photo courtesy of Richard Immel
Before we close the book on Final X 2019, we thought it would be fun to look back on both sites of Final X to find some interesting facts, stats, and trends relating to the competition itself, as well as the 2019 World Teams. Since we now have two years worth of information from Final X, at least for freestyle, in some instances, we went back to 2018, also. Here are some fun tidbits of information to borrow and share with your friends.
The men’s freestyle team has three first-time world team members (Daton Fix, Tyler Graff, Pat Downey). This is nothing new for the team as there have been three first-time world team members on every men’s freestyle team since 2013. This occurred even though there were only eight slots on the team in 2014-15 and 2017, and only six on the 2016 Olympic Team.
Tyler Graff is the first Wisconsin alum to make the Men’s Freestyle team since his former coach Donny Pritzlaff did so in 2006. (Pritzlaff earned world bronze that year).
Fix is the first Oklahoma State wrestler to make a world/Olympic team since Coleman Scott made the 2012 Olympic team. (Scott took home an Olympic bronze).
Fix is also the first Oklahoma native to make a men’s freestyle team since Teyon Ware in 2011.
I need a little help on this one. I’ve gone back to 1972 attempting to find another Colorado native on the men’s freestyle team (Graff). One could make an argument for Henry Cejudo at the Olympics in 2012, but I counted him as being from Arizona.
With Thomas Gilman’s loss, it breaks a six-year stretch where there has been at least one former Iowa Hawkeye on a world/Olympic team. Gilman – 2017/2018, Dan Dennis – 2016, Tony Ramos 2014/2015, Brent Metcalf, 2013/2014/2015.
Three of the eight men’s freestyle series’ in Final X when the full three matches (Fix/Gilman, Graff/Joe Colon, Jordan Burroughs/Isaiah Martinez). In 2018, only one went three matches (Colon/Nahshon Garrett). Graff was the only winner from 2019 who had dropped his first match.
In three of the eight weight classes contested the winner of the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament went on to claim a spot on the world team (Graff, Zain Retherford, James Green). Pat Downey also won the challenge tournament, but was awarded the spot when David Taylor pulled out of Final X. With Alex Dieringer still able to win a slot on the team, as well, this number could increase.
Though the young talent we have coming into the Senior level is impressive, wrestlers that competed at the 2019 NCAA Championships combined to go 2-9 in Final X. Fix accounts for the only two wins, while Yianni Diakomihalis, Ryan Deakin, Bo Nickal, and Gable Steveson all went 0-2.
J’Den Cox’s wins over Nickal now gives him four former Hodge Trophy winners that he has beaten during a Final X/World Team Trials scenario. Nickal, Taylor, Kyle Dake, Jake Herbert.
There were only three Final X series’ that featured rematches from 2018 with Fix/Gilman, Burroughs/Martinez, and Kyle Snyder/Kyven Gadson. Snyder swept Gadson and was the only one who replicated his 2018 performance. This year Burroughs needed three matches as opposed to two in 2018, while Fix was the lone wrestler to reverse the results from a year ago.
Out of the 19 matches contested in men’s freestyle in the Final X series, only three four-point moves were scored. The first was at Final X Rutgers by Retherford in match two of his series, followed by Graff and Snyder, both in the second bouts of their series’ at Final X Lincoln.
In the 19 Final X men’s freestyle matches, only three techs were registered. One by Graff in his third bout. Another in Green’s (in 18 seconds) first match. Snyder has the final one in his second match against Gadson.
Burroughs made his ninth straight team, while Green and Snyder made their fifth straight. Cox made it for the fourth consecutive year and Gwiazdowski for a third. Retherford is the only one who had previously made a world team, yet had his streak interrupted. (He made the 2017 team and did not compete in 2018).
Gwiazdowski won both of his matches in 2019 on criteria 4-4 and 3-3. In the 48 series’ wrestled at Final X 2018 and 2019 (across all three styles), no other wrestler has won a series where their wins both came via criteria.
Of the ten members of the 2019 world team, Kayla Miracle is the only one who will be making her Senior level world team debut.
Adeline Gray has made her ninth world team during the 2009-19 team period. The two years where she did not compete at the world level were 2010 and 2017. Over that time, she has accumulated four world titles and six medals.
Alli Ragan made a world team for a seventh consecutive season, though she was unable to compete in Budapest in 2018. During her last two appearances at the World Championships, she has come away with silver medals.
