2019 Senior Nationals - US Olympic Trials Qualifier

57kg Is The Best Weight To Watch In Ft. Worth. Here's Why.

57kg Is The Best Weight To Watch In Ft. Worth. Here's Why.

All of the Olympic weight classes at Senior Nationals should be packed with exciting matchups, but 57kg offers more intrigue than the rest.

Dec 18, 2019 by David Bray
57kg Is The Best Weight To Watch In Ft. Worth. Here's Why.
Every weight at the Senior Nationals - US Olympic Trials Qualifier will be outstanding, but the intrigue surrounding how Spencer Lee fits into this already-loaded field just might make 57kg the most compelling weight to watch in Fort Worth.

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Every weight at the Senior Nationals - US Olympic Trials Qualifier will be outstanding, but the intrigue surrounding how Spencer Lee fits into this already-loaded field just might make 57kg the most compelling weight to watch in Fort Worth.

Watch the Senior Nationals – US Olympic Trials Qualifier LIVE on FloWrestling

Friday-Sunday, December 20-22 | 9:00 AM ET

USA Wrestling just released pre-seeds for 57kg, and here they are:

  1. Spencer Lee (Titan Mercury WC)
  2. Nathan Tomasello (Titan Mercury WC)
  3. Zane Richards (Titan Mercury WC)
  4. Nahshon Garrett (Titan Mercury WC)
  5. Darian Cruz (New York AC)
  6. Vitali Arujau (Titan Mercury WC)
  7. Josh Rodriguez (Nittany Lion WC)
  8. Zach Sanders (Gopher WC)
  9. Sean Russell (Gopher WC)
  10. Frank Perrelli (Titan Mercury WC)
  11. Cory Clark (Titan Mercury WC)
  12. Alan Waters (Titan Mercury WC)

The careful observer will notice one important missing name: Nick Suriano. If Suriano enters the tournament, and evidence suggests that he will, his Bill Farrell results suggest that he would be either the 2 or 3 seed. That sets up a potential Suriano vs Lee final which is one of the most interesting potential finals of the entire tournament. 

Here are a few reasons you have to watch 57kg this weekend:

A Potential Lee vs Suriano Final

The Spencer Lee vs Nick Suriano rivalry dates back to 2012 when they first met at Super 32 finals at 106lbs. Suriano took that first match, but Lee has taken the last two, the 2013 Super 32 final and the 2018 NCAA final. Their rivalry has never extended to freestyle. That could change this weekend.

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Suriano has made a strong senior-level freestyle debut this year knocking off world bronze medalist Joe Colon at Beat the Streats and then placing third at the Bill Farrell. Lee has yet to prove himself at the senior level but does have two Junior World gold medals as well as a Cadet World title.

Spencer Lee's Senior-Level Debut

Whether or not Lee and Suriano hit, Lee's senior-level debut is worth the price of admission. Lee's age-level success has made him one of the most anticipated senior-level athletes in recent memory.

Lee's two NCAA titles in two tries are only part of his appeal. His freestyle success speaks for itself. As The Wrestling Nomad detailed in a recent article, Lee's age-level freestyle career consisted of a 50-4 record, 40 wins by technical superiority, nine falls, and the three age-level world gold medals mentioned above. While Lee hasn't proven himself on the senior level, all the evidence suggests that he can.

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Nick Suriano's Upward Trajectory

Spencer Lee isn't the only youngster making waves on the senior level. Nick Suriano has been a stand out freestyler since he knocked off Joe Colon at Beat the Streets this spring.

Since his debut at 61kg, Suriano has focused on freestyle and has dropped to 57kg to pursue his Olympic dream. He took third at the Bill Farell in November proving both how savvy he is at freestyle and also how difficult it is for anyone to win tournaments at the senior level.

Suriano will probably earn the #2 or #3 seed which could mean a quarterfinal against either Vitali Arujau or Josh Rodriguez and a projected semi against Nathan Tomasello. These matchups are more than enough to test the developing Suriano.

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NaTo's Return to Form

Nathan Tomasello has been one of the biggest 57kg freestyle prospects for a number of years, but a series of injuries has kept him from realizing his potential. The version of Tomasello we saw at the Bill Farrell seems like a serious threat in Fort Worth.

Tomasello's run to the Bill Farrell finals included wins over Sean Russell and the much improved Zane Richards. NaTo will probably earn the 2 or 3 seed here and is a must-watch 57kg entry.

Nahshon Garrett is Under-Rated

For some reason, Nahshon Garrett seems often under-looked despite the fact that he's the only athlete in the field who is already qualified for the Olympic Trials. Garrett qualified by winning Final X in 2018 and qualifying for the world team at 61kg. An injury prevented Nahshon from competing in the 2018 World Championships, but his backup, Joe Colon, earned a bronze medal.

Nahson Garrett's run to the World Team spot included several notable wins including the aforementioned World bronze medalist Joe Colon, Bill Farrell champ Seth Gross, and 2019 World Team Member Tyler Graff. This sequence of wins is enough to consider Garrett a threat at 57kg.

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Richards is Improving

Zane Richards looked as good as he ever has in November's Bill Farrell. He knocked off Nahshon Garrett in the quarterfinals and took a 5-0 lead over Nathan Tomasello before ultimately dropping that semifinal bout 8-6.

Richards did his college wrestling at 133lbs, but the smaller weight class seemed to fit him well at the Farrell. His improvement means he'll be extremely dangerous in Fort Worth.

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The Depth of This Field

While the top talent at this field is outstanding, the depth of the weight class suggests that anything could happen. On top of the wrestlers mentioned above, this weight includes NCAA champions Darian Cruz and Cory Clark, Junior World silver medalist Vito Arujau, and a pack of All-Americans like Zach Sanders, sean Russell, Frank Perrelli, and Alan Waters.

With the top seeds and depth at 57kg, circle this as the most intriguing weight of the weekend.