Greco News

Monday Roundup: Open Week — WBC’s Juniors; 87 KG; Fisher; Next Podcast; & WOS

Chris Gonzalez, US Senior Open, Greco-Roman
Photo: Richard Immel

One of the two biggest weeks of the Greco-Roman season is finally upon us with the US Senior Open and Junior World Team Trials now mere days away. The action begins Thursday morning at 9:00am (PT) in Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel and will be available to view live on FLO, as if anybody needed a reminder.

There are a multitude of areas to cover and as is custom around here, we save our previews and various analytical pieces to drop immediately prior to a major domestic event. We do this for two reasons: 1) to try and ensure accuracy in terms of registered competitors; 2) because there is no better time to get hype for a tournament than right before it actually happens. Plus, there are still a couple of individual athlete profiles scheduled for release, one of which being rather sizable in scale.

For the moment, here is what 5PM is currently working on related to Vegas:

  • A special one-of-a-kind interview with Sammy Jones (63 kg, NYAC/OTS).
  • Mini scouting reports on many of the Junior Trials participants.
  • Weight-by-weight snapshot previews of the Seniors.
  • Recaps following each day of competition.

Also included this week will be a talk with former World Team member Jake Fisher, who last competed at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Iowa City. Widely recognized as one of the best all-around Greco competitors in the United States throughout the majority of his career, Fisher’s absence over the past two years has not gone unnoticed, similar to the bevy of other stars who also walked away following the previous quad. Therefore, Fisher’s return is both welcomed and notable, and certainly worthy of looking further into.

So anyway, 87 is scary-packed again

Keeping in concert with Fisher and the Seniors is the 87-kilogram weight class. Unless it’s an error, that is where Fisher will be, which instantly boosts that weight’s depth back up into the stratosphere. For a moment, the loss of Jonathan Anderson (Army/WCAP) to his deployment in Afghanistan and Lucas Sheridan‘s (Army/WCAP) move up to 97 kilos sapped good ole 87 of the star power it had acquired heading into the 2017 Trials. Fisher’s presence along with Cheney Haight (NYAC) no longer cutting to 82 once again make this the most dangerous bracket in the entire tournament, and that is without Patrick Martinez (NYAC) flying out to Vegas. Assuming Fisher, Haight, and Martinez are all healthy and able for Tulsa, 87 kilograms is going to look eerily similar to how it did in 2017.

Williams Baptist’s Juniors

WIlliams Baptist College head coach Jonathan Drendel has confirmed the four athletes who will be representing his squad at the Junior World Team Trials and they are: Sean Sesnan (55 kg), Angel Nava (63 kg), Duncan Nelson (67 kg), and Timothy Eubanks (87 kg). At the Bill Farrell Memorial in New York last month, Sesnan became the first-ever WBC Greco Eagle to place at an international tournament with a silver medal — but he was one of only two competitors in his weight class. Therefore, the Junior Trials is vital for getting more experience at an elite level and Sesnan is sound enough technically to where that shouldn’t be a problem. He’s going to have his work cut out for him, undoubtedly. But just the opportunity Sesnan is going to have as far as live match time should pay dividends for him leading into the summer.

WBC’s biggest story in New York belonged to Nelson, who gave eventual champ Ray Bunker (Marines) a solid test in their quarterfinal bout before earning a bronze thanks to a runaway 15-5 tech fall win over NMU’s Hunter Kelley. On paper — paper — Nelson is likely not expected to wind up locking down a spot at the Junior World Championships in Slovakia. There are four or five Juniors already occupying bracket space at 67 kilograms with significant international experience. That being said, Nelson showed up hard at the Farrell and since that’s the last time anyone has seen him compete, it is difficult to picture him not performing impressively.

Next podcast

The latest episode of The Five Point Move Podcast will be available later in the week. There is only one guest — two-time Olympian and Army assistant coach Spenser Mango, who is making his third appearance on the program. Most of the discussion in Episode 15 revolves around what the US Open represents for Seniors and co-host Dennis Hall shares some of his more memorable experiences from that tournament, which is saying something considering that he won the thing ten times.


Your (somewhat) weekly dose of inspiring words, knuckleheaded antics, or thought-provoking questions from your favorite US Greco-Roman athletes and coaches.

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A post shared by Robby Smith (@rtdsgreco) on

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