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2016 U.S. Olympic Team, plus two Californians, headline talented USA roster for Wrestling World Cup

By AWP Staff, 05/25/16, 1:30PM EDT

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. – USA Wrestling has announced its lineup for the 2016 Men’s Freestyle Wrestling World Cup at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., June 11-12.

The team will be led by the six members of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team in freestyle wrestling, including 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg/163 lbs. and 2012 Olympian Tervel Dlagnev at 125 kg/275 lbs.

Burroughs is also a three-time World champion (2011, 2013, 2015) and a 2014 World bronze medalist. He has an amazing 124-2 career international record, which includes gold medals at the Pan American Games, the World Cup and many other major international events. He was a two-time NCAA champion for the Univ. of Nebraska, and won the Hodge Trophy as the nation’s top college wrestler.

Dlagnev was a 2009 and 2014 World bronze medalist, and placed fifth at the 2012 Olympic Games. He was also fifth at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships. He won two NCAA Div. II national titles for Nebraska-Kearney.

Burroughs and Dlagnev will be joined by first-time Olympians Daniel Dennis at 57 kg/125.5 lbs., Frank Molinaro at 65 kg/145.5 lbs., J’den Cox at 86 kg/189 lbs. and Kyle Snyder at 97 kg/213 lbs.

Snyder became the youngest U.S. Senior World champion when he won the 2015 World title in Las Vegas at the age of 19. These four Olympians all have strong college backgrounds. Cox and Snyder are still college student-athletes, with Cox a two-time NCAA champion for Missouri and Snyder an NCAA champion for Ohio State. Molinaro was an NCAA champion for Penn State, while Dennis was an NCAA runner-up for Iowa.

Each team will have athletes in the six Olympic weight classes and two non-Olympic weight classes, and can have as many as two wrestlers per weight class. The United States is expected to bring 12 athletes to World Cup, with two in every weight.

There will be a seventh Olympian on the roster, 2012 Olympic champion and 2011 World bronze medalist Jake Varner at 97 kg/213 lbs. Varner is one of two California natives on the U.S. team. He was a a two-time state champion for Bakersfield High School, before going to Iowa State, where he won two NCAA titles.

The other Californian is Nahshon Garrett at 61 kg/134 lbs., who was a two-time state champion for Chico High School, before going to Cornell, where he was a 2016 NCAA champion.

It was previously announced that LA-area native Aaron Pico would compete at 70 kg/154 lbs. but he had to withdraw for medical reasons. That spot on the U.S. team is currently not filled.

The team will feature two other members of the 2015 U.S. World Team, World bronze medalist James Green at 70 kg/154 lbs., as well as Zach Rey at 125 kg/275 lbs. Rey was an NCAA champion for Lehigh, and Green a four-time All-American for Nebraska.

Other past NCAA champions on the U.S. roster include three-time NCAA champion Alex Dieringer from Oklahoma State at 74 kg/163 lbs., two-time NCAA champion David Taylor from Penn State at 86 kg/189 lbs., plus NCAA champions Tony Ramos from Iowa at 61 kg/134 lbs. and Zain Retherford from Penn State. Ramos was also a member of the 2014 and 2015 U.S. World Teams. Dieringer and Taylor have won Hodge Trophies as the nation’s top college wrestlers.

Also on the USA lineup is Missouri All-American Alan Waters at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. Combined, the 2016 U.S. Freestyle World Cup Team has won two Olympic gold medals, four World titles, 10 World medals, 19 NCAA titles and three Dan Hodge Trophies. The U.S. team  will train at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. prior to coming to Los Angeles for the competition.

The World Cup is the annual international dual meet championships, as the eight best men’s freestyle teams will compete against each other. At the 2016 World Cup, the United States will be joined by (alphabetically): Azerbaijan, Georgia, India, Iran, Mongolia, Russia and Turkey. Lineups for the other seven teams in the World Cup will be announced shortly.

The United States is slated to face Iran, Azerbaijan and India in Group B competition. Russia headlines a tough Group A pool that also includes Georgia, Turkey and Mongolia.

This is the last chance for fans to see the U.S. Olympic Team, plus other Olympians and world-class athletes in action one more time before the Summer Olympics. Attendees can purchase tickets for the popular international competition through Ticketmaster.

FREESTYLE WORLD CUP

At The Forum, Inglewood, Calif., June 11-12

United States roster

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)

57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Alan Waters, Columbia, Mo. (Missouri Wrestling Foundation)

61 kg/134 lbs. – Tony Ramos, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC)

61 kg/134 lbs. – Nahshon Garrett, Chico, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes WC)

65 kg/145.5 lbs. – Frank Molinaro, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)

65 kg/145.5 lbs. – Zain Retherford, Benton, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)

70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska WTC)

70 kg 154 lbs. – TBA

74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC)

74 kg/163 lbs. - Alex Dieringer, Port Washington, Wis. (Cowboy WC)

86 kg/189 lbs. – J’Den Cox, Columbia, Mo. (Missouri Wrestling Foundation)

86 kg/189 lbs. – David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)

97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)

97 kg/213 lbs. – Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)

125 kg/275 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC)

125 kg/275 lbs. – Zach Rey, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley WC)

Team Leader – Andy Barth, San Marino, Calif.

National Freestyle Coach – Bruce Burnett, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Assistant National Freestyle Coach – Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Assistant National Freestyle Coach – Brandon Slay, Colorado Springs, Colo.

 

FREESTYLE WRESTLING WORLD CUP SCHEDULE

Saturday, June 11

Session I – Round 1 & 2 of Pools (3 p.m.-7:30 p.m.)

 

Sunday, June 12

Session II – Round 3 of Pools, 5th & 7th Place Matches (11 a.m.-2:30 p.m.)

Session III – 3rd Place Match, followed by 1st Place Match (5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.)

 

General admission for both the Saturday and Sunday sessions are just $60 total or $35 for individual days. Preferred seating options are available for $85 for both Saturday and Sunday, or $55 individually.