Final X Results (2018-22)
Thomas Gilman (right) and Daton Fix at Final X Lincoln in 2018 (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
As we move closer to Final X (June 10th), we’ll have previews and special features on the actual matchups that will take place from Newark’s Prudential Center. Before then, let’s take a look back at the results from every Final X match throughout the three years of the event.
Final X Stillwater
57 kg: Thomas Gilman over Vito Arujau (12-2, 14-2)
61 kg: Seth Gross over Daton Fix (5-5, 5-4, 9-5)
70 kg: Zain Retherford over Jordan Oliver (8-3, 4-5, 4-3)
92 kg: J’den Cox over Nate Jackson (4-2, 2-3, 3-0)
97 kg: Kyle Snyder over Kollin Moore (11-0, 12-2)
55 kg: Jacarra Winchester over Jenna Burkert (4-6, Injury Default)
59 kg: Abby Nette over Lexie Bashman (12-4, 8-5)
65 kg: Mallory Velte over Forrest Molinari (9-1, 1-3, 10-0)
68 kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock over Sienna Ramirez (14-3, 10-0)
76 kg: Dymond Guilford over Yelena Makoyed (10-5, 12-2)
55 kg: Max Nowry over Brady Koontz (1-1, 1-1)
63 kg: Jesse Thielke over Sammy Jones (4-4, 3-2)
72 kg: Benji Peak over Patrick Smith (3-5, 3-2, 6-2)
82 kg: Ben Provisor over Spencer Woods (8-0, 5-3)
130 kg: Cohlton Schultz over Tanner Farmer (5-1, 5-2)
Final X NYC
65 kg: Yianni Diakomihalis over Evan Henderson (11-9, 14-4)
74 kg: Kyle Dake over Jason Nolf (4-2, 2-1)
79 kg: Jordan Burroughs over Chance Marsteller (4-0, 2-2, 5-0)
86 kg: David Taylor over Zahid Valencia (4-2, 10-0)
125 kg: Hayden Zillmer over Nick Gwiazdowski (0-5, 4-3, 5-5)
50 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt over Alyssa Lampe (10-0, 10-0)
53 kg: Dom Parrish over Felicity Taylor (7-2, 8-2)
57 kg: Helen Maroulis over Alex Hedrick (10-0, 10-0)
72 kg: Amit Elor over Skylar Grote (10-0, 10-0)
60 kg: Ildar Hafizov over Dalton Roberts (11-7, 2-3, 4-1)
67 kg: Alex Sancho over Alston Nutter (10-9, 5-2)
77 kg: Kamal Bey over Britton Holmes (Fall 5:12, 10-0)
87 kg: Alan Vera over Timothy Young (Fall 1:00, 9-1)
97 kg: G’Angelo Hancock over Braxton Amos (8-0, 8-2)
Special Wrestle-Off (Lancaster)
62 kg: Kayla Miracle over Jennifer Page (2-13, 12-2, 5-3)
Final X Rutgers
65 kg: Zain Retherford over Yianni Diakomihalis (10-4, 6-6)
****Special Wrestle-Off Needed: Won by Retherford, 2-1
86 kg: Patrick Downey over David Taylor (Forfeit)
92 kg: J’den Cox over Bo Nickal (4-2, 5-0)
125 kg: Nick Gwiazdowski over Gable Steveson (4-4, 3-3)
50 kg: Whitney Conder over Victoria Anthony (7-4, Fall 1:57)
57 kg: Jenna Burkert over Becka Leathers (4-2, 5-0)
65 kg: Forrest Molinari over Maya Nelson (3-5, 12-2, 4-1)
68 kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock over Alex Glaude (Fall 4:50, 10-0)
72 kg - Victoria Francis over Alyvia Fiske (7-2, Fall 3:30)
55 kg: Max Nowry over Brady Koontz (3-0, 11-5)
67 kg: Ellis Coleman over Jamel Johnson (Fall 4:05, 6-0)
77 kg: Patrick Smith over Kamal Bey (2-11, 2-1, 6-3)
82 kg: John Stefanowicz over Kendrick Sanders (8-5, 3-2)
87 kg: Joe Rau over Ben Provisor (2-1, 5-1)
Final X Lincoln
57 kg: Daton Fix over Thomas Gilman (9-1, 2-3, 6-3)
61 kg: Tyler Graff over Joe Colon (4-6, 9-2, 12-2)
70 kg: James Green over Ryan Deakin (11-0, 4-2)
