USA Greco

2020 OLYMPIC TRIALS FINALS: Notes on Each Series

John Stefanowicz -- Photo: Richard Immel

FORT WORTH, TX — The 2020 United States Olympic Team Trials for Greco-Roman feature six match-ups that, if appropriately parsed and processed, could give way to a vast literary odyssey, and each for different reasons and on their own merit. There is almost too much to say about each athlete, and their respective paths leading to Saturday night’s final round. Still, attempts to do so are made. It has to be that way, especially when selecting a Team for the Olympic Games.

But let’s make it easy.

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Below is each 2020 Olympic Team Trials best-of-three series pairing accompanied by biographical snapshots along with relevant articles pertaining to all of the participants as found on this platform. With the allotment of data gathering and stories being told in real-time during an event like this one, providing easily accessible bits of info and supplemental resources will hopefully aid those who might be new to Team USA Greco and the athletes who are representing the discipline in tonight’s slate of showdowns.

*Articles below each athlete are defined as “relevant”, which is by nature a subjective characterization. Users can search for likely many, many more articles on each athlete by going to the search function at the top of this website. 

60 kg

Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP, world #5, 5PM #1) vs. Ryan Mango (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2)

Hafizov notes:

  • 33-years-old.
  • 2008 Olympian and 2X World Team member for Uzbekistan.
  • ’16 Olympic Trials finalist and 2X World Team member for USA.
  • ’17 Thor Masters gold.
  • ’19 Pan-American Games bronze.
  • Qualified 60 kg for Tokyo Olympics by advancing to final of Pan-Am Olympic Qualifier which is how he earned the bye to tonight’s best-of-three series.

Relevant 5PM articles:
— The Distinguished Ninja (full-length interview).
Post-’20 Pan-Am Qualifier.
Post-’19 World Team Trials.

Mango notes:

  • 30-years-old.
  • ’19 US World Team member.
  • 2X US National Champion.
  • ’18 Pan-American Championships gold.
  • 2X NCAA Division I All-American for Stanford University.
  • Earned spot in tonight’s final by defeating ’18 U23 World Team member Travis Rice and 2X National Champion Mike Fuenffinger.

Relevant 5PM articles:
— Finding Consistency (full-length interview).
Post-Tbilisi camp.
Par terre analysis.

67 kg

Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2) vs. Ellis Coleman (Army/WCAP, 5PM #1)

Sancho notes:

  • 27-years-old.
  • ’19 US National Champion.
  • ’17 US U23 World Team member.
  • Multi-time US Trials runner-up.
  • ’17 Grand Prix Zagreb Open gold.
  • Qualified 67 kg for Tokyo Olympics by advancing to final of Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, which is how he earned the bye to tonight’s best-of-three series.

Relevant 5PM articles:
— Sancho is “Sancho” Again
— 
No Time for Nonsense.
— 
Preparing for WCAP.

Coleman notes:

  • 30-years-old.
  • ’12 US Olympian.
  • 4X US World Team member.
  • 5X US National Champion.
  • 2X Junior World bronze.
  • Earned spot in tonight’s best-of-three by defeating ’19 Junior World bronze Alston Nutter and ’20 National Champion Benji Peak.

Relevant 5PM articles:
— Flying High Back to Reality (full-length interview).
’19 Pan-Am Games training.
— It Takes a Group Effort

ellis coleman, 2020 us olympic team trials

Coleman made every World Team this Olympic cycle along with having garnered three US National crowns. (Photo: Richard Immel)

77 kg

Peyton Walsh (Marines, 5PM #8) vs. Jesse Porter (NYAC/NTS, 5PM #11)

Walsh notes:

  • 29-years-old.
  • 2X US National Team member.
  • 3X NCAA Division I Qualifier for the US Naval Academy.
  • Earned spot in tonight’s best-of-three by defeating 2X Olympian Ben Provisor and 2X World Team member Jake Fisher.

Relevant 5PM articles:
— Get Set (full-length interview).
Post-’21 France GP.

Porter notes:

  • 23-years-old.
  • 3X US U23 World Team member.
  • ’16 US National runner-up.
  • ’20 US U23 National Champion.
  • 2nd, ’20 Olympic Trials Last Chance Qualifier.
  • Earned spot in tonight’s best-of-three by defeating Corey Hope, ’18 World Team member RaVaughn Perkins, and 2X World Team member Patrick Smith.

