April 21, 2012
MADISON, Wis.-- Following day one of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, five of the six Badger-affiliated wrestlers were eliminated from competition. Freestyle Olympic redshirt Andrew Howe took second place at 74 kg, while Tyler Graff took third place at 60 kg.
Future Badger wrestler Jesse Thielke will wrestle tomorrow in the Greco-Roman competition at 60 kg.
Howe finished in second place at 74 kg in the men’s freestyle competition at the Olympic Team Trials. Howe placed higher than any other Badger-affiliated wrestler. After a bye in the first round, Howe defeated Nittany Lion Wrestling Club’s David Taylor by a 0-4, 5-3, 3-1 decision in his first match. Howe then strung together two additional wins over Sunkist Kids/Team OTC’s Tyler Caldwell (1-0, 1-0) and Sunkist Kids/Cyclone Wrestling Club’s Trent Paulson by a 1-0, 1-0 decision to advance to the championship against reigning world champion Jordan Burroughs. Burroughs defeated Howe, 4-2, 1-2, 1-0 in the title match.
Graff finished the U.S Olympic Team Trials in third place at 60 kg in the men’s freestyle. Graff put together an impressive 4-1 record, but was eliminated from the championship bracket after losing to Lehigh Valley Athletic Club’s Matt Valenti, 0-4, 2-0, 1-0, following a first round bye. Graff defeated Army/Team OTC’s Derek Moore in the first wrestleback by a 1-0, 1-0 decision, followed by a 3-0, 1-1, 1-0 victory against Army/Team OTC’s Justin Pearch. He then won by injury default against Gator Wrestling Club’s Mike Zadick to advance to the third place match where Graff defeated Bronco Wrestling Club’s Andrew Hochstrasser, 2-0, 1-0.
Volunteer assistant coach Trevor Brandvold went 2-2 at the trials in men’s freestyle at 96 kg. Brandvold won his first bout, defeating Team OTC’s Brent Jones, 3-3, 4-0, 2-0. Brandvold then fell to Sukist Kids/Team OTC’s Dustin Kilgore, 1-0, 2-1 to knock him down to the consolation bracket. In his first wrestleback, Brandvold defeated NYAC/Team OTC’s Tanner Hall by a 2-1, 1-3, 5-0 decision. Brandvold was eliminated in the next consolation round by NYAC/Ohio RTC’s JD Bergman by a 3-2, 3-0 decision.
Olympic redshirt Travis Rutt was also eliminated from the trials after going 1-2 in Greco-Roman at 84 kg. Rutt lost his first match to NYAC’s Mark Stenburg, 1-0, 4-0, followed by a bye in the first round of wrestlebacks. He then defeated U.S. Marines’ DJ Simmons by pin after winning the first period 1-0. Rutt lost his final bout to NYAC’s Cheney Haight by a 3-2, 2-0 decision.
Assistant coach Ryan Morningstar was eliminated from the trials after posting a 0-2 record in men’s freestyle at 74 kg on Saturday. Morningstar lost his first match to Nittany Lion Wrestling Club’s Matt Brown by a 1-0, 2-0 decision. He then had a bye in the wrestlebacks and dropped his first consolation bout to Sunkist Kids’ Nick Marable, 1-0, 2-1.
Session II begins at 9 p.m. (CT) tomorrow and will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com.