It is USA Wrestling week in Las Vegas, as the 2018 Marine Corps Open Wrestling Championships will be held at the South Point Hotel and Casino, April 24-28.
This is one of the largest and most popular wrestling events held each year, with a number of major competitions held together. The events featured in the Marine Corps Open Wrestling Championships this year include:
- 2018 Marine Corps U.S. Senior Nationals (all three OIympic styles)
- 2018 Marine Corps Masters Nationals in freestyle and Greco-Roman (ages 25 and up)
- 2018 Marine Corps UWW Men’s Junior Nationals in freestyle and Greco-Roman (ages 17-20)
- 2018 Marine Corps Western Regionals (all ages, from Bantam to Junior)
- 2018 Marine Corps Grappling World Team Trials (Senior-level)
As always, the showcase event is the U.S. Senior Nationals, which is the annual Olympic-level national championship in the three Olympic styles of men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. Of special note is that fact that the number of weight classes in each style has been increased to 10, making this the largest U.S. Open in terms of weight classes in history with 30 Senior gold medals being awarded.
Among the star athletes who have registered for the U.S. Senior Nationals this year are 2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner (men’s freestyle 130 kg), three-time World champion Adeline Gray (women’s freestyle 76 kg), 2016 World champion Logan Stieber (men’s freestyle 65 kg), 2016 Olympic bronze medalist J’den Cox (men’s freestyle 92 kg), two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (Greco-Roman 87 kg), plus 2016 Olympians Jesse Thielke (Greco-Roman 63 kg) and Robby Smith (Greco-Roman 130 kg).
This is the major qualifying event in the process to determine the 2018 U.S. Senior World Team, which will compete in Budapest, Hungary in October. Although the system is different this year in men’s and women’s freestyle, “the Open” will advance more athletes to the next stage of team selection than any event of the year.
This year, men’s and women’s freestyle are part of Final X, the exciting three-event series set for Lincoln, Neb. on June 9, State College, Pa. on June 16 and Bethlehem, Pa on June 23 created by USA Wrestling and Flowrestling. Only the top two athletes in each weight earn the right to advance to Final X. Eight athletes who were 2017 World medalists have already advanced to Final X and are not expected at the Open in Las Vegas this year.
In the weight classes where there were no World medalists, the 2018 U.S. Open champion advances to Final X. Those weight classes include men’s freestyle (57 kg, 70 kg, 74 kg, 97 kg, 130 kg) and women’s freestyle (55 kg, 57 kg, 59 kg).
In the weights where a World medalist has already reached Final X, the U.S. Open champion advances directly to the finals of the Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge Tournament in Rochester, Minn., May 18-20. Those weight classes include men’s freestyle (61 kg, 65 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 92 kg) and women’s freestyle (50 kg, 53 kg, 62 kg, 65 kg, 68 kg, 72 kg, 76 kg).
In men’s freestyle, the top seven at each weight class at the U.S. Open advance to the Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, while in women’s freestyle, the top five in each weight class advance to the Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.
In Greco-Roman, the nation’s best athletes are expected in Las Vegas, as the top seven athletes in each weight class will advance to the Greco-Roman World Team Trials in Tulsa, Okla., June 21-22. The U.S. Open champion in each of the 10 Greco-Roman weight classes advance directly to the best-of-three Championship Series at the Greco-Roman World Team Trials.
The last U.S. Open in men’s freestyle was in April 2017, while the last U.S. Open in Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle was held in December 2016, both also hosted in Las Vegas.
USA Wrestling has instituted a new policy, in which media who wish to cover any USA Wrestling national or regional event must pass a background check and take SafeSport training from the U.S. Center for Safe Sport. Any journalist wishing to cover the U.S. Open should immediately call Gary Abbott of USA Wrestling at 719-659-9637 to get this process started (which can take up to three days for approval).
The other events in the Open Championships are very important within wrestling as well.
