USA Greco

Monday Roundup: Full 2022 US Open Greco Schedule; ‘Invite the Pain’

jamel johnson, marines, 2022 us open
Jamel Johnson -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

The US Open is finally on the doorstep once again following a three-year hiatus. In the time since, there have been three Nationals, one of which served as the main qualifier for the ’20 Olympic Team Trials. And it should be understood that a National tournament sans “US Open” designation is not a lesser event. That said, the return of the actual US Open, live from Las Vegas with all the requisite included fanfare, has brought with it a sense of renewal and excitement for serious wrestling fans across the country.

pat smith, fanatics, banner 2

At press time, 173 athletes are registered for Senior Greco-Roman, an encouraging sign considering the low turnout for the Bill Farrell Memorial earlier this month in Iowa. Top-6 in each Senior weight category qualifies for the World Team Trials (next month in Coralville). However, every bracket features athletes who have already secured Trials berths; this means that there is a strong likelihood several fine and capable wrestlers may find themselves without a chair when the music stops in Vegas. For those who do finish outside of the top-6, they will have the “Last Chance” tournament on May 13 in Atlantic City available.

Bracket Breakdown

Below is the list of weight categories, each with their number of entrants (as per the seeding deadline) and corresponding WTT-qualified athletes.

55 kg — 9

Trials qualified — 5

Max Nowry (Army/WCAP, world #9, 5PM #1)
Brady Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC, 5PM #3)
Dalton Duffield (Army/WCAP, 5PM #4)
Jacob Cochran (NMU/NTS, 5PM #5)
Cole Smith (Army/WCAP, 5PM #7)

60 kg — 16

Trials qualified — 4

Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP, world #26, 5PM #1)
Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2)
Dylan Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC, 5PM #6)
Max Black (NMU/NTS, 5PM #8)

63 kg — 16

Trials qualified — 2

Jesse Thielke (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2)
King Sandoval (Bandits, 5PM #5 at 60 kg)

67 kg — 25

Trials qualified — 4

Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP, world #19, 5PM #1)
Peyton Omania (NYAC/CYC, 5PM #2)
Alston Nutter (Sunkist/NTS, 5PM #4)
Lenny Merkin (NYAC/NJRTC, 5PM #5)

72 kg — 18

Trials qualified — 4

Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS, 5PM #2)
Jamel Johnson (Marines, 5PM #3)
Michael Hooker (Army/WCAP, 5PM #4)
Orlando Ponce (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #6)

77 kg — 23

Trials qualified — 2

Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP, 5PM #3)
Britton Holmes (Army/WCAP, #4)

82 kg — 24

Trials qualified — 4

Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2)
Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #3)
Tommy Brackett (Gator, 5PM #4)
Tyler Cunningham (MWC, 5PM #5)

87 kg — 9

Trials qualified — 3

Alan Vera (NYAC, 5PM #3)
Christian DuLaney (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #5)
George Sikes (NYAC/NTS, 5PM #7)

97 kg — 18

Trials qualified — 2

Luke Sheridan (Army/WCAP, 5PM #4)
Khymba Johnson (NYAC, 5PM #5)
Christian Rouleau (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #9)

130 kg — 14

Trials qualified — 2

Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist, world #26, 5PM #1)
Courtney Freeman (Marines, 5PM #8)

Johnson Back from NOR

’19 Final X runner-up Jamel Johnson, one of several athletes set to compete in Vegas coming off of a hiatus, arrived back in the States this past weekend after a three-month Marine assignment in Norway.

It has been a year of change for Johnson. Last spring, he finished second to then-teammate Xavier Johnson at the Nationals before winning Pan-Am gold — which occurred just prior to the formal dissolution of the All-Marine Team. He was then moved to Marine Aviation Logistics, giving him a new job and title. Johnson did not know when he might compete again and aimed to stay in-shape in case such an opportunity arose. It did at the September Trials, where he placed third.

This time around is different. Johnson said on Monday that he “hasn’t trained a lick” in months — and that he is fully aware of what that means entering a major domestic tournament. “I know I’m going to be tired, I know it’s going to hurt,” he admitted. “I’ve accepted that. One of my mantras is ‘invite the pain’. I’m just going to wrestle hard and whatever happens, happens.”

Although listed (and seeded 5th, actually) at 67 kilograms for the US Open, Johnson is instead targeting 72, making that bracket one of the tournament’s densest. Others currently occupying spots in the category are Benji PeakCalvin Germinaro, Michael Hooker, Joe Betterman, and one of the surprises of the Bill Farrell Memorial, Orlando Ponce.

2022 US Open Greco-Roman Full Schedule

All times PT (FLOWrestling will carry the live broadcast.)

Wednesday, April 27 U20 (Junior) Nationals

10:00am-2:00pm — Preliminaries, quarterfinals, semifinals, and consolation rounds
4:00pm-5:30pm — Medal rounds and best-of-three finals

Thursday, April 28 — U17 (Cadet) World Team Trials

10:00am-2:00pm — Preliminaries, quarterfinals, semifinals, and consolation rounds
3:00pm-6:00pm — Consolation semifinals, medal rounds, and best-of-three finals

Saturday, April 30 — Senior Greco-Roman Nationals

10:00am-3:00pm — Preliminaries, quarterfinals, and consolations
4:00pm-6:00pm — Semifinals and consolations

Sunday May 1 — U15 Nationals (Pan-Am Trials Qualifier)

10:00am-2:00pm — Preliminaries, quarterfinals, and consolations
2:00pm-4:00pm — Medal rounds and finals

Sunday, May 1 — Senior Greco-Roman Nationals

10:00am-1:00pm — Consolation semifinals
5:00pm-7:00pm — Medal rounds and finals

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