IOWA CITY, Iowa – Geordan Speiller (Florida Jets) had some unfinished business on Sunday on his plate Sunday. Within a few hours, he took the big step of wrapping it all up.
Speiller made it through the gauntlet that is the 75 kg bracket at the 2016 Olympic Trials by tech-falling his way to the finals of the Challenge Tournament, where he defeated Cheney Haight (NYAC) 7-0 to set up a best-of-three battle with 2015 World bronze medalist Andy Bisek (Minnesota Storm). Bisek, on the merit of that bronze medal, is the lone Greco Roman wrestler competing at the Olympic Trials to have an automatic bid to the finals.
The points came early and often for the 23 year old Speiller. In the first round he was faced with Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm). Ortiz found his way into the tournament via the last chance qualifier which took place a week ago. Speiller opened things up right away, cruising to a big lead he would only build on. It seemed to bring on momentum that he would not relinquish and the match was called at 9-1, a dominating first victory of the day.
A similar theme played out in the semifinal, where standing across from Speiller was Mason Manville (LVAC), who got past two-time World Team member Jake Fisher (Minnesota Storm) to advance. There wouldn’t be another upset for Manville as Speiller was all over him from the outset, throwing up points at every opportunity to take the match 13-2 with the help of some big moves and a consistent attack.
That left Haight, a seasoned, tough wrestler who is no stranger to the bright lights. Another tech fall would not be in the books. However, Geordan Speiller stayed in control throughout and brushed by the Utah native 7-0.
The toughest test of the day and perhaps the year still looms. Bisek has been in control of the 75 kg weight class for several years and has improved in every meaningful area, especially par terre offense, which has become a specialty for the American. Speiller, who trained alongside 2016 Trials champion and (now) two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (NYAC) for this event will have to be at his best in order to slow down Bisek’s frenzied style. But coming off of a dominant challenge tournament victory should provide the confidence he needs, provided Geordan Speiller is adequately rested heading into tonight.