The 2019 squad will feature three former members of King University (Ragan, Sarah Hildebrant, Forrest Molinari). There have been at least two on every team dating back to 2016 when Haley Augello made the Olympics and Hildebrant and Ragan competed at the World Championships for non-Olympic weights. 2017 – Augello, Ragan; 2018 – Hildebrandt, Molinari.
In four matches at two Final X events, Ragan has outscored her competition 29-0. Gray has not surrendered a point in any of her four Final X bouts, racking up two tech falls and two pins. Not to be outdone, Tamyra Mensah-Stock has outdistanced herself from her Final X opponents by the score of 30-0 which doesn’t include a fall either. Finally, Hildebrandt continued her unscored-upon streak from 2018 and has defeated her two Final X opponents by the combined score of 25-0.
Last year three of the ten Final X series’ went the full three matches, while only one did in 2019. This was at 65 kg between Molinari and Maya Nelson. Molinari dropped the first match then proceeded to take the next two.
Three of the ten team members train out of the Hawkeye Wrestling Club (Ragan, Miracle, Molinari), while two come from the Army WCAP (Whitney Conder, Jenna Burkert).
Only two of the 2019 series’ featured a rematch from 2018, with Conder/Victoria Anthony at 50 kg, and Miracle/Mallory Velte at 62. Conder prevailed in 2018, also, but she needed three matches to do so. Miracle lost in three matches last year, but was dominant this time.
Miracle’s win made her the first Campbellsville alum to secure a spot on the Senior world team. The school has only sponsored wrestling since the 2013-14 school year.
Indiana has two representatives on the team (Hildebrandt and Miracle), along with Illinois (Ragan and Victoria Francis), and California (Molinari and Jacarra Winchester).
Three of the ten Final X winners needed to go through the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament to earn their spot on the 2019 team (Burkert, Miracle, Francis).
Similar to the men’s freestyle matches, while a youth infusion on the Senior level is evident, women that wrestled at the 2019 WCWA National Championships combined to go 0-8. (Dom Parrish, Alex Glaude, Alyvia Fiske, Precious Bell).
For the second consecutive year the Miranda Medal winner has fallen in Final X. 2018 (Miracle) and 2019 (Parrish).
Four women were able to score in 2019 using a four-point move (Conder, Miracle, Mensah-Stock, Francis). Conder did so in both of her matches and was the only woman to do so more than once.
Francis is the only woman who emerged victorious after giving up the first points in both of her Final X matches.
The 2019 Greco squad will feature four first-time world team members in Max Nowry, Ryan Mango, Raymond Bunker, and John Stefanowicz.
Going by weight, from least to greatest, the first four members of the team are all members of the Army WCAP (Nowry, Ildar Hafizov, Mango, Ellis Coleman).
Coleman is the most senior wrestler on the team, having made his fifth World/Olympic team. Sort of, at least until our next item.
Hafizov made his second Senior World team for the United States; however, he was the representative at the World Championships for Uzbekistan on three occasions and also competed at the 2008 Olympic Games.
The 2019 team will also feature two Marines, Bunker, and Stefanowicz. Previously the last member of the Marine Corps to make a Greco team was Bryce Saddoris in 2015.
Four of the ten wrestlers originally hail from Illinois (Nowry, Coleman, Bunker, Joe Rau).
Only one of the ten Final X series’ went to three matches and that was Pat Smith over Kamal Bey at Final X Rutgers. Smith dropped the first match and rallied back with the next two wins.
Smith was also the only wrestler across all three styles that lost a match by tech, yet got the series win.
Over the three bouts between Smith and Bey, Bey ended up outscoring Smith 16-10, though Smith would get the win.
Two of the ten Final X series’ featured two wrestlers that had already made a Senior World team. 77 kg Smith/Bey and 87 kg Rau/Ben Provisor.
Three wrestlers that needed to go through the World Team Trial Challenge Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina ended up winning their respective Final X series’ (Hafizov, Smith, Stefanowicz).
There were no Greco wrestlers that went through both of their matches without giving up a point. Coleman, Bunker, and Coon only surrendered one point.
Nowry and Bey were the only two Greco competitors to hit a five-point throw in either Final X location.
After winning his Final X series, G’Angelo Hancock has now made three Senior World teams, to go along with three at the U23 level, three as a Junior, all since 2015.
Mango had to fight back from early deficits in both of his matches, 2-0 in match number one and 5-0 in the second bout. Stefanowicz also gave up the first points in both of his contests, though it was just one single point on both occasions.