Relevant 5PM articles:
— Launch Sequence (full-length interview).
Pre-summer ’20 training camp.
’20 U23 Nationals recap.

87 kg

Joe Rau (TMWC/IRTC, world #5, 5PM #2) vs. John Stefanowicz (Marines, 5PM #4)

Rau notes:

  • 30-years-old.
  • ’16 Olympic Trials Champion.
  • 2X US World Team member.
  • 2X US National Champion.
  • Division III National Champion for Elmhurst College.
  • Qualified 87 kg for Tokyo Olympics by advancing to final of Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, which is how he earned the bye to tonight’s best-of-three series.

Relevant 5PM articles
— When There Is Laughter (full-length interview).
This One is Different (full-length interview).
“I Reminded Myself to Believe” Post-’19 US Open

Stefanowicz notes:

  • 30-years-old.
  • ’19 US World Team member.
  • 3X US National Team member.
  • Was forced to step away from competition for two seasons from ’14 to ’16 due to military assignment.
  • Earned spot in tonight’s best-of-three by defeating Barrett Stanghill and ’20 National Champion Alan Vera.

Relevant 5PM articles:
— This Is What I Live For (full-length interview).
— Diary of An Athlete Leader.
— 
“John Stefanowicz Makes an Impression”

97 kg

G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist, 5PM #1) vs. Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC, 5PM #9)

Hancock notes:

  • 23-years-old.
  • 3X US World Team member.
  • 2X US National Champion.
  • ’18 Pytlasinski Cup gold, ’19 Hungarian Grand Prix gold.
  • ’20 Pan-American Championships gold.
  • ’16 Junior World bronze.
  • Qualified 97 kg for Tokyo Olympics by advancing to final of Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, which is how he earned the bye to tonight’s best-of-three series.

Relevant 5PM articles:
— Two Years (oral history).
Post-Pytlasinski ’18.
— Beyond His Years (full-length interview).

Amos notes:

  • 19-years-old.
  • 3rd, ’20 US Nationals.
  • 1st, Last Chance Qualifier.
  • 3X West Virginia high school state champion.
  • Earned spot in tonight’s best-of-three by defeating National Team member Eric Twohey, multi-time National Team member Luke Sheridan, and ’19 Junior World Team/’20 National Champion Nick Boykin.
braxton amos, olympic trials

At 19 years of age, Braxton Amos has yet to put in a full competitive season for the University of Wisconsin, yet finds himself an Olympic Trials finalist. (Photo: Richard Immel)

Relevant 5PM articles:
“BRAX Is Just Happy to Be Here”
’21 OTT Challenge Final recap.
’21 Last Chance Qualifier recap.

130 kg

Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen, 5PM #1) vs. Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist, 5PM #2)

Coon notes:

  • 26-years-old.
  • ’18 World silver.
  • ’19 Pan-American Championships gold.
  • ’16 Olympic Trials runner-up.
  • ’16 US National Champion.
  • ’14 Junior World bronze.
  • 2X NCAA Division I runner-up.
  • Earned spot in tonight’s best-of-three by defeating Tommy Helton and ’20 National runner-up West Cathcart.

Relevant 5PM articles:
’18 5PM Athlete of the Year.
— 
’20 summer camp Q&A.
“Coon Makes World Final”

Schultz notes:

  • 20-years-old.
  • ’19 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament Champion.
  • 2X US National Champion.
  • ’17 Cadet World Champion.
  • ’18 Junior World bronze.
  • ’19 Junior World silver.
  • ’21 NCAA Division I All-American.
  • Earned spot in tonight’s best-of-three by defeating Donny Longendyke and ’19 US National Champion Jacob Mitchell.

Relevant 5PM articles
— It’s Not What You’ve Done, It’s What You’re Moving Towards (full-length interview).
“Learning from Every Match” – Post-’19 WTT
Senior Debut at Thor Masters

The best-of-three finals at the 2020 Olympic Trials begin at 6:30pm CT and air live on NBC Sports Universal. 

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Comments

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2 Comments

2 Comments

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  2. zortilo nrel

    October 31, 2021 at 9:12 am

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