Another year, another World Team for this Husker duo.
Jordan Burroughs has been on every World Team for Team USA since 2011, while James Green will be going to his sixth World Championships. This will be Burroughs’ 10th Olympic or World Team. Runs like these are extremely rare, especially in the sport of wrestling.
At 33 years old, Burroughs is a decade older than many of this weekend’s competitors. They likely grew up idolizing him. I’d say that his level of success and longevity would put him at the same level as legendary guys in more high-profile sports such as Tom Brady and LeBron James. They just keep going and they just keep winning.
Every year since 2015, Green has wrestled for Team USA at 70 kg at Worlds, winning a silver and a bronze on the world stage. In short, it’s been Green’s weight for a long time, and he gave no indication he’s about to give it up any time soon as he navigated the field unscathed.
Other former Huskers to compete were Tyler Berger, Tanner Farmer and TJ Dudley. Berger finished fourth at 70 kg, while Farmer took third in Greco-Roman at 130 kg. Dudley did not place at 92 kg. Current Husker Christian Lance also competed in freestyle at 125 kg but did not place.
Making his debut at a new weight, Burroughs looked better than he has in a while. If you’re a fan of vintage Burroughs, this weekend would have been a good watch for you. Up from 74 kg to 79, Burroughs looked to have more pep in his step. More power. More speed.
And his defense was very impressive, oftentimes showing off his flexibility to fend off attacks. He’s a bad man. And now he’s a bad man with more energy in his ideal weight class.
Watch out world.
As the 1-seed, Burroughs started things off with a match against unseeded Hayden Hidlay. A stud college wrestler for NC State, Hidlay actually jumped out to a 2-0 lead early, but Burroughs got a quick step-out before a blast double-leg takedown that started near the center and ended well off the mat onto the hard floor. I don’t think the GOAT was happy about giving up that early takedown.
Burroughs then scored on a single-leg and then another vitage double-leg to earn an easy 7-3 win.
In the quarterfinal against 9-seed Chance Marsteller, Burroughs had a tough time getting through the defense of Marsteller. A very compact wrestler, Marsteller is built like a fire hydrant. Marsteller took a 1-0 lead when Burroughs was put on the 30-second activity clock, but Burroughs evened things with a double-leg that resulted in a step-out point.
In the second period, Burroughs scored a point when Marsteller was put on the activity clock. Up 2-1, Burroughs showed off his defensive prowess to start the second period as he fended off multiple deep shots by Marsteller.
Burroughs essentially put the match away later in the period with a takedown on the edge to take a 4-1 lead and the eventual win.
In the semifinal round, Burroughs took on one of the best college wrestlers of all time in Jason Nolf of Penn State. In their first ever meeting, Burroughs took an early lead and controlled the match from there with little doubt.
Burroughs went up 3-0 in the first period with another double-leg and a penalty point on Nolf for wrenching Burroughs’ fingers. In the second period, Nolf got on the board with a pair of push-outs, but Burroughs scored a takedown on the edge before giving up a garbage-time step-out in a 5-3 win.
In the best-of-three finals, Burroughs took on 2-seed Alex Dieringer who came down from 86 kg to try to make the world team.
Burroughs wasted no time against Dieringer as he scored a four-point move with a feet-to-back as he blasted him well off the mat.
Dieringer then used his heavy ties to throw Burroughs on his back for a four-pointer of his own and nearly pinning the former Olympic gold medalist. With two seconds left in the period, Burroughs took the lead 6-4 with another blast double to the edge.
For a third time in the match, Burroughs blew Dieringer off the mat again with a double-leg before scoring another late takedown for a commanding 10-5 win.
In the second match, Burroughs took a 1-0 lead when Dieringer was put on the activity clock. Another point for Burroughs on a step-out to go up 2-0.
Burroughs then ran through Dieringer on a low double-leg where he essentially ran his face through Dieringer’s face on the way to the finish. A classic JB maneuver.
With a 4-0 lead at the break, Burroughs held on before giving up a push-out in which he hurt his right leg. It looked to be in the ankle/calf area. Initially it looked like a cramp, and Burroughs did give up two more step-outs before gutting out a 4-3 win.
I don’t like to speculate, and neither did Burroughs in interviews after the match. But I don’t think it was a calf cramp. The way he hopped off the mat and into the locker room, and where he was holding his leg, it looks like it could be an achilles injury. I sincerely hope not.
With the World Championships coming up next month in Oslo, Norway, Burroughs doesn’t have much time to get back into mat shape.
James Green Owns 70 kg
Top-seeded James Green started the weekend with a quick win over 9-seed Brock Mauller. Green led 6-0 at the break before putting Mauller on his back and working for the win by pinfall in four minutes, seven seconds.
Next up was a showdown with 5-seed Jordan Oliver, who won the Olympic Trials at 65 kg earlier this year. Green used a takedown and leg-lace turn to build a 6-0 lead in the first period before giving up two second-period takedowns to hold on for the 6-4 win.
In the best-of-three finals, Green took on 3-seed Ryan Deakin. Green started the first match with a powerful takedown out of bounds before Deakin scored a takedown and a push-out to go up 3-2.
Deakin then got another step-out and takedown to start the second to go up 6-2, but Green cut the lead to 6-4 with a takedown with 34 seconds left. Then as the period was winding down, Green turned the corner for another late takedown and a 6-6 criteria win.
James Green gets the crowd on their feet! He clutches up with this takedown to win 6-6— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) September 12, 2021
In the second match, Green again scored first with a double-leg for a takedown. Deakin then scored a second-period takedown to take a 2-2 criteria lead.
With more late-match heroics, Green was able to earn a push-out point with five seconds left. Deakin’s corner challenged the call and lost, giving Green a point and a 4-2 win.
Other Husker Results
Former Husker wrestler and volunteer assistant coach Tyler Berger led Deakin 6-4 in the quarterfinal round with 45 seconds left before Deakin earned a 10-6 win with a late flurry.
Berger then downed 7-seed Brayton Lee 5-5 on criteria before falling to 4-seed Zain Retherford 11-0 by tech fall in the 3rd-place match.
In Greco-Roman, former Husker offensive lineman Tanner Farmer finished in third place at 130 kg. Farmer beat 5-seed Malcolm Allen 8-0 before falling to 1-seed Cohlton Schultz 5-0 in the semifinal.
The 4-seed, Farmer then beat 6-seed Lee Herrington 9-0 before downing 3-seed Donny Longendyke 8-0 in the 3rd-place match.
Current Husker heavyweight Christian Lance started the weekend with a 10-0 loss to Demertius Thomas in the pre-quarters at 125 kg. Then in the consolation bracket, Lance downed Austin Schafer 11-1 before falling to 3-seed Dom Bradley 4-0.
Lastly, former Husker TJ Dudley lost his opening match 9-7 to Isaac Trumble before falling to Drew Foster 13-2 in the consolation bracket.