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2018 Bill Farrell Surprise Performances

04/04/2018, 1:15pm EDT
By Michael Willis

61 kg                                                                                                 

Jon Morrison had a short but exceptional tournament, and came home with a title. After receiving a bye and a forfeit, Morrison found himself in the semi-finals without even wrestling a match. There he defeated 2018 NCAA Champion and former Junior World Team member, Seth Gross, 6-4. The win moved him into the finals against top seeded Tyler Graff. Graff was a member of the 2016/2017 National Team at 57 kg, and the top seed at last year’s World Team Trials also at 57 kg. In a tight battle, Morrison emerged victorious, 6-5. This is Morrison’s first senior level gold medal.

74 kg                                                                                           

Tommy Gantt rattled off three wins in a row to earn his Bill Farrell title. He defeated Nestor Taffur 6-3 to open the tournament. In his semi-final match he was pitted against former World Silver Medalist at 65 kg, Franklin Gomez. The bumped up Gomez was no match for Gantt, who took the bout 11-7. In the finals he faced a staple on the US freestyle scene, Dan Vallimont. Gannt dominated the match 11-0 and earned his first senior level gold medal.

92 KG                                                                                               

The last time wrestling fans saw Kenny Courts compete was at the 2016 NCAA Championship. Although looking a little rusty, Courts exceeded expectations earning a 2nd place finish. He defeated Nikko Reyes 17-6 in his opening match. In the quarterfinals he defeated Tajikistan’s Salim Hajimovich 10-0. In the semi-finals he faced stiff competition in the form of Russian’s Junior World Champion, Arsen-ali Musalaiev. Down 9-0 late, Courts hit a Hail Mary cement mixer for a pin, pushing himself into the finals. He fell to Chilayev Iliskhan of Kazakhstan 16-6 to end his tournament. However, this is an extremely promising start to Courts’s freestyle career.

97 KG                                                                                             

Deron Winn’s wrestling career appeared over when he began to compete in MMA. However, that appears to be no longer the case. Winn placed 2nd at the Farrell. He took out Blaize Cabell in the first round, 2-1. Due to receiving a bye in a small bracket, his win put him in the finals where he dropped a 4-2 match to U23 World Bronze Medalist, Ty Walz. It will be interesting to see how Winn will balance MMA and wrestling going forward.



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