Ohio State's newest big man on campus is wreaking havoc on the world stage. Greg Kerkvliet, the true freshman and 2017 Cadet World Champion, steamrolled his first two opponents at the U23 World Freestyle Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
Wrestling at 125 kg, Kerkvliet opened his campaign for another world-level title in dominant fashion, shutting out two-time Maccabi Games medalist Lior Altsuler of Israel with a 10-0 technical fall that took all of 65 seconds. He scored early off the opening whistle and capped an impressive performance with a four-point feet-to-back takedown:
Greg Kerkvliet shows why he was a 2017 Cadet World champion with a quick takedown and turn at the U23 World Championships. Kerkvliet won 10-0 to move into the quarterfinals. #WrestleBudapest. pic.twitter.com/sHvP9sfDg1— Trackwrestling (@trackwrestling) October 29, 2019
In the quarterfinal round, it looked like another sure tech versus Salim Ercan of Turkey after two powerful four-point doubles led to an 11-2 lead for the young Buckeye. Seizing the initiative after the match restarted in par terre, Kerkvliet worked a cradle for the fall at the 2:34 mark:
With the rapid-fire victories, Kerkvliet joins Bo Nickal (92 kg) in the semifinals, set for 5:30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. ET), streaming live on Trackwrestling. Kerkvliet faces two-time U23 European bronze medalist Vitali Goloev of Russia.
He has a world champion coaching mat-side as Buckeye legend Logan Stieber made the trip to Budapest to coach Kerkvliet and Ohio State teammate Chase Singletary (97 kg) in the tournament. Stieber talked with TrackWrestling between bouts about his experience on the world stage: