USA Greco

Last Chance Qualifier Semifinal Match-Ups

tyler eischens, last chance qualifier finals greco roman 2024
Tyler Eischens -- Photo: United World Wrestling

Following an opening session that featured a lot of action, the field has now been narrowed to the 12 athletes in six weight classes who will battle it out to see who goes to the Olympic Trials in two weeks.

The Last Chance Olympic Team Trials Qualifier began at 10:00am local time from Fairfax, Virginia and is streaming live on FLOWrestling.

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“Last Chance” events, especially those with Olympic Trials berth attached to them, have a tendency to invite tight matches, jolting comebacks, triumphant moments, and, naturally, plenty of heartbreak and frustration. This year’s tournament has been no different, even if most of this evening’s finalists were expected to be in the running.

At 60 kg, former age-group talent Paxton Creese (Minnesota Storm) will duke it out with two-time U23 World Team member Phillip Moomey (TMWC/Spartan Combat RTC). Creese was given the top seed with Moomey sitting #2, but that is misleading, for Creese is only appearing in second Senior-level event (December Nationals). He has also been terrific. Creese began by pinning Peter Del Gallo (Southside WC) before coming away with a rather surprising VSU over King Sandoval (DMV RTC). In the semifinal, Creese defeated Mitch Brown (Air Force RTC) via 10-2 tech, giving him his third stoppage win of the day.

For his part, Moomey was likewise outstanding, downing Joshua Paulson (Patriot WC), David Medina (TN), and Ruben Calderon (Paradigm). Calderon was responsible for one of the day’s surprises as he had edged ’22 U20 World Team member Jonathan Gurule (NMU/NTS) by way of criteria.

Matthew 20:18-19 & the Hallway Whiteboard (1)

Duncan Nelson (OTC) had put in the work all season long, and even prior, and now finds himself one win away from a Trials spot. Nelson was initially tested by hyper-skilled, and young, Pierson Manville (PA) but went on to collect a 9-1 VSU. Nelson then defeated two recent Fargo champs. In the quarterfinal, it was Brett Back (Dubuque RTC), who won out last summer in Fargo; one round later, Jeremy Bockert (IGA, Fargo titlist two summers ago) was on the wrong end of a 6-2 decision opposite Nelson.

Standing across Nelson in the final round will be ’22 U17 World Champion Joel Adams (TBW), who has systematically made his way through the bracket. Adams went virtually untouched in disposing of Maddox Khalimsky (NMU/NTS) and Savion Haywood (Iguana), respectively. Colton Parduhn (IGA) had made waves earlier in the tournament, but it was Adams who capitalized when it mattered most en-route to a 6-1 decision victory. It is not a long or meaningful history, but Nelson and Adams did square off once before (November, Bill Farrell Memorial) with the former defeating the latter 3-0.

’23 U23/’19 U20 World rep Tyler Eischens (Tar Heel WC) was considered an extremely viable threat entering action on Saturday and thus far he has shown why. Eischens is unscored upon through three bouts, and all three were recorded via technical superiority. Eischens locked up with ’21 National Champion Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm — who engineered a memorable comeback in the opening round against Glenn Rhees) and piled on points for his third VSU of the day.

National Team member Noah Wachsmuth (NYAC) has been similarly effective, if not more so. Each of Wachsmuth’s matches provided various expressions of destructive dominance. Wachsmuth defeated Loranzo Ragaonarivelo (Patriot Elite) 10-0, ’23 U20 World Teamer Arvin Khosravy (CA) 15-0, and pinned Aydin Rix-McElhinney (Northern Colorado RTC) early in the second period.


Most had anticipated that 87 kilograms would deliver the healthiest amount of tough and tight bouts. The bracket has not disappointed.

Fritz Schierl (Minnesota Storm) is one of the last two standing thanks to both timely scoring and a gritty effort in the semifinal. Schierl had to first get past teammate Lukas Poloncic, which he did via tech; Arian Khosravy (LAWC) was next, and Schierl came out on top 10-6. ’21 U23 World Team member Tommy Brackett (NYAC) served as the main and most appropriate obstacle for Schierl to make the final. Although offense was at a premium, and despite Brackett’s wonderful work in the tie-ups, Schierl hung on for a razor-thin 1-1 criteria nod.

