How many Spartan RTC athletes will compete at the World Championships?
The final number won't be known until after Final X New York on Wednesday night, but several wrestlers have already made their claims for spots on Team USA.
Over the weekend in Ohio, Phillip Moomey (U23 Greco Roman 60 kg) and Vince Cornella (U20 Freestyle 65 kg) clinched their positions, while Jacob Cardenas (U23 Freestyle 92 kg) won the World Team Trials tournament title.
Let's take a quick look at each of the recent events.
Final X - Stillwater
Vito Arujau competed in Oklahoma at Final X against reigning World champion and Olympic medalist Thomas Gilman at 57 kg with the Senior World team role on the line. Gilman came out on top in two straight matches, however Vito has the option of representing Team USA at the U23 World Championships at 57 kg.
After winning the US Open title at 65 kg this spring, Vince Cornella had a bye to the best of three finals series over the weekend. He faced the winner of the Challenge Tournament, Carter Young. Young is an accomplished freestyler who made waves in the wrestling world last year when he defeated Nahshon Garrett, Tyler Graff, and Seth Gross at the 2021 Senior World Team Trials.
The Oklahoma State freshman took the opening bout against Cornella, 4-3, and led 8-1 in the second contest. However, Cornella mounted a huge comeback, overcoming the seven-point deficit to win 12-10 to even the series up at one match apiece. Cornella, who will be a freshman for the Big Red this fall, then controlled the decisive bout all the way in a 4-1 decision. So, it's off to Bulgaria in August for Cornella for the U20 World Championships!
Ethan Hatcher started with a bang, defeating #1 seeded Brock Delsignore of NC State by technical fall in his opening bout at 86 kg before dropping two close contests.
Erik Gibson also began strong, pinning third seeded Nicco Ruiz while ahead 8-4 in his first match at 74 kg before suffering an injury later in the event.
Cardenas was dominant throughout the tournament, going 6-0 and outscoring his opponents by a combined 47-6. However his spot on the World Team isn't final yet as he must await the result of the 92 kg Senior World Team true third place match in the Big Apple on Wednesday between Jay Aiello and Isaac Trumble. If Aiello wins, Cardenas will have the World team slot (Aiello is no longer U23 eligible). If Trumble prevails, he has first dibs on the position since he is still U23 eligible.
Spartan had a number of additional standout performances in Ohio.
Greg Diakomihalis went 5-1 and took third place at 57 kg. He pinned his first three opponents and won his final two bouts by 10-0 technical fall over NCAA qualifiers Ryan Miller of Penn and Caleb Smith of Appalachian State. His only loss came to the eventual champion, 3-3 on criteria, on a last second step out point.
Taking fourth place was All-American Jon Loew at 86 kg. Loew went 6-2 with five of his victories by technical fall.
Both Joshua Saunders (65 kg) and Chris Foca (86 kg) nabbed sixth. Saunders notched three tech falls and a decision over All-American Clay Carlson, while Foca racked up seven wins, including three techs and two pins.
Every Spartan entrant in U23 Freestyle won at least one match, with three or more victories for Brett Ungar (5 at 57 kg), Nate Wade (4 at 65 kg), Evan Canoyer (4 at 79 kg), Christian Hansen (4 at 79 kg), Brody Oleksak (4 at 79 kg), Julian Ramirez (3 at 74 kg), and Brendan Furman (3 at 125 kg).
U23 Greco Roman
Phillip Moomey crushed the competition, going 4-0 with two pins and two techs to win the 60 kg championship. He'll be traveling to Spain for the U23 World Championships in October.
Still Coming Up
On Wednesday at Final X in New York City, Spartan will have several more athletes looking to capture Senior World team positions:
Yianni Diakomihalis (65 kg) will take on Evan Henderson
Kyle Dake (74 kg) will clash with Jason Nolf
Nick Gwiazdowski (125 kg) will battle Hayden Zillmer
And ... African champion Youssif Hemida has already solidified his place in at Senior World Championships at 125 kg for Team Egypt.