Bono, who entered the tournament seeded fourth in the 145.5 pound division, has now won four overall U.S. Freestyle titles. He receives an automatic bid to the World Team Trials on June 9 and 10 in Las Vegas.
As a seeded wrestler, Bono did not have to go through the preliminary qualifying matches. He defeated Joe Johnston, 3-0, 1-1 and Zack Esposito, 1-1, 0-1, 3-1 to get to the semifinals. In the semis, Bono got past top-seeded Jared Lawrence, 3-0, 0-3, 1-0 before beating second-seeded Jared Frayer, 2-6, 3-1, 1-0 for the title.
The championship match came down to the third period which Bono won 1-0 after Frayer stepped out of bounds.
“Jared is a tough and dangerous wrestler,” Bono said. “This is the first time I have ever beaten him. This is exciting because I’m out of the mini-tournament. I only have to wrestle two matches to be on the World Team. I’ll let those other guys beat each other up before they get to me.”
Six UTC wrestlers also competed at the Nationals with each of them providing good showings.
Two-time All-America Matt Keller won four matches at 132.25 pounds to advance to the championship round before an injury ended his run. Josh Keefe went 1-2 in the same bracket.
All-America Michael Keefe and Joey Knox wrestled in the same bracket as Bono. Both wrestlers compiled impressive 3-2 marks.
Seth Garvin went 2-2 at 163 pounds, and former wrestler and current UTC assistant coach Israel Silva won three matches after losing his initial match and ended up 3-2.
UTC’s Individual Results
60 kg/132.25 pounds
Matt Keller pinned Travis Mercado (Titan WC), 0:46
Keller dec. Jake Strayer (Penn State), 1-0, 1-3, 4-2
Keller dec. Cory Vombaur (Cowboy WC), 1-0, 3-0
Keller dec. Joey Rivera (Warrior WC)
Nate Gallick (Sunkist Kids) def. Keller by injury default
Eric Metzler (Wildcat WC) def. Keller by injury default
Josh Keefe tech fall Clint Frutiger (Michigan WC), 6-0, 6-0
Joey Rivera (Warrior WC) dec. Keefe, 5-0, 3-2
Franklin Gomez (Michigan WC) dec. Keefe, 6-0, 1-4, 4-3
66 kg/145.5 pounds
Chris Bono dec. Joe Johnston (Hawkeye WC), 3-0, 1-1
Bono dec. Zack Esposito (Gator WC), 1-1, 0-1, 3-1
(semifinals) Bono dec. Jared Lawrence (Minnesota Storm), 3-0, 0-3, 1-0
(finals) Bono dec. Jared Frayer (Gator WC), 2-6, 3-1, 1-0
Ron Tarquinio (Pitt WC) dec. Joey Knox, 1-0, 4-4
Knox dec. Eric Stevenson (Orange Crush), 7-4, 7-6, 7-0
Knox dec. Levi Price (NWC WC), 3-0, 8-2
Knox dec. Ben Nakamura (Jesus is Lord), 6-0, 7-5
Jeff Wimberly (Michigan WC) dec. Knox, 5-4, 4-3
Michael Keefe dec. Peter De La Cruz (Sahuarita Bad Boys), 6-4, 8-2
Carey Kolat (Unatt.) dec. Keefe, 5-1, 7-1
Keefe def. Ryan Lang (Wildcat WC), by injury default
Keefe dec. Benny Garcia (Titan WC), 2-2, 3-0, 3-0
Ron Tarquinio (Pitt WC), dec. Keefe, 3-1, 1-1
74 kg/163 pounds
Seth Garvin dec. Andrew Grillo (Golden Eagle WC), 4-0, 6-0
Garvin tech fall Joseph Lambert (Unatt.), 7-0, 6-0
Ryan Churella (New York AC) dec. Garvin, 5-1, 6-0
Jason Welch (Pleasant Hill WC) dec. Garvin 3-0, 4-1
95 kg/211.5 pounds
Mike Tamillo (Wildcat WC) dec. Israel Silva, 4-0, 1-0
Silva dec. Andrew Lundgren (NWC WC), 2-0, 6-0
Silva tech fall Ernesto Ancona (Bakersfield Unatt.), 6-0, 9-0
Silva def. Brandon Halsey (Road Runner Express) by forfeit
Daniel Cormier (Gator WC) pinned Silva, 1:59