USA Greco

7 Medals for USA on Day 1 of ’24 Pan-Ams

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Alex Sancho -- Photo: UWW

The United States got off to a predictably strong start at the Pan-Ams with seven of the eight athletes who took the mat on Wednesday coming away with medals.

Day 1 of the 2024 Pan-American Championships began at 10:00am local time from Acapulco, Mexico (11:00 ET) and streamed live in the US on FLOWrestling.

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Team USA received potent performances up and down the lineup on the opening day of action in Mexico. Two golds, three silvers, and two bronze represented the haul for the unit with contributions from both established Pan-Am performers as well as three newcomers to the annual continental showcase.

Earning gold for the US were three-time National champ Hayden Tuma (63 kg, NYAC) and ’20 Olympian Alex Sancho (67 kg, Army/WCAP). ’23 U23 World Team member Camden Russell (55 kg, MWC/NYAC), ’22 Pan-Am titlist Randon Miranda (60 kg, NYAC), and Mahmoud Sebie (82 kg, NYAC) each fought their respective ways to silver. Multi-time Senior World reps Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP) and Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, Sunkist) were responsible for the squad’s pair of bronze medals.

For Russell, Sebie, and Schultz, Wednesday marked their first appearances at the Pan-Am Championships, though a caveat belongs next to Schultz’s name as the heavyweight talent did bring home silver from the Pan-American Games back in November.

At press time and with two weight categories still to be contested (72 and 97 kg), the US has amassed 148 team points and enjoys an insurmountable lead over second place Mexico (90 points).

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Gold Medalists

Tuma operated in a round-robin bracket and swept the field. In his first match, he was en-route to a domineering showing against Kevin DeArmas Rodriguez (CUB, up from 60 kg) and eventually prevailed via disqualification. Following that bout, Tuma won by decision over Carlos Gonzalez Vahos (COL) and Hector Sanchez Zapato (MEX) to lock down first place. Tuma had competed in two prior Pan-Am Championships (’17 and ’22) and finished 7th both times. On Wednesday, he was sporadically tested, but was also clearly the top athlete in his class.

Sancho — twice a medalist at this event (’16, silver; ’20, bronze) — broke through with gold but, like Tuma, did not breeze through his bracket. Part of the reason for why there were no familiar technical superiority victories for Sancho was due to his opposition. Each opponent he faced posed challenges and he overcame them all. Sancho took a 4-1 decision at the expense of Laguerre Starlin Rhoodhelly (DOM) to get moving. In the semifinal, he was ahead of Nestor Almanza (CHI) 4-0 before passivity and a gutwrench put Almanza down by only a point. Sancho still hit the buzzer ahead by that same margin to make the final, where he downed decorated continental performer Andres Montano Arroyo (ECU) 3-1.

Bey & Schultz

Bey experienced little difficulty in disposing of familiar David Choc Huoc (HON) in the quarterfinal but an odd sequence halted the US star from advancing to the gold round. In the semifinal, Bey was deemed passive early against Jairo Cuero Munoz (COL) when he contorted to counter a lift attempt that resulted in a scramble off the boundary. Munoz was awarded one point for a step-out plus two more from leg-foul caution on Bey. The ensuing par terre saw Munoz received correct hold points from another lift attempt, thus putting Bey in a 6-0 hole. Bey struck back in the second period with three step-outs (the second of which attached to a failed challenge from COL) and scored a beautiful duck-under takedown to make the score 6-6. However, Munoz held criteria on the part of the first-period caution and it was by that razor-thin margin he clung through the remainder to secure a spot in the finals. Bey dismantled Wuileixis Rivas Espinosa (VEN) via technical fall for bronze.

Schultz (in a round-robin) decisioned Moises Perez Hellburg (VEN) and Jorawar Dhinsa (CAN) to pick up his first two wins on the day before pinning Beder Cantu Martinez (MEX). He was next slated to face ’17 World bronze Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (CHI) in the semifinal portion of the bracket but was held back from the coaching staff for strategic reasoning relative to next week’s Olympic Qualifier. He was still eligible to participate in the bronze round, was Schultz, and a victory via fall against Hellburg is how he closed out his time at the tournament.

