Apr. 22, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -- A total of five current and former Wisconsin wrestlers placed at the international level this past weekend at the 2014 Las Vegas/ASICS US Open and the 2014 FILA Junior Nationals.
Tyler Graff, who snagged his fourth All-America honor for the Badgers at the NCAA Championships last month, and current assistant coach Kyle Ruschell found spots on the podium at the US Open and automatically qualified for the 2014 World Team Trials, which will take place at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., May 31-June 1.
Graff, competing at 57 kg/125.5 lbs., took fourth and started the tournament with two technical falls. He fell to Danny Mitcheff (NEORTC) in the third-place match by decision, 7-4.
Ruschell wrestled at 70 kg/154 lbs., and battled back from a quarterfinal defeat to record his highest finish at the US Open in his career. He ended up finishing third after knocking off a trio of stellar opponents in the consolation bracket.
“Kyle had a great tournament,” Wisconsin wrestling head coach Barry Davis said. “He had a good run there and I think he’s wrestling real well right now.”
Ruschell rallied and beat Adam Hall, James Green and Kevin LeValley after falling from the championship bracket. All three have recorded at least one All-America honor in their respective college careers.
“This is the best I’ve done at the Open,” said Ruschell, who just completed his third season as a Badgers assistant coach. “I think I’m setting a good example of, instead of just letting the guys know or just telling the guys what us coaches expect of them, but showing them.
“Like after my quarterfinals loss, you can’t just shut down and be upset about it. You just have to forget about it, move on and continue to wrestle.”
Current Badgers Timmy McCall (97kg/213 lbs.) and Connor Medbery (125 kg/275 lbs.) also competed in the US Open but failed to place.
Ricky Robertson, a freshman who wrestled to a 21-5 record in open tournaments while competing unattached this past year, won the 84 kg/185 lbs., weight class in dominating fashion at the FILA Junior Nationals. Three of his six victories in the tournament came in bonus-point fashion and his performance gives him a No. 1 seed for the upcoming US World Team Trials in the FILA Junior Division on May 29-June 1. The FILA Junior Division will also take place at the Alliant Energy Center from May 31-June 1.
“Ricky did a great job,” Davis said. “I think it’s a great win for him.”
Two other Badger wrestlers that competed unattached this past season placed alongside Robertson at juniors. Gabe Grahek (63 kg/138.75 lbs.) and Andrew Crone (66 kg/145.5) each finished sixth after bouncing back from early defeats. The two combined for a 38-14 record in open tournaments this past season and will join Robertson at the US World Team Trials in the FILA Junior Division.
“It shows how far our young guys have come throughout this year here,” Davis said of the success at juniors. “I think it shows the direction the program is going and it’s going the right way.
“It’s an exciting time for them and I think the future looks very bright for us.”
2014 Las Vegas/ASICS U.S. Open Results - Freestyle
57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Graff (NYAC) tech fall Christopher Ornelas (AZ Heat), 10-0
Graff (NYAC) tech fall Alfredo Valela (Army (WCAP)), 10-0
Graff (NYAC) dec. Mark McKnight (Nittany Lion Wrestling), 4-1
Andrew Hochstrasser (Titan Mercury Wrestling) tech fall Graff (NYAC), 16-6
Graff (NYAC) dec. Ryan Mango (Stanford), 9-1
Danny Mitcheff (NEORTC) dec. Graff (NYAC), 7-4
70 kg/ 154 lbs.
Ruschell (NYAC) tech fall Steven Hernandez (Bronco WC), 11-0
Ruschell (NYAC) dec. Nate Carr Jr. (Titan Mercury Wrestling), 8-0
Moza Fay (Army (WCAP)) tech fall Ruschell (NYAC), 18-8
Ruschell (NYAC) tech fall Jacob Salazar (CKWC), 12-1
Ruschell (NYAC) dec. Adam Hall (Titan Mercury Wrestling), 5-3
Ruschell (NYAC) dec. James Green (Titan Mercury Wrestling), 8-5
Ruschell (NYAC) dec. Kevin LeValley (Minnesota Storm), 6-4
97 kg/213 lbs.
Austin Schafer (Cowboy Wrestling Club) dec. McCall (Badger Wrestling Club), 7-0
Niko Brown (Chattanooga Regional) dec. McCall (Badger Wrestling Club), 5-1
125 kg/275 lbs.
Medbery (Badger Wrestling Club) dec. Zachery Rey (Lehigh Valley), 5-3
Matthew Meuleners (Titan Mercury Wrestling) tech fall Medbery (Badger Wrestling Club), 12-1
Jarod Trice (Titan Mercury Wrestling) dec. Medbery (Badger Wresting Club), 5-4
2014 FILA Junior Nationals Results - Freestyle
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Grahek (Wisconsin Wrestling) tech fall Alberto Garcia, 13-3
Christopher Carton (University of Iowa) dec. Grahek (Wisconsin Wrestling), 8-3
Grahek (Wisconsin Wrestling) tech fall Adam Nichols (Central Michigan RTC), 15-4
Grahek (Wisconsin Wrestling) dec. Ryan Murdock (NYC-RTC), 11-4
Grahek (Wisconsin Wrestling) tech fall Colton McCrystal (Nebraska Wrestling), 13-3
Grahek (Wisconsin Wrestling) dec. Mitchell Friedman (Bison WC), 8-3
Anthony McHugh (Rocky Mountain Region) dec. Grahek (Wisconsin Wrestling), 4-2
Jason Estevez (Buffalo Grapplers Wrestling) dec. Grahek (Wisconsin Wrestling), 7-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Crone (Unattached) fall Tyler Berger (Crook County), 3:45
Crone (Unattached) tech fall Andrew Fierro (Roadrunner Wrestling), 14-4
Crone (Unattached) dec. Alexander Richardson (Virginia Beach), 7-7
Jake Short (Unattached) fall Andrew Crone (Unattached), 2:56
Crone (Unattached) dec. Luke Zilverberg (Northern Plains), 4-2
Crone (Unattached) tech fall Jamel Hudson (Blue and Gold), 21-10
Jared Reis (Northwest Region) dec. Crone (Unattached), 10-3
Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers), tech fall Crone (Unattached), 12-2
Mech Spraggins (ASU) dec. TJ Ruschell (Wisconsin Wrestling), 10-4
TJ Ruschell (Wisconsin Wrestling) fall Colby Knight (Veritas WC), 4:40
TJ Ruschell (Wisconsin Wrestling) dec. Andrew Fierro (Roadrunner), 5-2
Matthew Garelli (Stanford), dec. TJ Ruschell (Wisconsin Wrestling), 13-8
74 kg/163 lbs.
Isaiah Martinez (IRTC/TMWC) tech fall Seth Liegel (Wisconsin Wrestling), 10-0
Ethan Ramos (NCRTC) inj. Seth Liegel (Wisconsin Wrestling), 0:00
84 kg/185 lbs.
Robertson (Wisconsin Wrestling) tech fall Zachary Coffman (Bronco WC), 11-0
Robertson (Wisconsin Wrestling) tech fall Lance Benick (Minnesota St.), 12-1
Roberston (Wisconsin Wrestling) dec. Scott Gibbons (Princeton AM), 17-11
Robertson (Wisconsin Wrestling) dec. Mitch Sliga (Chicago RTC), 10-6
Robertson (Wisconsin Wrestling) fall Matt Reed (Sooner Wrestling), 5:13
Robertson (Wisconsin Wrestling) dec. Timothy Dudley (Nebraska Wrestling), 11-8