LAS VEGAS — Daniel Cormier beat Mo Lawal for the 211.5-pound freestyle title Saturday night at the U.S. National Championships. Both were All-Americans at Oklahoma State.

The top seven finishers in each weight class qualify for the World Team Trials in June in Las Vegas.

Competing at 145.5 pounds, Zack Esposito knocked off veteran Cary Kolat in the first round, but fell to Tennessee-Chattanooga head coach Chris Bono in the quarterfinals. The three-time All-American came back to four matches and finish third — Eric Larkin and Kolat both defaulted in the consolations.

Along the way, Esposito beat former Harvard star Jesse Jantzen, who beat the former Cowboy in the NCAA finals in 2004.

At 185 pounds, Chris Pendleton ran into veteran Joe Williams, the U.S.’s longtime 163 pounder, in the quarterfinals and dropped into the consolations where he won three of four matches to take fourth.

Tryone Lewis won three matches and finished seventh at 163 pounds. The four-time All-American who was second at the 2006 World Team Trials, lost in the quarterfinals to Ben Askren, who finished his collegiate career last month with a second NCAA title.

Donny Pritzlaff, last year’s U.S. representative at the World Championships at 163, lost to Casey Cunningham in the quarterfinals and came back to take third.

Steve Mocco was part of a wild 264.5-pound bracket that saw World bronze medalist Tolly Thompson lose to Cole Konrad in the semifinals and D-II national champion Les Sigman lose to Iowa State’s David Zabriskie in the first round.

Mocco won a pair of matches, but lost to old rival Tommy Rowlands in the semifinals. Mocco, who came back to take third, was a four-time NCAA finalist, losing to Konrad once and Rowlands as a freshman.

Ben Ashmore lost in the 121-pound finals of the FILA Junior Nationals. Along with teammates Cody Hill and Neil Erisman, both sixth, Ashmore qualifies for the World Junior Team Trials in May.

Kendall Cross did not make weight at 132 pounds.

Trending Video

Recommended for you