74 kg: Jordan Burroughs over Isaiah Martinez (5-4, 5-6, 7-1)
97 kg: Kyle Snyder over Kyven Gadson (4-0, 12-1)
53 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt over Katherine Shai (3-0, 8-0)
55 kg: Jacarra Winchester over Dom Parrish (10-0, 8-3)
59 kg: Alli Ragan over Lauren Louive (10-0, 10-0)
62 kg: Kayla Miracle over Mallory Velte (12-2, 4-0)
76 kg: Adeline Gray over Precious Bell (Fall 1:57, 10-0)
60 kg: Ildar Hafizov over Leslie Fuenffinger (7-5, 9-0)
63 kg: Ryan Mango over Xavier Johnson (13-2, 6-5)
72 kg: Raymond Bunker over Alex Mossing (3-1, 7-0)
97 kg: G’Angelo Hancock over Lucas Sheridan (8-0, 5-2)
130 kg: Adam Coon over Cohlton Schultz (8-0, 5-1)
Special Wrestle-Off (Round Rock)
79 kg: Kyle Dake over Alex Dieringer (3-2, 4-2)
Final X Lincoln
57 kg: Thomas Gilman over Daton Fix (6-3, 2-1)
70 kg: James Green over Jason Chamberlain (2-0, 2-1)
74 kg: Jordan Burroughs over Isaiah Martinez (4-1, 11-1)
97 kg: Kyle Snyder over Kyven Gadson (9-0, 10-2)
55 kg: Jacarra Winchester over Becka Leathers (10-6, 5-1)
59 kg: Alli Ragan over Jenna Burkert (4-0, 5-0)
68 kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock over Randi Beltz (10-0, 10-0)
Final X State College
65 kg: Logan Stieber over Joey McKenna (8-8, 8-0)
79 kg: Kyle Dake over Zahid Valencia (4-0, 4-3)
86 kg: David Taylor over Nick Reenan (13-2, 10-0)
62 kg: Mallory Velte over Kayla Miracle (2-4, 4-2, 7-1)
72 kg: Erin Clodgo over Rachel Watters (4-2, 0-8, 4-4)
76 kg: Adeline Gray over Korinahe Bullock (10-0, Fall 1:04)
Final X Bethlehem
61 kg: Nahshon Garrett over Joe Colon (5-7, 10-5, 12-0)
92 kg: J’den Cox over Hayden Zillmer (5-2, 10-0)
125 kg: Nick Gwiazdowski over Adam Coon (6-1, 6-1)
50 kg: Whitney Conder over Victoria Anthony (10-4, 2-4, 11-0)
53 kg: Sarah Hildebrandt over Haley Augello (6-0, 8-0)
65 kg: Forrest Molinari over Julia Salata (5-0, 10-2)
Special Wrestle-Off (Bethlehem)
57 kg: Helen Maroulis over Alex Hedrick (10-0, 12-0)
Reviewing the Last Ten #1 Ranked Recruiting Classes
Jesse Mendez, one of the cornerstones of Ohio State recruiting class of 2022 (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
We’re ever-so-close to releasing team recruiting rankings. It seems like forever, I know! Before we get to those, let’s take a look back at how the last ten #1 overall recruiting classes actually panned out in college.
The general consensus is that these recruiting classes either played integral parts in a team title or helped elevate a team from good to team trophy contender. Or it’s too early to tell.
One would expect with an exercise like this that the Big Ten would dominate and generally that’s the case. However, four different conferences have seen one of their teams earn the top spot during the last decade.
During the last ten recruiting cycles, four different Big Ten teams have assumed the number one slot in InterMat’s recruiting rankings: Penn State (x3), Ohio State (x2), Iowa, and Michigan. Arizona State, NC State and Oklahoma State have all earned top billing once.
Below we’re looked at the #1 recruiting class each year for the last decade, highlighting some of the key recruits and their ranking at the time. There’s also a brief summary of how this class impacted their respective schools.
