Tyrell Fortune won a gold medal, while B.J. Futrell, James Green and Chris Perry received silver medals in the second day of freestyle competition at the 2014 University World Championships in Pecs, Hungary Wednesday.
Fortune, an NCAA Division II heavyweight champ for Grand Canyon University, claimed gold at 125 kilos/275 pounds, scoring a 12-1 technical fall over Sakir Bozkurt of Turkey in the title match. Fortune found himself in the finals having pinned Moldova’s Alexandr Romanov, then getting a 10-2 win over Richard Csercsics of Hungary, 10-2.
It was the second straight year Fortune found himself on the podium at the University World Championships, having won a bronze medal at the 2013 Games in Russia.
Three other wrestlers with collegiate credentials also left Hungary with hardware, in the form of silver medals.
Futrell, a past NCAA All-American for the University of Illinois, won silver at 61 kilos/134 pounds after losing a close 12-11 decision to Tuvsingtulga Tumenbileg of Mongolia in the gold-medal match. The former Fighting Illini won his first three matches with ease, beating Japan’s Masakazu Kamoi, 8-1, then getting a 12-0 technical fall over Vadim Sacultan of Moldova before pinning Russia’s Niurgin Skriabin in the semifinals.
Green claimed the silver at 70 kikos/154 pounds after being pinned by Evgheni Nedealco of Moldova in the finals. The three-time NCAA All-American for the Nebraska Cornhuskers won his first two matches, pinning Finland’s Jere Kunnas, then scoring a 6-4 win over Shamil Magomedov of Russia.
Perry, who won back-to-back NCAA titles for Oklahoma State in 2013 and 2014, also snared silver at 86 kilos/189 pounds. He defeated three opponents on his way to the gold-medal round, shutting out Romania’s Andrei Frant, 8-0, then getting a 4-2 decision over Turkey’s Namik Korkmaz before pinning Hungary’s Sandor Tozser in the semifinals. In the finals, the former Cowboy champ lost a close 3-5 match to Piotr Ianulov of Moldova.
Wednesday’s four medal-winning men – along with three medals earned by the U.S. men’s freestyle team on Tuesday – helped propel Team USA to the team title at the 2014 World University Championships, ahead of second-place Turkey and third-place Russia.
“Looking at how these athletes handled the training, the travel and adversity that some encountered in competition I feel the future for the USA is bright,” said U.S. coach Dave Bennett. “This was a special group that are going to continue to leave their mark on the sport in the coming years leading up to the 2016 and 2020 Olympics.”