LAS VEGAS – New Oklahoma City University men’s wrestling coach Sam Hazewinkel returned to the mat and finished as runner-up in the U.S. Open on Friday at South Point Arena.
Max Nowry defeated Hazewinkel 10-3 in the title match for the 121-pound (55-kilogram) U.S. Open Greco-Roman championship. Hazewinkel wrestled for the first time in two years.
Hazewinkel is a nine-time national team member, 2012 freestyle Olympian and 2008 Greco Olympic Team runner-up. Hazewinkel competed collegiately for Oklahoma from 2002-06, becoming a four-time all-American and national runner-up.
The U.S. Open champions secured berths in the Senior Greco-Roman World Team Trials on June 21-22 at the Cox Business Center in Tulsa, Okla.
“I love the sport,” Hazewinkel said. “I can’t seem to get away from it. I always wanted to make the Greco team. The World Team Trials are in Oklahoma where I’m from. I still had a little left.”
The Stars announced Hazewinkel as their new coach March 28.
“I couldn’t be a prouder man now,” Hazewinkel said. “I just got the job, and I’m loving it. It’s a blast.”
In the championship bout, Hazewinkel held an early 3-0 lead. Nowry stormed back with 10 unanswered points.