Husker commit Antrell Taylor has been a busy man. A week after dominating at the Ultimate Club Duals, Taylor traveled to Wisconsin to compete in the UWW Cadet World Team Trials at 71kg with a trip to compete in the World Championships in Budapest in July on the line.
The future Husker started hot as he won his first three matches by tech fall. He downed Grant Mackay 13-3 in the Round of 64 before beating Holden Garcia 12-2 in the Round of 32. In the Round of 16, Taylor beat Gaetano Console 10-0.
In the quarterfinal, Taylor faced off against high school freshman Joseph Sealey who also came into the match after three wins by tech fall. Sealey scored the first takedown, but Taylor evened things up with a takedown of his own. Taylor then tried throwing Sealey with a headlock but slipped off the position and Sealey took advantage, putting Taylor on his back before eventually getting the pinfall just before the first period ended.
In the consolation bracket, Taylor beat Jared Keslar 11-4 before defeating Thor Michaelson 10-0 via tech fall to earn a spot in the consolation semis. Taylor was dominated in that matchup by Braeden Scoles, who scored two 4-point moves when he lifted Taylor off the mat for the emphatic takedowns, eventually earning the 12-2 tech fall win over Taylor.
With the loss, Taylor fell to the 5th-place match against Sealey. With another crack at the freshman, Taylor wasted little time making sure he got the win as he scored two early takedowns and finished him with a series of gut-wrench turns in 46 seconds.
Taylor went 6-2 on the weekend for 5th place.
Kael Lauridsen takes 2nd
Another Nebraska native, Kael Lauridsen of Bennington, fell just short of a World Team bid at 55kg.
The sophomore who’s already won two Class B state titles at Bennington, Lauridsen will most certainly be a priority target for the Huskers going forward, especially after this weekend.
Lauridsen won his first two matches via 10-0 tech falls before shutting out Grigor Cholakyan 8-0 in the quarterfinal round. In the semis, Lauridsen was tied up 3-all with Clayton Giddens after the first period before a wild second period that saw Lauridsen score big early with a takedown and three gut-wrench turns to go up 11-3. Giddens scored a point on a reversal and a late push-out, but Lauridsen scored a late takedown to earn the 13-5 win.
In the best-of-three final, Lauridsen faced the No. 5-ranked wrestler in the country and the highest ranked wrestler in the bracket in Spencer Moore. In the first match, Lauridsen took a 2-0 first-period lead with two push-outs before going up 3-0 with another push-out early in the second. Lauridsen and Moore traded takedowns before another Lauridsen push-out point to earn the 6-2 win to open the series.
In Match 2, Lauridsen again was up after the first period, this time 2-0. But a pair of 4-point moves by Moore in the second put the match out of reach as Lauridsen dropped his first match of the weekend 11-4.
In the third and final match, Lauridsen went up 1-0 with a push-out, but Moore scored a takedown to take a narrow 2-1 lead into the break. The second period ended scoreless with Moore fending off Lauridsen’s last-ditch efforts.
Lauridsen went 5-2 on the weekend for 2nd place.