2022: Ohio State
The Class: #1 Nick Feldman (PA), #4 Jesse Mendez (IN), #5 Nic Bouzakis (FL), #22 Luke Geog (OH), #50 Seth Shumate (OH), #131 Gavin Brown (OH)
It’s still too early to make judgments on this class, but there’s plenty of potential. Jesse Mendez already earned All-American honors, while Nick Feldman and Nic Bouzakis have flashed high-AA potential. Two years down the road, I think this class starts living up to the hype.
2021: Penn State
The Class: #2 Alex Facundo (MI), #5 Shayne Van Ness (NJ), #55 Gary Steen (PA), #76 Luke Cochran (UT), Max Dean (Cornell - transfer)
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Final X 2023 Facts and Trends
Jordan Burroughs at Final X NYC in 2022 (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)
Last weekend, the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament was held and determined the last 17 wrestlers to qualify for Final X. Established in 2018, Final X has become a hallmark of the domestic international season. As its name suggests, Final X is the last step in qualification for our Senior world team members.
Each edition of Final X has a bit of a different twist. The initial Final X did not include Greco-Roman and took place on the campus of three different schools, in three consecutive weeks. 2019 added Greco and cut down on sites to two. After Covid and the Olympic Trials interrupted 2021, the event returned last year. For the first time, Final X was held at two different venues, but in the same week. It also ventured off-campus for the first time, going to Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater, a few days after Oklahoma State’s Gallagher-Iba Arena.
There are a few new wrinkles to Final X 2023. For the first time, Final X will take place at one site on one day. There will be three mats; one for each style. In addition, Newark’s Prudential Center is the first full-sized arena to host the event. Last year’s Hulu Theater has a capacity of between 2-5k based on the event. The Prudential Center has room for 16,000 fans in its hockey configuration. Hopefully, its proximity to a handful of great wrestling states will result in a large amount of those seats being filled.
Since we know who’s wrestling in Final X, it’s a good time to look back at some of the trends that have emerged from the first three iterations of the event, along with some new ones that we can find based on the 60 participants for 2023.
These are the only wrestlers to appear in every edition of Final X. This will be the fourth incarnation of Final X for men’s and women’s freestyle, while only the third for Greco-Roman.
Men’s Freestyle: Thomas Gilman, Kyle Dake, Jordan Burroughs, J’den Cox, Kyle Snyder, Nick Gwiazdowski
Women’s Freestyle: Sarah Hildebrandt, Jacarra Winchester, Kayla Miracle, Mallory Velte, Forrest Molinari
Greco-Roman: Brady Koontz, Ildar Hafizov, Pat Smith, Kamal Bey, Cohlton Schultz
Kyle Dake, Jordan Burroughs, Sarah Hildebrandt, and Jacarra Winchester all have the opportunity to win their fourth Final X series in 2023. J’den Cox and Kyle Snyder do as well; however, they’ll square off against each other at 97 kg.
J’den Cox, Sarah Hildebrandt, Jacarra Winchester, and Forrest Molinari will all be wrestling a fourth different opponent in four different Final X’s.
Conversely, Jordan Burroughs has only had two opponents (Chance Marsteller and Isaiah Martinez) during four Final X appearances.
There have been 18 Final X Series’ that went three matches. 9 of those came in 2022.
Nine of the three-match series have seen the winner lose the first bout.
For the third consecutive Final X, Ildar Hafizov will wrestle an Army WCAP teammate. He’ll wrestle Dalton Roberts for a second consecutive year after wrestling Leslie Fuenffinger in 2019.
Aside from yet another chapter in the Hafizov/Roberts dynasty, the only other Greco series that is a rematch from a past year is at 130 kg with Cohlton Schultz and Adam Coon. The two met back in 2019 and Coon won in two straight matches.
Nick Lee and Aaron Brooks will be the fifth and sixth Penn State alums who have qualified for Final X since its inception joining, Zain Retherford, Jason Nolf, David Taylor, and Bo Nickal.
Final X Newark will feature four Penn State alums and four Cornell alums. There will be an all-Cornell match at 61 kg MFS (Vito Arujau and Nahshon Garrett) and an all-Penn State match at 86 kg MFS (David Taylor and Aaron Brooks).
