USA Wrestling

Burroughs Defeats Kyle Dake to clinch USA Team berth

The USA Freestyle Wrestling World Team Trials held in Madison Wisconsin over the weekend had a decidedly Western New York connection on and off the mats. First and foremost Olympic Gold medalist Jordan Burroughs, who again earned the top spot at 74kg (163 lbs.) is married to the former Lauren Mariacher, a member of one of the area’s most well known wrestling families.

USA Wrestling

Beacon, Lauren and Jordan Burroughs

Lauren’s three brothers Lucas, Reece and Matthew were all standouts wrestling for their father Matt on the Iroquois high school team. Lauren’s brother Matt was a New York State high school champion in 2007 and twins Lucas and Reece both state place finishers in 2006. Lauren’s uncle John even also took 3rd in the State in 1981.

So it’s no surprise that it was wrestling that brought Lauren and Jordan together. The two met in person for the first time when Burroughs came to the area to coach at a youth wrestling clinic. However, they had already gotten to know each other as friends on Facebook after Jordan caught Lauren’s eye while she was in Philadelphia at the NCAA wrestling tournament to watch brother Matt compete for American University.

Lauren and Jordan were married in October of 2012 and now have son Beacon who was born in late 2014. It was Beacon who Jordan is kissing in the photo at the top of this article. That classic photo was taken by another native of Western New York, Tony C Rotundo.

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Tony C Rotundo

Rotundo has made a name for himself as one of the best photographers of wrestling and athletic events in the world. Tony was a fine high school wrestler himself at Clarence high school in the 1980’s and his Dad was a wrestling coach for three decades. Tony was also a member of the 1986-87 UB wrestling team.

Tony now lives in California and has three photography web sites. The Wrestlers Are Warriors site features wrestling at various levels and his photos are used by the top grappling and mixed martial arts sites in the world as well as newspapers and magazines.

Another local connection took place in the Junior Freestyle World Team Trials on Friday as Jake Gunning of the Buffalo RTC took runner up honors at 120 kg.

Gunning began the day by winning the Challenge Tournament with a trio of victories. The tourney win earned Gunning a place in the best of three finals series against Nathan Butler of Stanford. Butler swept the first two bouts to clinch the position on Team USA.

Another Buffalo RTC wrestler medaled at the event, with Joe Ariola nabbing fourth in the Challenge tournament at 96 kg.

All in all it was a great weekend for those who call Western New Yorker home.

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