LAS VEGAS – The 2017 U.S. Open returns to Las Vegas this weekend and Pennsylvania Wrestling will be represented by some of the Nation’s best. The event is broken down into several different age and style divisions including Senior Men’s Freestyle and Junior Men’s Freestyle. The Keystone State will also be represented in the Senior Men’s Greco-Roman and Senior Women’s Freestyle divisions.
Overall 39 wrestlers who hail from Pennsylvania will be competing throughout the next three days. You can watch the U.S. Open live on FloWrestling and visit USA Wrestling for event information and news.
Below is a preview of each division and the Pennsylvania wrestlers who are competing.
All eyes will be on the Senior Freestyle U.S. Open with some of the biggest names in wrestling such as Jordan Burroughs, Kyle Dake, and David Taylor all competing. Pennsylvania will be well represented by Freestyle veterans and young talents looking to break into the mix.
The Penn State Nittany Lion Wrestling Club boasts the majority of Keystone State grapplers but many others will be in competition. One of those names is Jordan Oliver. The former 3-time Pennsylvania State Champion and 2-time NCAA National Champion has been on the National Freestyle circuit for several years and will be in contention for his first U.S. Open Championship at 65 kg.
Oliver has been a World Teams Trials runner-up three times. In 2017 Oliver was a Dave Schultz Memorial Champion and in November 2016 he was the World Team Trials Non-Olympic weight runner-up at 70 kg to James Green. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy was the 2016 U.S. Open Runner-up to Brent Metcalf. Oliver owns quality wins over 2016 Olympian Frank Molinaro, 2-time NCAA National Champion Zain Retherford, and Jimmy Kennedy. Oliver’s toughest competition will likely be from two Penn State studs with Frank Molinaro and Zain Retherford. The Zain Train, a 2017 Hodge Trophy winner, is no stranger to Freestyle as the Benton, PA native was third in the 2016 Olympic Team Trials challenge tournament at 65 kg.
3-time Pennsylvania State Champion and 2016 NCAA National Champion Nico Megaludis (Franklin Regional/Penn State) will be in the hunt for a U.S. Open Championship at 57 kg. Megaludis was a Bill Farrell Champion in November 2016 and in January 2017 he travelled to France where he won the Gold Medal at the Paris International. Megaludis will have his hands full with a deep field that includes wrestlers like Tony Ramos, Nahshon Garrett, Alan Walters, and his college nemesis Jesse Delgado.
Yet another Penn State wrestling superstar, Jason Nolf, is slated to compete at 70 kg with the 2017 NCAA National Champion looking to prove his Freestyle worth against a stout field. Nolf, who went undefeated this season, is competing against veterans James Green, Dylan Ness, and Jason Chamberlin.
Fans will be following the 74 kg weight-class intently as Olympic and World Champion Jordan Burroughs hopes to get his groove back following his 2016 Olympic Games performance. 4-time NCAA National Champion Kyle Dake (Cornell) and 3-time NCAA National Champion Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) are hoping to dethrone Burroughs. Pennsylvania’s lone participant at 74 kg is 4-time undefeated PIAA State Champion Chance Marsteller (Kennard Dale). Marsteller has competed unattached since being removed from Lock Haven’s roster last year after being arrested for various crimes including aggravated assault. Marsteller is a successful Freestyle wrestler with International experience but the U.S. Open will be his biggest test thus far.
Former Easton Area heavyweight Justin Grant (Bloomsburg) has been on the Freestyle circuit for over five years and will be competing at 125 kg in the U.S. Open.
57 kg/125 lbs.
Nico Megaludis (Franklin Regional/Penn State)
61 kg/134.5 lbs.
Jordan Conaway (New Oxford/Penn State)
Joshua Kindig (Blue Mountain/Oklahoma State)
Shelton Mack (Meadville/Pittsburgh)
65 kg/143 lbs.
Evan Henderson (The Kiski School/North Carolina)
Jordan Oliver (Easton Area/Oklahoma State)
Zain Retherford (Benton Area/Penn State)
70 kg/154 lbs.
