April 29, 2018

Joey McKenna is the U.S. Open 65-kg Freestyle Champion


Joey McKennna squared off against Jaydin Eierman (University of Missouri) for the second time in six weeks, earning the U.S. Open Men’s Freestyle 65-kilograms title in the latest scuffle. The 7-3 victory secures McKenna a spot in the Final X event in Pennsylvania, taking one step closer to a slot on the U.S. World Team. The previous clash came in Cleveland at the NCAA Championships when McKenna posted a 7-2 decision for third place (141 lbs).

Because there is no returning world medalist at 65 kg competing for a spot on the World Team, McKenna essentially gets a bye to Final X. There, he will face the winner of the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament (May 18-20 in Rochester, Minn.) in a best-of-three series to determine who will gets the spot on the World Team. Former Buckeye and World Team member Logan Stieber will be one of those expected to compete in the Trials Challenge Tournament, gunning for a shot at taking on McKenna in the best-of-three Final X.

Running simultaneously to the Senior competitions, several Buckeyes were also competing in the UWW Junior Freestyle tournament out in Las Vegas. Signee Malik Heinselman finished as the 57-kg runner-up and will be joined by Kaleb Romero (74 kg) and Ethan Smith (79 kg) battling at the Junior World Team Trials in Rochester on May 18-19.