2021 USA Wrestling Olympic Team Trials Watch Party

2021 Olympic Team Trials: Instant Recaps - Day II Session II

2021 Olympic Team Trials: Instant Recaps - Day II Session II

A blog about the USA Wrestling Olympic Team Trials. This is about the main event! We're making Olympic Teams tonight!

Apr 3, 2021 by Andrew Spey
2021 Olympic Team Trials: Instant Recaps - Day II Session II
Oh baby, it's really happening. Everything was prelude to this! (Which is all prelude to the Tokyo Olympics themselves, but nevermind that now. Gotta make the team first. 

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Oh baby, it's really happening. Everything was prelude to this! (Which is all prelude to the Tokyo Olympics themselves, but nevermind that now. Gotta make the team first. 

And that's what we're gonna see tonight. Together! 18 new Olympic Team Members! 

Man I am pumped. 

Watch the 2021 USA Wrestling Olympic Team Trials Watch Party

LIVE on FloWrestling | Friday & Saturday, April 2-3

Also pumped are the dudes back in Austin watching. Feel free to join them if you'd like sound and moving pictures to supplement your trials viewing!

Do you want to read about what happened in the first three sessions of these trials? Well, you can. I've even left in all the typos for the authentic blog experience! Blog of Session I, Session II & Session III (aka day 2 session I).

Here's the schedule for tonight. You probably already know that, or are reading this after the finals happened, but here it is anyway, for posterity's sake. 

And here are the matchups in slightly larger font, but in weight class order grouped by style, rather than broadcast order.

Best-of-Three Finals Matchups

57: Thomas Gilman (TMWC/ NLWC) vs Vitali Arujau (TMWC/ Spartan Combat)

65: Joseph McKenna (TMWC/ PENN RTC) vs Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

74: Kyle Dake (TMWC/ Spartan Combat) vs Jordan Burroughs (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

86: David Taylor (TMWC/ NLWC) vs Bo Nickal (TMWC/ NLWC)

97: Kollin Moore (TMWC/ Ohio RTC) vs Kyle Snyder (TMWC/ NLWC)

125: Nick Gwiazdowski (TMWC/ Wolfpack WC) vs Gable Steveson (Gopher Wrestling Club)

Best-of-Three Finals Matchups

50: Victoria Anthony (ASU RTC/Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Sarah Hildebrandt (New York Athletic Club)

53: Ronna Heaton (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Jacarra Winchester (TMWC/ USOPTC)

57: Jenna Burkert (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Helen Maroulis (Sunkist/NLWC)

62: Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

68: Kennedy Blades (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Tamyra Mensah-Stock (TMWC/ USOPTC)

76: Kylie Welker (TMWC) vs Adeline Gray (NYAC/ DAM RTC)

Greco Best-of-Three Finals Matchups

60: Ryan Mango (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Ildar Hafizov (ARMY (WCAP))

67: Ellis Coleman (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Alejandro Sancho (ARMY (WCAP)

77: Peyton Walsh (All-Marine Wrestling Team) vs Jesse Porter (New York Athletic Club)

87: John Stefanowicz (All-Marine Wrestling Team) vs Joe Rau (TMWC/ Illinois)

97: Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC) vs G'Angelo Hancock (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

130: Adam Coon (NYAC/CKWC) vs 130: Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

Round 1

125: Nick Gwiazdowski (TMWC/ Wolfpack WC) vs Gable Steveson (Gopher Wrestling Club)

Gable's takedowns have jumped a level, from my humble vantage. He has taken Gwiz down twice and turned him once with a lace. Gwiz tries an ankle pick of the second period whistle and Steveson down block, reattacks and gets the two. It's scary how quickly these points are coming for the recently minted NCAA champ from Apple Valley. 

Steveson makes it a 10-0 tech. NCAA title. Co-Hodge. Now halfway to Tokyo. 

77: Peyton Walsh (All-Marine Wrestling Team) vs Jesse Porter (New York Athletic Club)

Porter takes round one. This weight will still need to be qualified for Tokyo no matter who earns the team spot. Porter wins round 1, 8-1.

53: Ronna Heaton (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Jacarra Winchester (TMWC/ USOPTC)

Heaton gives Jacarra a tough match (Ronna 2.0 imo), but Winchester wins match one 7-4. This weight was qualified at the Pan-Am OGQ, by Winchester, which allowed her to sit out to the best-of-three finals. 

74: Kyle Dake (TMWC/ Spartan Combat) vs Jordan Burroughs (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

Pushout early for Dake. JB in on a single leg, Dake sits, crotch lock, Burroughs doesn't turn, but Dake gets a go behind to go up 3-0. Great leglace defense from Jordan in that sequence. 

