AKRON, OH- With a sweep in a two-out-of-three final on Sunday May 25, 2014, against 2012 All-American Michael Mangrum redshirt freshman Anthony Ashnault (South Plainfield, N.J.) became the 65 kg 2014 Asics University Freestyle National Champion. Ashnault will compete for a spot on the USA World Team on July 24 in Fargo North Dakota.
Ashnault topped Mangrum 5-4 in their opening match before winning convincingly, 6-0 in the second match to complete a perfect tournament.
The tournament win is the first in freestyle competition and second overall for Ashnault since joining the Scarlet Knights. The 141-pounder also topped the field to become a National Collegiate Open Champion on March 2 to close his redshirt season.
Overall, Ashnault posted a 15-3 mark in his redshirt campaign after winning four consecutive N.J. State Championships at 102, 112, 126 and 138 pounds from freshman to senior year, respectively at South Plainfield High School. He enters his first season of eligibility as RU joins the Big Ten in 2014-15.
Redshirt sophomore Anthony Perrotti (Roseland-NJ) placed sixth after reaching the semifinals at 74 kg. The 2014 All-American went on to default in the fifth place match against Mitchell Polkowske, but was the only other Rutgers grappler to place in the tournament.
The top two University place winners in each Olympic weight class qualified for the 2014 World Team Trials Phase II, scheduled for July 24 in Fargo, North Dakota. The event will be conducted in a one-day format using line bracketing. The World Team Trials qualifiers will wrestle in a Trials Tournament in the morning. The winner of the Trials Tournament will challenge the wrestler who has earned automatic berth to the Final Wrestle-Off in a best of three series in the evening.
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