Brookville Native Brock Zacherl Wins Junior World Trials

brock2-768x1024[1]MADISON, Wisconsin – Clarion University red-shirt freshman Brock Zacherl (Brookville), representing the Clarion Wrestling Club, won the 132-pound (60 kg) weight class at the United World Wrestling Junior World Team Trials last Friday (June 12) at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

An Olympic development tournament consisting of 17-20 year old wrestlers, Zacherl defeated Gary Wayne Harding (Cowboy W.C.) by technical fall scores of 11-0 and 10-0 in the best of three finals matchup and will be part of the United State’s team for the UWW Junior World Championships August 11-16 in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

A late development announced by USA wrestling will likely have Zacherl wrestle Stanford recruit and former Blair Academy standout Joey McKenna for the actual starting spot in the team’s lineup in August. McKenna was a silver medalist at the World Championships last year. The best of three match may come on June 26 – 27 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“It was the goal since last August to get to worlds and getting a world title, so this is step one,” Zacherl said “I wrestled really well, the best I probably have so far.”

“Brock is really wrestling well right now,” said Clarion head coach Keith Ferraro. “He has the goal to be the best in the World and I really think he can accomplish that goal.”

Zacherl qualified for the national freestyle tournament by placing high in brock1tournaments like taking second at 138-pounds at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior National Freestyle Championships in Fargo, N.D. last July and in May of 2015 finishing third at the UWW Cadet and University Nationals in Akron, Ohio.

“I always have big plans and enter to win tournaments, even if it’s an Olympic champion, that’s the attitude I have and anyone should have if they want to reach their full potential,” said Zacherl. “This is the crown jewel tournament (Junior Worlds) for my age group and it’s a step under the Olympics,” Zacherl said. “The majority of the world team makes the senior squad eventually, so it’s as big as it gets.”

Zacherl opened the Junior World Trials by winning the nine-man bracket – beating Bloomsburg’s Devin Zemenak (10-3), Nebraska’s Colton McCrystal (8-2) and Minnesota recruit Mitchell McKee (6-0). After winning the bracket, he moved on to Harding, the #1 ranked wrestler, who just finished his freshman season at Oklahoma State with a 30-12 record. Harding won the U.S. Open in Las Vegas – Zacherl didn’t wrestle in that tournament – to earn a bye to the finals. Zacherl won both bouts by technical fall (11-0 & 10-0) to win the title.

Zacherl and high school phenom Spencer Lee of Franklin Regional (110 lbs- 50kg) are the only two Pennsylvania wrestlers in the U.S. lineup. Joining them are Stevan Micic (121 55kg), Aaron Pico (145.5, 66kg), Mark Hall (163, 74kg), Zahid Valencia (185, 84kg), Anthony Cassar (211.5, 96kg) and Nathan Butler (264.5, 120kg).

Regardless of how a possible wrestle-off with McKenna goes, Zacherl looks at his trip to Colorado as a big training step.

“It’s really important to spend time with some of the legends of the sport. I’ll get to roll around with them. To make this team shows I’m doing the right things and my coaching are showing me the right stuff.”

CLARION NOTES: Zacherl, competing unattached in 2014-15, won the Mat Town and Purple Raider Opens during the year at 141-pounds…. Special thanks to Rich Rhoades who contributed to this story.

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