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Rutgers Wrestlers Set to Compete at 2022 USMC US Open

Several members of the Scarlet Knights will be in action this weekend in Las Vegas, while Coach Goodale secures another top-10 recruiting class.

Syndication: NorthJersey Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com

The NFL Draft isn’t the only action going down in Las Vegas this weekend as the Scarlet Knight wrestling team’s busy offseason continues Friday and Saturday as several current members are set to compete at the 2022 USMC US Open in Sin City.

Former National Champion and current wrestling assistant coach Anthony Ashnault will compete in the Senior division where he picked up the 4th seed at 70kg. His weight class is one of the deepest at the tournament where a top-8 finish guarantees you a spot at the World Team Trials later this year.

Ashnault already qualified for the trials based on his 2nd place finish at the Bill Farrell Memorial International tournament a few weeks ago, so it appears he’s looking to improve his seed and pick up some always valuable mat time this weekend.

At 74kg, Rutgers alum John VanBrill has entered the fray and received a bye in the first round. He will take on Clarion’s Brent Moore in his second round match in what I believe is his first competition in quite a while.

His brother, a late addition to the Senior men’s competition at 70kg when the brackets released at the time of publishing was the recently graduated Mike VanBrill, who may end up facing Ashnault if they both advance to the round of 16.

Taking place at the same time this weekend, Ashnault (and the brothers VanBrill) will be joined by several members of the current squad who will be competing in the UWW Juniors tournament looking to make the junior world team.

They include: Dean Peterson (61kg), Al Desantis (70kg), Tony White (70kg), Connor O’Neill (79kg), and John O’Donnell (125kg). Incoming recruit Brian Soldano, who was ranked No. 2 nationally at 190lbs in the latest offering from MatScouts, is also entered in the junior bracket at 86kg.

Soldano, Peterson, and White figure to be the best chances for a Scarlet Knight to make the junior world team, with Soldano probably garnering the highest seed of the group. The schedule of events for this weekend can be found below.

Rutgers Wrestling Lands Top 10 Recruiting Class for 2022

Speaking of Soldano, he leads yet another top-10 recruiting class for Coach Scott Goodale and the Scarlet Knights that will be heading to the banks this fall.

The 8th ranked class includes:

Brian Soldano, a three-time NJ State Champion out of High Point.

PJ Casale (220lbs), a two-time state finalist and 2020 champion in NJ out of Delbarton/Passaic Valley.

Luke Gayer (160lbs) a state finalist from Calvary Chapel high school in California.

Joe Fongaro (138lbs), a 2022 State Champion from Boonton, NJ.

Eric Freeman, a two-time bronze medalist in NJ out of Paramus high school.

Brandon Chletsos, a four-time state placewinner and 2022 Champion from Notre Dame Green Pond in PA.

Coach Goodale and company are now consistently keeping the best of NJ home to compete at Rutgers while still pulling in top guys from around the country, a recipe that’s sure to breed even more success for the program in the near future.

Rutgers Wrestlers Compete at Intermat Freestyle Duals

This past weekend, several members of the Scarlet Knight squad competed at the Intermat National Freestyle Duals, a round-robin style tournament that was incredibly difficult to follow online, as some weights had over six divisions, but ended up resulting in a very strong showing for the Knights.

Dean Peterson (57kg), Sammy Alvarez (65kg), Andrew Clark (70kg), and Rob Kanniard (74kg) all picked up individual titles to lead the way for the team.

It’s hard not to get a little excited about these results considering the wrestlers who produced them, like Sammy Alvarez, who hadn’t competed since January, rolling through his competition with relative ease, finishing 4-0.

Dean Peterson, the highly recruited redshirt freshman who only competed in a single tournament last season and Andrew Clark, who cut down from his 2022 competition weight of 165lbs to approximately 157lbs in this spot, also both went undefeated en route to their titles.

Rob Kanniard, who suffered a broken nose late in February went 2-1, but still was able to claim 1st place in the round-robin format.

2022 USMC US Open Schedule

Available to stream via FloWrestling ($$) with live results on FloArena.

U.S. Open Senior Men’s Freestyle Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Friday, April 29

1 p.m.-6 p.m.: Preliminaries, quarterfinals, and consolations

7 p.m.: Consolations

9 p.m.-11 p.m.: Semifinals

Saturday, April 30

1 p.m.-5 p.m.: Consolations and consolation semifinals

9 p.m.-10:30 p.m.: Medal matches

U.S. Open UWW Junior Freestyle Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Friday, April 29

1 p.m.-6 p.m.: Preliminaries, quarterfinals, and consolations

7 p.m.: Consolations

9 p.m.-10:30 p.m.: Semifinals

Saturday, April 30

1 p.m.-5 p.m.: Consolations and consolation semifinals

9 p.m.-10:30 p.m.: Medal matches