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Monday Roundup: US NATIONALS WEEK; Final ’23 USA Int’l Medal Count

zac braunagel, 2023 nationals
Zac Braunagel -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

This coming Friday begins the 2023 US Nationals/Olympic Team Trials Qualifier from the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. FLOWrestling will carry the live streaming broadcast.

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Due to the tournament’s designation as the primary gateway for athletes — who aren’t yet qualified — to earn berths in the Olympic Trials, participation numbers were always expected to be significant. And indeed they are. At press time, there are 157 entrants combined among the six weight categories. 67 kilograms is leading the pack with 36 athletes, followed by 77 (33) and 60 (30). Wrestlers who place in the top-5 of their respective weight classes qualify for the Olympic Trials, set for April in State College, Pennsylvania (Penn State). But — that procedural wrinkle is potentially misleading.

That is because those combatants who are already qualified can “steal spots” from those who are not. There is no drill-down past the top-5 (i.e., if all of the athletes in the top-5 of a given weight class are pre-qualified, the wrestler who places 6th does not receive a berth). In three weight classes, the list is, prior to the event, down to the top-4. As part of this year’s procedures, Greco-Roman wrestlers who were on the ’23 US World Team in an Olympic category and subsequently went on to earn a medal at the Pan-American Games receive an automatic bye to Saturday evening’s finals. Both Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP, 5PM #1) and Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP, 5PM #1) won the Pan-Am Games, and Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, 5PM #1) finished with silver. Thus, all three enjoy the luxury of sitting out until Saturday night. At 60, 77, and 130 kg, the wrestlers who win in the regular semifinal round of these brackets will have a one-match showdown to determine who faces one of the aforementioned three competitors.

To Whom Belongs the Glory graphic

Further compounding the situation is the presence of many pre-qualified athletes, most of whom are certainly anticipated to be in the running to make the top-5. The reason why a high number of the country’s most accomplished competitors who are already qualified have registered for the Nationals is, mainly, due to the carrot at the end of the string. Winners of each bracket on Saturday will go on to represent the United States at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier in February (Acapulco, MEX); and athletes who do qualify their weight categories on behalf of the US for the Paris ’24 Games at the Pan-Am event will receive byes to the best-of-three finals of the Olympic Team Trials.

US Nationals Bracket Populations

For a clearer picture of just how stocked each bracket will be in Fort Worth, including when it comes to athletes who are already qualified for the Olympic Trials, the lists below should help.

Next to each competitor’s name (following their club/team affiliations and current 5PM ranking) is the method by which they secured spots in the Trials. Note that only the first qualifying factor is presented. For example, all Greco-Roman practitioners who won the World or Olympic Team Trials (or represented the US at a World event) beginning with the ’18 roster are qualified for the OTT. Dalton Roberts (60 kg, Army/WCAP, 5PM #2) was a member of the ’18 US World Team but was on the ’21 roster, as well. Next to Roberts’ name is “’18 US World Team” since that is, according to the selection procedures, how he originally qualified for the ’24 OTT (as well as for the ’20 Trials, if additional but unnecessary specificity is required).

*As of 12/11

60 kg — 30


Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP, 5PM #1; bye to finals) — ’19 US World Team
Sammy Jones (Sunkist/CTT, 5PM #4) — ’21 US World Team
Brady Koontz (TMWC/Dubuque RTC, 5PM #8) — ’23 US World Team
Randon Miranda (NYAC, 5PM #3) — 2nd, ’23 Bill Farrell Memorial
Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2) — ’18 US World Team

67 kg — 36


Xavier Johnson (Army/WCAP, 5PM #7) — ’23 US World Team
Peyton Omania (NYAC/CTT, 5PM #6) — ’21 US World Team
Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP, 5PM #1) — ’20 Olympic Team
Justus Scott (Army/WCAP, 5PM #3) — 2nd, ’23 Bill Farrell Memorial
Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #4 at 77 kg) — ’21 US World Team

