USA Greco

BEY MAKES OLYMPIC TEAM; More Series to be Decided

kamal bey, 2024 pan american olympic games qualifier
Kamal Bey -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

STATE COLLEGE, PA — The United States now knows who one of their three athletes heading to Istanbul next month will be as two-time World Team member Kamal Bey (77 kg, Army/WCAP) swept Aliaksandr Kikiniou (NYAC) earlier today.

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Session III of the 2024 US Olympic Team Trials began at 10:00am ET from the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pennsylvania and aired live on Peacock and the USA Network.

In what was their second best-of-three series after duking it out last year at Final X: Newark, Bey did not permit Kikiniou an opportunity to generate any momentum. Bey overwhelmed the ’09 World medalist via 9-0 VSU in Match 1 before putting the finishing touches on his ascension to the Olympic Team by prevailing 6-1 in the second round.

26-year-old Bey has one more step before he can book a ticket to Paris. As is the case with both 60 and 67 kg, 77 kg still needs to be secured at the World Olympic Qualifier in Istanbul, Turkey. That assignment now belongs to Bey, who is widely-considered one of the top athletes in his field, and is expected to be a major contender despite the wealth of other talent who will be present in that bracket.

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Series Results So Far

The schedule for Saturday’s Session III was originally reported incorrectly. Instead of running only those bouts on the consolation side of each bracket, the tournament is formatted as such to where the the first matches for the best-of-three finals in each of the three qualified weights (87, 97, and 130 kg) were contested, as well. In addition, the three weight categories still requiring qualification (60, 67, and 77 kg) each exhausted two rounds (hence Bey wrapping up his bid early).

At 60 kilograms, Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP) took Match 1 from Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP) by a 2-0 score. Hafizov recovered for the second round and capitalized in a big way from par terre by piling on for a 10-1 VSU. Hafizov and Roberts are amid their fifth best-of-three Trials final since ’18.

Reigning Olympian Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP) walked away the 1-1 criteria against the returning Ellis Coleman (Army/WCAP, Olympian in ’12). Coleman received the first passive/par terre chance in that bout, Sancho the second, and a third par terre was introduced late in the match but Sancho defended. Coleman knotted the series in Match 2 with both of his points arriving via passivity. Sancho defeated Coleman for the 67 kg Olympic spot in ’21; prior to that, Coleman had downed Sancho in the ’17 and ’18 World Team Trial finals, respectively.

Young Payton Jacobson‘s (Sunkist/NTS) had a big first day at the Olympic Trials on Friday and his momentum continued into this morning. Jacobson faced off with “The Alaskan Assassin” Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP), who enjoyed a bye to the best-of-three finals, and poured it on for an 8-2 decision as well as a 1-0 series lead.

Two-time World Team member Alan Vera (NYAC) scored the brunt of his relevant points against three-timer Joe Rau (TMWC) from par terre to enter tonight’s session needing only one more victory to close it out. Vera scored exposure points with his lock to eventually grab the first match of the series 7-1.

Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, Sunkist) scored all three of his points at the expense of ’18 World silver Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen WC) in the first period. Coon got a point back in the second but could not impart any damage, something he will look to fix before this evening’s festivities.

Remaining 2024 Olympic Trials Schedule

— All times ET.
— Live streaming available on Peacock (subscription required).
— USA Network will carry both the best-of-three finals (Saturday).

6:30pm-10:00pm — Finals for 60, 67, 87, 97, & 130 kg

2024 Olympic Trials Finals Pairings

2024 US Olympic Trials

April 19-20 — State College, PA


60 kg

Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP) vs. Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP)

Match 1: Roberts def. Hafizov 2-0
Match 2: Hafizov def. Roberts 10-1, TF
Match 3: Saturday evening

67 kg

Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP) vs. Ellis Coleman (Army/WCAP)

Match 1: Sancho def. Coleman 1-1 (criteria)
Match 2: Coleman def. Sancho 2-0
Match 3: Saturday evening

77 kg

Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP) def. Aliaksandr Kikiniou (NYAC)

Match 1: Bey def. Kikiniou 9-1, TF
Match 2: Bey def. Kikiniou 6-1
Bey earns spot on 2024 US Olympic Team

87 kg

Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP) vs. Payton Jacobson (Sunkist/NTS)

Match 1: Jacobson def. Woods 8-2
Matches 2 and 3 Saturday evening

97 kg

Alan Vera (NYAC) vs. Joe Rau (TMWC)

Match 1: Vera def. Rau 7-1
Matches 2 and 3 Saturday evening

130 kg

Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist) vs. Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen WC)

Match 1: Schultz def. Coon 3-1
Matches 2 and 3 Saturday evening

National Team Match Results

In weight classes that were qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics, those athletes who fell to eventual winners of the challenge brackets competed against athletes who wrestled-back to earn 3rd place. These athletes were John Stefanowicz (87 kg, Navy WC), Nick Boykin (97 kg, Sunkist), and Aden Attao (130 kg, Beaver Dam RTC). 

87 kg: John Stefanowicz (Navy WC) def. Zac Braunagel (IRTC) 2-1
97 kg: Nick Boykin (Sunkist) def. David Tate Orndorff (TMWC/Ohio RTC) 4-3
130 kg: Aden Attao (Beaver Dam RTC) def. Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm) 4-2

3rd Place Bracket Results

60 kg: Max Black (NMU/NTS) def. Taylor LaMont (Minnesota Storm) 8-1
67 kg: Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) def. Robert Perez III (Sunkist) 5-1
77 kg: Jesse Porter (NYAC) def. Danny Braunagel (IRTC) 12-1, TF
87 kg: Zac Braunagel (IRTC) def. Fritz Schierl (Minnesota Storm) 4-0
97 kg: David Tate Orndorff (TMWC/Ohio RTC) def. Brandon Marshall (Big Game WC) 9-0, TF
130 kg: Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm) def. Jeremiah Imonode (Army/WCAP) 9-0, TF

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Listen to “5PM57: Kamal Bey and David Stepanyan” on Spreaker.

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

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

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