2011 U.S. World Team Trials Information
PHILADELPHIA - Penn will have two competitors in action at the 2011 World Team Trials in Oklahoma City, Okla. on June 9 as rising junior Micah Burak and assistant coach Matt Valenti take their shot at earning a spot on the freestyle team at the 2011 World Championships.
Micah Burak earned a wildcard berth to the trials, receiving the nod from the national team coaches - which includes former Penn head coach and current Team USA head coach Zeke Jones. He will be competing at 96 kg./211.5 pounds against a field which includes 14 other wrestlers. Burak, who competes in freestyle for Athletes in Action, will have two wrestlers he competed against this season collegiately as possible opponents at the trials. Chad Hanke from Oregon State earned his spot as the University Nationals champion while Dustin Kilgore from Kent State was the second wildcard selection.
Penn's other representative at the team trials will be assistant coach Matt Valenti. A two-time NCAA champion while competing for the Quakers, Valenti has been training in freestyle for the past three years, accumulating many great results. He earned his way into the World Team Trials with a sixth-place finish at the U.S. Open this spring. In the fall, Valenti won the Sunkist Kids International championship at 60kg./132 pounds before finishing second at the Hargobind International in Surrey, B.C. At the 2010 World Team Trials, Valenti finished fourth.
Both Valenti and Burak are ranked in the Top 10 in the most recent U.S. Senior Rankings which came out on Feb. 2. Valenti is ranked No. 4 at 60 kg. while Burak is ranked No. 10. Burak, who along with fellow Colorado native Sonny Yohn make up the two collegiate wrestlers in the Top 10, is the youngest of the ten wrestlers ranked at 96kg.
The 2011 World Team Trials take place from June 9-11 in Oklahoma City, Okla. with the freestyle completion for Burak and Valenti taking place on June 9. For more information on the trails, click here.