’18 Junior World silver Andrew Berreyesa (NYAC) will greet Schierl when wrestling resumes at 6:30 local time. Berreyesa — who has performed impressively since returning to Greco last spring — picked up VSU’s over Michael Gabbard (Cougar WC) and former NMU competitor Zack Bickford (Toro World Club) to set up a showdown with Barrett Stanghill (Big Game WC) in the semifinal. The match was predictably tight heading into Period 2 but then Stanghill was called for a second passivity before being penalized for a curious caution from par terre bottom. Berreyesa would eventually seize further advantage on the part of the caution by using the par terre reset to lock a reverse front headlock that resulted in a fall.

Timothy Eubanks (NMU/NTS) will comprise one half of the 97 kg final, partially due to unfortunate circumstances. Eubanks pinned Erik Hinckley (Chicago WC)) in the round-of-16 to get started. Waiting for him in the quarterfinal was #1 seed and ’23 Final X runner-up Christian DuLaney (Minnesota Storm). DuLaney had built a 6-0 lead moving into the second period when Eubanks locked double overhooks. The position was such that, upon attempting to defend, DuLaney posted with his left arm — the same left arm that had required surgery last year. In an instant, DuLaney was in obvious agony with a reinjury of the area clearly apparent. The match was soon halted and Eubanks had advanced to the semifinal opposed by two-time National runner-up Khymba Johnson (NYAC). It was back-and-forth, at first, but Eubanks managed to expose Johnson before ultimately earning a hard-fought 4-3 victory that has him on the precipice of a trip to State College later this month.

It will not be easy, however, for Brandon Marshall (Big Game WC, and NMU alumnus) is set to be his dance partner. Marshall at times has operated with both an imposing and measured attack style. He found little difficulty in dispatching Carter Erickson (Cougar WC), had to fight it out a bit more against Eli Pannell (Dubuque RTC), and did more of the same to dash the hopes of longtime Senior competitor Orry Elor (NYAC).

Kaleb Reeves (Big Game WC) has already had himself quite an eventful day. In his first match, Reeves earned a pin over Brandon Ballard (Frontier WC), which put him in the quarterfinal against West Cathcart (NYAC) — who has been in two Open finals and was a competitor in the Tokyo Olympic Trials. And Cathcart did get off to a hot start at Reeves’ expense, scoring a pair of takedowns and stalking for more points. But after a reset, Reeves went for double overhooks and escorted Cathcart to his back. The signal for the pin arrived shortly thereafter. Michael Rogers (NLWC) remained in the semifinal, and just as things were starting to gather steam, Rogers was injured and the bout was stopped.

Familiar Jacob Mitchell had held up his end of the bargain on the bottom side of the bracket. The well-established Senior athlete won by VSU against Tom Foote (NYAC) and pinned Keith Miley (Arkansas RTC) to cement his spot in Saturday’s finals.

The final round is scheduled for 6:30pm (ET) and can be viewed live on FLOWrestling (subscription required). Winners of the finals move on to the US Olympic Team Trials (April 19-20, State College, PA).

2024 Last Chance Qualifier Finals Pairings

60 kg: Paxton Creese (Minnesota Storm) vs. Phillip Moomey (TMWC/Spartan Combat RTC)
67 kg: Duncan Nelson (OTC) vs. Joel Adams (TBW)
77 kg: Tyler Eischens (Tar Heel WC) vs. Noah Wachsmuth (NYAC)
87 kg: Fritz Schierl (Minnesota Storm) vs. Andrew Berreyesa (NYAC)
97 kg: Timothy Eubanks (NMU/NTS) vs. Brandon Marshall (Big Game WC)
130 kg: Kaleb Reeves (Big Game WC) vs. Jacob Mitchell (Unattached)

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