Greco News

Monday Roundup: Nationals Week; Poland Results; Vera

The 2020 US Nationals begin this Friday at the Xtream Arena & GreenState Family Fieldhouse in Coralville, Iowa. As always, FLOWrestling will have the broadcast and that kicks off at 10:00am local time (9:00am ET).

For the past month, most of the talk surrounding this unique National tournament has been about participation, or lack thereof. Understandable, especially since the military programs are not sending athletes. However, the perception of the event is starting to improve thanks to a surge of entrants both throughout the weekend and today. Folks were concerned that there might be round-robin brackets. As it turns out, that fear was completely unnecessary.

Just in time for tomorrow night’s “virtual seeding meeting”, 102 athletes are now pre-registered. Below is a look at the numbers as presently constituted.

— 60 kg: 21 
— 67 kg: 23
— 77 kg: 21
— 87 kg: 11
— 97 kg: 12
— 130 kg: 13

The first three weight categories appear in fine health for this tournament. Equally encouraging is the scope of talent. Between current and former age-group stars to several established Senior performers, there will be a lot on which fans can feast their Greco-starved eyes.

60 kilograms offers National Team member/’16 Junior World bronze Taylor LaMont (Sunkist, 5PM #8); the Koontz brothers, Brady (TMWC, 5PM #12) and Dylan (Ohio RTC); Brady Koontz’s ’19 U23 Trials runner-up Liam Cronin (Nebraska RTC); multi-time age-group World Teamer Randon Miranda (NYAC, 5PM #10); the one and only Travis Rice (NYAC/IRTC, 5PM #9); and a collection of exceedingly interesting young candidates who are capable of stealing the proverbial spotlight.

The chatter at 67 is easy. You know the names. You’ve got Nolan Baker (NYAC, 5PM #7), Calvin Germinaro (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #8), ’19 U23 World Teamer Lenny Merkin (NYAC), and ’18 US Open runner-up Jessy Williams (NYAC/Spartan RTC, 5PM #11). But there are more. Way more. Including ’17 Cadet World Team member Ridge Lovett (Nebraska RTC), who hasn’t checked in for a Greco tournament since winning Fargo two summers ago.

Mr. Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #1) — two-time World Team member, ’19 Pan-Am Games gold — leads the way at 77 kilos. As you might have guessed, he is not alone. Two-time National champ Kendrick Sanders (NYAC/NTS, 5PM #12) is in, as are two more Minnesotans — Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm) and ’19 Junior World Team member Tyler Eischens (California RTC). A fun wrestler to watch could be Burke Paddock (NYAC/Spartan RTC), who never receives due credit; plus, everyone will be treated to the Greco return of Peyton Robb (Nebraska RTC), one of the most stout prospects of the past (or current) quadrennium. The same can be said of Tommy Brackett (UA) and two-time U23 Trials second Fritz Schierl (TMWC/Ohio RTC).

87 kilograms only has 11 athletes registered. Two of them are among the best in the nation. Joe Rau (TMWC/IRTC, 5PM #1) and Alan Vera (NYAC, 5PM #4, and more on him at the bottom of the piece) were already considered on a potential collision course. Vera downed Rau at the ’19 Schultz in quick, lopsided fashion. That one match represents the only time they have shared competitive mat space.

Reigning National Champion Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist, 5PM #2) is the top seed at 130 kilograms. That is not official yet, but it will be. With ’18 World silver Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen, world #6, 5PM #1) taking a pass and Army heavyweights Jacob Mitchell (5PM #4) and Toby Erickson (5PM #5) unable to compete, early indications were that this bracket might not look so hot. But then West Cathcart (NYAC/IRTC, 5PM #7) and Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #8) decided to get involved. Former Williams Baptist up-and-comer Conor Karwath (RISE) is coming out to play — and also, everyone will get to see the Senior Greco debut of Tanner Farmer (UA), who took second in the NAIA Nationals after a decorated Division I football career.

What you have above is a mere snapshot. The legit, extended preview will be released on FLO later this week, so please stay tuned for that.

2020 US Nationals

October 9-10 — Coralville, IA

GRECO-ROMAN SCHEDULE

*UPDATE: This schedule has been amended and all Greco-Roman competition will be exhausted on Friday, October 9. A previous version of this article displayed session times for the original two-day format. 

