A handful of wrestlers with connections to Nebraska helped Team USA win its first Freestyle World Cup title in 15 years in Iowa City, Iowa, Sunday evening.
Former Huskers Jordan Burroughs and James Green, current assistant coach Kendric Maple and Nebraska Wrestling Training Center athlete Dom Bradley went a combined 9-3 in the dual-style championship at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa.
University of Iowa alumnus Thomas Gilman, a Council Bluffs, Iowa, native who was a four-time Nebraska state champion at Omaha Skutt Catholic, posted a 2-2 record.
After finishing with a 3-0 record in Pool A, the United States defeated Azerbaijan by a score of 6-4 in the gold-medal match to win the team title, its first since 2003.
Team USA jump-started its championship run with a 10-0 victory against India Saturday morning. Seven USA wrestlers, including Green, Burroughs and Bradley won their individual matches by technical fall.
Trailing 3-0 to Japan in the second dual of the day, Green and Burroughs ignited a rally that would eventually lead to a 7-3 win for the United States. In the second match of the dual against Japan, Maple lost on criteria 2-2. He nearly scored a takedown in the final seconds, but was not awarded the two points.
On Sunday morning, Team USA clinched its spot in the gold-medal match with an 8-2 win against Georgia. Green and Burroughs both picked up shutout wins, with Burroughs earning his second technical fall of the weekend.
Maple again lost a close decision, this time by a score of 4-3.
In the gold-medal match against Azerbaijan, Maple picked up his first victory of the competition with a 6-2 decision.
With the United States up 2-1 following back-to-back victories, Green dropped his first match of the competition, losing by criteria 4-4.
In his sixth World Cup, Burroughs remained undefeated with a pin fall in his final match of the weekend, improving to 27-0.
The World Cup title for the United States comes just over seven months after it won the team title at the Freestyle World Championships. The United States brings its all-time World Cup title total to 14 with Sunday’s victory.
Cody is a senior journalism major at UNL. He grew up in Fairview, SD, a town of less than 70 people. Cody has covered a variety of Husker athletics, ranging from bowling to football. He has a passion for sports and an interest in telling stories and has developed a knack for sports data and looking deeper into statistics. He’s a fan of all Colorado sports teams. Cody and his fiancée Kaitlyn are engaged to be married in July 2018.