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|UPDATED: 10 freestyle wild cards announced for World Team Trials in Oklahoma City|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
NCAA champion Jon Reader of Iowa State has received a wild card for the U.S. World Team Trials. Larry Slater photo.
Danny Felix made the 2009 World Team after being awarded a wild card to compete at the U.S. World Team Trials.
Brent Metcalf did the same thing last year.
Will it happen again this year? We will find out in a few weeks after USA Wrestling awarded 10 wrestlers wild cards on Thursday for the World Team Trials, set for June 10-11 in Oklahoma City.
The following athletes applied for and were approved for wild cards:
60 kg/132 lbs. – Derek Moore, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Joe Johnston, Columbia, Mo. (Gator WC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Justin Pearch, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC)
74 kg/163 lbs. – J.P. O’Connor, Boston, Mass. (New York AC)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Tyler Caldwell, Wichita, Kan. (Sunkist Kids)
84 kg/185 lbs. – James Yonushonis, Columbus, Ohio (New York AC)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Jon Reader, Davison, Mich. (Sunkist Kids)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Micah Burak, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Athletes in Action)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Dustin Kilgore, Berea, Ohio (Golden Pride WC)
Moore placed second at the Sunkist Kids International and fifth in the Medved International this season.
Johnston placed third in the Dave Schultz and Hargobind events this season, and also was fourth in the New York AC International.
Pearch placed eighth at last month’s U.S. Open. He owns wins over reigning U.S. Open champion Teyon Ware and fourth-place finisher Chase Pami.
Dake is a two-time NCAA champion for Cornell. He lost to 2010 U.S. Open champion Andrew Howe in the finals of April's University Nationals. Dake did not compete in the match for a true second place in that event.
O’Connor won a 2010 NCAA title for Harvard.
Caldwell was a 2011 NCAA runner-up for Oklahoma. He recently transferred to Nebraska.
Yonushonis placed second in the Sunkist event and fourth in the Hargobind. He was eighth in the U.S. Open.
Reader was a 2011 NCAA champion for Iowa State. He is a past University World Team member and placed fourth in the 2009 World Team Trials.
Burak placed second at the 2010 University World Team Trials. He was seventh in the 2009 U.S. Open.
Kilgore was a 2011 NCAA champion for Kent State. He finished third at University Nationals last month.
Athletes who wished to be considered for a wild-card selection notified U.S. National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones in order to be considered.
Under the current procedures, the wild-card nominations by the National Freestyle Coach were reviewed and approved by a three-member sub-committee headed by the chairperson of the Freestyle Sport Committee. The sub-committee filled all 10 wild-card spots this year. Only five wild cards were granted last year.