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5 things to look for on DAY 1 of competition in Vegas

Published December 17th, 2015 by MTC Staff

LAS VEGAS, NV -- Greco-Roman athletes weigh-in today for day one of the Olympic Team Trials Qualifier/US Nationals. Tournament action begins Friday at 12 p.m. Central and will be broadcast LIVE on

Minnesota Storm enters the weekend with four athletes already qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials to be held in Iowa City in April. The top seven finishers in each weight class on Friday and Saturday will join them in advancing to the Olympic Team Trials. Andy Bisek, Brian Graham, Jordan Holm and Joe Rau are among those already qualified for the Storm.


What to look for on DAY 1:


  1. The Storm has 18 Greco-Roman wrestlers entered for Friday’s competition, including six athletes at 66 kilograms. Each of the top eight seeds in this field has strong potential to reach the finals. It may be the most hotly contested Greco weight in the U.S. Look for the Storm to qualify a bunch of athletes at 66 kg on Friday.


  1. Joe Rau recently qualified for the Olympic Team Trials by winning the NYAC Bill Farrell International, defeating three-time world team member Caylor Williams in the finals. Brian Graham also qualified in November by taking home a bronze medal from the Vantaa Cup in Finland. Look for Rau and Graham to wrestle well and take a qualifying spot away from the field in their respective weights.


  1. The United States is qualified to compete in the Olympic Games at 75 and 130 kilograms because Andy Bisek and Robbie Smith finished in the top five at the 2015 World Championships. The next opportunity to qualify the remaining Greco-Roman weight categories (59, 66, 85 and 98 kilograms) is the Pan American Olympic Qualifier to be held March 6-7 in Houston, Texas. Pan American countries will send a wrestler in each weight they have yet to qualify and the top two finishers will qualify their country for the Olympic Games. Look for Friday’s competition to help determine who the United States will send to this event.

  1. Dan Chandler, Brandon Paulson and Mike Houck will be coaching the Storm on Friday. They have each been elected into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame for their wrestling accomplishments. They bring a wealth of knowledge with them to Friday’s competition. Even though Paulson was in Virginia Beach last weekend coaching hundreds of youth wrestling matches at the Virginia Holiday Duals, his voice has recovered in time. Look for Paulson, Chandler and Houck to be heard from the corner.


  1. The Storm have won three consecutive team national championships in Greco-Roman amongst midsize clubs, including a dominating win earlier this year when Andy Bisek, Pat Smith and Jordan Holm all reached the finals. This time they will be competing without individual national champions Andy Bisek or Jordan Holm in their lineup. However, the Storm have improved since April and added new members to their team that provide them with more depth (ie. Dylan Ness, Dylan Reel, Justin LaValle, Joel Bauman). Look for the Storm to defend their Greco-Roman team national championship in Vegas.

The event will be broadcast LIVE on, beginning at 12 p.m. Central on Friday and Saturday. Greco-Roman athletes will wrestle Friday and men's freestyle on Saturday. Women's freestyle will have three weight classes compete each day.



U.S. Senior Nationals and Olympic Team Trials Qualifier

Storm Greco entrants:

59 kg – Justin LaValle, Jacob Raymond

66 kg – Brian Graham, Julian Gunnels, Logan Kass, Devin Scott, Pat Smith

75 kg – Jake Fisher, Alec Ortiz, Tim Matheson, Dylan Ness, Dylan Reel

85 kg – Joel Bauman, Jake Clark

98 kg – Pat Carey, Josef Rau, John Wechter

130 kg – Parker Betts


Storm Freestyle Entrants:

57 kg – Zach Sanders

65 kg – Chris Dardanes, Nick Dardanes, Jayson Ness

74 kg – Dustin Schlatter

97 kg – Scott Schiller

125 kg – Tony Nelson


Event Schedule:


Friday, December 18

Greco-Roman weight classes (59 kg, 66 kg, 74 kg, 85 kg, 98 kg, 130 kg)

Women’s freestyle weight classes (53 kg, 58 kg and 75 kg)

10:00 a.m. - Preliminaries, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolation rounds as time permits

5:00 p.m. - Completion of Consolation round and 3rd, 5th, 7th place matches

7:00 p.m. - Championship Finals


Saturday, December 19

Men’s freestyle weight classes (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg, 125 kg)

Women’s freestyle weight classes (48 kg, 63 kg and 69 kg)

10:00 a.m. - Preliminaries, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, Consolation rounds as time permits

5:00 p.m. - Completion of Consolation round and 3rd, 5th, 7th place matches

7:00 p.m. - Championship Finals


Greco-Roman preview for Olympic Team Trials Qualifier/US Nationals

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