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U.S. Open preview: Storm to bring their strongest team in a decade

Published May 7th, 2015 by MTC Staff

Minneapolis, MN -- Storm athletes will descend on Las Vegas this weekend for the 2015 U.S. Open Wrestling Championships and they’re bringing one of their strongest senior-level teams in over a decade. Athletes competing in freestyle for the Storm have among them 19 NCAA All-American accolades and six NCAA individual national championships (4 DI and 2 DIII). They’ve brought home several international medals this season, but they’re just focused on what’s next heading into the U.S. Open.


It will be exciting to follow Jayson Ness this weekend as the University of Minnesota assistant coach and 2010 Dan Hodge trophy winner continues his return to competition. At 70 kilograms, former World Team Member, Dustin Schlatter will look to build on his dominant performance at the Pan Am Championships where he outscored his opponents 41-0 on his way to winning gold. Also, Kevin LeValley, who was recently named assistant coach at his alma mater, Bucknell University, will represent the Storm at 70 kg (154 lbs).


Brandon Eggum previews the U.S. Open for freestyle and tells us who he is excited to watch:


Other freestylers competing for the Storm will include Zach Sanders (57 kg/125 lbs), Joe Nord (97 kg/213 lbs), Tony Nelson (125 kg/275 lbs) and Chad Johnson (125 kg/275 lbs).


In Greco-Roman competition, entrants for the Storm will include 15 returning U.S. Open All-Americans and seven U.S. National Team members.


Joe Rau brings a lot of momentum into the tournament at 80 kilograms. He has medaled in four international tournaments this season, including winning gold medals at the Zagreb Open Grand Prix and the Pan Am Championships.


A potential matchup many fans are hoping to see would be between brothers Spenser and Ryan Mango at 59 kilograms. Spenser is a two-time Olympian and five-time World Team Member. He has been number one in the U.S. since he made the Olympic team in 2008. His younger brother Ryan competes for the Storm and may be the only wrestler capable of supplanting Spenser.


The U.S. Open has additional significance this season for Greco athletes because of a new format that combines the event with the U.S. World Team Trials. The finals at the U.S. Open will determine the national champion for 2015. This match will also count as the first match in a best-of-three series to determine the U.S. World Team Member that will represent the U.S. at the World Championships in September. The remaining matches in the best-of-three series will take place on June 4 in Ithaca, New York.


Dan Chandler and Brandon Paulson preview the U.S. Open for Greco:


The U.S. Open will be broadcasted by both the NBC Universal Sports Network and the NBC Sports Network. NBC Universal Sports Network will be live at the U.S. Open on Friday, May 9 at 10:00 p.m. ET with a two hour show. NBC Sports Network will air a tape-delayed 90-minute show on Wednesday, May 13 at 11:30 p.m. ET.


Flowrestling will also be broadcasting the U.S. Open live online on May 8 and 9. For more results and information follow us on Twitter and Instagram @MTCStorm.


Freestyle entrants for the Storm:

57 kg

Zach Sanders

65 kg

Jayson Ness

70 kg

Kevin LeValley

Dustin Schlatter

97 kg

Joe Nord

125 kg

Tony Nelson

Chad Johnson


Greco entrants for the Storm:

59 kg

Ryan Mango

Blane Tschida

66 kg

Brian Graham

Julian Gunnels

Justin LeValle

Devin Scott

70 kg

Alec Ortiz

Pat Smith

75 kg

Andy Bisek

Jake Fisher

Mason Manville

80 kg

Joe Rau

85 kg

Jordan Holm

98 kg

Patrick Carey

John Wechter

Tyler Lehmann

130 kg

Parker Betts

Niko Bogojevic

Donny Longendyke


For more information on each athlete check out our FREESTYLE and GRECO roster pages.


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