have had trouble with a tough/savvy leg rider. 

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Jody Strittmatter's Spencer Lee-Like Top Game

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Spencer Lee is an absolute hammer on top. 

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FRL 353: 165lb Big Ten Seeds + Micic/Suriano Will Tell Us A Lot About 133

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FRL 353 - 165lb Big Ten Seeds + Micic/Suriano Will Tell Us A Lot About 133

What 2 Watch 4: It's Game Time

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Do nothing but watch wrestling this weekend. Don't even think about doing anything else. I've got all the links and matchups for you right here. If you screw up this weekend by not watching wrestling, you have only yourself to blame!

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PIAA AAA Recap: Bethlehem Catholic On Historic Run

For the third time this year Bethlehem Catholic defeated Northampton. The all District 11 final provided plenty of drama as the Konkrete Kids pushed the Golden Hawks to the limit in the final dual of the year. All bouts are archived on FloArena and can be played on-demand. Here are some finals thoughts from Hershey.

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