Second period Jordan has one early shot and one late shot that Dake counters. No one goes on the clock but doesn't look like it would matter either way. 

Dake takes a very tense match one, 3-0. Dake's defense is otherworldly. 

62: Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

Kilty is game but Miracle is not ready to relinquish control of the weight class. She wins 8-4. 

130: Adam Coon (NYAC/CKWC) vs 130: Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

Coon won a silver medal at the 2018 World Championships, but Team USA still needs to qualify the weight for Tokyo. Coon will get an opportunity if he wins again. He took match one from the Sun Devil All-American 10-1. 

68: Kennedy Blades (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Tamyra Mensah-Stock (TMWC/ USOPTC)

17-year-old Blades scores first. Tamyra fires back with a TD of her own. Mensah-Stock comes roaring back to take a 6 point lead. Blades is game but Mensah-Stock too much. The reigning 68kg gold medalist wins 12-4. 

57: Thomas Gilman (TMWC/ NLWC) vs Vitali Arujau (TMWC/ Spartan Combat)

Vito gets a takedown and a leglace to go up 4-0, but Gilman responds with 3 pushouts and a four-point whip over to take the 7-4 lead. Arujau tries to go big trailing 9-4, Gilman stops him mid-throw and pins him to get one match closer to reasserting himself as the top lightweight in the country. 

97: Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC) vs G'Angelo Hancock (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

Never seriously threatened, Hancock wins 8-0. 

97: Kollin Moore (TMWC/ Ohio RTC) vs Kyle Snyder (TMWC/ NLWC)

Buckeye on Buckeye crime, even though Snyder switch RTC teams and trains in State College, PA. It's all Snyder at the break, he takes a 7-0 lead into the second. KMo can't get anything going and KySny wins 10-0 with relative ease. 

50: Victoria Anthony (ASU RTC/Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Sarah Hildebrandt (New York Athletic Club)

Vickie Vortex strikes first, up 1-0 early. Hildebrandt answers and its 2-2 going into the second period. Two more takedowns by Hildebrandt and she pulls ahead late in the match. Leglace turns it into a 12-2 tech fall. 

67: Ellis Coleman (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Alejandro Sancho (ARMY (WCAP)

This weight was qualified for Tokyo, so whoever wins this series is going to the Olympics. Sancho takes a slow-scoring first round, 2-0. 

57: Jenna Burkert (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Helen Maroulis (Sunkist/NLWC)

Burkert scores first, to the surprise of Dickies Arena. Maroulis answers with two takedowns, one in each period. They trade step-outs and Helen round 1, 5-3.

60: Ryan Mango (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Ildar Hafizov (ARMY (WCAP))

Haifzov blanks Mango 7-0. Good job, Ildar. 

76: Adeline Gray (NYAC/ DAM RTC)vs Kylie Welker (TMWC) 

The five-time world champ vs the 17-year old. Welker a bit of an underdog here. And Adeline techs 10-0. 

86: David Taylor (TMWC/ NLWC) vs Bo Nickal (TMWC/ NLWC)

DT strikes first, with a takedown and turn for a 4-point lead. Still 4-0 when there's a late scramble in the second but no points are awarded. A relatively quiet rest of the period and Taylor wins 4-0. 

65: Joseph McKenna (TMWC/ PENN RTC) vs Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

JO gets a stepout for the early lead. Not much going on the rest of the way, and there's a long pause as McKenna gets his head wrapped up in a bandage to stop some bleeding. JO get a single leg late, finished for two, and that's how it ends, 3-0 for JO. 

87: John Stefanowicz (All-Marine Wrestling Team) vs Joe Rau (TMWC/ Illinois)

This one is qualified, so the winner of the series go to Tokyo. Rau jumped out to an early lead with a feet-to-back front headlock. Rau warned for an illegal move, I think a choke, and gives up two points. Stefanowicz then gets choice of position and gets 2 gut wrench turns from par-terre. And Rau takes it 6-5. 


Round 2

125: Nick Gwiazdowski (TMWC/ Wolfpack WC) vs Gable Steveson (Gopher Wrestling Club)

Steveson drives Gwiz out of bounds and gets two for continuation. Another takedown and Steveson leads 4-0 at the break. Gwiz gets a step out on a reattack. Steveson then gets a single leg, Gwiz kicks free but Gable pounces like a cat for two. Two more takedowns and it's 10-1, Gable thought he had the tech I believe. Gwiz gets another step out but less than 20 seconds remain and he's down by 8. No quit in Gwiz, he chases down a double to make it 10-4. Gable Steveson is going to Tokyo!

Gable waits until the crowd asks for it, then does a back flip. He hangs in the air for about 10 seconds before landing to thunderous applause. The consummate showman, Gable Steveson is a site to behold. 

