LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Adam Coon reached the U.S. Open finals in both Greco-Roman and freestyle of his first post-collegiate competition, capturing the 125kg/275-pound title in the latter on Saturday (April 28) at South Point Arena.
Coon defeated 2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner, 3-1, in the freestyle final on a late takedown from his over-under body lock position. Both wrestlers recorded pushouts, with Varner holding the criteria advantage after scoring his last — while on the passivity shot clock early in the second period. Coon has now defeated two Olympic gold medalists over the last three months. He previously knocked off Ohio State’s Kyle Snyder, also a two-time world champion, 3-1, in The Clash at Crisler on Feb. 11.
With the freestyle victory, Coon advanced to the finals series at the Freestyle World Team Trials Challenge Tournament, slated for May 8-10, in Rochester, Minnesota. The winner of that tournament will advance to the Final X series to face world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski on June 23 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for a spot on the U.S. freestyle world team.
Coon posted a combined 7-1 record across both styles. He rolled through the Greco field until dropping a 5-0 loss — on two pushouts, a takedown and a passivity point — to Robby Smith in the 130kg/286-pound championship final. Among his other wins on the weekend, Coon defeated the nation’s top high school prospect Gable Steveson, 11-0, and six-time national team member Dom Bradley, 3-2, on criteria.
Alec Pantaleo and Jelani Embree also placed third in the senior and junior freestyle divisions, respectively. Pantaleo, previously a junior world team member, wrapped up a 5-1 tournament with an 8-2 win over Dylan Ness — his second win over Ness this weekend — in the third-place bout at 70kg/154 pounds. Embree, who also made a junior world team but was unable to compete due to injury, went 6-1 en route to third place at 86kg/189 pounds.