USA Greco

NMU Boys (Plus a World Champ) Headline Upcoming US Trip to Austria

alston nutter, 2017 austrian open
Alston Nutter -- Photo: J&W Sportagentur

It’s mid-February, which can mean any number of things. Folks are starting to get their taxes in order. In some of America’s coldest regions, a thawing could almost be detected, though not so much to where you’d be fooled by dreams of an early spring. Football is over. Baseball is beginning. And if you’re a hungry Junior-aged Greco-Roman competitor with designs to one day graduate to the sport’s highest tier, a flight to Austria is on the horizon.

In just under two weeks from now, the United States will be sending a swarming collection of its most capable and motivated age-group athletes to Gotzis, Austria ahead of the Austrian Open. The annual Junior gauntlet, slated for March 3rd, offers American Greco wrestlers in attendance one of their biggest tests of the season. Of course, it is a test that in recent years, the US guys have passed with flying colors.

2015 saw one champ from the USA (Dalton Roberts, who won at 50 kilograms). The only other medalist that year was Mason Manville, who checked in with a bronze. Future Junior World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock hadn’t blossomed just yet and snared a fourth. 2016 brought with it a bit of a pickup. Randon Miranda grabbed gold, Roberts did, too, up a weight class. Andrew Ibarra got himself a bronze and wouldn’t you know it, but so did Hancock.

By themselves, a few medalists sprinkled throughout two consecutive years isn’t bad by any stretch. The only problem? What happened in 2017 blows those preceding two years completely, utterly out of the water.

SIX champions — Miranda, Taylor LaMontLogan KassKamal Bey, Hancock, and Nick Boykin — plus another SIX medalists — helped the US dominate the team race at last year’s Austrian Open, and the squad that is taking off across the Atlantic later this month is filled with a similar brand of high-powered potential.

The Returning Warriors

Boykin’s gold medal at the 2017 running of the Austrian Open represented his biggest tournament victory to date in the classical style if only because it was also his first punched ticket overseas. But he performed brilliantly in Sweden last fall to further bolster his growing foundation, coming away with a pair of silver medals. He’ll also be competing this coming weekend at the Granma Cup in Cuba, one of United World Wrestling’s “Ranking Series” events.

NMU’s Alston Nutter (63 kg) earned his first international bronze as a Northerner at this event in ’17, and unless you haven’t been paying attention, has managed to raise his stock even more so ever since. Following a heartbreaking loss to Mason Phillips in the Fargo Junior finals, Nutter collected himself and refocused his approached. He then went over to Denmark for some early training ahead of the expansive NMU trip to Sweden and smashed his way through the Bear Cup before adding a fifth at the Klippan Cup two weeks later. Incidentally, both Nutter and Boykin also participated in the U23 World Team Trials prior to their impressive performances in Scandinavia.

Last but certainly not least is 2017 Cadet World Champion Cohlton Schultz (120 kg), who will have finished his high school season by the time this tour begins. Schultz’s silver at the Austrian Open in ’17 came at the expense of Hancock’s gold. What’s more important to note is this: starting with the Austrian Open, Schultz appeared in four straight international tournament finals scoring two golds. One of those two, naturally, was the Cadet World Championships. In between, he found time to make the Junior World Team and serve as a training partner for the Seniors in Paris, as well.

From Marquette

“Mr. Fantastic” is at it again. Benji Peak (60 kg) announced his arrival onto the international scene in a big way over the fall, scoring back-to-back bronze medals at the Bear Cup and Klippan before putting an exclamation point on his first foray overseas with NMU by winning the Malar Cupen.

Jon Massey (55 kg) is also on board, and much like his workout partners in the Superior Dome, got some meaningful training in on the autumn tour of Sweden. He’ll be alive and well for a podium spot in Gotzis. Britton Holmes (67 kg) has earned a reputation as an extraordinarily hard worker, which makes sense just going by how forceful he is when the scoring counts. No longer a sprite, Holmes is beginning to add on some power, as well, and another week-plus of experience in a foreign training environment is going to do little other than enhance his already-very high prospects.

Minnesota’s Calvin Germinaro (72 kg) is one more NMU athlete who someday soon could be a breakout star and is likely using this trip for the dividends that will declare themselves out of the training camp. For right this second, it’s not about the hardware for a wrestler with so much obvious upside like Germinaro. As is the case with many, it is the time spent making fine-tuned adjustments and growing more acclimated to top-flight foreign competition. If you’re a fan, you’re glad he’s going.

As alluded to, there will be a training camp following the Austrian Open. We hope to have more details on its goings-on as the tour leads up.

2018 Austrian Open — March 3rd
Gotzis, Austria


(*camp only)

55 kg
John Massey (NMU/OTS)
Camden Russell (MWC/NE)

60 kg
Donovan Guerrero (CYC/CA)
Delon Kanari (LCWC/Ill)
Benji Peak (NMU/OTS)
Erik Spence (NMU/OTS)

63 kg
Reese Dalton (NMU/OTS)
Mason Hartshorn (NMU/OTS)
Luis Hernandez (OTC)
Justin Lien (NMU/OTS)
Alston Nutter (NMU/OTS)

67 kg
Riley Briggs (NMU/OTS)
Britton Holmes (NMU/OTS)

72 kg
Calvin Germinaro (NMU/OTS)

77 kg
Spencer Woods (MD)

82 kg
Dane Harter (LA)
*George Hooker (TN)
Faustin Lopez (CO)
George Sikes (NMU/OTS)

87 kg
Kaleb Gaede (CO)

130 kg
Nick Boykin (Sunkist)
Cohlton Schultz (CO)

Rob Hermann (NMU)
Momir Petković (OTC)
Lucas Steldt (Combat)

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