Virginia Tech wrestling’s Mekhi Lewis and Ty Walz qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials over the weekend at the U.S. Senior Nationals in Fort Worth, Texas.
Both Lewis and Walz qualified by placing in the top five of their weight class. Lewis finished second in the 74-kilogram weight class, while Walz placed third at 97 kilograms.
Lewis went 4-1 on Saturday and Sunday to take the silver medal. Lewis started Saturday with two straight 10-0 tech falls in the rounds of 32 and 16. He then took an 8-0 injury default over Chance Marsteller in the quarterfinals and a 3-1 decision over Thomas Gannt in the semifinals Saturday night to officially qualify for the trials. Lewis wrestled for the title Sunday afternoon but fell to Logan Massa 6-4.
Walz also went 4-1 over the weekend and returned to Blacksburg with the bronze medal. Walz won by 10-0 tech fall in the round of 16, followed by a 5-2 decision over Kevin Beazley in the quarterfinals. However, Walz was tripped up by Hayden Zillmer in the semifinals Saturday night.
Walz returned to the mat Sunday and took an 8-4 decision over Jacob Kasper in the consolation semifinals to reach the third-place match and qualify for the trials. Walz took down the 1-seed, Kyven Gadson, to finish third.
Lewis and Walz will compete at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials on April 4-5 in State College, Penn. To represent the United States at the 2020 Olympics, they must win their weight-class bracket at the trials.