Reece Humphrey strikes gold again after winning University Nationals freestyle title
AKRON, Ohio - Nobody can blame Reece Humphrey if he decides to take a little time off this week.
Humphrey's busy and productive weekend concluded with another golden performance as he won the University Nationals freestyle championship at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. on Sunday afternoon.
Humphrey collected his second title of the event after winning a University Nationals Greco-Roman title on Friday at the University of Akron Field House.
A weary Humphrey rallied for a 0-1, 6-0, 6-1 win over David Marble in the freestyle finals. Humphrey was a World University silver medalist in freestyle in 2008 and an NCAA runner-up for Ohio State in 2009.
Humphrey won a tough, three-period match over Mike Thorn in the semifinals before coming back less than an hour later to beat the hard-nosed Marble, a national qualifier for Bucknell who went 3-2 at the 2009 NCAA tournament.
"He's a real strong, real physical kid," Humphrey said of Marble. "It seems like I just got off the mat about 10 minutes ago with Thorn. When I stepped on the mat for the finals, I wasn't totally focused. That's why I didn't get after it in the first period."
The first period was scoreless after the first two minutes and went to the leg clinch. Marble won the flip, but Humphrey broke free as the whistle blew. Marble quickly regrouped and scored on an inside trip to win the period.
The explosive Humphrey took charge in the final two periods, hitting several big moves to prevail. He put the match away with a body lock in the third period.
"I gave myself five seconds to be upset at myself about losing the first period," Humphrey said. "I just had to refocus and realize I can't let the second period go to the clinch again. I knew I had to get on him and score a couple of points."
Mack Lewnes was named Outstanding Wrestler after winning the title at 84 kg/185 lbs. Lewnes, an All-American from Cornell University, beat Zack Giesen 0-7, 5-2, 7-1 in the University Nationals finals.
"I got taken down and then teched in the first period, so I immediately had to change my strategy," Lewnes said. "I knew I couldn't get taken down again. I tried to wrestle smart after that. I was able to catch him a few times where I capitalized on some of his mistakes in the last couple of periods."
Lewnes was the No. 1 seed at the 2009 NCAA Championships, but went 0-2 in St. Louis after placing fourth in the nation in 2008 as a freshman.
"I got a little sick at NCAAs, but I'm not using that as an excuse at all," he said. "I usually have a very good gas tank and I felt dead after about a minute when I was wrestling. I was sick for four or five days before the tournament. I wrestled poorly, and I know I need to train harder next year."
Lewnes wrestled at 185 this weekend after competing at 165 during the college season.
"(Cornell Coach Rob) Koll said he wanted me to go out and have a tournament where I could just completely have fun and not worry about making weight," Lewnes said. "I actually was six pounds under - I weighed in at 179. He just told me to go out and have fun and that's what I did. I had a great time."
The top two finishers in the seven Olympic weight classes at the University Nationals qualify for the U.S. World Team Trials on May 30-31 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
One of the potential best finals matches didn't happen at 60 kg/132 lbs. Oklahoma State redshirt Jordan Oliver won by medical forfeit over past Oklahoma State NCAA champion Coleman Scott in the finals. That put both wrestlers into the World Team Trials. It also kept Franklin Gomez, a 2009 NCAA champion from Michigan State, out of a true second-place match.
Gomez lost to Scott in the third round, but wrestled back to finish third. If Scott would've beaten Oliver in the finals, Gomez could've challenged Oliver in a true second-place bout. The tournament is not seeded.
Gomez can still qualify for the World Team Trials by winning the Northern Plains Regional next month in Waterloo, Iowa or by gaining the one wild card selection that is allocated at each weight class for the Trials.
UNIVERSITY NATIONALS FREESTYLE - FINALS RESULTS
55 kg/121 lbs.
Zach Sanders (MN/Storm) dec. Tony Mustari (Bears Wrestling Club), 1-0, 4-1
60 kg/132 lbs.
Jordan Oliver (Gator Wrestling Club) won by medical forfeit over Coleman Scott (Gator Wrestling Club)
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Reece Humphrey (Ohio State) dec. David Marble (Bison Wrestling Club), 0-1, 6-0, 6-1
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Mario Mason (MN/Storm) dec. Kevin LeValley (Bison Wrestling Club), 1-0, 1-0
70 kg/154 lbs.
Brett Robbins (Panther Wrestling Club of NEIA) dec. Albert White (Unattached), 0-1, 2-0, 3-1
74 kg/163 lbs.
Lloyd Rogers (Unattached) dec. Ryan Morningstar (Hawkeye WC), 1-0, 4-2
79 kg/174 lbs.
Mike Benefiel (Unattached) dec. Justin Kerber (Cornell), 0-2, 4-0, 2-2
84 kg/185 lbs.
Mack Lewnes (Cornell) dec. Zack Giesen (DSWC-Stanford), 0-7, 5-2, 7-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Clayton Foster (Gator Wrestling Club) pinned Cameron Simaz (Cornell), 7-0,1:42
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Zack Rey (Lehigh Valley Athletic Club) dec. Jarod Trice (Central Michigan RTC), 1-0, 1-0