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Monday Roundup: US Open Notes & ‘Undercover Stars’; Pan-Ams Week

spencer woods, ben provisor, 2022 us open
Photo: Sam Janicki

The 2022 US Open had its hits, such as the last match of the finals on Sunday evening, when Luke Sheridan (97 kg, Army/WCAP) did that whole “snatch victory from the jaws of defeat” thing against now-two-time runner-up Khymba Johnson (NYAC). Johnson was clinging to a 2-2 criteria lead with under :10 to go when Sheridan slid in a left underhook that acted as the anchor for what became an adrenalizing title-winning bodylock.

Or, the 72 final featuring “Mr. Fantastic” Benji Peak (72 kg, Sunkist/NTS) and West Point wrestler Pete Ogunsanya, with Peak executing big when he absolutely had to — and Ogunsanya shunning any and all fear by going for his own throws. 77 kilos between eventual champ Britton Holmes (Army/WCAP) and Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm)… The latest Ben Provisor/Spencer Woods battle was another tense brawl, as was the anticipation.

not all roads lead to gold, jim gruenwald

— The earlier rounds of the tournament delivered in spaces, as well. Max Black (60 kg, NYAC/NTS), who finished second to Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP), came up clutch opposite ’20 National champ Alex Thomsen (Sunkist/NWTC) with a second-period gutwrench. In the eyes of many, this one was a surprise — just not to the personnel in and around Marquette, Michigan, who for months have been touting Black’s skill-set and career prospects.

— The round-of-16 at, once again 72, where Ryan Wheeler (Colorado Mesa WC), Bobby Yamashita (All-Navy), and Ogunsanya all cashed in against tough, and for the most part, more experienced opposition.

— In fact, a reasonable debate can be had regarding whether or not 72 was the “best” weight category in Vegas. If it were not, 72 was at least the most interesting. So interesting that the “Undercover Stars” section below could be limited to just participants from that one bracket.

2022 US Open Notes

  • 33 athletes qualified for the 2022 World Team Trials by placing in the top-6 of their respective weight categories.
  • 63 kilograms had the most (five); 82, the least (one).
  • Three athletes became first-time US Open Champions (Jesse Thielke, Holmes, and Sheridan).
  • 38 of the 60 athletes to place in the top-6 entered action on Friday ranked by 5PM.

Undercover Stars

Performances worthy of acknowledgement outside of the winner’s circle.

Drew West (55 kg, IL, 3rd place) —  Once an active age-grouper, and a good one. Tenacious and convicted in Vegas en-route to bronze.

Phillip Moomey (60 kg, TMWC/Spartan RTC, 4th) —  Did it all at the Open as far as offensive matters are concerned.

Ty Lydic (63 kg, Knights, 4th) Really wanted to qualify and wrestled like it. Corbin Nirschl (MWC) probably not on his Christmas card list, though.

Alston Nutter (67 kg, Sunkist/NTS, 3rd) — Competed too well, too soundly, not to warrant further recognition. One of the crispest efforts of the tournament bell to bell from a technical aspect.

Michael Hooker (72 kg, Army/WCAP, 3rd) — It’s not easy to be Hooker and drop the type of matches he has recently. But despite already having qualified for Coralville, he still dusted himself off and ran the table on the backside. Like a pro should.

Brody Olson (72 kg, NMU/NTS, 4th) — Possibly NMU’s most encouraging rep this past weekend, which is really saying something considering his teammates.

Noah Wachsmuth (72 kg, Cobra, 7th) — Three losses: two to thoroughbred Wheeler, one to Hooker. In between, Wachsmuth caught fire and demonstrated the upside most had previously pegged on him.

Tyler Eischens (77 kg, CARTC, 5th) — Catching someone like Fritz Schierl raises eyebrows, but Eischens’ overall showing, plus the hope for bigger and better in the future, is why he is included.

Timothy Young (87 kg, IL, 3rd) — Just wait until he becomes truly comfortable with full-time aspirations and gains some international experience. Just. Wait.

David Tate Orndorff (130 kg, TMWC/Ohio RTC, 3rd) — Is it too much to ask for him to stick around for good?

The Pan-Ams

Thursday begins the 2022 Pan-American Championships from Acapulco, Mexico. The US has one roster change, of which most are aware, as two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (82 kg, NYAC) has been replaced by Tyler Cunningham. Provisor earned his fifth National title on Sunday and in the process decisioned Cunningham 2-1.

As reported on Saturday, Provisor had a passport issue, hence his removal. Cunningham, meanwhile, has begun to blossom at the Senior level and is expected to place (or win) the Pan-Ams, as are most of the American roster.

2022 USA Pan-American Championships Roster

55 kg: Brady Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC)
60 kg: Randon Miranda (Rise RTC)
63 kg: Sammy Jones (NYAC)
67 kg: Hayden Tuma (Suples)
72 kg: Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm)
77 kg: RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC)
82 kg: Ty Cunningham (MWC)
87 kg: Rich Carlson (Minnesota Storm)
97 kg: Nick Boykin (Sunkist)
130 kg: Tanner Farmer (NYAC/IRTC)

2022 Pan-American Championships Greco-Roman Schedule

All times CT.
FLOWrestling will carry the broadcast for viewers in the United States.

Thursday, May 5
10:00am-1:00pm — Qualification rounds/repechage — 55, 60, 63, 67, 72, 97, & 130 kg
5:00pm-7:30pm — Finals/bronze rounds

Friday, May 6
10:00am-12:30pm — Qualification rounds/repechage — 77, 82, & 87 kg
5:00pm-7:30pm — Finals/bronze rounds

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Listen to “5PM52: Two-Time Olympian Jim Gruenwald” on Spreaker.

Listen to “5PM51: Lining up with Tanner Farmer” on Spreaker.

Listen to “5PM50: Mr. Fantastic Benji Peak” on Spreaker.

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