That has happened twice with Ohio State grads as Kyle Snyder and Kollin Moore wrestled at 97 kg last year and Logan Stieber and Joey McKenna battled at 65 kg in 2018.
Eight of the 20 men’s freestyle contestants in Final X train out of the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. Two will be going head-to-head with Taylor/Brooks and Kyle Dake versus Jason Nolf. On the women’s freestyle side, Jennifer Page also trains out of the NLWC.
Nahshon Garrett will have an opportunity to make and wrestle in his first World Championship event in this edition of Final X, despite winning in his only previous appearance. Garrett defeated Joe Colon in 2018, but had to pull out of the World Championship process due to injury. Colon replaced him and came away with a bronze medal. Prior to the 2022 World Championships, he was the only wrestler to win a Final X series, yet not compete at world’s. That changed last year as G’Angelo Hancock, Jesse Thielke, and Ben Provisor all did not wrestle at world’s after winning Final X.
Most of the men’s freestyle participants were extremely highly ranked recruits coming out of high school. The biggest disparity between recruiting rankings in this year’s matchups comes at 92 kg. Zahid Valencia was considered the top recruit in the high school Class of 2015, while his opponent Mike Macchiavello was largely unknown coming to NC State as a walk-on.
Jordan Burroughs, Kayla Miracle, Mallory Velte, and Forrest Molinari are all tied for the most individual Final X matches since the format was introduced. Each has wrestled in eight matches during their previous three appearances.
The meeting between J’den Cox and Kyle Snyder at 97 kg in men’s freestyle is the only match between past Senior world medalists among all three styles.
Zahid Valencia has now qualified for Final X at three different weights (92 kg, 86/2022, 79/2018). That hasn’t been done before in men’s freestyle or Greco-Roman. Jenna Burkert did it in women’s freestyle (55/2022, 57/2019, 59/2018).
Nebraska alums are now 5-0 in Final X series’ (Jordan Burroughs 3-0 and James Green 2-0). Could Tyler Berger carry on this trend at 70 kg in MFS?
There is at least one Army WCAP wrestler in each of the first seven Greco-Roman weights. Eight total.
Three wrestlers changed weights from the US Open to the World Team Trials and ended up qualifying for Final X. Zahid Valencia, Jennifer Page and Emma Bruntil.
Our women’s freestyle matches are bookended by a pair of bouts with significant age disparities. 50 kg features high school junior Audrey Jimenez against Sarah Hildebrandt. Jimenez was a U17 world team member last year, while Hildebrandt made the Junior (U20) team in 2013. At 76 kg, Adeline Gray made her first Senior World team (2009) a few weeks after Kennedy Blades’ sixth birthday.
Men’s freestyle has seven first-time Final X participants. Women’s freestyle has 10. Greco-Roman has 8.
Just because women’s freestyle has the most first-time Final X qualifiers, doesn’t mean they are inexperienced in big situations. Three of those 10 first-time participants have Cadet/Junior world titles to their name (Katie Gomez, Macey Kilty, Kennedy Blades).
Both men’s heavyweight matches feature a big man that attended Michigan (Mason Parris and Adam Coon).
Additionally, both men’s heavyweight matches feature competitors that are highly decorated on the age-group level. Both Parris and Gable Steveson were Junior world champions, while Coon and Schultz were Cadet world champions (Coon’s was in freestyle).
California has always been a powerhouse for women’s wrestling. That’s evident here as seven of the ten matches feature at least one woman from California. The 53 kg contest between Dom Parrish and Katie Gomez pits a pair of California natives against each other.
The most dominant wrestler in the history of Final X? Try Sarah Hildebrandt. She is the only wrestler that has participated in all three previous Final X’s and has yet to surrender a single point.
2018 vs. Haley Augello: 6-0, 8-0
2019 vs. Katherine Shai: 3-0, 8-0
2022 vs. Alyssa Lampe: 10-0, 10-0
The only wrestler with more than one fall during their Final X “career” is Adeline Gray. She pinned Korinahe Bullock in match two in 2018 and Precious Bell in their first bout in 2019.