#66: Final X Lincoln Recap

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Final X Lincoln
During this episode, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan recap Final X Lincoln and breakdown all the exciting moments. Askren talks about the excitement surrounding United States Wrestling and the level our team is at compared to previous years and the world. Dernlan gives some insight behind the four RUDIS athletes that competed at Final X Lincoln and the RUDIS + MARVEL singlets they were wearing.
Sarah Hildebrandt (5:08)
Hildebrandt didn't give up a single point in her two matches against a crafty veteran Katherine Shai winning 3-0 and 8-0. Speaking to how elite of a competitor Hildebrandt is, Dernlan talks about how Hildebrandt still sees the small mistakes she made even in the wake of not giving any points up.
Kayla Miracle (6:32)
Miracle wins by Tech Fall in her first match 12-2 and then allows zero offense from her opponent in her second win 4-0 over returning bronze medalist Mallory Velte. Miracle had been the alternate the previous two years and had been so close to making a senior world team at such a young age. Miracle said it best in her post-victory speech “About damn time, We’re from Iowa. We don’t get tired. We live for this two-out-of-three, but I wanted to make it two, make a statement, and create that separation.”
James Green vs Ryan Deakin (11:50)
Green came out with an 18-second tech fall in the first match. Deakin was able to slow Green down in the second match but ends up losing 4-3. Askren talks about how Green is one of the United State's best chances to medal.
Tyler Graff vs Joe Colon (13:54)
Colon took the first match but Graff dominated the next two. Dernlan talks about Graff's perseverance and determination. It was a great and heartwarming moment to see Graff earn his first world team membership. The New Jersey RTC has made a statement this year with multiple world team members on the senior level. Askren doesn't see NJRTC slowing down in the slightest.
Isaiah Martínez vs Jordan Burroughs (20:30)
Askren gives credit to how much Martínez closed the gap between him and Burroughs this year. When you look at their battles last year compared to this year it's incredible and Askren was impressed. Burroughs doesn't claim his weight cut impacted his performance. Stopping a weight cut and then having to get a sweat going again in 15 minutes is not easy. During their first match, Burroughs is down 3-4 and gets a takedown with 10 seconds left. Dernlan and Askren talk about how many times they've seen Burroughs do this. You can never count him out especially at the end of a match. Next year will be extremely exciting with elite wrestlers from three world weight classes filtering into the Olympic 74 kg weight class. Burroughs will have to fend off the likes of Kyle Dake, Isaiah Martínez, James Green and many more.
Daton Fix vs Thomas Gilman (34:57)
This series was one of the most exciting of the entire night. Fix dominates in the first match winning 9-1. Match 2 Gilman comes back and gets a second-period takedown to win 3-2 making adjustments from the first match. Fix then battled and got the 6-3 win in the third match. Fix beat the best version of Gilman we've seen. The level of scrambling in these matches was through the roof and always makes for some of the best wrestling you'll see anywhere. Fix has a great chance of medaling at worlds if not winning it all.

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