Russell, Miranda, Sebie, & Woods

Russell went 1-1 in his three-man bracket at 55, falling in his first match to champ Marco Garcia Alvarez (MEX) ahead of decisioning Mario Choc Choc (HON). The ’24 Pan-Am Championships was Russell’s first Senior-level event on international soil.

Miranda could not have started off any hotter, for in his opening bout he defeated capable and experienced Dicther Toro Castaneda (COL) via technical superiority — and added another to his resume in the semifinal after torching Angel Segura Tellez (MEX). In the final, Miranda and ’16 Olympian Jose Rodriguez Orozco (VEN) combined for one of the more entertaining matches of the day, but it was a match that in the end went to the Venezuelan by way of 8-7 decision, leaving Miranda two-time silver medalists from the Pan-Ams.

Similar to Russell, Sebie operated inside of a three-man round-robin and in the first round tasted defeat (for Sebie, at the hands of Russian-turned-Brazilian Sosruko Kodzokov) but bounced back to grab a win in his next bout. For Sebie (who formerly competed for Egypt), what that looked like was an 8-3 verdict against Diego Macias Torres (MEX).

Two-time World Team member Spencer Woods (87 kg, Army/WCAP) drew a formidable opponent for the quarterfinal round — longtime continental force Carlos Munoz Jaramillo (COL) — and was on the wrong end of a 3-3 criteria decision. Woods is one of the six USA Greco-Roman wrestlers who will be back in action next week at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier in the same location.


On Thursday, the 2024 Pan-Am Championships concludes with two-time National Team member Noah Wachsmuth (NYAC) and four-time National Champion Alan Vera (97 kg, NYAC) suiting up for Team USA. The Pan-Ams amounts to Wachsmuth’s Senior overseas/international debut.

DAY 2 — Thursday, February 22
10:00am — Qualification rounds
2:00pm — Semifinals
3:00pm — Repechage rounds
5:00pm — Finals

2024 Pan-American Championships

February 21-22 — Acapulco, MEX


55 kg: Camden Russell (NYAC/MWC) — SILVER
LOSS Marco Garcia Alvarez (MEX)
WON Mario Choc Choc (HON)

60 kg: Randon Miranda (NYAC) — SILVER
WON Dicther Toro Castaneda (COL)
WON Angel Segura Tellez (MEX)
LOSS Jose Rodriguez Orozco (VEN) 8-7

63 kg: Hayden Tuma (NYAC) — GOLD
WON Kevin DeArmas Rodriguez (CUB) via DQ
WON Carlos Gonzalez Vahos (COL) 4-1
WON Hector Sanchez Zapata (MEX) 4-0

67 kg: Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP) — GOLD
WON Laguerre Starlin Roodhelly (DOM) 4-1
WON Nestor Almanza (CHI) 4-3
WON Andres Montano Arroyo (ECU) 3-1

77 kg: Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP) — BRONZE
WON Davic Choc Huoc (HON) 10-0, TF
LOSS Jair Cuero Munoz (COL) 6-6 (criteria) 
WON Wuileixis Rivas Espinosa (VEN) 11-0, TF

82 kg: Mahmoud Sebie (NYAC) — SILVER
LOSS Sosruko Kodzokov (BRA) 5-2
WON Diego Macias Torres (MEX) 8-3

87 kg: Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP) — 7th
LOSS Carlos Munoz Jaramillo (COL) 3-3 (criteria)

130 kg: Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist) — BRONZE
WON Moises Perez Hellburg (VEN) 4-1
WON Jorawar Dhinsa (CAN) 6-0
WON Beder Cantu Martinez (MEX) 4-0
LOSS Yamani Acosta Fernandez (CHI) via inj. default
WON Moises Perez Hellburg (VEN) via fall 

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Listen to “5PM56: Rich Carlson and Spencer Woods” on Spreaker.

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