The 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial provided a lot of excitement and more than its fair share of suspense. The finals alone offered up a ton of drama. Outside of 59 kilograms where Masuto Kawana (JPN) won by technical fall over American Sammy Jones (NYAC-OTS), the remaining seven bouts were decided by a combined 13 points. That’s the kind of formula that keeps people on the edge of their seats and something that perhaps doesn’t happen often enough.
But the question you need to ask yourself is this: what part does the apparently temporary rule-set play, if any? We ran some numbers and came away with statistics that on the whole could be meaningless. Then again, maybe not.
For this example, we’re only going to go back to the 2016 Dave Schultz tournament and compare it to this year’s. Also, when it comes to point tabulations, we are ignoring points scored in matches that ended in falls. A couple of other items to consider — last year’s tournament did not feature the non-Olympic weights of 71 and 80 kilograms. Perhaps because of this (with no way of knowing for sure), there were less overall competitors in 2016 although one weight class (66 kg) was significantly larger than it was last week (16 total wrestlers in 2016; seven in 2017).
– 58 total wrestlers
– 90 total matches
– 589 points scored
– 6.5 average points per match
– 51 total technical falls – 56.6% of total matches
The finals of last year’s Dave Schultz Greco Roman finals, with six weight classes instead of eight, offered two wins via technical fall. The 2017 finals had one.
However, just in case you were wondering if this was going to be similar to the comparisons we displayed regarding the Golden Grand Prix, think again. Because despite the numerical evidence indicating the drop in scoring from the 2015 Grand Prix to the 2016 running of the event, that trend did not follow this tournament. Obviously, there are other factors at the much-larger tournament in Baku, such as international styles and the overall knowledge/ability/experience of many of the wrestlers. But all in all, this year’s Schultz was on par with what took place in Springs last January — with one glaring exception.
– 68 total wrestlers
– 103 total matches
– 1,080 points scored
– 10.5 average points per match
– 52 total technical falls – 50.4% of total matches
There are a couple of items to take into account, the first being the increase in points. That one just jumps right off the page. Take out the increase of ten wrestlers and shuffle that off to the inclusion of the two non-Olympic weights if you’d like (even though, 85 kilograms showcased four more competitors this year than last). Participation, more or less, was similar in both tournaments per weight class (except for 66, as noted above).
More average points scored but a slightly lower percentage of technical falls shows two things — competitiveness and without making a leap here, the result of no forced par terre. Which is odd, considering that for the most part, forced par terre’s alleged return has been celebrated (though not quite as much as its removal).
The bottom line is, both fans and wrestlers want to see points being piled up and the 2017 Schultz provided that. Yes, a fair number of high-scoring matches took place either in the quarterfinals or wrestlebacks, but nevertheless, scoring is scoring is scoring.
Overseas roster update
Two of the US’s most promising Greco-Roman prospects are making the trip to Austria for the Austrian Open — Alston Nutter (66 kg, NMU-OTS) and Tommy Brackett (84 kg, Tennessee). They are both listed in the updated roster list found here. Nutter, you might remember, is the talented high schooler who bypassed finishing his scholastic folkstyle career in effort to get started training full-time Greco at Northern. Brackett is currently competing in his high school season at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis but took time out of his schedule to enter the 2016 US Senior Nationals in December where he surprised the field by taking out Courtney Myers (Army/WCAP) in his first match.
Anderson being featured
We will be talking to 2015 Pan Am Championship gold medalist Jon Anderson (80 kg) this week. Anderson has been on the national Greco scene for about half a decade, making a name for himself as one of the hardest-charging and most intense competitors in the country. Pretty much every match this guy is in is a must-watch. He just doesn’t slow down. On top of everything, Anderson is one of the good guys of the sport and represents both the US and Greco Roman wrestling about as well as you could hope. Do some sprints, a few sets of pull-ups, and whatever else is necessary when preparing to read this interview.
What’s coming up here
- The next “Coach Lindland’s Report” will go heavy on a few individual performances from the Schultz as well as get into the preparation between now and April for the sport’s most well-known athletes.
- A profile on Geordan Speiller, who emerged from a nearly year-long layoff to come away victorious last week.
- A look in on 2016 US National Champion Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm), who is studying and training in Sweden.
- New technique videos are on the way!