Greco News

Monday Roundup: US Training Roster for Hungary; First ‘Ranking Series’ Medalists

sammy jones, hungary roster
Sammy Jones -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

There is still one more stop for US athletes overseas following a week of training in Malmo, Sweden.

As is custom, Americans have found their way into Budapest for what is anticipated to be the final overseas camp prior to this year’s World Team selection. Initial reports indicated that 2021 World bronze G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist, world #4, 5PM #1) would be heading to Hungary after Bulgaria and Sweden, though it was unknown at the time how many other US reps were to join him. It was soon learned that several Seniors had begun similar plans, including ’21 National champ Randon Miranda (60 kg, Rise RTC, 5PM #4), ’21 World Team member “Wildman Sam” Sammy Jones (63 kg, NYAC, 5PM #1), Morgan Flaharty (67 kg, NYAC), and the lone CRO/BUL holdover along with Hancock, Robert Perez III (67 kg, Sunkist).

Since then, the training roster for Hungary has been completed and it is much larger than originally thought. 19 athletes are on the list for Budapest camp, which eclipses the first-draft roster for Croatia from January prior to the removal of the eight Army athletes. One more key difference is noticeable, as well.

While the majority of American participants are Seniors, also involved are four athletes who are still currently Junior-eligible: Jonathan Gurule (60 kg, NMU/NTS), Perez, ’20 Junior National champ Payton Jacobson (72 kg, Sunkist/NTS), and Aaron Dobbs (82 kg, NMU/NTS).

Camp in Budapest ends just prior to the start of the European Championships (beginning on March 28), though the US delegation’s stay will be comparatively brief.

Team USA Hungarian Camp Roster 2022

60 kg

Jonathan Gurule (NMU/NTS)

Randon Miranda (Rise RTC) — ’21 National Champion, 2X Junior World Team, ’21 Ibrahim Moustafa gold

Carter Stephenson (EAP)

63 kg

Sammy Jones (NYAC) — ’21 World Team,  2X National runner-up, ’14 University World bronze

Aidan Nutter (NMU/NTS) — ’21 Last Chance WTT Qualifier Champion

David Stepanyan (NYAC/NTS) — ’21 U23 World Team, ’21 World Team Trials runner-up, ’21 National runner-up

67 kg

Morgan Flaharty (NYAC) — ’18 Sassari City International silver

Logan Hatch (EAP) — ’20 Junior National runner-up

Alston Nutter (Sunkist/NTS) — ’19 Junior World bronze, ’21 National runner-up

Robert Perez III (Sunkist) — ’21 Last Chance WTT Qualifier Champion

72 kg

Payton Jacobson (Sunkist/NTS) — ’20 Junior National Champion, ’21 Junior Word Team Trials runner-up, ’21 Pan-American Championships silver

77 kg

Mike Donato (NYAC)

Nate Grimes (NYAC) — ’20 U23 National Champion

Austin Morrow (NYAC/NTS) — ’20 Last Chance OTT Qualifier Champion, ’16 University National Champion

Jesse Porter (NYAC) — ’21 World Team, ’20 Olympic Trials Champion, 3X U23 World Team

82 kg

Tommy Brackett (Gator) — ’21 U23 World Team, ’21 National runner-up

Aaron Dobbs (NMU/NTS)

87 kg

DM Hallett (NMU/NTS)

97 kg

G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist) — ’21 World bronze, ’20 Olympian, 4X World Team, ’16 Junior World bronze


Mohamed Abdelfatah — US Olympic & Paralympic Training Center
Lucas Steldt — Combat WC (WI)

First RS Tourney

It was supposed to be the Matteo Pellicone Memorial in Rome, but instead the annual Vehbi Emre in Istanbul last week served as United World Wrestling’s first “Ranking Series” event of ’22. By typical standards, it was not as expansive of a field across (across all weight categories) as is the norm for these tournaments. For starters, both Russia and Ukraine were absent, but not necessarily due to the former’s invasion of the latter, since neither country had athletes on the original entry list; plus with the Nikola Petrov coming and going the week prior, most nations who were present in Bulgaria (including BUL themselves) did not send teams, as well.

Home country Turkey wound up with a whopping 13 medalists (with five champs). The most notable result, perhaps, occurred in the 63-kilogram final as Islomjon Bakhramov (UZB) torched reigning World champ Victor Ciobanu (MDA) via tech. At 60 kilograms, Yernar Fidakhametov (KAZ) ousted ’18 World bronze Ekrem Ozturk (TUR) , while in the same bracket ’18 World gold Eldaniz Azizli (AZE) was decisioned by Ozturk in the quarters but declined to compete in the bronze round. Both Azizli and Ozturk earned their World medals at 55 kilos. Multi-time World Champion Riza Kayaalp (130 kg, TUR) was caught and pinned by eventual silver Beka Kandelaki (AZE) in the semifinal, with the top spot later going to Kayaalp’s understudy, two-time U23 medalist Osman Yildirim.

2022 Vehbi Emre

February 24-25 — Istanbul, TUR

55 kg

GOLD: Adem Uzun (TUR)
SILVER: Amangali Bekbolatov (KAZ)
BRONZE: Dogus Ayazci (TUR)

60 kg

GOLD: Yernar Fidakhmetov (KAZ)
SILVER: Ekrem Ozturk (TUR)
BRONZE: Yernur Fidakhmetov (KAZ)
BRONZE: Gyanender Gyanender (IND)

63 kg

GOLD: Islomjon Bakhramov (UZB)
SILVER: Victor Ciobanu (MDA)
BRONZE: Ahmet Uyar (TUR)
BRONZE: Taleh Mammadov (AZE)

67 kg

GOLD: Makhmud Bakhshiloev (UZB)
SILVER: Morten Thoresen (NOR)
BRONZE: Meirzhan Shermakhanbet (KAZ)
BRONZE: Volkan Cakil (TUR)

72 kg

GOLD: Selcuk Can (TUR)
SILVER: Kristupas Sleiva (LTU)
BRONZE: Murat Dag (TUR)
BRONZE: Mateusz Bernatek (POL)

77 kg

GOLD: Yunus Basar (TUR)
SILVER: Suley Suleymanov (AZE)
BRONZE: Tamerlan Shudukaiev (KAZ)
BRONZE: Furkan Bayrak (TUR)

82 kg

GOLD: Burhan Akbudak (TUR)
SILVER: Mihail Bradu (MDA)
BRONZE: Rafiq Huseynov (AZE)
BRONZE: Tunjay Vazirzade (AZE)

87 kg

GOLD: Islam Abbasov (AZE)
SILVER: Zurabi Datunashvili (SRB)
BRONZE: Metehan Basar (TUR)
BRONZE: Ali Cengiz (TUR)

97 kg

GOLD: Rustam Assakalov (UZB)
SILVER: Arvi Savolainen (FIN)
BRONZE: Felix Baldauf (NOR)
BRONZE: Beytullah Kayisdag (TUR)

130 kg

GOLD: Osman Yildirim (TUR)
SILVER: Beka Kandelaki (AZE)
BRONZE: Muminjon Abdullaev (UZB)
BRONZE: Riza Kayaalp (TUR)

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