Pat Smith and Alec Ortiz receive their seeds as they look to punch their tickets to Final X
MINNEAPOLIS – Another round of pre-seeds has been released by USA Wrestling for this weekend’s World Team Trials Challenge, as a pair of former Gophers, Pat Smith and Alec Ortiz, have received their seeds for Greco-Roman competition this weekend.
The tournament will take place from May 21-22 inside Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa, as FloWrestling will host all tournament coverage throughout the weekend.
Pat Smith, who is a decorated Greco-Roman wrestler for Team USA, will look to make his fourth career world team as he enters this weekend as the top seed at 72-kilograms. Smith qualified for the World Team at that weight class last fall by winning the 2021 Senior World Team Trials in Lincoln, Neb., and most recently took home the gold medal at the Pan American games last weekend in Acapulco for his fourth career Pan American title.
At 77-kilograms, Alec Ortiz will slot in as the fifth-seed in the bracket and will compete among the likes of Ravaughn Perkins, Jesse Porter, and Kamal Bey. Ortiz recently competed in the U.S Open in late April, where he placed second in the weight class. Ortiz became a national champion for the first time last season after winning Senior Nationals and reached the semifinals of the World Team Trials last summer before ultimately falling to Jesse Porter.
Smith will represent Pinnacle Wrestling Club, while Ortiz will represent Minnesota Storm RTC. Both men will only need to reach the challenge bracket finals to secure their Final X spot later this summer.
Tune in to FloWrestling this weekend to follow the Gophers competing, and check back with GopherSports.com following the tournament’s conclusion for the final results.