Friday, October 9
10:00am-2:30pm — Session I
4:30pm-9:00pm — Semifinals, consolation rounds, and finals.

Our Coverage

  • Multiple athlete Q&A’s, including the dynamic Nebraskan duo of Camden Russell (60 kg) and Conor Knopick (60 kg).
  • Post-round results.
  • Preview and full tournament recap on FLO.

Polish Championships

Poland’s version of the Nationals streamed live over the weekend from Radom. Not a ton of surprises, except perhaps with the seeding at 67 kilograms. As outlined in last week’s Roundup, most were looking forward to a battle between recent World medalists Mateusz Bernatek and Gevorg Sahakyan. That bout did take place — but in the semifinals, where Sahakyan prevailed via narrow decision. And, sure enough, Sahakyan closed out the tournament with the crown. At 97 kilos, Poland’s only athlete to qualify an Olympic weight earned gold, Tadeusz Michalik. A few heads might have turned at 60 kilos. Poland has something going with Khvicha Tchitava. Though he has yet to represent the red and white on the Senior level, Tchitava has put together a few solid outings when given the chance. On Sunday, he won over another tough lightweight, the well-traveled Michal Tracz.

Polish Senior Championships

October 3-4 — Radom, POL

55 kg

GOLD: Bachana Putkaradze
SILVER: Mairbek Salimov
BRONZE: Krzystof Jonczyk
BRONZE: Milosz Kuznia

60 kg

GOLD: Khvicha Tchitava
SILVER: Michal Tracz
BRONZE: Nikodem Drewa
BRONZE: Dawid Ersetic

63 kg

GOLD: Mateusz Szewczuk
SILVER: Dawid Szkodzinski
BRONZE: Piotr Stolarczyk
BRONZE: Kamil Czarnecki

67 kg

GOLD: Gevorg Sahakyan
SILVER: Lukasz Socha
BRONZE: Mateusz Bernatek
BRONZE: Aleksander Mielewczyk

72 kg

GOLD: Roman Pacurkowski
SILVER: Karol Socha
BRONZE: Igor Zakharchuk
BRONZE: Michal Tomaszewski

77 kg

GOLD: Edgar Babayan
SILVER: Mateusz Wolny
BRONZE: Konrad Kozlowski
BRONZE: Piotr Duk

82 kg

GOLD: Artem Utochkin
SILVER: Lukasz Fafinski
BRONZE: Daniel Klimek
BRONZE: Damian Cierlik

87 kg

GOLD: Arkadiusz Kulynycz
SILVER: Szymon Szymonowicz
BRONZE: Filip Kazimierczak
BRONZE: Seweryn Szreder

97 kg

GOLD: Tadeusz Michalik
SILVER: Piotr Chudzik
BRONZE: Chingiz Samadov
BRONZE: Patryk Kaminski

130 kg

GOLD: Rafal Krajewski
SILVER: Rafal Plowiec
BRONZE: Dominik Krawczyk
BRONZE: Michal Orzechowski

Vera

There is a both a lot going on with Alan Vera (87 kg, NYAC, 5PM #4) and nothing at all.

Firstly, a full Q&A with Vera will be made available this week. In it, the 29-year-old discusses what the past crop of months have been like, how he has remained active, and how he feels entering his first US National event. Secondly, and most importantly perhaps, Vera is not yet cleared to participate in either the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier, the Olympic Trials — and as of today, that would include the World Team Trials if one should wind up on the schedule for next month.

So, how come Vera is allowed to participate in the Nationals? Mainly because the tournament has zero implications attached to the current (Olympic) Trials procedures with regards to qualifying. And, unless USA Wrestling decides to make the Iowa Nationals a selection tournament for a November Trials at the last minute, he is fine there, too. Vera tells some of the story in the forthcoming piece, but he is waiting for a US passport. That process was supposed to have been handled way back in the spring but was unfortunately pushed back due to the pandemic. It is now a matter of getting an appointment booked and signing some papers once such an occurrence is availed.

5PM is assigning Vera the #4 ranking at 87 kilograms due to his Trials eligibility becoming imminent.

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