2021 World Team Trials

Who Will Be The #1 Seed At 70kg?

Who Will Be The #1 Seed At 70kg?

Check out how the seeding might look at 70kg for the 2021 World Team Trials.

Aug 25, 2021 by Jon Kozak
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The World Team Trials will take place September 11-12 to determine the team that will compete in Oslo, Norway October 2-10. In this article we’ll explore what the top 8 seeds might look like for the competitors at 70kg in men’s freestyle. 

James Green Still The Top At 70kg?

Alec Pantaleo defeated James Green in the finals of the 2020 Poland Open but Green has 3 previous wins over Pantaleo. On top of that, James Green has been the 70kg rep for the United States since 2015 and has won two world medals (silver in 2017 and bronze in 2015). Because of his overall success at the weight, Green should be the top seed in Lincoln and the slight favorite to win the World Team Trials. Take a look at how I think the rest of the seeds will play out at 70kg:

  1. James Green
  2. Alec Pantaleo
  3. Jordan Oliver
  4. Zain Retherford
  5. Brayton Lee
  6. Tyler Berger
  7. Ryan Deakin 
  8. Elroy Perkin

The top 3 seeds could be sorted out in a variety of ways. As previously mentioned, Pantaleo defeated James Green the last time they wrestled in June 2021 and he has a recent head to head win over Jordan Oliver from December 2020. However, Jordan Oliver won the Olympic Trials in a bracket that had both James Green and Zain Retherford. To muddy the waters further, Zain Retherford defeated Alec Pantaleo in September of 2020 in one of NLWC’s events and Retherford defeated Jordan Oliver in 2 straight matches at the 2019 WTT. Despite the lack of clarity in their order, those four wrestlers should take up the top four seeds in some arrangement at the trials.

Watch Alec Pantaleo defeat Jordan Oliver at Flo's 150lbs 8-man tournament:

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After the top, the next four wrestlers become slightly easier to sort. Brayton Lee took third at Senior Nationals in May where Tyler Berger placed 4th (Berger forfeited to Lee) and Elroy Perkin took 5th. Tyler Berger also holds a recent head-to-head win over Ryan Deakin from the Last Chance Qualifier in March of 2021. 

What Version Of Ryan Deakin Will We See?

Ryan Deakin is the dark horse at 70kg and has the ability to turn the seeds upside-down in the quarter-finals. Though Deakin was teched by Tyler Berger in March, Deakin has past freestyle wins over Alec Pantaleo and James Green and majored Brayton Lee twice during the 2021 collegiate season. If the actual seeds mirror those from above, Deakin would have Pantaleo in quarterfinals and the winner of Jordan Olver vs Tyler Berger in the semis. Deakin is capable of winning this bracket and isn’t a matchup any of the top guys should want in the early rounds.

Ryan Deakin's Win over James Green from the 2019 US Open:

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USA Vs The World At 70kg

Currently, Alec Pantaleo is the highest ranked wrestler for the USA internationally at #6 in our International Rankings. However, there are 4 Russians ranked ahead of him and Russia, like every other country, can only send 1 rep to the World Championships. Beyond that, Pantaleo would be the #1 seed if he were to be the representative for the United States in Oslo. Regardless of who wins this weight in Lincoln, team USA has at 4-5 world medal threats at 70kg. That’s good news for American wrestling fans - 70kg will be one of the most exciting weights to watch at the World Team Trials!