Friday morning will mark the first time in three years that an international presence will be witnessed at a Senior Greco-Roman tournament in the United States as the 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial/NYAC Open gets underway in New York. It is worthy to note that Friday’s Farrell is the second one of the year. This past April saw the long-running event moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa due to uncertainty surrounding COVID-related restrictions in New York State. The situation is not unprecedented, at least in terms of the same tournament being held twice in the same year. For example, ’17, when there were two Dave Schultz Memorials — one in February, and then another in November.
Although the aforementioned “international presence” in ’22 is indeed coming to fruition, the participation level is not high. But the skill-set is. Among the athletes who are expected to compete are Moldovans Victor Ciobanu and Alexandrin Gutu. Ciobanu, a World Champion in ’21 and a silver medalist before that, has preferred 63 kilograms as of late but it is unknown which weight category he might choose for Friday. Gutu, assuming he is player, will be entering fresh off of a run to gold at the U23 World Championships last month in Spain and is likely to select his comfortable spot at 77 kg.
The Moldovan contingent — which in Friday’s event will comprise four athletes — were invited to the United States by the coaching tandem of Westley Bockert of Alaska’s Interior Grappling Academy and Ringers head Bill Kahle (WI). The MDA wrestlers touched down in America to train at IGA, which further raises the profile of one of the US program’s fastest-rising clubs.
2022 Bill Farrell Memorial Schedule
As reported last week, there are plenty of Americans of exceptionally high repute competing in the 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial, including recent World Team members Dalton Roberts (60 kg, Army/WCAP), Sammy Jones (63 kg, Sunkist/CTT), and Jesse Porter (77 kg, NYAC) — as well as two-time National champ Hayden Tuma (67 kg, Suples), multi-time age-group World Teamer Randon Miranda (60 kg, Unattached), ’21 U23 World Team member David Stepanyan (63 kg, NYAC/NTS), Britton Holmes (77 kg, Army/WCAP), Ryan Epps (82 kg, Minnesota Storm), Ty Cunningham (82 kg, MWC), and Fritz Schierl (77 kg, Minnesota Storm).
There is an important feel to this year’s Farrell, even in the absence of World Team selection procedures. Not only is the fall of ’22 version the first one to actually be held in NY in 36 months (and showcase foreign competitors), it is also the first tournament of the season for the vast majority of participants. And because this current season will reach its conclusion at a World Championships beholden to Olympic Games qualifying, what transpires on Friday could ignite momentum for those competitors who traditionally sustain active profiles, which may not prove a difficult proposition for US Seniors in ’23.
FLOWrestling will carry the live broadcast of the 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial beginning on Friday morning at 10:00am ET. The full tournament schedule can be viewed below. We will have two recaps following the event.
2022 Bill Farrell Memorial
November 18 — New York, NY
10:00am-3:00pm — Preliminaries, quarterfinals, semifinals, and consolation rounds
4:00pm-7:00pm — Consolation rounds continued, bronze rounds, and finals
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