Led by gold medalist Randon Miranda (59 kg, NYAC/OTS), Team USA won the 2017 Klippan Cup in Klippan, Sweden on Saturday. Miranda was not the only American to have himself a day, as highly-touted heavyweight prospect Nick Boykin (Sunkist) finished second and Benji Peak (59 kg, NMU/OTS) earned his second consecutive international bronze. 2017 Cadet Pan Am Championships gold medalist Peyton Robb (71 kg, Minnesota Storm) didn’t make the podium, but he was impressive nonetheless in his first Senior overseas action. Robb put up a combined 38 points spread out across his four matches on the day, which included a heart-pounding contentious battle with Lukas Ahlgren (SWE) in the bronze medal bout that saw Ahlgren escape with an 18-17 victory. So in other words, Robb was scoring. Constantly. And that is one reason why if/when chooses to pursue Greco-Roman, he’ll instantly be thought of as a potential future star.
All in all, it worked out like this at the Klippan Cup: the US had one champ, one silver, and one bronze. BUT — four other athletes finished in the top six — Luis Hernandez (59 kg, 5th), Alston Nutter (66 kg, 5th), Britton Holmes (66 kg, 6th), and Robb (4th).
There are two primary takeaways from the weekend: 1) The future of the US program, athletes like Miranda, Peak, Boykin, Nutter, and all the rest, keep demonstrating that they understand how to perform against international opponents, which is obviously important for about 500 reasons. 2) The Klippan Cup, while not exactly the highest level event on the calendar, is still an overseas tournament featuring plenty of tough, talented, and what are quite often, much more experienced competitors. Therefore, it is fair to see what went down in Sweden two days ago as part of a promising trend for the US, and at all three age levels.
Greco-Roman’s schedule of competition is accounted for from Worlds to Worlds, not by calendar year, but if you break it down according to what has occurred over the past 12 months, the numbers are extremely encouraging when it comes to US athletes. We’ll use the 2016 Klippan Cup as the starting point since it was the first overseas event last year to involve US Seniors on a wide scale.
Klippan Cup (SWE) — 10/29/2016 (SR)
GOLD: Jordan Auen (59 kg, NMU/OTS), G’Angelo Hancock (98 kg, Sunkist)
BRONZE: Jesse Porter (75 kg, NYAC/OTS)
Malar Cupen (SWE) — 11/6/2016 (SR, JR, & Cadet)
GOLD: Britton Holmes (69 kg, CO) — Cadet
SILVER: Austin Morrow (66 kg, NYAC/OTS), Logan Kass (71 kg, NMU-OTS), G’Angelo Hancock (98 kg, Sunkist) — Senior
BRONZE: Hunter Lewis (50 kg, WI) — Cadet
Vantaa Cup (FIN) — 11/19/26 (SR)
BRONZE: Ryan Hope (85 kg, Cliff Keen WC)
Haavisto Cup (FIN) — 11/26/2016 (SR)
SILVER: Dalton Roberts (59 kg, NYAC/OTS)
Herman Kare International (FIN) — 1/14/17 (SR)
SILVER: Hayden Zillmer (98 kg, Minnesota Storm)
Paris International (FRA) — 1/28/17 (SR)
BRONZE: Daniel Miller (98 kg, Marines)
Granma Cup (CUB) — 2/19/17 (SR)
GOLD: Geordan Speiller (80 kg, Florida Jets)
Thor Masters Invitational (DEN) — 3/4/17 (SR)
GOLD: Ildar Hafizov (59 kg, Army/WCAP), Robby Smith (130 kg, NYAC)
BRONZE: Patrick Smith (71 kg, Minnesota Storm)
Austrian Open (AUT) — 3/4/17 (JR)
GOLD: Randon Miranda (55 kg, NYAC/OTS), Taylor LaMont (60 kg, Sunkist), Logan Kass (71 kg, NMU/OTS), Kamal Bey (84 kg, Sunkist), G’Angelo Hancock (96 kg, Sunkist), Nick Boykin (120 kg, Sunkist)
SILVER: Cohlton Schultz (96 kg, NYAC), Drew Fenton (120 kg, OH)
BRONZE: Jordan Auen (60 kg, NMU/OTS), Alston Nutter (66 kg, NMU/OTS), Jesse Porter (74 kg, NYAC/OTS), Wyatt Koelling (84 kg, UT)
Grand Prix Zagreb Open (CRO) — 3/11/17 (SR)
GOLD: Alex Sancho (66 kg, NYAC/OTS)
BRONZE: RaVaughn Perkins (71 kg, NYAC), Jesse Porter (75 kg, NYAC/OTS), Kamal Bey (80 kg, Sunkist), Toby Erickson (130 kg, Army/WCAP)
Hungarian Grand Prix (HUN) — 3/26/17 (SR)
SILVER: Geordan Speiller (80 kg, Florida Jets)
BRONZE: Daniel Miller (98 kg, Marines)
Kristjan Palusalu Memorial (EST) — 4/8/17 (SR)
SILVER: Brandon Mueller (71 kg, Air Force)
BRONZE: Nick Tarpley (75 kg, NYAC)
Pan Am Championships (BRA) — 5/5/17 (SR)
GOLD: Patrick Smith (71 kg, Minnesota Storm), Cheney Haight (80 kg, NYAC), Ben Provisor (85 kg, Nittany Lion WC)
BRONZE: G’Angelo Hancock (98 kg, Sunkist), Robby Smith (130 kg, NYAC)
Pan Am Championships (PER) — 6/9/17 (JR)
GOLD: Brandon Kaylor (50 kg, WA), Haydn Maley (96 kg, OR), Anthony Cassioppi (120 kg, Ill)
SILVER: Tommy Brackett (84 kg, TN)
BRONZE: Dalton Young (60 kg, WA), Lenny Merkin (66 kg, NY)
Tbilisi Grand Prix (GEO) — 6/10/17 (SR)
SILVER: Alex Sancho (66 kg, NYAC/OTS), Ben Provisor (85 kg, Nittany Lion WC)
Croatia Open (CRO) — 6/17/17 (Cadet)
GOLD: Cohlton Schultz (100 kg, NYAC)
SILVER: Camden Russell (54 kg, NE)
Refik Memišević–Brale Tournament (SRB) — 6/25/17 (Cadet)
SILVER: Cohlton Schultz (100 kg, NYAC)
Ljubomir Ivanovic-Gedza International (SRB) — 7/1/17 (SR)
BRONZE: Hayden Zillmer (98 kg, Minnesota Storm)
