Lincoln to Host Final X Freestyle Event
USA Wrestling and FloSports announced Thursday that Lincoln has been selected to host one of three cities to host a Final X event to determine the 2018 U.S. Senior World Teams in men’s and women’s freestyle. The event will be held on June 9 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.
Four men's weight classes will contest a tournament to determine the World Team member at that weight class, as will three women's weight classes. The men's freestyle weight classes that will be contested in Lincoln include 57 kg, 70 kg, 74 kg, 97 kg. The women at the 55 kg, 59 kg and 68 kg weight classes will also battle to represent the United States.
Former Husker greats Jordan Burroughs (74 kg) and James Green (70 kg) are expected to compete at the Final X event in Lincoln.
2018 will mark the second year in a row in which the Devaney Center will hold a qualifying event for the USA Wrestling World Team. Lincoln hosted the 2017 USA Wrestling Men's Freestyle World Team Trials, where Burroughs and Green both won their finals series to make the World Team. The pair both won medals at the 2017 World Championships, as Burroughs won his fourth World gold medal, while Green earned a silver medal in August.
“The 2017 World Team Trials in Lincoln was one of our best events ever,” USA Wrestling Executive Director Rich Bender said. “It proved that this great community loves and supports wrestling. With hometown heroes like Jordan Burroughs and James Green battling to make Team USA, 2018 promises to be another great showcase for our sport. Special thanks to (Nebraska Head Coach) Mark Manning, (Nebraska Associate Head Coach) Bryan Synder and the spectacular group of organizers that have worked tirelessly to bring this Final X event to the University of Nebraska.”
The Team Selection procedures for the U.S. World Teams in both styles allow for 2017 Senior World medalists to advance directly to Final X under certain conditions. In men’s freestyle, the 2017 World medalist would have to compete in the same weight class as at the 2017 Worlds. In women’s freestyle, the World medalist would have to compete in a specific weight class set by the Team Selection procedures.
Based upon these procedures, six athletes could advance directly to the Final X event in Lincoln at the specified weights. Included are 2017 World champions Burroughs and Kyle Snyder (97 kg men), 2017 World silver medalists Green, Thomas Gilman (57 kg) and Alli Ragan (59 kg women), and 2017 World bronze medalist Becka Leathers (55 kg).
In weight classes which do not have a 2017 World medalist who qualifies for Final X directly, the winner of the 2018 U.S. Open in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 26-28, will advance to Final X. The Final X field will be finalized at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament for men’s and women’s freestyle, set for Rochester, Minn., May 18-20. Both the U.S. Open and the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament will air live and on-demand only on FloWrestling.com.
Lincoln has hosted past USA Wrestling events, including the 2017 Freestyle World Team Trials at the Bob Devaney Center. Other USA Wrestling events held in Lincoln were the UWW Junior National Championships in 2000, 2001 and 2004, and the Cadet National Championships in 1995. Many other major wrestling events have been in Lincoln, including the 2000 and 2009 Big 12 Championships and five Big 8 Championships (1960, 1971, 1982, 1990, 1995).
The two other Final X events will be held on June 16 in State College, Pa. and June 23 in Bethlehem, Pa.