CORALVILLE — Kyven Gadson was not one of the victorious semifinalists to attend interviews Saturday night.
The former Iowa State NCAA champion probably prefers his actions do the speaking. His results made quite a statement.
Gadson scored five unmatched points and won by injury default over Olympic and World champion Kyle Snyder in the 213.9-pound men’s freestyle semifinals in the U.S. Senior Nationals wrestling tournament at Xtream Arena.
Former Hawkeye Wrestling Club member Forrest Molinari was one of three women’s freestyle champions crowned. She captured the 149.5 title, joining Jennifer Page (136.5) and five-time World champion Adeline Gray (167.5) atop the awards stand Saturday night.
Gadson advances to Sunday’s championship match against third-seeded Kollin Moore, who noted he won their last meeting a year ago.
“He looks very good this weekend,” Moore said about Gadson. “So, I’m very ready to see a different Kyven than the last time I wrestled him. He looks powerful. He looks focused, so I definitely have to be on my A-game.
“If I were him I would want that match back, so I’m going to be ready for him to throw the kitchen sink at me.”
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Fourth-seeded Gadson set the tone early in the match, getting to a quick leg attack. He drove Snyder to the edge, getting behind for two points.
After the restart, Gadson pushed forwarded and Snyder appeared hobbled, limping noticeably. Gadson extended his lead to 3-0 with a pushout of Snyder during that exchange. Snyder sat on the mat and was tended to before returning to the center.
Gadson earned another takedown, countering a shot to increase the lead to 5-0 when Snyder bowed out and secured Gadson’s berth to the finals.
The former Waterloo East state champion has thrived in national freestyle competition in recent years. He won the U.S. Open in 2017.
A quarterfinal fall over 12th-seeded Eric Schultz set up the match with Snyder. Gadson and Schultz were scoreless when Gadson locked up a throw — similar to the one he pinned Snyder with in the 2013 NCAA finals — and stuck Schultz in just 2:11.
Second-seeded Page used some late heroics to defeat top-seeded Macey Kilty in the finals. Kilty led by two when Page scored exposure in a three-point flurry with five seconds left to win, 4-3.
“I was happy with the outcome,” Page said. “I just kept my feet moving and cane out with a win.”
Molinari, who now trains in Tempe, Ariz., scored three unmatched points for a 3-1 lead before pancaking Skylar Grote for a fall in 4:20. She is up a weight from her national team spot and will stay there. Molinari said she feels strong and can still move.
“I feel like a tank,” Molinari said. “I feel like a wall.
“I feel really good at this weight. Big time.”
Gray handled Victoria Francis, 10-0, in the finals.
“I was excited to go out there,” Gray said. “She was big and strong.”
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Cyclone sophomore David Carr also reached the semifinals, but fell to top-seeded Logan Massa, 4-0, in the 163-pound bracket.
Fifth-seeded Carr actually rolled through his first three opponents, outscoring them by a total of 32-1. He advanced to the quarterfinals to face No. 4 Ryan Deakin of Northwestern.
The Big 12 champion overcame a 3-0 deficit after the first period with six points after the break for a 6-5 victory. The match was decided on a crucial scramble that led to two exposure points for each wrestler and a reversal for Carr, which tied the match and gave him tiebreaker advantage for last points scored. Carr added another point on Deakin’s last-ditch scoring challenge.
Hawkeye Wrestling Club’s second-seeded Jaydin Eierman secured a top-six finish but fell to No. 3 Evan Henderson, 13-5, in the 143 semifinals.
The rest of the day was dominant for the University of Iowa senior. He outscored his first three opponents, 29-0, recording two technical superiority victories and a pin. Eierman demonstrated his savvy style to reach the quarterfinals, coming out of a scramble with former Minnesota national finalist Ethan Lizak with a cradle and the fall.
Eierman will compete in consolation rounds Sunday.
Northern Iowa was well represented Saturday, especially in the 189.6 bracket. Panther teammates Drew Foster and Taylor Lujan both advanced to the quarterfinals.
Foster entered the tournament as the fifth seed and reached the semifinals, facing top-seeded Nate Jackson. Foster scored the opening takedown, but gave up a takedown and leg-lace for two exposure points. Jackson opened the second period with a takedown and pushout to extend his lead to four, winning 7-4.
Cornell University’s Gabe Dean beat Lujan in the quarterfinals. Coincidentally, Lujan beat Max Dean, Gabe’s brother, in the consolation round. The winner between Lujan and David McFadden will face Foster for a chance to wrestle for third.
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