Graff, Oliver, LeValley, Trotman, Bradley win second career Dave Schultz Memorial freestyle titles04 Feb 2017
By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Five U.S. wrestler claimed their second career Dave Schultz Memorial International titles with victories at the U.S. Olympic Training Center on Thursday night. Winning for the second time were Tyler Graff of the New York AC (57 kg/125.5 lbs.), Jordan Oliver of the Sunkist Kids (70 kg/154 lbs.), Kevin LeValley of the Buffalo Valley WC (74 kg/163 lbs.), Austin Trotman of the Titan Mercury WC at 86 kg/189 lbs. and Dom Bradley of the Sunkist Kids at 125 kg/275 lbs.
Graff won his second title with a 4-1 decision over 2009 Junior World bronze medalist Nodir Safarov of Uzbekistan in the finals at 55 kg/121 lbs. Graff scored two takedowns in the first period to lead 4-0 at the break. Safarov managed a point. "That guy was dangerous, and he's got some big moves. There are times when you have to be calculated and precise with your attacks. That's more or less what was happening. It's great. God gets all the credit. I just did his work, and I believe I did what he wanted me to,” said Graff. Graff, who won his first Dave Schultz Memorial in 2015, was named Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament. He was an NCAA runner-up for Wisconsin. "I feel good. There is a lot to take away from [the tournament]. There are a lot of learning steps. Mission accomplished here, and on to the next one. My attacks are working, and I just have to keep building,” he said.
Oliver defeated long-time nemesis Jason Chamberlain of the Titan Mercury WC in the finals, 8-6. It was a rematch of the 2014 NCAA finals, where Oklahoma State’s Oliver beat Boise State’s Chamberlain, 3-2. They have had a number of past freestyle matches as well. Oliver came out very strong, dominating from his feet in the first period. He scored four consecutive takedowns, including a double leg, two low single legs and a throw by for an 8-0 lead. Chamberlain got a reversal and a gut wrench to close it at 8-3, when Oliver took some injury time. A stepout against Oliver made it 8-4 at the break. In the second period, Chamberlain scored on a shot clock and on a stepout to close it to 8-6. "I felt really good. I came out according to game plan, putting up takedowns and wrestling my high-pace match. Right there at the end of the first, I was up 8-0, looking for a high gut and being greedy and trying to end the match. I got a little sloppy and gave up a reversal. I'm going to be critical on myself, but I've never given up a turn before, but right after I got reversed, I gave up a gut to Chamberlain to make it 8-3. In that gut, I got a little banged up from a previous injury. It kind of threw me off, and I really shut down mentally, as you can tell. He started catching up. I was up 8-0 and then one more takedown and I would have teched him. Overall, it was a good experience for me and good to have that little bump in the road and have to go through it right now rather than later down the road at U.S. Nationals,” said Oliver.
2016 Dave Schultz Memorial champion Kevin LeValley of the Buffalo Valley WC made it two years in a row at 74 kg/163 lbs., scoring an impressive technical fall over Jevon Balfour of Canada, 12-2. The first period ended 2-2, but LeValley opened it up in the second, with a takedown followed by four trapped-arm gut wrenches. LeValley was an All-American for Bucknell. Graff and LeValley won gold in their home state. Graff was a four-time state champion for Loveland High School, and LeValley won four state titles for Limon High School.
Trotman was also a repeat champion, after winning his first Dave Schultz title in 2016. He dominated the finals match against Masao Matsusaka of Japan, and scored a pin with just three seconds left. Trotman, an All-American for Appalachian State, had four different takedowns in the match.
Bradley won another all-USA finals at 120 kg/275 lbs., beating Justin Grant of the New York AC in the finals, 7-0. Bradley scored two takedowns and a pushout in the first period to establish control of the bout. Of the repeat champions, Bradley had the longest period between Schultz titles at five years, after winning it last in 2012. Bradley was an All-American for Missouri.
The USA added a sixth champion when Dustin Kilgore of the Sunkist Kids defeated two-time World bronze medalist Pavlo Olinyk of Ukraine by injury default. Kilgore, an NCAA champion from Kent State, is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete, and won the title in his home gym. The 61 kg/132 lbs. final was a battle of teenagers, as 18-year-old Kanen Storr of the Titan Mercury WC lost to 19-year-old Dimitar Ivanov of Bulgaria in a 4-4 criteria decision. Storr, a true freshman, jumped to a 3-0 lead with a shot-clock violation against Ivanov and a counter takedown. Ivanov scored a takedown at the end of the first period to make it 3-2. Storr added a point in the second period for a 4-2 lead. With six seconds, during a scramble, Ivanov hit a short dump for two exposure points to tie it at 4-4. Ivanov won by scoring the last points.
Bulgaria also won the title at 65 kg/143 lbs., when Bulgaria’s Filip Novachkov scored a pin over Evan Henderson of the Titan Mercury WC in 1:39. Novachkov locked up a cradle in the first period to secure the fall. Novachkov grew up in California and competed in college for Cal Poly. The Titan Mercury WC won the team title with 88 points, followed by the Sunkist Kids with 45 points.
The 19th annual Dave Schultz Memorial concludes on Friday with the women’s freestyle competition. Session times are 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
DAVE SCHULTZ MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL
At Colorado Springs, Colo.,Feb. 2
Men’s freestyle results
55 kg/125.5 lbs.
1st – Tyler Graff (USA/New York AC) dec. Nodir Safarov (Uzbekistan), 4-1
3rd – Joe Colon (USA/Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Yudai Fujita (Japan), 10-0, 1:02
61 kg/134 lbs.
1st - Dimitar Ivanov (Bulgaria) dec. Kanen Storr (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 4-4
3rd - Taishi Narikuni (Japan) pin Ian Parker (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 1:27
65 kg/143 lbs.
1st – Filip Novachkov (Bulgaria) pin Evan Henderson (USA/TMWC), 1:39
3rd – Kellen Russell (USA/New York AC) tech. fall Yushi Sakamoto (Japan), 11-0, 1:47
70 kg/154 lbs.
1st - Jordan Oliver (USA/Sunkist Kids) dec. Jason Chamberlain (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 8-6
3rd – Nazar Kulcytskyy (USA/Titan Mercury WC) pin Michael DePalma (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 1:50
74 kg/163 lbs.
1st - Kevin LeValley (USA/Buffalo Valley RTC) tech. fall Jevon Balfour (Canada), 12-2
3rd – Yajuro Yamasaki (Japan) tech. fall Quinton Godley (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 11-1, 4:59
84 kg/185 lbs.
1st – Austin Trotman (USA/TMWC) pin Masao Matsusaka (Japan), 5:57
3rd – Josh Asper (USA/Navy-Marine Corps Mat Club) dec.Vic Avery (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 5-5
97 kg/213 lbs.
1st - Dustin Kilgore (USA/Sunkist Kids) inj. dft. over Pavlo Olinyk (Ukraine)
3rd – Kyven Gadson (USA/Sunkist Kids) dec. Micah Burak (USA/Titan Mercury WC), 2-1
125 kg/275 lbs.
1st - Dom Bradley (USA/Sunkist Kids) dec. Justin Grant (USA/NYAC), 7-0
3rd –. Ben Durbin (USA/Cyclone WC) dec. Braden Atwood (USA/Sunkist Kids), 2-2
Outstanding Wrestler – Tyler Graff, New York AC, 57 kg
Top Two Teams – Titan Mercury WC 88, Sunkist Kids 45