American Freestyle Ladder: 55 kg (121.25 lbs)

As the 55 kg ladder continues to shift, you may need a refresher course on some of the newer names on the list, as well as your older favorites. Here’s a rundown of the top seven American freestyle wrestlers in the 55 kg division.

7. Steve Mytych: (Lehigh Valley AC)

The former Drexel University wrestler was a four-time National Qualifier, finishing in the top 12 as a senior in 2010. Mytych still holds the Drexel school records of 38 single season wins and 137 career wins. Mytych placed fifth at the U.S. World Team Trials in 2013, with wins over Zach Sanders, Frank Perrelli, and Brandon Precin.

 

6. Dan Mitcheff: (West Point WC)

Mitcheff was a two-time Mid-American Conference Champion during his collegiate wrestling career at Kent State University. The four-time NCAA qualifier capped his career by earning All-America honors as a senior in 2010. Mitcheff lost to Kyle Hutter in the opening round of the 2013 U.S World Team Trials but bounced back with a win over Brandon Precin in the consolation bracket.

 

5. Nico Megaludis: (Nittany Lion WC)

Megaludis is a true junior at Penn State, where he is currently ranked #2 in the country at 125 pounds. He reached the NCAA Championship Finals in his freshmen and sophomore years in 2012 and 2013, placing second both times. The Nittany Lion won the ASICS University Freestyle Championship in Akron, OH, in May 2013, and represented the U.S. at the University Summer Games in Kazan, Russia.

 

4. Sam Hazewinkel: (Sunkist Kids)

Hazewinkel was a four-time All-American at the University of Oklahoma, finishing second in 2007. After finishing third at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2004 and second in 2008 in Greco Roman, Hazewinkel beat Nick Simmons in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Freestyle to earn a birth in the 2012 Olympics, where he lost his opening round match. In 2013, Hazewinkel finished third at the U.S. World Team Trials, with wins over Ben Kjar and Kyle Hutter.

 

3. Kyle Hutter: (Titan Mercury WC)

A three-time NCAA Tournament qualifier, Hutter finished his career at Old Dominion in ninth place on the all-time wins list with a record of 113-53. In May 2013, Hutter won the Northern Plains Senior Regional tournament at 55 kg, earning himself a spot at the 2013 World Team Trials in Stillwater, OK. At the 2013 World Team Trials, Hutter finished fourth. Seeded 10th at the event, he had upset wins over Mark McKnight, Dan Mitcheff, Steve Mytych, and Brandon Precin.

 

2. Angel Escobedo: (New York AC/Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)

Escobedo was a four-time All-American for Indiana University, winning an NCAA Championship as a junior in 2008. At the 2013 World Team Trials, Escobedo lost to Obe Blanc in the finals, but he won a spot on the World Team when Blanc failed a post-match drug test. At the 2013 World Wrestling Championships, Escobedo advanced to the bronze medal match but lost 2-1 to Sezar Akgul of Turkey and ultimately finished in fifth place.

 

1. Obe Blanc: (Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC)

Blanc began his college career at Lock Haven University, earning All-American honors as a junior by placing sixth in 2007. After taking an Olympic redshirt year in 2007, Blanc transferred to Oklahoma State to finish his collegiate tenure. In 2010, Blanc won the U.S. World Team Trials and finished ninth at the World Championships. At the 2013 U.S. World Team Trials, Blanc defeated Angel Escobedo in two matches (4-0, 3-1) to take home his second title before a failed drug test forced him to withdrawn from the team.

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