This weekend the United States Open brought together many of the best wrestlers across the 50 states in a competition to battle it out on the mats in Las Vegas, Nevada. Positions were up for grabs to appear on the U.S. World Team set to compete later this year. At the end of the weekend a number of new faces and solidified stars felt their hands lifted into the air in victory.
Perhaps the biggest match of the night featured the continuing rivalry between Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Dake. Both men have experienced victory throughout their wrestling careers and continue to bring the best out of each other. This match did not disappoint as it was a rematch of their of their face-off at the U.S. Open two years ago. Burroughs once again edged out Dake in a close, but controversial match; winning on criteria with the final score of 2-2.
Both men were awarded step out points in the first round and Dake would be awarded another in the second round. Dake was put on the thirty-second clock which allowed Burroughs to score another point and bring things even. Burroughs found a way to ride out that time period to win the match.
“This has obviously been an extremely tough six or seven months for me since Rio. You know, a lot of fear, a lot of doubt, a lot of anxiety, so this feels good,” Burroughs said as reported by Richard Immel of The Mat.com. “I’m not going to sit on my laurels. This is just a stepping stone to where I want to be, getting back to Paris, and it’s never going to be easy, so commend you Kyle for a great match, and I’ll see you again twice in June.”
Dake wasn’t pleased with how the match played out.
“I wrestled pretty well, there’s some adjustments that need to be made. If you leave it close with a guy like that you leave yourself with an opportunity to lose,” Dake said as reported by FloWrestling. “He punched me a lot but that’s what you’ve got to deal with. I asked the ref why I was getting called for finger locking. I was asking him why but he wasn’t answering my questions.”
With this win Burroughs is now 5-0 against Dake and advanced to the best-of-three series at the U.S. World Team Trails in June.
Jordan Oliver was another big winner as he earned his first U.S. Open title when he defeated Frank Molinaro on criteria with the score 4-4.
Oliver had to come from behind to secure the victory after Molinaro took a 2-0 lead at the end of the first. Oliver snatched the lead away in the second period with a takedown and exposure points, but Molinaro would score again to lock up the points. Oliver’s victory would come on criteria, giving him another big win in his career.
Oliver and Burroughs are joined by James Green, Nick Gwiazdowski, and Tony Ramos with berths in the best-of-three finals. Logan Stieber, Kyle Snyder and J’Den Cox earned the automatic slots with their World and Olympic victories from 2016. The top seven placements in each weight class qualify to compete at the U.S. World Team Trials in June.