April 3, 2021

A Buckeye is Headed to Tokyo!! Three are in the US Olympic Trial Finals



COLUMBUS, Ohio – Friday at the USA Wrestling Olympic Team Trials was a long day of wrestling, but it was a good day of wrestling for former Buckeyes Kollin Moore and Joey McKenna. Moore and McKenna are both set to appear in the Olympic Team Trial finals on Saturday, vying for a spot in this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Moore is in the finals of the 97 kg weight class and waiting for him is the reigning Olympic champion and fellow Buckeye Kyle Snyder. That means Ohio State will have at least one Olympian this summer. McKenna will square-off with Jordan Oliver in the finals of the 65 kg class. The winner of that weight class will still have to qualify the weight for the Olympics at the World Olympic Qualifier in Sofia, Bulgaria, May 6-9.

All of the Final X Championship Series will be best-of-three bouts. The finals will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on NBC Sports and streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

How They Got There

McKenna took down James Green (TMWC/ SERTC) in his quarterfinal match 12-1 and then bested the top-seed, Zain Retherford (TMWC/ NLWC) 8-5 with two late takedowns in the second period. His opponent on Saturday night, Jordan Oliver, is the No. 2 seed in the weight class.

Moore blitzed Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC) 10-0 in the opening round and then took a 6-2 decision against Ty Walz (TMWC/ SERTC) in the semifinals. In the finals of the challenge bracket, Moore again dominated in a 10-0 win over Michael Macchiavello (TMWC/ Wolfpack WC).

As the reigning Olympic and world champion, Snyder received a bye into the best-of-three finals. The showdown Saturday night between Moore and Snyder will certainly be a good one.

Other Buckeyes at the Event

Current redshirt-freshman Nicholas Boykin is competing in the 97 kg weight class for the Greco-Roman team. He defeated Khymba Johnson (New York Athletic Club) 3-1 in the first round and then top-seeded Daniel Miller (All-Marine Wrestling Team) 7-5 in the semifinals. But his run ended with an 8-2 loss to Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC) in the challenge bracket finals. He will have one more match on Saturday to determine the second-place finisher in the bracket.

Nathan Tomasello had a tough opening match with Vitali Arujau (TMWC/ Spartan Combat). Tomasello ultimately came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 decision and was sent to the consolations. He will face Sean Russell of the Gopher Wrestling Club in his first match on Saturday and he is still in play for a third-place finish in the 57 kg weight class.

Myles Martin also dropped his first-round match on Friday by a one-point margin, falling 2-1 to Gabe Dean (TMWC/ Spartan Combat). He then rebounded with a solid 5-2 win over Carter Starocci (TMWC/ NLWC) and will face Nathan Jackson (NJRTC) on Saturday afternoon.