IOWA CITY, Iowa — After dropping the first match of 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials championship series, the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club’s Jake Herbert rallied to claim each of the final two, knocking off Travis Paulson in the 84kg/185-pound final on Sunday (April 22) and earn a berth to the 2012 London Games. Herbert gives the CKWC an Olympian in the first year of its revamped team structure.
After splitting the first two matches in the best-of-three championship series, Hebert cruised to a 3-0, 2-1 win in the deciding third match, scoring on a late three-point takedown in the first period and rallying from an early deficit — on a Paulson pushout — to score on a pair of single-leg takedowns in the final minute.
Paulson had won with some controversy in the first match and claimed each of the second and third periods off of Herbert’s attacks. He earned a two-point exposure when Herbert got tripped up and went to his back in the second and, with Herbert driving a double leg off the mat in the closing seconds of the third, he jumped to sprawl and was awarded a point — on review — when Herbert’s hit the mat out of bounds first.
Herbert evened the series score with a two-period decision in the second bout, winning 4-2, 3-2. It was Herbert who countered a double-leg attack in the first period, tossing Paulson to his back for three points before scoring on a pair of takedowns and a leg lace to take the second.
Herbert didn’t give up a point en route to a pair of decisions in the morning challenge tournament, cruising to a 3-0, 6-0 win over Max Askren before beating Phil Keddy, 1-0, 1-0, in the semifinals. Herbert scored on a late takedown and two-point exposure in the first period against Askren and picked up six exposure points to end the match early in the second. Against Keddy, he scored immediately in a first-period clinch and used a late duck under to claim the second.
Josh Churella posted a 4-1 record en route to third place at 66kg/145.5 pounds. His only loss of the tournament came against eventual runner-up Brent Metcalf, 1-0, 0-3, 1-0, in the semifinals. After dropping the opening period on an early Metcalf single leg, Churella evened the score with a win in the second-period clinch, dumping Metcalf to his back for three points. Metcalf scored a takedown out of a flurry on the edge midway through the third period — the mat judge gave the point to Churella but was overruled by both tables — and the point held up to give the match to the former Hawkeye NCAA champion.
Churella rebounded with back-to-back wins in the wrestlebacks, including a 3-0, 1-5, 2-0 decision over Chase Pami in the third-place contest. Churella took the first period on a last-second double-leg takedown for three points and was leading in the second when Pami shucked him by for a late three-pointer on the edge to even the period score. The match came down to the third-period clinch, which Churella started in the offensive position and quickly got Pami’s knee to the mat
Tyrel Todd was eliminated from the 84kg/185-pound bracket after suffering a pair of losses in the morning challenge tournament. He lost a close first-round 1-0, 2-0 match to Paulson, dropping the first period on a pushout and the second on a pushout and late counter takedown. Todd was doomed by a pair of scrambles in his consolation match against Jon Reader, giving up several exposure points in a 6-0, 0-1, 6-0 loss.
Tonight’s U.S. Olympic Team Trials championship series will be aired via tape delay tomorrow (Monday, April 23) on NBC Sports Network. The three-hour coverage will kick off at 3 p.m. EDT.
CKWC Results – Day 2
Josh Churella, 66kg/145.5 pounds
First Round – dec. Zack Bailey (Victory Wrestling), 1-0, 1-2, 1-0
Quarterfinals – dec. Jason Chamberlain (Bronco WC), 1-0, 2-1
Semifinals – dec. by Brent Metcalf (NYAC), 1-0, 0-3, 1-0
Consolations – dec. Adam Hall (NYAC), 2-0, 2-0
Third Place – dec. Chase Pami (Sunkist Kids), 3-0, 1-5, 2-0
Finished in third place with a 4-1 record
Jake Herbert, 84kg/185 pounds
First Round – Bye
Quarterfinals – dec. Max Askren (NYAC), 3-0, 6-0
Semifinals – dec. Phil Keddy (Hawkeye WC), 1-0, 1-0
Match 1 – dec. by Travis Paulson (Sunkist Kids), 0-1, 2-1, 1-1
Match 2 – dec. Travis Paulson (Sunkist Kids), 4-2, 3-2
Match 3 — dec. Travis Paulson (Sunkist Kids), 3-0, 2-1
Tyrel Todd, 84kg/185 pounds
First Round – dec. by Travis Paulson (Sunkist Kids), 1-0, 2-0
Consolations – tech. fall by Jon Reader (Sunkist Kids), 6-0, 0-1, 6-0
Eliminated with a 0-2 record