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Saunders, Morgan, Williams Qualify for the World Team Trials


At the Last Chance Qualifier in Atlantic City, New Jersey over the weekend, three more members of Spartan Combat RTC punched their tickets to the World Team Trials with tournament titles.


In Freestyle, seven Spartan competitors placed in the top three at the event, led by champions Andrew Morgan (86 kg) and Joshua Saunders (65 kg).


Morgan was one of three Spartan wrestlers to make the semifinals at 86 kg, along with Jon Loew and Chris Foca. Loew pinned his opponent to make the finals, while Foca and Morgan squared off in a down-to-the-wire 10-10 bout that Morgan took on criteria. The finals contest was also a back and forth affair, with Morgan grabbing a 9-8 win and the spot at the Trials next weekend in Coralville, Iowa.


Joining him in the Hawkeye State will be Josh Saunders, who avenged a loss a few weeks back to Sammy Alvarez in the semis to advance to the finals against Brock Zacherl. The lead changed hands multiple times. In fact, Saunders trailed 6-5 on a restart with less than 20 seconds to go, but scored a takedown with just a few ticks remaining to prevail, 7-6.


As mentioned earlier, Jon Loew finished second at 86 kg. His Cornell teammate Lewis Fernandes also made the title bout, at 125 kg, after two tech falls and a pin. Fernandes battled with former NCAA finalist Derek White, but fell by a 4-1 score to take silver.


Also capturing a runner up slot was Devin Skatzka at 79 kg. He began with a pair of 10-0 technical falls before a 6-3 win over Mickey O'Malley. In the finals, Isaiah Martinez came out on top.


Both Chris Foca and Jacob Cardenas (92 kg) bounced back from losses to the eventual champion to nab third place in dominant fashion. Cardenas had three bonus point wins, while Foca recorded four victories.


On Friday in Greco Roman, Jessy Williams earned two shutout victories to capture the 67 kg weight class and earn his spot at the Trials. He will join Phillip Moomey as the two Greco competitors for the RTC.


World Team Trials 2022 - Spartan Combat RTC


57 kg: Vito Arujau (Freestyle)

57 kg: Greg Diakomihalis (Freestyle)

60 kg: Phillip Moomey (Greco Roman)

65 kg: Yianni Diakomihalis (Freestyle)

65 kg: Joshua Saunders (Freestyle)

67 kg: Jessy Williams (Greco Roman)

86 kg: Andrew Morgan (Freestyle)

125 kg: Nick Gwiazdowski (Freestyle)

And don't forget ...

In Final X at 74 kg Kyle Dake (Freestyle)

Into the World Championships at 125 kg for Egypt: Youssif Hemida (Freestyle)