Pan Am Championships (ARG) — 7/13/17 (Cadet)
GOLD: Tommy Curran (42 kg, Ill), Carson Manville (58 kg, MN), Peyton Robb (69 kg, MN), Jace Punke (100 kg, Ill)
SILVER: Parker Decker (46 kg, TX), Michael O’Malley (76 kg, NJ), Hunter DeJong (85 kg, IA)
BRONZE: King Sandoval (54 kg, MD), Kevon Davenport (63 kg, MI)
World Championships (FIN) — 8/5/17 (JR)
GOLD: Kamal Bey (74 kg, Sunkist)
SILVER: Cevion Severado (50 kg, MO)
World Championships (GRE) — 9/5/17 (Cadet)
GOLD: Cohlton Schultz (100 kg, NYAC)
Eduardo Campbell Cup (PAN) 10/1/17 (SR)
GOLD: Austin Morrow (66 kg, NYAC/OTS), Khymba Johnson (85 kg, NYAC/OTS)
SILVER: Corey Fitzgerald (75 kg, NMU/OTS)
BRONZE: Chris Rodgers (66 kg, NMU/OTS), George Sikes (85 kg, NMU/OTS)
Bear Cup (DEN) — 10/15/17 (JR)
GOLD: Alston Nutter (69 kg, NMU/OTS)
BRONZE: Benji Peak (63 kg, NMU/OTS)
Klippan Cup (SWE) — 10/28/17 (SR)
GOLD: Randon Miranda (59 kg, NYAC/OTS)
SILVER: Nick Boykin (130 kg, Sunkist)
BRONZE: Benji Peak (59 kg, NMU/OTS)
In case you don’t feel like adding up all of the numbers, we’ll do it for you.
- At events contested in other countries over the past 12 months, US Seniors have earned 39 overall medals — 12 golds, 11 silvers, and 16 bronze. If we are to count both the Bill Farrell Memorial and the Dave Schultz Memorial International (from February), the numbers positively swell (64 total medals with 20 golds, 20 silver, and 24 bronze).
- The Juniors and Cadets do not account for the same number of tournaments as the Seniors, but that is what makes their contribution to the cause so impressive. If you are to add on the great good work of the age groups to what the Seniors have accomplished, obviously, the haul grows significantly — 75 overall medals with 30 golds, 20 silvers, and 25 bronzes. Remember, these totals are not counting the NYAC Open, the Schultz, or even the Junior Greco World Duals, despite the fact all three events offer foreign competitors.
The point is, if you are an athlete, fan, friend, or simply a general all-around supporter of the United States Greco-Roman program, you should feel very optimistic about what has been going on recently. Everyone understands that American wrestlers are judged by their performances at the World Championships or Olympics. That is just reality. But second to that are results from overseas events in general, especially when we’re talking about Greco and the whole perceived disadvantage the US has stemming from folkstyle. 75 overall medals with 30 of them being gold (including two World titles) should be enough to suggest that days like Saturday are beginning to become the norm rather than the exception.
Next Up In Sweden
Just like last year, a dual meet pitting various US athletes versus members of Sweden’s Team Skåne Brottning will be on the docket for Wednesday of this week. And also like last year, it is presumed that the dual will be streamed live on Facebook. We’ll obviously have more information as it becomes available.
As for tournaments, there is one left — the Malar Cupen in Västerås. A mega event to be sure, the Malar Cupen offers competition for practically every age group and tons of matches. For instance, Britton Holmes (66 kg, NMU/OTS) had seven bouts last year during his run to gold at the tourney while Austin Morrow (66 kg, NYAC/OTS) wrestled six times en-route to silver.
Schultz Starts Wednesday
The second Dave Schultz Memorial International of 2017 begins this week (live on FLO) at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs and it will be the first event held in the US to feature the 2018 weight classes as well as the new two-day format. The schedule for the tournament is as follows (Mountain Time):
Wednesday, November 1st:
10:00am-1:00pm — Greco-Roman prelims through Consolation Round 1.
5:00pm-7:00pm — Greco-Roman semifinals, Consolation Round 2.
Thursday, November 2nd:
10:00am-12:45pm — Consolation Round 3 to Consolation Semifinals
7:00pm-8:45pm — Finals & bronze medal matches
A collection of Team USA Seniors, including a few members of the U23 World Team, will be heading to Belarus next week to participate in a multi-national training camp before pulling the straps up for the 2017 Oleg Karavaev in Minsk on November 17th. The “old” or current weight classes will be observed along with a two-kilo allowance. As for the scope of talent expected to be present, it should be substantial. Countries invited to the event are (in alphabetical order): Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary, Iran, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, and of course, the United States.
We’ll have the complete roster for you later this week.
What’s Coming Up Here
- An all-new Coach Lindland’s Report will be available following this weekend.
- Our Dave Schultz previews will be released right at the wire.
- Recaps of the Schultz, the USA/Sweden dual, and the Malar Cupen.