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Thoughts on the Olympic Freestyle Trials

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I don't often post on these message boards but thought I'd share a few thoughts about the trials in general.


57 Kilos


- I predicted Ramos and Dennis in the finals with Dennis winning it. I would've been happy with either Ramos or Dennis as our rep, but seeing Dennis make this comeback has been an awesome story. I'm excited to see how that story continues in Rio.


-Ramos gets a lot of flak, and will especially after that interview tonight, but I feel that his attitude mainly comes from carrying a chip on his shoulder. While I wasn't a huge fan of that interview, I like seeing those people that carry that chip and say "Screw you, I'm going to prove all of you wrong." Ramos was emotional tonight and I think he'll come to his senses eventually.


- I've never really been a Tyler Graff fan (never had any reason to be since I'm a Missouri fan), but I was happy to see him come back and have a dominant performance to take 3rd and make the National Team. He's had so much success on different levels and just has never been able to put everything together. I remember seeing a behind the scenes video from NCAAs a few years back where he was just devastated after losing in the finals. You could tell how hard he works and I hope he reaches his goals.


65 Kilos


- Wow who expected this bracket to go down like this? Answer: No one except Molinaro. Again, I like seeing people with a chip on their shoulder, and Molinaro is one of them. I loved hearing that interview where he was walking his dog and realized he still had something to prove, which made him decide to come back and compete.


- This weight was also bittersweet for me. I've been a Metcalf fan since he was in college, but I also objectively didn't have much hope for a medal at this weight if he was our rep. So while I was bummed he didn't make the team, I do think it's nice to get some fresh blood in there. 


- I've also always been a fan of Reece Humphrey, and I'd like to see him put together one last campaign for the Olympics. He is so explosive and can be so creative with some of his moves. Anyone have any information on his plans going forward?


74 Kilos


- I almost feel bad for Burroughs because he is so incredibly good, that I feel like we don't appreciate it since we're so used to him winning. It's amazing how good he is and how he keeps improving. Can't wait to see him compete in Rio.


- There are a lot of talented mid-age to veteran guys at this weight, who unfortunately won't make it past Burroughs during their careers. However, these guys are great for sharpening up a lot of the young talent we have at this weight. Whenever Burroughs decides to retire, I think we'll be in good hands for whoever steps in at 74 kilos.


86 Kilos


- I always believed that Cox had the ability to win the trials but I wasn't sure if he'd actually do it. Honestly, and this is coming from someone who has seen him wrestle since high school, Cox didn't even wrestle close to what I think he's capable of, and still won the trials. He was tentative and didn't wrestle with the confidence we saw during the NCAA season. I really believe that he'll improve exponentially once he gains the confidence that he belongs among the Olympic team and trains with the best the US has to offer. Whoever thinks he won with brute physicality, is just wrong. Watch some of his interviews and matches. He is extremely intelligent when it comes to tactics, he's creative, and is solid technically in every position.


- I've never been as enamored with David Taylor as most people, but after this bajillionth loss to Dake he has to figure out something right? I mean at this point he has to be considering exposing himself to gamma rays so he can turn himself into the Hulk. I can't imagine DT will stop competing any time soon but I also have a hard time seeing someone continue to compete when they keep losing to the same person over a dozen times.


97 Kilos


- While I predicted Kyle Snyder to win, as I would guess a majority of wrestling fans did, I think this weight was a little under appreciated. In the finals we had an Olympic Gold Medalist and a World Gold Medalist. Out of all the finals opponents, these two were probably the most accomplished when you considered them together. With how young Snyder is, it is hard to see anyone seriously challenging him like Varner has in the near future, and it was fun to see a young gun take on the experienced vet in the finals.


125 Kilos


- Tervel is another guy that has been so good for so long that we almost take him for granted. Unfortunately injuries seem to have held him back during his career, but I am hoping that he can get healthy and put it all together in Rio. He is so talented and I really do believe he can medal if he can stay healthy and train well.


- I think this will be a really fun weight going forward. Dom Bradley, Zach Rey, and Gwiz all have the ability to make things interesting and I predict this will be a very competitive weight the next couple of years.






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