RALEIGH, N.C. – Utah Valley University redshirt sophomore Taylor LaMont led a trio of Wolverine grapplers at the World Team Trails Challenge Tournament in Raleigh, North Carolina, over the weekend by claiming a true second-place bout to qualify to the U.S. National Team in Men's Senior Greco-Roman wrestling.
The fourth-seeded LaMont, who missed the 2018-19 campaign for the Wolverines with an injury, posted a 4-1 record at the tournament en route to placing third and then going on to win a true second-place match to qualify for the national team at 60 kilos in Greco-Roman. After opening with a 12-0 win over Liam Cronin (Hoosier WC), LaMont then fell in the semis to the 2017 U.S. Senior World Team member and four-time World and Olympic rep for Uzbekistan Ildar Hafizov, 10-0.
LaMont then responded with a 10-1 win over Bruce Hrynciw (Marines) in the consolation semifinal bout to advance to the third-place match against Dalton Roberts (New York AC). The UVU 2018 NCAA qualifier then defeated Roberts to place third at the World Team Trials and advance to a true second-place bout against runner-up Randon Miranda (New York AC). LaMont then capped his stellar weekend with a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Miranda to post the true second-place win and earn a national team spot.
Fellow UVU grappler Dylan Gregerson too took part in the Senior Greco World Team Trial at 63 kilos, while 2019 NCAA qualifier and Wolverine heavyweight Tate Orndorff -- who had qualified to compete in both Greco and freestyle -- decided to skip the Greco tournament to focus solely on the Freestyle World Team Trial at 125 kilos.
The rising Utah Valley sophomore Gregerson also had a strong Greco tournament by placing third in his weight class at 63 KG with a 5-2 record. After pulling out a 5-1 win over Lewis Baker in his opening match, the sixth-seeded Gregerson then dropped a 6-2 contest to Xavier Johnson (Marines) in the quarterfinals. He then bounced back, however, with four straight wins to place third in his weight class and advance into a true second-place bout. Gregerson pulled out wins over David Stepanian, Jon Massey and Lillashawn Coleman during the stretch, and capped his winning streak alive with a 4-2 win over Travis Rice (Illini WC) in the third-place bout. Then in the true second-place match against the runner-up Sam Jones of New York Athletic Club, Gregerson dropped a tightly contested 5-2 match to end his tournament run just one win shy of making the national team.Comment on this story
After skipping the Greco tournament, UVU 2019 NCAA qualifier Orndorff finished the Senior Men's Freestyle tournament with a 1-2 outing against tough competition. After opening with a 9-1 setback to Garrett Ryan (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club), Orndorff then responded with a big 4-2 victory over former Penn State All-American Nick Nevills to move on in the consolation rounds. He then had his tournament cut short with a hard-fought 6-2 setback to two-time All-American Youssif Hemida of Maryland, who Orndorff fell to at the NCAA Championships in March.
By making the Men's Senior National Team, LaMont has now qualified for a spot on the Greco-Roman National Team for the seventh consecutive year after previously qualifying three years for the Cadet Team (2013-2015) and three more on the Junior Team (2016-2018).
To view the results from the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, visit FloWrestling.org.