In one of the most anticipated freestyle matches of the year, 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs denied David Taylor a chance to compete at the 2014 World Wrestling Championships, joining NCAA champs Brent Metcalf and Ed Ruth who won titles at the 2014 World Team Trials freestyle competition in Madison, Wis. Sunday.
Burroughs battles Taylor for World team spot
Burroughs, a two-time NCAA Division I mat champ at the University of Nebraska, defeated Taylor, twice a NCAA titlewinner for Penn State, in two straight matches in a best-of-three series at 74 kilos/163 pounds, 6-2, 6-5.
“I obviously wanted to make it a brawl,” Burroughs told TheMat.com’s Craig Sesker. “It was a lot more physical than it was at the U.S. Open. I wanted to fight and see if he wanted to fight back.”
“It’s all about being competitive out on the mat,” Burroughs continued. “David and I are great friends and we Tweet each other all the time. We do photo shoots with Flips together. My wife and his girlfriend are good friends. It’s always a bitter rivalry when we’re on the mat. We both want to win. Unfortunately for me to fulfill my dreams I have to kill his.”
Taylor's teammate Ruth makes World team
Ruth, Penn State’s first three-time NCAA champ, wrestled a series of three matches vs. Keith Gavin, a national champ for Pitt, to earn his place on the U.S. World team at 86 kilos/189 pounds. In the first bout, Gavin beat Ruth, 7-5. However, the former Nittany Lion battled back, pinning Gavin at 3:44 in the second match… and getting an 11-7 win in the third and deciding match.
Ruth admitted to InterMat that he’s not completely sure what to expect at the World Championships, but seems ready for anything. "Those guys wrestle a different style," said the former teammate of David Taylor. "I'm willing to show them my style. They can show me theirs. I feel like I'm just going to have a lot of fun out there."
Hawkeye tops the Cowboy
Metcalf, a two-time NCAA champ for University of Iowa, beat Oklahoma State two-time Nationals titlewinner Jordan Oliver, 4-2, 3-0, to represent the U.S. at 63 kilos/143 pounds at the 2014 Worlds in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in September.
"I think I've got a lot of experience on the international scene," Metcalf told InterMat. "We all know that. I know that. It's time to put it together and get what I want."
Women’s results for Day Two of World Team Trials
In the women's freestyle competition on Sunday, past World champions Elena Pirozhkova and Adeline Gray won titles, joined by Whitney Conder.
At 63 kilos/138.75 pounds, Pirozhkova – a World gold, silver and bronze medalist -- found herself wrestling all three matches against Erin Clodgo. In the first match, Pirozhkova's won 4-0. Clodgo came back to win the second match, 2-1… while Pirozhkova won the rubber match 2-1.
Gray defeated Jackie Cataline in two straight matches, 10-0, 7-5, at 75 kilos/165 pounds… while Conder shut out Katherine Fulp-Allen twice, 3-0, 5-0, at 53 kilos/116.5 pounds.