2022 USMC US Open Wrestling Championships

US Open Bracket Reactions - Men's Freestyle

US Open Bracket Reactions - Men's Freestyle

Bracket reactions and best early-round matches for men's freestyle at the 2022 US Open.

Apr 29, 2022 by Jon Kozak
US Open Bracket Reactions - Men's Freestyle

Men’s freestyle draws are out at the US Open! Check out the best early-round matches in every weight in the article below. For full brackets and mat assignments check out FloArena here.

57 Kg

With only 4 seeded wrestlers there’s not too much early-round heat. However, top-seeded Gabe Townsell drew Cornell’s Greg Diakomihalis in the first round! Townsell has been wrestling up at 61kg this year but made the drop for the Open. Coming off the scale against a true 57kg wrestler in Diakomihalis will be a major challenge. This is the match to circle and could provide the first big upset of the US Open in men's freestyle. 

61 Kg

This bracket is filled with talent that could provide a number of incredible matches. Up top, #1 seed Tyler Graff could face a tough round of 16 match against either Sean Fausz or Paul Bianchi. However, the bottom side of the bracket looks to be much deeper with both Jesse Mendez and Sam Latona drawn into that side of the bracket. The youngster Jesse Mendez will likey have #5 seed Daniel DeShazer in the round of 16! This match will tell us just how close Mendez is to challenging top wrestlers at the senior level. Latona will have Colton Davis in the round of 32 but the marquee matchup will be the potential round of 16 match against NCAA Champ Nico Megaludis. 

65 Kg

At 65kg there are only 7 seeded wrestlers - that means top-seeded Evan Henderson won’t face a seeded wrestler until the semi-finals. Henderson’s greatest test in the quarters will come from either Tristan Moran, Josh Saunders, or Brock Zacherl.

On the bottom side of the bracket, the #4 seed Ian Parker received a tough draw in Cole Matthews in the round of 32! While Parker is the seeded wrestler, both Matthews and Parker were in the same 141-pound bracket at NCAAs this year where Matthews took home 5th place All-American honors with Parker going 1-2. Another key matchup to watch on the bottom side will be #6 seed Kendric Maple and 2019 All-American Kyle Shoop in the round of 32. The winner of that match should cruise to the quarter-finals for a potential matchup with #3 seeded Luke Pletcher. 

70 Kg

The talent at 70kg is spread out pretty evenly so while the quarter-finals will be absolutely insane, there aren’t too many intriguing matches before the round of 16. Up top, a potential round of 16 match to watch is #8 seeded Yahya Thomas vs unseeded Ed Scott. Thomas and Scott both finished in the round of 12 this year at the NCAA tournament but wrestled a weight apart at 149 and 157 respectively. On top of their collegiate success - both are talented freestyle wrestlers. Thomas made a U23 world team in 2019 and Scott made the finals of the junior world team trials last year. 

On the bottom side of the bracket, expect seeds to hold true to the quarter-finals. One early round match to watch is a potential round of 32 match between Jarrod Verkleeren and #6 seed Will Lewan. This is a matchup of past cadet world champions (Verkleeren in 2015 and Lewan in 2017) and both wrestlers are dark horses to make a run in this bracket.

74 Kg

There are only 5 seeded wrestlers at 74kg so don’t expect many upsets prior to the quarter-finals or the semis. Jason Nolf, as the top-seeded wrestler in the bracket, should blitz to the semis to face either #4 seed Joey Lavallee or #5 seed Cam Amine. For those wrestlers, look for Amine to be challenged by Joshua Ogunsanya in the round of 16 and Lavallee to face a tough Andrew Cerniglia in the round of 32. 

The bottom side of this bracket is thinner on early-round matchups but a fun one to watch early is John Van Brill and Brent Moore in the round of 32. Both Moore and Van Brill wrestle an entertaining style and have the potential to end the match with a pin at a moment's notice. Set your alerts for that match to see some potential fireworks!

79 Kg

A monster bracket with two former Final X competitors with the top two seeds; Alex Diringer is up top with the #1, Isaiah Martinez down below with the #2. Imar and Ringer will have plenty of challengers. VIncenzo Joseph has the #8 seed and could see Ringer in the quarters.

Taylor Lujan vs Hayden Hastings is a solid round of 32 matchup. If seeds hold, #5 Lujan vs #4 Evan Wick portends to be a dynamite quarter. 

On the bottom half, Chance Marsteller and Isaiah White could collide in the round of 16. High schooler and Oklahoma State commit Brayden Thompson will have a Round of 32 match before a likely very tough test against Drexel’s Mickey O’Malley in the round of 16. 

Speaking of early tests, IMar’s first bout in the Round of 32 will probably be against the very tough Muhammed McBryde, who placed 5th at the 2019 U23 World Championships. 

86 Kg

Mark Hall sits up top at the #1. Trent Hidlay was registered but is not in the bracket so his teammate at the Wolfpack RTC, Nick Reenan, moves up to the #2 spot. 

Minnesota grad Owen Webster has an intriguing matchup against Christain LaFragola of the PRTC.

The aforementioned Reenan will be challenged early but Iowa State All-American Marcus Coleman in the round of 16 in the bottom half. 

92 Kg

With only 15 entrants, #1 seed Isaac Trumble of the Wolfpack RTC gets a bye to the quarterfinals. He’ll likely have #4 seed Max Shaw of UNC or unseeded Jacob Koser of the Navy in the semifinals. 

On the bottom half, it looks like #3 seed Michael Battista of UVA and #2 seed Cam Caffey of Michigan State will hit in the semis. 

97 Kg

NCAA champ Mike Macchiavello claims the #1 seed and earned a bye to the quarters. He’ll likely be challenged by three-time All-American from Nebraska (by way of South Carolina) TJ Dudley in the semifinals. Although, Dudley has to get by #4 seed Sam Mitchell of Buffalo in the quarters first. 

On the bottom half, don’t be surprised if Rider’s unseeded Ethan Laird makes it to the semis over #3 Joe Rau, setting up a clash in the semis with #2 seed, Jay Aiello of UVA, who, like Macch, also has a bye to the quarters. 

125 Kg

A very deep heavyweight brackets will be littered with titanic matchups. In the top quarter, All-American Tate Orndorff of Ohio State has Hofstra’s very tough Zach Knighton-Ward in the Round of 32. The winner of that will likely see 2021 U20 world team member Wyatt Hendrickson of the US Air Force. And waiting for the winner of that bout in the quarters is the Jack Pine Savage, #1 seed, Hayden Zillmer. 

Below that quarter of the bracket, NC State’s Owen Trephan is a very tough first bout for #5 seed and recently minted All-American at Nebraska, Christian Lance, the #5 seed, in the Round of 16.  In the subsequent quarter, circle the potential matchup of five-time EIWA champ Jordan Wood of Lehigh and Iowa State’s Sam Schuyler in the Round of 16, the winner getting the #3 seed Ty Walz. 

In the bottom quarter, NCAA finalist Derek White has Gas Tank Gary Traub in one of the best round of 32 matchups you could ask for. The winner gets Northwestern’s Lucas Davison. Savvy veteran #2 seed Dom Bradley has a bye to the Round of 16 and will be a favorite to make the finals from his side of the bracket.