Molinaro named U.S. Open champion

BLACKSBURG - First-year Virginia Tech wrestling assistant coach Frank Molinaro has been named the 2017 U.S. Open champion at 65 kg/143 lbs. in men’s freestyle wrestling.

As such, Molinaro advances directly to the best-of-three Championship Series at the 2017 U.S. World Team Trials at his weight class, which will be held at the Bob Devaney Center in Lincoln, Neb. on June 10.

Molinaro had placed second behind Jordan Oliver in the U.S. Open finals in Las Vegas, Nev. in April. However, USA Wrestling has been made aware of an alleged anti-doping violation concerning Jordan Oliver.

As specified by the UWW rules, Molinaro moves up one place and is the U.S. Open champion at 65 kg. According to USA Wrestling’s World Team Trials procedures, in the event that there is not a 2016 World medalist or 2016 Olympic medalist in the weight class, the U.S. Open champion advances directly to the Championship Series at the World Team Trials. Molinaro is now placed in the best-of-three Championship Series and all other U.S. Open placewinners up one placement.

Molinaro, a 2016 Olympian who placed fifth in the world at 65 kg in Rio last summer, went 3-1 at the U.S. Open where he fell in the finals on criteria, 4-4, to Oliver. He enters his first season at Virginia Tech and was most recently a volunteer assistant coach at his alma mater, Penn State, where he was a two-time Big Ten champion, a four-time All-American and an NCAA champion at 149 pounds in 2012.

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