Foy, Nagao make World Team as Competition Wraps at U23 World Team Trials

The pair of Gophers will travel to Spain to Represent Team USA later this fall for U23 World Championships

GENEVA, Ohio – A successful weekend of wrestling at the U23 World Team Trials saw a pair of Gophers qualify for the U23 World Championships, as both Michial Foy and Aaron Nagao won their brackets to earn a World Team spot.

Action got underway on Friday morning with Greco-Roman competition, as Michial Foy won his weight class at 87-kilograms to earn his spot on the U23 World Team. Foy, who was a late addition to the 87kg field, started the day with a trio of wins to reach the best-of-3 finals against Vincent Baker, including a technical fall in the quarterfinals and a fall over the top-seed in the semifinals.

In the finals against Baker, Foy would fall in match one by a score of 5-3 but would concede a point the rest of the way, sweeping the final two matches with a pair of dominant 8-0 technical falls en route to the gold medal at 87-kilograms.

Action would continue through Saturday and Sunday with freestyle competition, with Aaron Nagao and Jake Gliva highlighting the weekend as the Gopher teammates each rolled through the 61-kilogram bracket to meet each other in the best-of-3 finals with a World Team spot on the line. Both guys went a combined 11-0 en route to the finals series, with each wrestler earning some notable wins throughout the tournament. Nagao would defeat a pair of NCAA qualifiers in Brody Teske (Northern Iowa) and Dylan Shawver (Rutgers), while Gliva would earn three straight wins against Jace Koelzer (Northern Colorado), Julian Chlebove (Arizona State), and Julian Tagg (South Dakota State).

As the 61-kilogram finals got underway, it was Aaron Nagao who got the best of his fellow Gopher teammate, earning a 12-2 technical fall in match one, followed by a 13-6 win in match two to secure his spot on the world team.

While both Foy and Nagao won their World Team Trials brackets this weekend, USA Wrestling criteria states that does not automatically guarantee a World Team, as the highest-ranked, age-eligible, athlete from the 2022 Senior Men’s Freestyle National Team (Final X winner, Final X runner-up or 3rd overall senior athlete via the 2022 Senior Men’s Freestyle World Team Trials) can opt to take the spot. However, in both weight classes, none of the national team members were age-eligible to drop down to the U23 team, allowing both Foy and Nagao the opportunity to make the team this weekend. Now, both men will prepare for the U23 World Championships later this fall, which will take place October 17-23 in Pontevedra, Spain.

Other notable Gopher performances this weekend included a trio of freestyle placewinners, with Garrett Joles taking third at 97-kilograms, Drew Roberts placing sixth at 70-kilograms, and Michial Foy pulling double duty on the weekend to take eighth at 86-kilograms.

U20/23 World Team Trials Results (Full Brackets Here)

U23 Greco-Roman
77kg – Cael Carlson: DNP (2-2 Record)
87kg – Michial Foy: Champion (5-1 Record)

U23 Freestyle
61kg – Aaron Nagao: Champion (7-0 Record)
61kg – Jake Gliva: 2nd Place (6-2 Record)
65kg – Jager Eisch: DNP (0-2 Record)
65kg – Theo Cha: DNP (4-2 Record)
65kg – Vance VomBaur: DNP (4-2 Record)
70kg – Drew Roberts: 6th Place (5-3 Record)
70kg – Benn Lunn: DNP (2-2 Record)
70kg – Sebas Swiggum: DNP (4-2 Record)
74kg – Nathan Fuller: DNP (2-2 Record)
86kg – Michial Foy: 8th Place (5-3 Record)
86kg – Jared Krattiger: DNP (3-2 Record)
86kg – Sam Skillings: DNP (3-2 Record)
97kg – Garrett Joles: 3rd Place (4-1 Record)
125kg – Keaton Kluever: DNP (3-2 Record)

U20 Freestyle
70kg – Blaine Brenner: DNP (0-2 Record)
92kg – Gabe Nagel: DNP (1-2 Record)
125kg – Bennett Tabor: DNP (2-2 Record)

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