At the Senior US Open with a spot at Final X on the line, Nebraska had a number of placers with Tyler Berger punching his ticket to Final X in search of a World Team spot at 70kg.
Out of the 12 current and former Huskers that competed at the Senior level, nine of them placed in the Top-8. So now with Berger advancing to Final X, Nebraska currently has two participants in Berger and Jordan Burroughs at 79kg. With another spot still up for grabs at 92kg and 125kg because there’s no returning World medalist at those weights, next month’s World Team Trials will decide the other Final X participant — so guys like Eric Schultz, Silas Allred and Christian Lance still have one more shot at earning that spot.
Senior US Open Results
2-seed Tyler Berger
After being near the top of the Team USA pecking order at 70kg the last couple years, Berger staked his claim to the weight this week and will move on to Final X to face Zain Retherford. A silver-medalist at Worlds last year, Retherford received an automatic berth in Final X. Retherford was a three-time NCAA champion for Penn State.
Zain Retherford vs Tyler Berger at Final X! Who takes it? pic.twitter.com/mahFav15C0— Heavyweight Nation (@hwtnation) April 29, 2023
Berger started his US Open tournament with three-straight techs, outscoring his opponents 34-3 going into the semis. Berger faced 3-seed Hayden Hidlay in the semis where the former Husker squeezed out an 11-10 win.
In the finals, Berger faced two-time NCAA finalist and senior-to-be for Ohio State Sammy Sasso, the 4-seed. Berger took a 4-0 lead into the break, but Sasso used a dangerous chest wrap to three-times turn Berger shots into exposure points of his own.
Down 9-7 with less than 10 seconds to go, Berger did the unthinkable and got Sasso down with one second left on the clock to go up 9-9 on criteria. Sasso’s corner threw a challenge brick, but after losing the challenge Berger got another point to get the 10-9 win.
TYLER BERGER TURNS SASSO IN THE FINAL SECONDS TO WIN THE US OPEN #USOpen2023 pic.twitter.com/y4qoXLGtry— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) April 29, 2023
2-seed Tanner Farmer (Greco-Roman)
The former Husker offensive lineman Farmer fell just short of his bid for Final X as he placed third at the US Open. He’ll have one more shot at the World Team Trials next month to get into Final X.
Farmer started his tournament with two dominant wins via tech fall (9-0 and 8-0). He then fell to 3-seed Adam Coon 5-1 in the semis.
Farmer then beat Brandon Metz 9-0 in the consolation semis before earning a win via forfeit in the 3rd-place match.
2-seed TJ (Tim) Dudley
A former three-time All-American for Nebraska, Dudley won his first two matches in dominant fashion, pinning his first opponent in 28 seconds before earning a 10-0 tech fall.
Dudley then fell to unseeded Isaac Trumble, an Omaha native who wrestles for NC State. Dudley then beat 3-seed Morgan Smith 5-4 in the consolation semis before taking on current Husker Silas Allred in the 3rd-place match.
Dudley got the win over Allred 10-6 to finish third with a 4-1 record.
4-seed Eric Schultz
Stepping up his competition, Schultz won his first two matches via tech fall before downing 5-seed Michael McIntosh 4-1 in the quarters.
In the semis, Schultz fell to 1-seed Kollin Moore 10-0 via tech fall, dropping him down to the consolation semis where he beat 6-seed Jay Aiello 8-0. In the 3rd-place match, Schultz fell to 2-seed Nate Jackson 4-2, finishing in fourth place with a 4-2 record.
Fresh off his redshirt freshman campaign that saw him win a Big Ten title, Allred was originally registered as the 9-seed at 92kg but ended up competing at 97kg. I imagine he didn’t make the 92kg weight limit.
Allred took down 3-seed Morgan Smith 8-2 in his opening match before falling to Trumble 10-0 in the quarters. Allred then rattled off two wins via tech fall on the back side before downing 4-seed Samuel Mitchell 10-7 in the consolation semis.
Allred then fell to Dudley 10-6 in the 3rd-place match, finishing in fourth place with his 4-2 record.
6-seed Collin Purinton
Purinton started his tournament with a pair of wins via tech fall before falling to 3-seed Vincenzo Joseph 11-0 in the quarters.
Purinton then won two matches in the consolation bracket before losing to 4-seed Keegan O’Toole 10-0 in the consolation semis.
In the 5th-place match, Purinton lost to Derek Gilcher 10-8, finishing in sixth place with a 4-3 record.
5-seed Ridge Lovett
The Husker junior won his first three matches, including wins over 12-seed Cole Matthews and 4-seed Pat Lugo. Lovett fell to 1-seed Joey McKenna 8-3 in the semfinal round.
Lovett then forfeited out, placing 6th.
7-seed Caleb Smith
An incoming transfer from App State, Smith won his first two matches this week before falling to 2-seed Spencer Lee 9-4 in the quarterfinal round.
Smith then beat Jacob Mendoza 11-0 via tech fall before losing to 6-seed Cooper Flynn 9-3 in the consolation Round of 4, dropping him to the 7th-place match. Smith pinned 8-seed Michael Tortorice to finish in seventh place with a 4-2 record.
7-seed Christian Lance
Lance won his first two matches via decision before losing to 2-seed Nick Gwiazdowski 8-0 in the quarters.
Lance then beat 12-seed Zach Elam 6-3 in the consolations before falling to 9-seed Demertius Thomas 10-0 via tech in the consolation Round of 4. Lance then fell to 5-seed Ty Walz 2-1 in the 7th-place match. Lance took eighth place with his 3-3 record.
8-seed Mikey Labriola
Labriola began his tournament with a 13-5 win over Andrew Cerniglia before getting 10-0 teched by 9-seed Devin Skatzka. Labriola then peeled off two wins on the back side before falling 10-0 to 7-seed Michael Kemerer.
Labriola finished with a 3-2 record but didn’t place.
12-seed Isaiah White
White started his tournament with a 10-0 tech fall win but lost to 5-seed David McFadden in the Round of 16. White won his first consolation match but forfeited out after.
Morton won his first match before taking a 12-0 loss in the Round of 32 to 6-seed Caleb Henson. Morton then won two matches on the back side before falling to Jacob Butler 5-4.
Morton finished with a record of 3-2 but did not place.
6-seed Rulon Gardner (Greco-Roman)
Gardner never showed up to weigh-ins the morning of competition.