Coleman Scott 2nd at University nationals
When over 1,300 wrestlers compete in a tournament like the ASICS University and FILA Cadet National Championships, it's often hard to focus on a highlight match.
But that was an easy task Saturday at the University of Akron. Wrestlers and fans alike knew beforehand that the third-round freestyle match in the University division between Franklin Gomez and Coleman Scott at 132 pounds was a no-brainer highlight.
Gomez, a junior at Michigan State, is the reigning NCAA champion at 133 pounds. Scott was the NCAA champ at the same weight in 2008 wrestling at Oklahoma State. Because brackets are randomly drawn, the winner is looked upon as the favorite to win the tournament.
And a great match is was, with the taller, rangier Scott edging the quicker Gomez, 1-0, 1-1. In freestyle, the last point wins a match even if the score is tied.
In the first period, Gomez's quick, outside single-leg takedown attempt was neutralized by Scott's whizzer. After 90 scoreless seconds, Scott won a coin flip and in the 30-second clench position, took Gomez down with a single leg.
Gomez shot in and completed a low double-leg takedown in the second period and his 1-0 lead appeared to be sending the match into a third tiebreaker period. Scott dashed those hopes, however, with a single-leg takedown in the final two seconds.
"I'm not upset I had to wrestle a good, tough guy like Gomez so early in a tournament," Scott said. "To win a championship, you have to beat everybody anyway, whether it's in the first round or finals. For me, though, this is a big win.
"I'm looking to make the World team, and two weeks ago in Las Vegas [at the U.S. Nationals] I wrestled the worst I ever have. So I came here refocused. That's why I was able to come back on Gomez in the second period. Funny, sometimes I wrestle better when I'm behind . . . I wrestle harder."
Scott finished second to his teammate at Oklahoma State, Jordan Oliver, when he decided to take an injury default. The move assured that Oliver and Scott would advance to the World Team Trials. Had Scott beaten Oliver, the former Easton star would have had to wrestle again for a true second place against Kent State senior Dan Mitcheff. Scott beat Mitcheff earlier in the tournament so he did not have to wrestle for a true second.