LAS VEGAS, Nevada — You can tell a lot about someone by the way they react when the lights are at their brightest. Often, the luminance produced the by the sun’s rays prove too intense for the youngest cubs in the lion’s den, causing them to amble back beneath the trees where the shade provides comfort, whispering ever-so-gently that it’s going to be alright. That maybe one day, when boldness overtakes hesitance, you will be ready to embrace the newfound warmth outside of the brush.
Hayden Tuma (Army/WCAP) and Kamal Bey (Sunkist) are ready.
In two blistering matches at the finals of the 2016 US Nationals/World Team Trials, both Tuma and Bey exploded against challengers who while expected to bring the best out of their capabilities, were also supposed to run them to the wire. At 59 kilograms, Tuma could have certainly been perceived as the underdog versus 2016 National Team member and hyper-talented WCAP teammate Ryan Mango. Apparently, he didn’t agree with that assessment.
In a bout that beforehand promised to be a six-minute slugfest, Mango tried asserting control immediately, taking the center and briefly backing Tuma up. Tuma, wanting to work with the forward pressure of Mango, attempted a headlock that saw Mango wind up on top. Ruled a slip, the two returned to their feet with neither realizing it was the beginning of the end.
Upon the reset, Tuma nestled a two-on-one and pulled it in for a lateral throw that yielded four points. He had Mango on his back, but there wasn’t serious danger of a fall. But Tuma didn’t let his lock go to waste. After Mango collected himself, Tuma lifted Mango up for five more points, putting an emphatic end to a much-anticipated match-up that was over in a mere 48 seconds.
Bey prevails over Porter even quicker
An equally tantalizing collision took place at 75 kilos, where a rematch of the Junior World Team Trials finals between Bey and Jesse Porter (NYAC-OTS) offered the chance for some questions to be answered. Bey, the high-profile star who has begun to establish himself as a legitimate threat on the Senior level; Porter, a stunningly gifted athlete who though a tad more understated, is every bit as much of a problem once he gets rolling. What would another meeting between these two deliver?
The people came to see fireworks. The show was over quickly.
After untangling from some light hand-fighting, Bey shot in on a high-dive that Porter tried to hip away from. He then instantly moved from low to high around Porter and unleashed a headlock at the edge. Porter defiantly stood back up. There wasn’t time to breathe. Porter responded by wrapping for a bodylock. But Bey adjusted his position and countered with double-overhooks, which he arched over off the boundary for four more points. At just :31 in the conclusion was reached. Bey earns a startling win over Porter along with his first Senior-level National title.
Coleman earns tough controversial win over Sancho
Going back to the 2016 Olympic Trials 66 kg consolation finals, Alex Sancho (NYAC-OTS) has defeated Ellis Coleman (Army/WCAP) two straight times.
The streak is over.
Sancho looked to be the busier wrestler once the bout began, but it was a constant struggle. Both athletes fought grueling battles inside to explore tie-up’s that could lead somewhere. Coleman received a verbal warning and soon after was dinged for passivity, giving Sancho a 1-0 lead. However, a passivity call against Sancho knotted it at 1-1, although it was a criteria advantage for Coleman.
In the second period, Sancho reclaimed the advantage when a bodylock attempt at the boundary netted him a point. Coleman upped his output after this, doing his best to fight inside and use his considerable reach for those long distance bodylocks that he executes so well. But Sancho wasn’t wilting. He remained in the pocket and hustled angles to find openings. None were there.
As time began to become a factor, Coleman frenetically searched for snaps and ties that didn’t provide the desired effect. A Sancho warning eventually led to a passivity call — only, the point was not confirmed. The scoreboard still read 2-1 in favor of Sancho. It was then changed to 2-2, and then back to 2-1. The confusion was only punctuated by Sancho pumping his fist in belief that he had won. A final officials’ conference proved otherwise. Declared the winner, Coleman walks away with his third Senior National plaque.
Third place results from Day 1 of the 2016 US Nationals/World Team Trials Qualifier
- Sammy Jones (NYAC-OTS) defeated 2016 Junior World bronze medalist Taylor LaMont 4-2 for third at 59 kg.
- Jayson Ness (66 kg, Minnesota Storm) earns a bronze at his first major Senior Greco Roman event by virtue of a 4-4 criteria win over Jessy Williams (NYAC-OTS).
- Chase Nelson (BWC) defeated long-time US Greco Roman standout Marco Lara (Army/WCAP) 13-4 in the consolation finals at 71 kg. Lara took off his shoes following the bout, signaling his retirement from the sport. At his peak, Lara was one of the best in the country, especially at 60 kilograms. An impressive career that spanned over a decade comes to an end.
- Kendrick Sanders (NYAC-OTS), who was upset by Porter in the 75 kg semifinals, came back to turn away Alex Ortiz for third 8-4.
- Complete placing results and updates will be available following the tournament.