Original Release by Adam Engel (USA Wrestling)
Hayden Zillmer (Gopher Wrestling Club - RTC) has been named the USA Wrestling Athlete of the Week on June 15, 2022.
Entering as an underdog, Zillmer won the 125 kg men’s freestyle weight class at Final X New York on June 8, defeating two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowksi in three matches.
Zillmer made his first Senior World Team. He lost his first match in a 5-0 shutout but rallied to win the next two bouts and capture the series.
In the second match, Zillmer trailed 3-0 until he scored four points in the last 40 seconds to win, 4-3. Zillmer found himself in a similar situation in the decisive third bout. He trailed by five with less than 55 seconds remaining. He attacked, scoring two takedowns and a stepout and ultimately won, 5-5, on criteria.
Zillmer will compete at the Senior World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, in September.
Zillmer has made U.S. Senior National Teams in both freestyle and Greco-Roman in the past, and has been ranked as high as No. 2 on the Freestyle National Team in the past. He was an All-American at North Dakota State, and hails from Crosby, Minn.
Each week, USA Wrestling will select an Athlete of the Week based upon performance within wrestling that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling from youth programs through the senior level.
To nominate a wrestler for this honor during June 2022, please send the athlete's name, wrestling program, weekly accomplishments and career accolades to Director of Communications Gary Abbott at firstname.lastname@example.org.