Aidan Squier (80 kg, Scorpions/HPGP) wrapped up a tremendous weekend performance by placing second in a large field of competitors, while Ashton Miess (72 kg, Combat WC) fought his way to bronze (impressively so), thus closing out the United States’ showing at the 2022 Malarcupen in Vasteras, Sweden.
Both athletes had done the majority of their great good work on Saturday. Squier — who competed in the U17 division — went 3-0 with two pins and a VSU, which put essentially placed him in the final of his pool, and semifinal of his overall bracket. He then got the job done in his first bout on Sunday. Squier cleaned house in blitzing fashion to take out Adam Olsson (SWE) via tech. The gold-medal round provided a tough test in the form of Santeri Karppinen (FIN), who managed to decision Squier 5-3. The tournament was nevertheless a fine representation of the age-grouper’s abilities, and it came with his first international medal following a fourth-place finish at Chomutov earlier this year.
Miess had three matches on Saturday, and three more today. After defeating Norwegian Kasper Overby 6-2, the Wisconsin wrestler was clipped in the pool final by Hannes Bjorngvist (SWE). The narrow loss kept Miess from having a chance for gold, so he grabbed the next best thing. With bronze on the line, Miess outworked Victor Bogstrom (SWE) 8-3. Like Squier, the 2022 Malarcupen provided Miess with his initial international piece of hardware.
Northern Michigan University/National Training Site assistant coach Parker Betts was in the corner for all of Miess’ bouts over the weekend and came away impressed with what he saw.
“Saturday morning before the competition started, Ashton was so nervous,” said Betts. “He just kept thinking about going 0-2 and was putting this unnecessary pressure on himself. But we had a conversation about everything and he went out and destroyed his first guy, and then he felt way more confident. He started rolling and won four straight before dropping his last pool match, then he won for third. I like Ashton, he’s very coachable. He wants to learn and he wants to win. He worked hard in all of his matches and is honest with himself about the match he lost. He’s a great kid. I still blame him for us missing the train from Uppsala to Vasteras, however.”
Hamre, Hatch, & Scherer
The trio of Gunnar Hamre (67 kg, Combat WC), Logan Hatch (67 kg, EAP/USOPC), and Will Scherer (65 kg, Combat WC) entered Day 2 at the Malarcupen with their own chances for podium spots but were unable to break through. Hamre was called upon to face the most hardened foreigner in the bracket, eventual champ Tim Bergfalk (SWE), but fell 8-0. Hatch, who sizzled on Day 1, dropped consecutive bouts to Noah Sodergvist (SWE) and Hannes Hoffmann (SWE), respectively. Scherer, a U17 competitor, was turned back by Wilmer Guldstrand (SWE).
NMU frosh Jimmy Hustoles (130 kg) had to wait until Sunday for his bracket to hold matches. Unfortunately for the promising big man, the Malarcupen did not avail a victory. Hustoles lost to both Billy Raaf (SWE) and Markus Engstom (NOR) in his maiden overseas voyage.
The 2022 Malarcupen signals the end of the Americans’ brief stay in Sweden. Originally, there were plans for a team dual, but said plans were nixed late last week. Instead, the delegation is set to begin the long trek home on Monday. Although the tournament itself did not yield a haul of US medals, competition was not the primary objective of the trip. Training and exposure to international Greco on a wider scale was the key attraction, which is why Betts feels the contingent will return stateside better prepared for what might come next.
“I think the experience was good for everyone,” Betts said. “It was better for some and worse for others, depending on how the competition went, but that’s going to happen. The training camp was smaller in numbers but the foreign coaches did a great job showing technique and working with our guys as much as possible.”
- The US roster all competed under the “NMU/National Training Site” banner at the 2022 Malarcupen regardless of their home club affiliations.
- The US team consisting of 11 total athletes combined for 35 matches with an overall record of 15-19 (two results are removed because Jaxon Bearden wrestled Charlie Dill, which is USA vs. USA).
- Of the 15 victories, eight were stoppages (six technical falls, two pins).
- Squier is credited with the two pins. Miess had two of the tech falls.
2022 Malar Cupen
November 5-6 — Vasteras, SWE
TEAM USA FULL RESULTS
Jaxon Bearden (NMU/NTS) — 7th
LOSS Logan Hatch (EAP) 9-7
WON Charlie Dill (NMU/NTS) 3-3 (criteria)
LOSS Hannes Hofmann (SWE) 9-0, TF
Ryu Brown (NMU/NTS) — 11th
LOSS Renat Kryzhko (SWE) 4-1
LOSS Tim Bergfalk (SWE) 8-0, TF
Charlie Dill (NMU/NTS) — 10th
LOSS Noah Sodergvist (SWE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Jaxon Bearden (NMU/NTS) 3-3 (criteria)
Gunnar Hamre (Combat WC) — 6th
WON Yaman Abdo (NOR) 8-0, TF
LOSS Renat Kryzhko (SWE) 14-6. TF
WON Isac Rydberg (SWE) 13-9
LOSS Tim Bergfalk (SWE) 8-0, TF
Logan Hatch (EAP) — 5th
WON Jaxon Bearden (NMU/NTS) 9-7
WON Eric Jonsson (SWE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Noah Sodergvist (SWE) 16-5, TF
LOSS Hannes Hoffmann (SWE) 2-1
Ashton Miess (Combat WC) — bronze
WON Iles Murtazov (SWE) 9-0, TF
WON Atte Rajainmaki (FIN) 9-0, TF
WON Danny Chjan (SWE) 7-2
WON Kasper Overby (NOR) 6-2
LOSS Hannes Bjorngvist (SWE) 4-2
WON Victor Bogstrom (SWE) 8-3
Mason Bray (NMU/NTS) — 6th
LOSS Artur Ovasapyan (NOR) 8-0, TF
LOSS Kim Stenberg (SWE) 10-1, TF
Sean Michael (IGA) — 8th
LOSS Sorosh Algasi (NOR) 8-0, TF
LOSS August Eriksson (SWE) 8-0, TF
Jimmy Hustoles (NMU/NTS) — bronze
LOSS Billy Raaf (SWE) via fall
LOSS Markus Engstom (NOR) 11-0, TF
Will Scherer (Combat WC) — 9th
WON Ahmed Berjawi (SWE) 3-2
WON Loi Olsson (SWE) 7-1
LOSS Rahim Tebojev (FIN) 6-4
LOSS Wilmer Guldstrand (SWE) 8-0, TF
Aidan Squier (Scorpions/HPGP) — silver
WON Lars Olaussen (NOR) 10-0, TF
WON Simen Ekeberg (NOR) via fall
WON Alexander Amas (NOR) via fall
WON Adam Olsson (SWE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Santeri Karppinen (FIN) 5-3
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