Daton Fix Falls to Thomas Gilman at Final X but Still Has a Chance to Make the US World Team

[USA Wrestling/Twitter]
Written by Seth Duckworth

Cowboy freshman Daton Fix dropped two matches to Senior World Silver Medalist Thomas Gilman at the Final X event Saturday night in Lincoln, Nebraska. Winning this series means Gilman is now the US rep at the World Championships.

Both were close and very good matches. In the first one Daton scored first on a shot clock point then gave up two and quickly scrambled into this exchange where he scored two and went up 3-2 going into the second. In the second period Gilman scored on a shot clock point giving him criteria in the 3-3 tie. Knowing the urgency of the situation Fix then let it fly a little at the end to try and get back in the lead and ended up dropping the match 6-3.

In the second match Fix gave up two step out points and scored one shot clock point to drop the match 2-1 and drop the series 2-0.

My take was he simply wasn’t physically as strong and developed as Gilman and that was his biggest issue here. Just naturally a 20-year old physically hasn’t developed as much as a 24-year old. That’s why, just like in most sports, most athletes have to go through the college process before they become pros and even though this isn’t technically a “pro team” it’s similar.

This isn’t just a case of Fix, as a college freshman, trying to make it to the “pro” ranks. He did that by going through this whole process and just wrestling at the senior level. This is more like a college freshman trying to make an NBA/NFL/MLB/NHL All-Star team. Or a freshman collegiate golfer trying to make the Ryder Cup Team, or a freshman soccer player trying to make the USMNT.

All that being said, I’ve admitted I can at times be a little bias with my opinion’s, but I’m not the only one that felt it was just the physicality and strength of Gilman that got to Daton. Seth Petarra covers international wrestling for Flo and tweeted basically the exact same sentiment.

Where does Daton go from here? As the returning Junior World Champion Daton has the option to request a wrestle off with Arizona State’s Brandon Courtney who is currently the World Team rep for the US at 57 KG.

I have confirmed that Daton will be requesting that wrestle-off and will wrestle a series to determine the Junior World Team representative at 57 KG. We should know in the next few days when and where that will be happening. Daton will have a pretty good shot to take that series and be the rep for the US. If he wins he will be on the team with future Cowboy Daniel Kerkvliet and Daton will have a shot at back-to-back Junior World Titles. He teched his way through last years tournament.