James Fleming Division (West Mifflin/Clarion)
Jason Nolf (Kittanning/Penn State)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Chance Marsteller (Kennard Dale/Lock Haven)
86 kg/189.5 lbs.
John M. Staudenmayer (Plymouth Whitemarsh/North Carolina)
Peter Renda (Brandywine Heights/N.C. State)
125 kg/175.5 lbs.
Joseph Goodhart (Hempfield/Drexel)
Justin Grant (Easton Area/Bloomsburg)
4-time PIAA State Medalist Jayshon Wilson (Carlisle) has been competing with the All-Marine Greco Team for several years now. He has International experience including both the German and Spanish Grand Prix. In December 2016 Wilson finished 8th in the U.S. Senior Nationals in Vegas at 75 kg. His return to Vegas will be again at 75 kg where he is competing against the top tier wrestlers.
75 kg/165 lbs.
JayShon Wilson (Carlisle Area/Marines)
Senior Women’s Freestyle
WCWA All-American wrestler Francesca Giorgio (Wilson) is a junior at Simon Fraser where she has become a 3-time All-American at Simon Fraser in Canada – the same program that produced Olympic Gold Medalist Helen Maroulis. Giorgio is set to compete at 69 kg in a weight that Alli Ragan is favored.
60 kg/132 lbs.
Francesca Giorgio (Wilson/Simon Fraser)
Some of Pennsylvania’s best up and coming talents will be on display in the Junior Freestyle Division of the U.S. Open. 3-time undefeated State Champion Gavin Teasdale (Jefferson Morgan) will be in the hunt at 55 kg against a field that includes 2016 World Bronze Medalist Daton Fix, Danny Vega, and Brandon Courtney. The junior recently decommitted from Iowa and committed to Penn State. Virginia freshman Mickey Phillippi (Derry Area), a 3-time Pennsylvania State Champion, recently finished his freshman season at Virginia. He will be competing at 60 kg.
Phillippi’s friend and rival Luke Pletcher, also a 3-time Pennsylvania State Champion, was thrust into the Ohio State line-up as a true freshman where he was an NCAA National Qualifier for the Buckeyes. Pletcher is taking the mat at 63 kg where he could find success. Brothers Hayden and Trent Hidlay (Mifflin County) are each competing at 74 kg with older brother Hayden being in the mix for a U.S. Open Medal. The field includes UWW Junior World Champion and NCAA National Champion Mark Hall (Penn State) in addition to Alex Marinelli (Iowa) and Evan Wick (Wisconsin).
Iowa Hawkeye Kaleb Young (Punxsutawney Area) had a successful true freshman season competing and succeeding in several open tournaments. Young, a 2016 PIAA State Champion, is registered to compete at 74 kg.
The full list of Junior Freestyle participants from Pennsylvania are below.
46 kg – 50 kg/101 -110 lbs.
Brendan Howard (Jefferson Morgan/Clarion)
Nick Onea (Pottsville)
55 kg/121 lbs.
Devin Schnupp (Warwick/Penn State)
Gage Curry (North Hills/American)
Gavin Teasdale (Jefferson Morgan)
Mike Madara (Blair Academy/Nazareth, PA)
60 kg/132 lbs.
George Phillippi (Derry Area/Virginia)
Mason Lindenmuth (Brockway/Penn State)
63 kg/139 lbs.
Brian Friery (Lewisburg Area/Penn State)
Jacob Wasser (Palisades/Nebraska-Kearney)
Luke Pletcher (Greater Latrobe/Ohio State)
Mikey Carr (South Fayette/Illinois)
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Felix Belga (Cumberland Valley/Drexel)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Hayden Hidlay (Mifflin County/N.C. State)
Trent Hidlay (Mifflin County)
79 kg/174 lbs.
Cole Painter (Pottsville)
Kaleb Young (Punxsutawney/Iowa)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Garrett Hoffman (Montoursville/Bucknell)
96 kg/211.6 lbs.
David Showunmi (Blair Academy/Stanford)
Drew Phipps (Norwin/Bucknell)
John Jakobsen (Stroudsburg/Lehigh)
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Andrew Dunn (Bethlehem Catholic/Virginia Tech)
Brendan Furman (Canon-McMillan/Cornell)