77 kg — 33


Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP, 5PM #1; bye to finals) — ’22 US World Team
Payton Jacobson (Sunkist/NTS, 5PM #3) — 1st, ’23 Bill Farrell Memorial
Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS, 5PM #7) — ’22 US World Team
RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC, 5PM #2) — ’18 US World Team
Jesse Porter (NYAC, 5PM #6) — ’20 OTT Champion

87 kg — 24


Zac Braunagel (IRTC, 5PM #1) — ’23 US World Team
Ben Provisor (NYAC, 5PM #6) — ’21 US World Team
John Stefanowicz (Navy WC, 5PM #8) — ’19 US World Team
Timothy Young (Army/WCAP, 5PM #4) — 1st, ’23 Bill Farrell Memorial
Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP, 5PM #3) — ’22 US World Team

97 kg — 18


Joe Rau (TMWC, 5PM #1) — ’19 US World Team
Alan Vera (NYAC, 5PM #2 at 87 kg) — ’21 US World Team

130 kg — 16


Aden Attao (Suples, 5PM #8) — ’22 U20 World bronze
Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen, 5PM #2) — ’18 US World Team
Courtney Freeman (Marines, 5PM #5) — 2nd, ’23 Bill Farrell Memorial
Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist, 5PM #1; bye to finals) — ’21 US World Team

’23 US Nationals Preview

A compressed (but still comprehensive) preview will be released from this platform on FLOWrestling later this week. Over the past few days, three pieces were published on here in order to set the tone.

— Smith and Vera changing weight classes.
— Hayden Tuma (NYAC) and Aliaksandr Kikiniou doing the same.
Four athletes who are registered and have not competed in a while — two-time US World Team member Jake Clark (87 kg, Minnesota Storm), ’16 Junior World bronze Taylor LaMont (60 kg, Minnesota Storm), ’18 US Open runner-up Jessy Williams (67 kg, NYAC/Spartan Combat RTC), and Chris Anderson (67 kg, Rise RTC).

2023 US Nationals/OTT Qualifier Schedule

*All times -1 hr ET

Friday, December 15
10:00am-3:00pm — Preliminaries, quarterfinals, & consolation rounds
4:00pm-7:30pm — Semifinals, consolations, & wrestle-offs between semifinal winners at 60, 77, & 130 kg

Saturday, December 16
10:00am-1:00pm — Consolation semifinals & placement matches for 3rd through 7th
7:00pm-8:30pm — Finals

Final ’23 USA International Medal Count

There have only been two international competitions featuring USA Greco-Roman athletes since the previous “Medal Count” publication, and both were success stories. First, 12 Americans (divided between two separate age groups) earned medals at the Kolbotn Cup (NOR) last month. Aidan Squier (80 kg, Combat WC) earned his second gold of the fall in Kolbotn as well as his third title overall this year. Squier was not the only champ from that event, as he was joined by Elyle Francisco (55 kg, NMU/NTS) and Brennan Carey (110 kg, Combat WC).

On the Senior front, and just over a week ago, Roberts, Sancho, and Stefanowicz each earned bronze at the ’23 CISM Military World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan. Their collective performance in such a highly-competitive event stands as one of the highlights for the US program this calendar year — along with Jordyn Raney‘s World title at U17, Bey advancing to the Hungarian Grand Prix final, and, of course, Hafizov, Bey, and Schultz coming away with a haul of hardware from the Pan-Am Games.

As US athletes did not compete in either the Haparanda Cup (SWE) last weekend or the Haavisto Cup this past Saturday, that is a wrap for the Americans pertaining to international or overseas events until January, when a US delegation will head to Croatia ahead of the Grand Prix Zagreb Open (the first United World Wrestling “Ranking Series” tournament of ’24).

