The 2018 Pan-American Championships will be broadcasted live on Track Wrestling and begin on Thursday, May 3, 2018. The men's freestyle will take place on Sunday, May 6, 2018 with Session 1 beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT and Session 2 begins at 6:00 p.m. EDT.
The USA has announced its competitors for the Men's Freestyle Pan-American Championships and two Nittany Lions, Mark Hall (79 kg) and US Open champion David Taylor (86 kg), will represent Team USA at the event in Lima, Peru. For Hall, this will be his first international senior freestyle event, Hall is a two-time junior world champion. For Taylor, this will be his first Pan-American Championships. Two-time Olympian and Nittany Lion Wrestling Club's Ben Provisor will also take place in the Greco-Roman Pan-Ams at 87 kg. Provisor is the favorite to win the USA team's spot on the Greco-Roman team this year. Franklin Gomez, also a Nittany Lion Wrestling Club wrestler, will represent Puerto Rico in men's freestyle.
The Pan-American Championships are very important for seeding for the 2018 World Championships. In December, United World Wrestling (UWW) released their seeding for the 2018 World Championships, and here is how the criteria for seeding breaks down. Here is the breakdown:
The Pan-American Championships will fall under the Continental Championships, so a win can net some pretty serious seeding points. One thing that USA Coach Bill Zadick has seemed to not emphasize is wrestling his full World Championships team at this competition. It seems to be a fairly significant thing to not emphasize since many wrestlers on this team will likely not be the Team USA representative, and the seeding points earned in this competition go to the wrestlers and not the country. The USA does bring a strong team to the Pan-Ams though, with as many as five wrestlers who have a good chance to represent the country at Worlds.
David Taylor is the odds on favorite to be the USA representative at the 2018 World Championships. Taylor ripped through the US Open field, and is sitting patiently for a return to Rec Hall in the Final X Series to face the winner of the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament on May 20. Taylor's toughest test is expected to come from Yureski Torreblanca (Cuba), who gave Taylor his toughest match at the Yarygin in January. A win for Taylor would propel him into the top four seeds for Worlds.
For Mark Hall, this will be vital senior team experience, but he's not going to be favored to win the USA spot for 79 kg with Kyle Dake and Alex Dieringer such strong competitors right now. 79 kg is not the most challenging weight at Pan-Ams, but adjusting to better and stronger competitors internationally could cause some issues. Hall is a freestyle savant, and he's a two-time junior world gold medalist. He has about as impressive of a pedigree as any promoted senior wrestler, and he will be looking to leg lace his way into a gold medal. Hall's got unbelievable par tarre for the international scene, and he's able to get exposure and back points at will seemingly. It will be interesting to see him face international competition, and will give us some guidance into where we can expect Hall to finish at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament on May 20.
USA Men's Freestyle TEam
- 57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Thomas Gilman
- 61 kg/134 lbs. – Brandon Wright
- 65 kg/143 lbs. – Logan Stieber
- 70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green
- 74 kg/163 lbs. – Nazar Kulchytskyy
- 79 kg/174 lbs. – Mark Hall
- 86 kg/189 lbs. – David Taylor
- 92 kg/203 lbs. – J’Den Cox
- 97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyven Gadson
- 125 kg/275 lbs. – Nick Gwiazdowski