The 2018 UWW Men’s Junior Nationals in freestyle and Greco-Roman will qualify athletes for the UWW Junior World Team Trials in each style. The UWW Men’s Freestyle World Team Trials are in Rochester, Minn., May 18-20. The UWW Greco-Roman World Team Trials are in Indianapolis, Ind. on June 8. This year’s UWW Junior World Championships are in
The 2018 Grappling World Team Trials will select the U.S. team in both No-Gi and Gi Grappling for the UWW Grappling World Championships, which are expected to be held in Kazakhstan in the fall.
The 2018 Masters Nationals in freestyle and Greco-Roman is the annual national championships for adults over 25, with a variety of age levels. This event attracts top American wrestlers, but also athletes from other nations are expected to participate.
The 2018 Western Regionals is expected to be the largest on USA Wrestling’s Regional calendar, with athletes from seven-years-old up to high school seniors, covering six different age groups and all three wrestling styles.
Fans can see the action live on FloWrestling in all age levels except the Western Juniors, which will be live on TrackWrestling.
Click below for complete schedules of each event at the Marine Corps Open Championships:
MARINE CORPS U.S SENIOR NATIONALS
At South Point Arena, April 24-28
Event schedule (all Pacific time zone)
Thursday, April 26
9:00 a.m. – Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle preliminaries through quarterfinals
6:00 p.m. – Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle preliminaries semifinals and consolation rounds 1-4
Friday, April 27
9:00 a.m. – Greco-Roman women women’s freestyle consolation semifinals, 3rd, 5th, 7th place bouts
9:00 a.m. – Men’s freestyle preliminaries through quarterfinals, plus consolations
5:00 p.m. – Men’s freestyle semifinals
7:00 p.m. – Greco-Roman women women’s freestyle finals
Saturday, April 28
9:00 a.m. – Men’s freestyle consolation round 6, consolation semifinals, 3rd, 5th, 7th place bouts
3:00 p.m. – Men’s freestyle finals
Men’s freestyle returning champions (April 2017)*
57 kg/125.5 lbs.– Anthony Ramos (Sunkist Kids)
61 kg/134 lbs. – Kendric Maple (Titan Mercury WC)
65 kg/143 lbs.– Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids)
70 kg/154 lbs.– James Green (Titan Mercury WC)
74 kg/163 lbs.– Jordan Burroughs (Sunkist Kids)
86 kg/189 lbs.– David Taylor (Titan Mercury WC)
97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyven Gadson (Sunkist Kids)
125 kg/275 lbs.– Nick Gwiazdowski (Titan Mercury WC)
Women’s freestyle returning champions (Dec. 2016)*
48 kg/105.5 lbs.– Victoria Anthony (Sunkist Kids)
53 kg/116.5 lbs.– Whitney Conder (U.S. Army WCAP)
55 kg/121 lbs.– Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids)
58 kg/128 lbs.– Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Jenna Burkert (U.S. Army WCAP)
63 kg/138.75 lbs.– Jennifer Page (Titan Mercury WC)
69 kg/152 lbs.– Elena Pirozhkova (Titan Mercury WC)
75 kg/165 lbs. – Erin Clodgo (Sunkist Kids)
Greco-Roman returning champions (Dec. 2016)*
59 kg/130 lbs. – Hayden Tuma (U.S. Army WCAP)
66 kg/145 lbs. – Ellis Coleman (U.S. Army WCAP)
71 kg/156 lbs. – Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm)
75 kg/165 lbs.- Kamal Bey (Sunkist Kids)
80 kg/176 lbs.- Cheney Haight (NYAC)
85 kg/187 lbs.- Kevin Radford (Sunkist Kids)
98 kg/215.5 lbs.- G’Angelo Hancock (NYAC)
130 kg/286 lbs.- Toby Erickson (U.S. Army WCAP)
* Please note that the weight classes have changed and expanded to 10 per style