Final 2023 USA International Medal Count


  • SR: 18 — ten golds, three silvers, five bronze
  • U20: 19 — nine golds, eight silvers, two bronze
  • U17: 18 — ten golds, five silvers, three bronze
  • U15: 1 — one gold
  • 56 total medals as of 12/11/23

Sundsvall Open — 1/22/23 — Sundsvall, SWE (U17 & U20)
Aidan Squier (80 kg, Combat WC)
SILVER: Will Scherer (65 kg, Combat WC)

Pan-American Championships — 5/4/23 — Buenos Aires, ARG (SR)
GOLD: Dalton Duffield (55 kg, Army/WCAP), Dalton Roberts (60 kg, Army/WCAP), Justus Scott (72 kg, Army/WCAP), Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP), Spencer Woods (82 kg, Army/WCAP), Joe Rau (97 kg, TMWC)
BRONZE: Alan Vera (87 kg, NYAC)

Pan-American Championships — 6/22/23 — Mexico City, MEX (U17)
Henry Aslikyan (45 kg, CA), Lincoln Sledzianowski (48 kg, PA), Vince Bouzakis (71 kg, PA), Nicholas Sahakyan (130 kg, Sunkist)
SILVER: Elijah Cortez (55 kg, CA), Adam Waters (80 kg, PA), Aiden Cooley (92 kg, TX)
BRONZE: Czar Quintanilla (51 kg, WA), Sam Herring (60 kg, PA), Gabriel Bouyssou (65 kg, RI)

Pan-American Championships — 7/6/23 — Santiago, CHI (U20)
Robert Estrada (55 kg, Western Colorado WC), Landon Drury (63 kg, Betterman Elite), Jadon Skellenger (67 kg, ID), Arvin Khosravy (72 kg, CA), Derek Matthews (77 kg, Northern Colorado WC), Mike Altomer (82 kg, Curby 3-Style), Wyatt Voelker (87 kg, Big Game WC), Aden Attao (130 kg, Suples)
SILVER: Zan Fugitt (60 kg, Nixa HS), Sawyer Bartelt (97 kg, Gladiator WC)

Grand Prix of Spain — 7/7/23 — Madrid, ESP (SR)
Courtney Freeman (130 kg, Marines)

Hungarian Grand Prix/Polyak Imre Memorial — 7/16/23 (SR)
Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP)

World Championships — 8/1/23 — Istanbul, TUR (U17)
GOLD: Jordyn Raney (55 kg, Union County HS)

Grand Prix of Germany — 8/13/23 — Dortmund, GER (SR)
SILVER: Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP)

Pan-American Games — 11/4/23 — Santiago, CHI (SR)
Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP), Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP)
SILVER: Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, Sunkist)

Malar Cupen — 11/5/23 — Västerås, SWE (U15, U17, U20, & SR)
GOLD: Aidan Squier (80 kg, Combat WC), Tyler Hannah (87 kg, Combat WC), Brennan Carey (110 kg, Combat WC)
BRONZE: William Jakeway (55 kg, Sons of Thunder), Zane Chavis (57 kg, Sons of Thunder)

Kolbotn Cup — 11/25/23 — Kolbotn, NOR (U17 & U20)
GOLD:  Elyle Francisco (55 kg, NMU/NTS), Aidan Squier (80 kg, Combat WC), Brennan Carey (110 kg, Combat WC)
SILVER: William Jakeway (55 kg, Sons of Thunder), Kaden Ercanbrack (60 kg, Combat WC), Amryn Nutter (65 kg, Combat WC), Jaxon Bearden (67 kg, NMU/NTS), Ashton Miess (77 kg, Combat WC), Hank Baronowski (82 kg, Combat WC), Cameron Groncki (130 kg, NMU/NTS)
BRONZE: Ryder Smith (60 kg, NMU/NTS), Maddox Khalimsky (63 kg, NMU/NTS)

CISM Military World Championships — 12/2/23 — Baku, AZE (SR)
BRONZE: Dalton Roberts (60 kg, Army/WCAP), Alex Sancho (67 kg, Army/WCAP), John Stefanowicz (87 kg, Navy WC)

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Listen to “5PM55: Recapping Final X with Dennis Hall with words from Koontz, Braunagel and Hafizov” on Spreaker.

Listen to “5PM54: WCAP’s Ryan Epps and a Final X Greco-Roman Preview” on Spreaker.

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