Two-time All-American Travis Paulson placed fourth at 74 kg. (163 pounds) in freestyle to pace Iowa State at the World Team Trials this weekend at the Tyson Events Center. Former three-time All-American and NCAA champion Zach Roberson finished fourth at 60 kg. (132 pounds). Nate and Nick Gallick competed at 60 kg., Mitch Mueller wrestled at 66 kg. (145.5 pounds) while Trent Paulson entered at 74 kg.
Travis Paulson faced a familiar foe, former Missouri two-time All-American and Big 12 champion Tyron Woodley in the first preliminary match. Woodley recently defeated Paulson at University Nationals in Evanston, Ill. Paulson avenged the loss, defeating Woodley, wrestling for Tiger Style Wrestling Club, 1-0, 1-0. Paulson's next opponent was eventual champion, Donny Pritzlaff of NYAC. Pritzlaff emerged as a victor in a hard-fought semifinal match, 2-0, 4-1. Paulson went on to decision NYAC's Ramiro Blackmon, 1-0, 1-0 in his preliminary consolation bout before winning by forfeit over his brother and fellow two-time All-American Trent. Former ISU four-time All-American and 2002 NCAA champion Joe Heskett put the clamps on Paulson in the battle for third place, winning a close match, 1-0, 1-0.
Roberson, the number one seed coming in to the Trials and
the U.S. Nationals champion in Las Vegas, defeated Cyclone redshirt freshman
Nick Gallick in his first match
before running into former Iowa wrestler Mike Zadick, who would topple Roberson
and become the eventual champion. Roberson won his first match against Josh Moore, a former Penn State All-American whom Roberson defeated for an NCAA title
in the 133-pound finals in 2004. Cliff Moore, a former Hawkeye two-time national
champion, beat Roberson in the third-place match, 1-0, 1-0.
Nate Gallick also defeated Josh Moore in the quarterfinals before running into Michael Lightner. Gallick, who was runner-up at the 2005 World Team Trials to Lightner, could not overcome the former Oklahoma grappler, as he was knocked out in the semifinals.
Nick Gallick, who claimed a freestyle title at the Northern Plains Regional to earn a bid to the World Team Trials, fell to Roberson in his first match and was eliminated by Cliff Moore in the consolation bracket.
Mitch Mueller of Iowa State, also a freestyle champion at the Northern Plains Regional and named outstanding wrestler, defeated former ISU national champion Aaron Holker, wrestling for the U.S. Army in his first bout at 66 kg. Mueller will be a redshirted freshman for the Cyclones this season.
Seventh-seeded Trent Paulson pulled one of the tournament's biggest upsets by defeating second-seeded Joe Williams, a 2005 World Bronze medalist, in his first match at 74 kg. The freestyle loss was only Williams' second to an American wrestler since 2000. Paulson fell to former Oklahoma State four-time All-American Tyrone Lewis before his forfeit to brother Travis.
Three-time World team member and newly appointed interim Tennessee-Chattanooga head coach Chris Bono, the No. 1 seed at 66 kg., placed fourth while former ISU three-time NCAA qualifier Matt Azevedo was third at 55 kg. (121 pounds). Former three-time NCAA qualifier Grant Nakamura earned a win in his bracket at 55 kg.