College wrestlers who placed at the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships – 174-pound champ Chris Perry, and All-Americans Ian Miller, Nashon Garrett and James Green -- were among the champions at the 2014 University National Freestyle Championships at the University of Akron’s Stile Fieldhouse Sunday.
2014 NCAA All-Americans
Perry, who has won back-to-back NCAA titles for the Cowboys, claimed the 86 kilos/189 pound crown by defeating Enock Francois in two straight matches (in a best-of-three series), 6-0, 6-2. His Oklahoma State teammate Kyle Crutchmer brought home a title at 80 kilos/176 pounds, topping Tanner Weatherman of Iowa State in two straight matches by identical scores of 6-3. Oklahoma State was the only school to claim two 2014 University Nationals titles in freestyle.
The only wrestler to successfully defend his 2013 University National title was James Green, a three-time NCAA All-American at 157 pounds for the University of Nebraska. This year, Green won the 2014 University Nationals title by beating Adam Hall, 4-1, 4-2.
Miller, who placed fourth at 157 for Kent State, claimed the 74 kilo/163 pound championship in short order by pinning Tyler Caldwell, 165-pound finalist for Oklahoma State at the 2014 NCAAs, in two straight matches, first at 0:52, then in just 16 seconds. For his spectacular dispatch of the Cowboy, Miller was named the event’s Outstanding Wrestler honor.
Garnett, a 125-pound runner-up at the 2014 NCAAs for Cornell University, ran up the score on David Terao, winning two matches, 11-0, 15-4, at 57 kilos/125.5 pounds.
At 61 kilos/134 pounds, B.J. Futrell, a two-time All-American for the University of Illinois, defeated Northern Iowa All-American Joe Colon, 5-4, 11-0… while, at 65 kilos/143 pounds, Rutgers redshirt freshman Anthony Ashnault – the only four-time, undefeated high school state champ in New Jersey mat history – beat Michael Mangrum, a two-time Pac-12 champ at Oregon State, 5-4, 6-0.
In the upper weights, Oregon State alum Chad Hanke, 2013 Pac-12 heavyweight champ, won the title at 97 kilos/213 pounds by shutting out Lucas Sheridan, 10-0, 10-0, and Michigan freshman heavyweight sensation Adam Coon toppled Oklahoma State big man Austin Marsden, 11-3, 11-6 at 125 kilos/275 pounds.
Two 2014 NCAA Division I champs – Missouri 197-pounder J’Den Cox, and Northwestern's Jason Tsirtsis at 149, who both won their titles as freshmen – had their title hopes derailed in the semifinals. Tsirtsis dropped an 8-7 decision to Ashnault in the semis at 65 kilos/143 pounds, ultimately placing fifth. Cox was pinned by Sheridan at 97 kilos/213 pounds, and ended up in third place.
Winners crowned in Akron will represent the United States at University Worlds Championships in Pecs, Hungary on July 8-12.