Purdue’s Maple, Parriott Win National Titles
Shawn Streck places third, qualifies for World Team Trials
LAS VEGAS – Purdue wrestling assistant coach Kendric Maple and redshirt freshman Griffin Parriott were crowned champions on Saturday inside the South Point Convention Center. Competing in his first tournament since 2015, Maple took top honors at 61 kg at the U.S. Open Men’s Freestyle National Championships. Parriott dominated his way through the bracket to win the UWW Junior Freestyle National Championship at 70 kg.
Maple and Parriott advance to the U.S. World Team Trials on the senior and junior level, respectively. Shawn Streck’s UWW Junior Freestyle National Championships third-place finish at 120 kg also earned him an automatic bid to the trials, which are set for June 8 to 10 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Maple, the No. 2 seed at 61 kg, defeated Brandon Wright (RNO/IPWA) 10-7 to win his first U.S. Open title. He scored two points on three occasions to take a 6-1 lead after the first period and scored twice more in the second period.
“I expected he’d come out firing, but I knew I’d go out and get my points,” Maple said. “I still have to build. I’m always growing. I have to finish matches; [go get] tech falls and get it over with.”
It’s the second time in Maple’s freestyle career that he has made the championship match of the U.S. Open, finishing as the runner-up in 2015. He went on to the World Team Trials that same year, which was his last tournament before returning to competition this weekend.
“I always feel like I have it, it’s just whenever I wanted it,” Maple said. “Coming back, it wasn’t like ‘I have so much to do’; I do have a lot of work to do, but it’s about applying myself, coming out and showing up.”
Maple’s tournament run began with consecutive first-period technical falls, taking just 25 seconds and 1:37. He then made easy work of seventh-seeded Joshua Kindig (Sunkist Kids WC) with an 11-1 tech in 5:40. In the semifinals, the 2013 NCAA champion collided with former Oklahoma teammate, 2015 NCAA champion and third-seeded Cody Brewer (Titan Mercury WC). It was a 14-7 victory for Maple, sending him into the championship bout.
Purdue’s first champion came earlier in Saturday’s action as Parriott blanked Joe Lee (Maurer Coughlin WC) 9-0 in the title match. Much like in his previous matches of the tournament, Parriott dominated, building a 5-0 lead through the opening period and closed it out by scoring twice in the second period.
“I felt relaxed,” Parriott said. “I knew he was going to come hard. Especially with this being freestyle, you can play a little more relaxed and counter off of their mistakes and that’s what I thought I did.”
In five tournament matches, Parriott outscored his competition 58-6 and disposed of two opponents in the first period via tech fall.
“I’ve had this circled on my calendar for some time,” Parriott said. “I was originally going to go 66 kilo, but I thought maybe with school, this [70 kg] would be the best weight; to really train for this [tournament], get better, get some matches under my belt and get ready for World Team Trials at 66 kilo here in about a month.”
The national title is the third on the New Prague, Minnesotan’s resume. In July of 2016 he was a double champion at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior National Championships, winning the freestyle and Greco-Roman titles at 152 pounds.
Streck used 5:30 to defeat Brandon Metz (unattached) to claim third place at 120 kg. The Merrillville, Indiana, native went 6-1 with five tech falls, four of which were 10-0 shutouts. His third-place finish is the fourth All-America accolade for Streck.
Devin Schroder won three matches at 55 kg and Kobe Woods won twice at 96 kg. Austin Nash (66 kg), Dylan Lydy (74 kg) and Christian Brunner (96 kg) also competed at the tournament under the Boilermaker RTC. Although Lydy did not place, his eighth-place finish at the 2016 UWW Junior Freestyle National Championships secured him a bid to the World Team Trials in June.
Volunteer assistant coach Jake Sueflohn also claimed victory in a trio of matches wrestling at 70 kg in the U.S. Open.