DIII wrestlers at World Team Trials Challenge
Story corrected 1:55pm
Brackets and Video (Flo, videos $)
Six DIII wrestlers competed at the World Team Trials Challenge tournament in Greco-Roman this past weekend in Colorado Springs. Ryan Epps (Augsburg) won the tournament and will advance to Final X at 82kg. Richard Carlson (UW-La Crosse) and Donny Longendyke (Augsburg) each made the finals at their respective weight classes. Epps defeated two-time Olympian Ben Provisor 2-1 at 82kg, Carlson dropped a 6-0 decision to Zach Braunagel at 87kg, and Longendyke fell 9-0 to former world medalist Adam Coon at 130 kg.
Epps was the 6th seed at 82kg. He edged #3 Tommy Brackett on 1-1 on criteria then won 9-1 against #2 Andrew Berreyesa to make it to the finals where he won the close match with Provisor. He will face Spencer Woods in Final X on June 10th.
Carlson entered as the 5th seed and opened by defeating 4th seed Jordan Lara 8-0 in 1:30. In the semifinals, he topped 2021 Olympian and #1 seed John Stefanowicz 2-1. That earned him a spot in the finals against #2 seed Braunagel where he lost 6-0.
Longendyke defeated #2 seed Tanner Farmer 6-5 in his first match before losing to Coon in the finals. Darryl Aiello of Dubuque was the #5 seed at the same weight, and he pinned 4th seed Brandon Metz in his first match. He lost in the semifinals to Coon and then Metz got the better of him in the rematch in the 3rd place match.
At 60kg, Dylan Koontz (Dubuque via Ohio State) and Mike Fuenffinger (Augsburg) were set to meet in the consolation semifinals, but Koontz advanced by forfeit on his way to third place. Fuenffinger dropped his opening match before leaving the tournament. Koontz sandwiched a pair of wins against Jonathan Gurule around a loss to eventual champ Ildar Hafizov.
The winner at each weight advances to face the US Open champion at Final X in Newark on June 10th.
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