77: Peyton Walsh (All-Marine Wrestling Team) vs Jesse Porter (New York Athletic Club)

Porter looking to put on a shot, takes Walsh over for five. He leads 6-0 now, then Walsh gets called for a penalty and a step out and it's a 9-0 tech just like that. In comes the challenge brick. It will be just 7-0. Porter one point from taking the series. Walsh battles back, he makes it 7-7, but Porter leads on criteria due to the five point move. Doesn't look like either guys knows it though! Porter wrestling like he's losing. Time runs out, but not for Porter, he wins! 

A challenge cube from Walsh's corner but that was far too long after any action came. The brick is not accepted. Now Porter will go to Sofia Bulgaria to earn a spot in the Olympics. 

130: Adam Coon (NYAC/CKWC) vs 130: Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

Schultz gets a turn to take a 3-1. Coon gets two more and he leads by criteria. Coon takes it and is Bulgaria bound! He'll have a good chance to qualify the weight though. Coon has a world silver from Budapest. People forget that. 

68: Kennedy Blades (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Tamyra Mensah-Stock (TMWC/ USOPTC)

Blades attempting to pull off a massive upset, scores the first point, but Tamyra gets the next takedown to take a 2-1 lead. Stock with a takedown and a turn to extend his lead to 6-1. She's well on her way to a trip to Tokyo. And Tamyra Mensah-Stock wins 8-1! She's get a big standing O from Dickies! The Texan native will be the gold medal favorite in Tokyo.

74: Kyle Dake (TMWC/ Spartan Combat) vs Jordan Burroughs (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

And just like that here we are! Dake comes out guns blazing. Gets behind Burroughs, JB scrambles, they go out of bounds, Dake gets two for continuation. Burroughs says it's just one and demands Manning throw the challenge brick. It is caution and one and Mark Manning gets the brick back. 

Heavy clubs from Dake. An inadvertent eye poke from Burroughs. Passive on Dake, first warning. Now a passive warning on Burroughs. Neither guy doing much so not surprising the ref gets them both one warning away from the activity clock. Now a shot by Burroughs, he's on a leg but Dake squats and chest wraps and JB has to belly out. Stalemate, then we hit the break 8 seconds after the restart. 

Second period, they're in a scramble, Burroughs trying to stop the go behind, Dake rolls him through for two and a 3-0 lead. Another Burroughs shot but its stymied by Dake's defense. Two minutes to go. Dake goes on the activity clock with just over a minute left in the match. Point for Burroughs, 30 seconds to go. Burroughs gets a step out. 20 seconds left, Burroughs trails 3-2. There's a scramble, Dake give up one, but he gives up none! Kyle Dake is going to the Olympics! Jordan Burroughs is stunned. So is most of the crowd, but they're all on their feet applauding the history they just witnessed.

67: Ellis Coleman (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Alejandro Sancho (ARMY (WCAP)

Coleman can't get anything going, and Sancho takes match two. Overshadowed by what was transpiring on the mat next to them (JB & Dake). Sancho qualified the weight at Pan-Ams and just punched his ticket to Tokyo! 

Coleman also leaves his shoes on the mat, signifying his retirement. The Flying Squirrel qualified for the 2012 Olympics as a teenager and made it to the finals of the 2021 Trials. Quite a career and something to be proud of. 

53: Ronna Heaton (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Jacarra Winchester (TMWC/ USOPTC)

Winchester methodically built up a 6-0. It's 8-0 Jacarra as she's locking up a cradle but Heaton fights it off. Then Ronna 2.0 hits a nice double to make it 8-2. Winchester is unfazed, and comes back to win 12-4. An emotional Winchester is on her way to Tokyo!

97: Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC) vs G'Angelo Hancock (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

Hancock with a highlight feet-to-back for four. A quick two and two more and G'Angelo Hancock proves why he is in charge of Greco's 97kg weight class in the United States. 

62: Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

Miracle got the first passivity point but Kilty got the next two takedowns after extended scrambles to take the 4-1 lead. A step out for Miracle and she trails by 2 with less than a minute to go. Kilty will win 4-3 to force a third match! 

97: Kollin Moore (TMWC/ Ohio RTC) vs Kyle Snyder (TMWC/ NLWC)

Snyder fires off a quick shot for an early 2-0 lead. A very workmanlike, Kyle Snyder type victory, 5-1, and Kyle Snyder is on his way back to his second Olympics in two tries!

60: Ryan Mango (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Ildar Hafizov (ARMY (WCAP))

One arm spin, a big throw and a turn later and Ildar Hafizov has an 8-0 tech! He once repped Uzbekistan, but now it's the Red White and Blue he'll have on his singlet in Tokyo! Good job, Ildar! 

