With the first Final X event less than two weeks away, it’s hard to look at the matchups on the men’s freestyle side and ignore the possible youth movement that our world team could experience. Five (Daton Fix, Yianni Diakomihalis, Ryan Deakin, Bo Nickal, and Gable Steveson) of the 20 competitors were wrestling at the 2019 NCAA Championships, just over two months ago. The prevailing logic up until a few years ago, was that wrestlers would have to take a couple of years to adjust to training freestyle and get away from their folkstyle approach. Now since we have seen multiple US Olympians win medals with college eligibility remaining, the mindset has switched to “wrestling is wrestling and the best guys find a way to win.” Over the past ten years, there have been eleven world team members that had NCAA eligibility during the years in which they made their first world team. TOM has researched and found the circumstances surrounding these wrestlers making their world teams and documented how they fared at the world championships. In the case that a wrestler makes multiple world teams, then we have just noted their first appearance.
2017 - Thomas Gilman
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