MADISON, Wis. – ODU wrestler Kevin Beazley (Howell, Mich./Detroit Catholic Central) made his second consecutive FILA Junior World Team in Greco Roman after placing first last weekend at the FILA Junior World Team Trials in Madison, Wis. at 96 kg. Three other Monarch grapplers had standout performances at the tournament as well but fell just short of capturing a spot on Team USA, as Brandon Jeske, Alexander Richardson and Jack Dechow all competed in freestyle at the Trials. “What Kevin has done is a very big deal because it puts Old Dominion Wrestling not only in the national but international spotlight, as well as keeps ODU’s name in with the country’s top tier wrestling programs. We believe Kevin is more prepared for this year’s World Championships and is ready to bring back a gold medal to the United States.”
Beazley, who won the Trials a year ago and was thus able to represent Team USA at the FILA Junior World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, automatically qualified for the best-of-three finals at the World Team Trials last weekend after claiming gold at the FILA Junior Nationals in April. On Friday, Beazley ousted Roy Nash (West Valley City, Utah), the challenge bracket winner, in a best-of-three contest to claim his spot on Team USA for the second consecutive year with a 13-2 technical fall victory in match one and then a 48 second fall in match two.
“It was an amazing feeling and now I get another shot at winning a World Title. I am now better than I was last year because I score more points. Last year, I was content with winning close matches, but now I am about to dominate people and I want to break them and tech-fall all ten opponents. I want to come back with that gold medal around my neck.”
Alexander Richardson (Jersey City, NJ/St. Peters Prep) also turned out a solid performance while competing in freestyle at 66 kg. In the first round, Richardson won an exciting bout over Seth Gross of Apple Valley Wrestling Club, 12-12, on criteria. Next, Richardson was able to hold off Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers, 8-5, in the quarterfinals, just one week after Ashnault knocked off 2014 NCAA Champion Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern en route to a University National crown. In the semis, Richardson dropped a 13-3 technical fall to Iowa standout Brandon Sorenson.
NCAA All American Jack Dechow also performed well for the Monarchs, as he competed in the 84 kg freestyle bracket. In the first round, Dechow easily defeated eventual third placer Brett Pfarr of Minnesota with a 10-0 technical fall. Interestingly, at the FILA Junior Nationals back in April, Pfarr had defeated Cornell’s Gabriel Dean, who would go on to place first at the Trials this weekend and claim a spot on the World Team. In the semis, Dechow dropped a heartbreaker to Iowa’s Sam Brooks 7-5 in a very exciting back-and-forth frenzy.
Finally, Brandon Jeske (Virginia Beach, Va./Cox) competed in the 60 kg freestyle bracket. Jeske won his first round match with a wild score of 20-16 of Anthony Reis from the Olympic Training Center. In the quarterfinals, Jeske had secured a lead over Cliff Keen Wrestling Club’s George Fisher but succumbed to an injury and defaulted out of the tournament.
Next up, Beazley will prepare for the 2014 FILA Junior World Championships, which will take place August 5-10 in Zagreb, Croatia. There, he will have the opportunity to claim a Junior World Title and bring home a gold medal to the USA.
When asked about Croatia, Beazley responded, “I am going to be on-top of that podium raising the American flag while they are playing the Star Spangled Banner. I am going to be smiling. It is going to be amazing!”