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U.S. World Team Trials preview in Greco-Roman at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Coming into the World Team Trials, two-time U.S. Open champion Jordan Holm has momentum in his quest to make his first U.S. Senior level team. Holm was second in the 2012 Olympic Trials to Chas Betts, who has retired. He has been very active and successful this season so far, wrestling in 11 events since the Trials last April. Among the highlights was a 3-0 record at the Curby Cup and a dominant effort at the U.S. Open. Strong and in great shape, Holm has increased his technical abilities. Regular training partners such as John Wechter and Jake Fisher have also been a plus in his development.

You may not have noticed, but Zac Nielsen has placed second at the last two U.S. Open Championships at 84 kg/185 lbs. He reached the finals against Betts in 2012, and worked his way through the field to face Holm in the Open this year in April. His talents have been developed at the USOEC program at Northern Michigan, and his career has thrived since he dropped down from 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Although quite experienced, he is still relatively young and has a big upside at this division.

Veteran Peter Hicks of the Army won the bronze medal at the 2013 U.S. Open and has been a serious contender at this division for a number of seasons. Hicks started his Senior Greco career with the U.S. Air Force, and moved over the Army WCAP program where he is one of their leading athletes.

Two young athletes are making an impact on the national scene at this division, Josef Rau, who was fourth at the Open and Kyle Deberry, who was fifth. Rau was a 2013 NCAA Div. III national champion for Elmhurst, and has been entering Greco events during his college career. Deberry, who had a college career at Arizona State which was challenged by injuries, has thrived since seeking to make an impact on the Greco-Roman scene.

Mark Stenberg, one of the most successful of the current USOEC wrestlers at Northern Michigan, qualified with a sixth place at the U.S. Open. Stenberg competed on the 2012 U.S. University World Team, and has been a high placer at many national events on the Senior and age-group levels in recent years. Claiming the final Trials berth from the U.S. Open with a seventh-place finish was U.S. Marine Donald Simmons, who has also been paying his dues on the Senior level.

University Nationals champion Lucas Sheridan, who was on the 2012 FILA Junior World Team and also won the FILA Junior Nationals again in 2013, is another young talent who is making an impact. Sheridan competes for the University of Indiana, but has a strong Greco background from his prep days in California. Others who have qualified include Dan Olsen, Brian Sloat and Shaun Scott, as well as wildcard selection Ryan Hope.

Based upon a very successful year and continued progress, Jordan Holm is in a strong position to make his first World Team and test his abilities at the World Championships. It will be interesting to see if Zac Nielsen can reach the finals series, or another athlete makes a move into being the top challenger for Holm this year.

2013 U.S. Open Greco-Roman results at 84 kg/185 lbs.

1st – Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Zac Nielsen, Zimmerman, Minn. (Minnesota Storm/USOEC), 3-0, 1-0
3rd – Peter Hicks, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP) dec. Josef Rau, Chicago, Ill. (Minnesota Storm), 2-0, 1-0
5th – Kyle Deberry, Tucson, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids) inj. dft. Mark Stenberg, Lockport, Ill. (New York AC/USOEC)
7th – Donald Simmons, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines) dec. Terrell Walker, Chesapeake, Va. (Air Force WC), 2-0, 1-0

2013 U.S. World Team Trials qualifiers at 84 kg/185 pounds in Greco-Roman

’12 Olympic Team Trials Champion – Chas Betts, Coloardo Springs, Colo. (Minnesota Storm)
’12 Olympic Team Trials second place – Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
’12 Olympic Team Trials, true third place – Peter Hicks, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army)
’13 GR U.S. Open Champion – Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
’13 GR U.S. Open second place – Zac Nielsen, Zimmerman, Minn. (Minnesota Storm/USOEC)
’13 GR U.S. Open third place – Peter Hicks, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
’13 GR U.S. Open fourth place – Josef Rau, Chicago, Ill. (Minnesota Storm)
’13 GR U.S. Open fifth place – Kyle Deberry, Tucson, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
’13 GR U.S. Open sixth place – Mark Stenberg, Lockport, Ill. (New York AC/USOEC)
’13 GR U.S. Open seventh place – Donald Simmons, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines)
’13 GR University National Champion – Lucas Sheridan, Concord, Calif. (CYC-Concord)
’13 GR University National second place – Dan Olsen, Algonquin, Ill. (Team Thunder)
’13 Northeast Regional Champion – Brian Sloat, Trumbull, Conn. (unattached)
’13 Northern Plains Regional Champion – Courtney Myers, Camp Lejeune, N.C. (Marines)
’12 Henri Deglane Challenge third place – Shaun Scott, Millersville, Pa. (Modern Day Gladiators)
Wildcard Selection – Ryan Hope, Carol Stream, Ill.
Past Olympic Team member –
Past World Team member –
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