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Grappler Gold

Olympic Trials - Session #1 Recap

By MI Grappler, 04/09/16, 7:15PM EDT


Brent Metcalf (right) wrestling Frank Molinaro in the quarterfinals. Photo Steve Krah, Special to

Unfortunately, there can only be one champion, and today was not the day for the Michigan freestyle contingent.

Four strong contenders with Michigan ties, including the top seed Brent Metcalf, were featured among the 14 competitors in the 65kg bracket, however, none made it past the quarterfinal round.

The first round took a pair of victims from the Michigan field as former 2x NCAA Champ from the University of Michigan Kellen Russell and Cliff Keen Wrestling Club member BJ Futrell both went down.  

Russell lost via tech-fall to Frank Molinaro who eventually steamrolled through to the championship final series, while Futrell lost 10-0 to Logan Stieber.

Top seed Brent Metcalf and #3 seed Jimmy Kennedy both advanced, Metcalf via a bye and Kennedy with a 12-2 tech-fall over NCAA Champ Dean Heil.

Round 2, however, would get the best of Metcalf and Kennedy.  In the quarterfinals, Metcalf was upset by Frank Molinaro & Kennedy lost a wild one to Reece Humphrey.  

Metcalf was leading 3-2 late in the match when a Molinaro pushout in the final 15 seconds of the match would tie the score 3-3, giving Molinaro the win on criteria because he scored last.

The Carver-Hawkeye crowd was silenced as a seemingly stunned Metcalf made a long, quiet walk across the arena floor to exit.

Kennedy lost a 14-11 slugfest with Reece Humphrey which included a little controversy.  In the 2nd period Kennedy had Humphrey in a dangerous position going to his back when an ankle injury for Humphrey stopped the match, saving him from what seemed like a potential danger.

Kennedy battled back hard with a 4th place finish, scoring wins over Kellen Russell and Logan Stieber along the way.

Canton native Julia Salata made a run to the Womens Freestyle semifinals powered by a 4-1 win over #4 seed Iris Smith, but fell in the semis before battling back to finish 4th at 69kg.

A pair of former Michigan preps and college wrestlers were in action in the 98kg Greco bracket.  Former CMU All-American Jarod Trice was 2-2, falling a round from placing top 4.  Former MSU standout John Wechter was winning his first round match before an arm injury forced him to default out.

Men FS 65kg - Kellen Russell, 1-2
Men FS 65kg - Brent Metcalf, 0-2
Men FS 65kg - Jimmy Kennedy, 4-2 (4th Place)
Men FS 65kg - BJ Futrell, 1-2
Womens 69kg - Julia Salata 3-2 (4th Place)
Men GR 98kg - John Wechter, 0-2
Men GR 98kg - Jarod Trice, 2-2