A pair of former Division III wrestlers won Greco-Roman championships at the US Open this past weekend in Las Vegas. Leslie Fuenffinger of the Army World Class Athlete Program won the 60kg championship, while Joe Rau of Titan Mercury Wrestling Club won the 87kg title. Rau’s title was his second, as he also won the US Open in 2016.
Fuenffinger was a two time NCAA champion at 125 lbs. for Augsburg. He won the 2014 and 2015 titles and was named Outstanding Wrestler in 2015. He also finished 7th in 2013 to finish as a three time All-American. He was the runner-up in the 2018 US Open. Fuenffinger now moves on to Final X in Lincoln, Nebraska, on June 15th where he will attempt to win a best of three against the world team trials winner for the right to represent the US at the World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in September.
Rau was a national champion for Elmhurst in 2013 and was also a three time All-American for the Blue Jays. In 2016, he won the US Open along with the Olympic Trials, but the US did not qualify his weight for the Rio Olympics. In 2014, he represented the US in the World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, at 80kg. He also moves on to Final X, but he will compete June 8th at Rutgers.
Former La Crosse wrestler Eric Twohey finished 4th at 97kg and former Ozarks wrestler Devon Jackson finished 7th at 60kg. Both qualified for the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament set to take place May 16-19 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Leslie Fuenffinger, 4th seed
win 8-0, 0:54 vs. Justin Friedman, Camarillo WC
win 7-2 vs. Taylor LaMont, Sunkist Kids
win 8-0, 2:44 vs. Dalton Roberts, NYAC
win 6-4 vs. Ildar Hafizov, Army WCAP
Joe Rau, 3rd seed
win 8-0, 1:42 vs. Juan Durazo, Oxnard
win 8-0, 0:45 vs. Vaughn Monreal-Berner, Marines
win 1-1 vs Ben Provisor, NYAC/NLWC
win 3-1 vs Patrick Martinez, NYAC