57: Jenna Burkert (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Helen Maroulis (Sunkist/NLWC)

Shot clock point for Helen, nothing else headed into period two. Burket gets a takedown and turn to go up 4-1 on the defending Olympic champ. Maroulis comes storming back with a takedown and turn of her own and lead 5-4. In a scramble late and Burkert comes out on top with a takedown. She leads 6-5 with 18 left on the clock. Burkert holds Maroulis off and she'll force a round 3!

87: John Stefanowicz (All-Marine Wrestling Team) vs Joe Rau (TMWC/ Illinois)

Stefanowicz gets things going first with an armspin for two. Still 2-0 in the second. Now Stefanowicz gets hit with passivity, gets put in parterre. He wrestles out of Rau's front headlock and there's 30 seconds left, Stefanowicz up 2-1. Rau goes armspins trying to make things happen, but Stefanowicz holds him at bay and will go to the Olympics!

And Rau is going to take off his shoes. He qualified the weight but we've come to the end of Joe Rau's competitive career. 

57: Thomas Gilman (TMWC/ NLWC) vs Vitali Arujau (TMWC/ Spartan Combat)

Gilman gets the first takedown to take an early lead. That's how the period ends. Second period is as slow and cautious as the first, still 2-0 with 50 seconds to go. Vito gets a step out to cut the lead in half. Another step out but just 8 seconds to go. 2-2 criteria for Gilman. And that's how it ends. The Nittany Lion Wrestling Club has its third Olympian! 

65: Joseph McKenna (TMWC/ PENN RTC) vs Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

First period passivity point for JO. Then a takedown and turn makes it 5-0. That's how the period ends. 

Not a ton of action, JO goes on the clock and gives up a point. Then a caution and 1 against JO with 15 seconds to go. Not enough from McKenna. Great defense by Oliver and offense when it counted. Jordan Oliver will go to Bulgaria to try and qualify the weight. I may be biased by I like his chances. 

76: Adeline Gray (NYAC/ DAM RTC)vs Kylie Welker (TMWC) 

Welker puts up a good fight but once Gray gets on top her parterre takes over and it's a 10-0 tech. 11-0 after the yolo brick is attended to. Five-time world champ Adeline Gray is going to Tokyo!

50: Victoria Anthony (ASU RTC/Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Sarah Hildebrandt (New York Athletic Club)

Lots of action, which is unsurprising when these two are on the mat, but no scores until Hildebrandt gets a takedown and and lace turn to take a four-point lead. Throwby for two, then another takedown and its 8-0. Sarah two points from a ticket to Tokyo. And it's a 10-0 tech for Hildebrandt! She'll

86: David Taylor (TMWC/ NLWC) vs Bo Nickal (TMWC/ NLWC)

No scores after 90 seconds. Nickal gets his second passivity and goes on the clock. Taylor waits for the shot clock point before cleanly finishing a low shot for two more. In the second period, Taylor doesn't waste any time making it 5-0. Nickal does a good job holding off the lace attempt but he's got a big hole to dig himself out of. Nickal takes some shots and gets in deep but DT is quick enough and his far-ankle scrambles keep the goose egg on the board. Taylor even gets a step out of the last scramble. 20 seconds to go. David Taylor shuts out Bo Nickal for the second straight match. The Magic Man will be in Tokyo!


Round 3

62: Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) vs Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)

It's do or die, KILL OR BE KILTY! I just thought of that. Miracle fires an attack right off the whistle. Kilty fights off Miracle's finishing attempts until Miracle gets her feet under her, her head to the side and her hooks behind Kilty to drive her over for two. Miracle is looking for more with a turn, but Kilty needs injury time. Looks like shoulder trouble. Hope Kilty is okay, no one wants the match to end like this. Kilty is going to go back at it. She's tough. Restart in parterre. Oh and Macey's shoulder is out of the socket. That's not good. That's the match. Tough scene but credit to Miracle, she's been number one at this weight since 2019 and she will represent the country in Tokyo. 

Heal up Kilty and go get the gold Kayla!

57: Jenna Burkert (ARMY (WCAP)) vs Helen Maroulis (Sunkist/NLWC)

Last bout of the event. I told you it was going to go by fast! And this match may go by fast. Helen goes feet to back right off the whistle. She's got Burkert on her back. Maroulis with the fall!

Sending the Dickies Arena audience home with an exclamation point. Emotion pouring out of both athletes right now. Maroulis is ecstatic. In tears. Burkert is overwhelmed. She's been through the wringer this week. It's a moment, that's for sure. 

And so ends our Olympic Team Trials journey.

We've got three weights to qualify, then some summer tournies, then the dang Games. 

Plenty of other wrestling to cover in the meantime. Thanks for reading, apologies for the typos, see you at the next one!