Two Hawkeyes make FILA Junior World Team

BY CODY GOODWIN | JUNE 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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Two members of the Iowa wrestling team qualified for the FILA Junior World Freestyle Team Sunday in Stillwater, Okla.

Thomas Gilman, a sophomore, won the FILA Junior World Team Trials at 55 kilograms. He had previously earned a spot in the best-of-three finals after winning a FILA Junior National Title at the same weight in April.

Gilman won the first two matches of the finals over Nathan Tomasello, 6-1 and 7-2, to clinch a spot on the Junior World Team.

“It’s crazy how fast you progress when you have great workout partners,” Gilman said, referring to Iowa stars Matt McDonough and Tony Ramos, among others. “I was in Iowa City last summer, getting my butt kicked left and right; now, I’m scrapping and kicking butt.”

Sammy Brooks joined Gilman on the FILA Junior World Team, earning the 84-kilo spot. Brooks won four matches in the Challenge Tournament before sweeping the best-of-three finals over Victory Avery, 6-0 and 9-4.

Brooks had to beat Iowa teammate Alex Meyer before reaching the best-of-three finals. Brooks muscled out a 5-4 victory in the Challenge Tournament finals over Meyer.

“I’ve wrestled him in tournaments about five times now,” Brooks said. He’s real tough, and it’s always going to be a close match … the most we can do is go out and make it exciting.”

The FILA Junior World Championships will be held Aug. 13-18 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

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