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US Open Freestyle Finals Preview and Predictions


The finals are set for the 2023 US Open, and it includes some very interesting matchups that we’ve been looking forward to all weekend long.

There’s been some wild upsets, medical forfeits, and unpredictable outcomes throughout the weekend which will be settled at 9 pm tonight.

The winners of the US Open will head to Final X this summer to officially declare the World Team members, here’s a look at who can punch their ticket tonight. 

57kg – Nick Suriano vs Zane Richards

Everyone was looking forward to Nick Suriano and Spencer Lee meeting once again in the semi finals, yet Lee medically forfeited out of the tournament due to injury.

“Spencer is going to be physically unable to continue in the event this weekend,” Spencer’s father Larry Lee stated.

Despite that, Suriano has been tearing through the 57 kg bracket, and sets up a final against the #1 seed Zane Richards.

Richards has only given up five points throughout his way to the finals, and took out Jakob Camacho in the semi’s to get there.

The winner will face Thomas Gilman at Final X, and it should be a good one to start the night.

61kg – Austin DeSanto vs Vito Arujau

The 2023 NCAA national champion Vito Arujau has continued his roll since the end of the collegiate season, and will look to earn his spot at Final X.

Vito handled Nathan Tomasello in the semi’s to get to the finals, and also took out Nashon Garrett en route to the championship matchup. Vito has only given up seven points throughout his four bouts, and will square off against Austin DeSanto who has also looked really good.

DeSanto narrowly beat Seth Gross in a 5-4 decision to make the finals, and teched Joe Colon in the quarters.

The winner of the open at 61 kg will wait and face the winner of the world team trials challenge at Final X, as nobody was a world medalist at 61 kg last year.

65kg – Joey McKenna vs Nick Lee

This matchup at 65 kg should produce fireworks in the US Open finals, and is a super enticing bout to watch.

McKenna has looked amazing throughout his way to the finals, he dominated Anthony Ashnault 10-0 in the quarters, and took care of Ridge Lovett by a 8-3 score in the semis to set up his final with Lee. 

Nick Lee took out his former teammate Beau Bartlett in the semis in a wild 10-10 criteria victory, in a match that was electric and had some thinking Bartlett initially won.

Prior to that bout against Bartlett, Lee teched Matt Kolodzik in the quarters.

The winner of the US Open at 65 kg will take on Yianni Diakomihalis at Final X, which both Lee and McKenna have faced before.

70kg – Sammy Sasso vs Tyler Berger 

In one of the more unpredictable weight classes at the Open, the finals are set between Sammy Sasso and Tyler Berger.

Sasso just finished the NCAA season with a second place finish, and has stayed active and looks sharp going into the finals. Sasso easily beat Ed Scott in the quarters, and did the same against Jared Jacques in the semi’s to earn a spot in the finals.

Tyler Berger pulled an upset over Hayden Hidlay in the semi’s, which was a wild match that ended up being 11-10 for Berger.

The winner at 70 kg will square off against Zain Retherford at Final X.

74kg – Jason Nolf vs Vincenzo Joseph

Two former Nittany Lions will battle for the gold in the US Open finals, and the former teammates will put the friendship aside tonight.

This match should be really fun to watch, as both guys bring an exciting skill set and love to score points.

Nolf surprisingly defeated Keegan O’Toole pretty easily in the semi finals, compared to Joseph having a close victory over Josh Shields 5-3.

The winner will set up a date with Kyle Dake at 74 kg, who is now also a part of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club.

79kg – Chance Marsteller vs Alex Dieringer 

Personally, this is the matchup I look forward to the most tonight, as the winner will face off against Jordan Burruoughs at Final X.

Alex Dieringer smoked Carter Starocci in the semi’s, which was a match that I thought would have been very close.

On the other hand, Chance Marsteller has been so close to a world team, and now has a great opportunity to get another shot at Burroughs.

Marsteller took care of Darren McFadden in the semi’s, winning 6-1 in a match that wasn’t really that close.

This is a bout you will not want to miss.

86kg – Aaron Brooks vs Zahid Valencia

This is another really exciting finals bout, with Brooks and Valencia headlining the 86 kg final.

If Valencia wins, he’ll get another crack at the Magic Man David Taylor at Final X, which was all Taylor last year.

If Brooks were to win, the two Nittany Lions would go at it which would be really fun to watch.

Brooks beat another Nittany Lion, Mark Hall, in the semi’s in a 6-1 match.

Valencia easily took out Trent Hidlay in the semi’s, and now he and Brooks will go at it to get one step closer to a world team.

92kg –  Kollin Moore vs Michael Macchiavello

Kollin Moore really excels in freestyle, and has continued to show that at the US Open. 

Moore has won by a 10-0 tech in every single match so far, and will face off against former NCAA champion Michael Macchiavello in the finals.

Macchiavello pulled off an upset over Nate Jackson in the semi’s, which was a very close match that was scored 4-2 for Macchiavello.

There’s nobody already waiting at Final X at 92 kg, so the winner will face the world team trials challenge tournament winner later this summer.

97kg – J’den Cox vs Isaac Trumble

J’den Cox has been steamrolling everyone in the 97 kg bracket, and has won by a tech in every single match so far.

Cox has allowed only 1 point throughout the tournament, and will be a heavy favorite going into tonight’s final against Trumble.

Trumble has made his way to the finals with wins over Silas Allred, and Tim Dudley. Trumble has looked really good, and won both of those bouts convincingly.

With the way Trumble has been wrestling, he could make things interesting in the finals.

Kyle Snyder is waiting for the winner to be crowned, and will square off at Final X for the world team spot.

125kg – Gable Steveson vs Nick Gwiazdowski

Gable has obviously not lost a step since sitting out of international competition, and has dominated everyone in his path to the finals.

Gable has only been on the mat for six minutes throughout his three bouts, and has tech falled Wyatt Hendrickson and Mason Parris along the way.

Gwiz easily beat Dom Bradley in the semi’s to set up a rematch against Steveson, and will look to pull off a miraculous upset to punch his ticket to Final X.

Nobody is already waiting at 125 kg, so the winner of the US Open will square off against the world team trials challenge winner this summer.

My Prediction:

57kg – Suriano

61kg – Arujau

65kg – McKenna

70kg – Sasso

74kg – Nolf

79kg – Marsteller

86kg – Brooks

92kg – Moore

97kg – Cox

125kg – Steveson 

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Cael Turnbull
Cael Turnbull
Journalism Major at Temple University Graduating in May of 2023

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