COLUMBIA — Missouri wrestler J'den Cox fell 10-2 to Deron Winn in the preliminary semifinals of the World Team Trials at 213 pounds Saturday.
Cox, the reigning NCAA champion at 197 pounds, defeated Jack Jensen and U.S. Open runner-up Wynn Michalak without surrendering a point but ran into trouble with Winn. Cox then fell 4-2 in the consolation bracket semifinal to two-time national team member J.D. Bergman.
The tournament was the second in a row that Cox has competed at 213 pounds, following a third-place finish at the ASICS University Freestyle Nationals last weekend in Akron, Ohio. Cox said the difference wasn't an issue in the tournament.
"Guys are just bigger and have a little more experience, but that's nothing I didn't expect coming in," Cox said.
Despite finishing off the podium, Cox said his experience will only serve to improve his skills.
"I really enjoyed the experience, and I can only get better," Cox said. "All of this that we learn and pick up from the film will help us when we come back to Worlds and during the season as well."
Cox said he'll spend the rest of the offseason training and attending camps around the country.
National team member, and last year's runner-up, Dustin Kilgore defeated Winn 5-1 in the finals of Saturday morning's tournament. Kilgore fell to reigning Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner 5-1, 5-2, in the best-of-three match trial finals Saturday night.
Varner will advance to the World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
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