USA Greco

Peak Gold; USA Claims 7 Medals to Win Sweden’s Klippan Cup

benji peak wins 2018 klippan cup
USA at the Klippan Cup -- Photo: Rob Hermann

Benji Peak (67 kg, NMU/OTS) really likes Scandinavia. But he likes competing without draining his body to make weight even more.

Peak got his first test run in his new weight class earlier today at the annual Klippan Cup in Klippan, Sweden. It went very well for the NMU soph — he earned his third international gold.

With Peak were six other medalists for the US squad, which clinched the team title over Belarus by a single point.

Sean Sesnan (55 kg) becomes Williams Baptist College’s first-ever international medalist with his runner-up finish. Also finishing with silvers were Keaton Fanning (87 kg, NMU/OTS) and Tyler Curd (130 kg, NMU/OTS). Jacob Cochran (55 kg, NMU/OTS), David Stepanian (60 kg, NMU/OTS), and Nick Boykin (97 kg, Sunkist) earned bronze.

For Peak, it was a step up from his performance at Klippan in 2017. Last fall, the lanky Wisconsinite, dubbed “Mr. Fantastic” due to his rangy frame, took third at the Bear Cup in Denmark to open up his international career in full before adding a bronze from the Klippan Cup two weeks later. Peak closed the ’17 Sweden tour with a dominant run to gold at the Malar Cupen.

But his weight class last year, 60 kilograms, haunted him all season long. His 6’0 stature made dropping down increasingly difficult throughout the year, though he fought through it to win the Junior World Team Trials this past June. However, he knew then that 60 kilograms was certainly not going to be in his future for the long term, and he loved the way 67 felt this weekend right away.

“It was so good, I wasn’t tired and I got to eat dinner the night before. I felt like I was in a dream,” he said earlier today. “I didn’t feel as strong as the guys I wrestled, I just new my technique was going to be better than theirs.”

Peak’s run at Klippan was another sparkling effort on par with how he had performed last season. He opened with a tech over US teammate Noah Wachsmuth (OR), grabbed another against Anton Månsson (SWE), pinned Puttichart Phaitoonwong, and sealed up his day with one more tech, this time at the expense of Baber Ali (SWE).

Fanning began Saturday’s action with a crushing victory via tech over Gustav Månsson (SWE). He then edged Jacob Logård (SWE) 7-6 before falling in the finals to 2017 U23 World Team member Emil Sandahl (SWE).

“Big” Nick Boykin was a runner-up at Klippan in 2017, but that was at heavyweight. Like Peak, he is getting used to a new weight class — only he dropped down instead of jumping up. Boykin went 2-2 at 97 kilos, falling first to Kalle Persson (SWE). He won his next one, a pin over Linus Persson (SWE). But Boykin was next narrowly defeated by Billy Rääf (SWE), and ultimately closed things out with a triumph against Trace Schirmers (NMU/OTS).

Sesnan and Cochran operated in a round-robin 55-kilogram bracket. Both were defeated by champ Alexander Norström (SWE), and Sesnan down Cochran 10-0.

2016 Fargo champ and one of NMU’s best new prospects is Curd, who only had one other athlete in his weight class. The youngster battled Ilya Yudchuts (BLR) but was ousted 9-1.

Following this tournament, the USA delegation will stay in Sweden for the week, with a dual against Team Skåne Brottning potentially on the agenda for Wednesday. Next weekend, the tour concludes with the Malar Cupen, a multi-age-group event, in Västerås.


  • Peak, counting his victory via fall, outscored his four opponents on Saturday 27-0.
  • 2008 Olympian and retired US legend TC Dantzler’s son, Tommy Dantzler (82 kg, Front Range Twisters) made his overseas debut today as well as Sesnan and Curd. Dantzler went 1-2, officially finishing in 6th place.

2018 Klippan Cup

October 27th — Klippan, Sweden


55 kg

Sean Sesnan (WBC) — silver
LOSS Alexander Norström (SWE) 9-0, TF
WIN Jacob Cochran (NMU/OTS) 10-0, TF

Jacob Cochran (NMU/OTS) — bronze
LOSS Alexander Norström (SWE) 9-0, TF
LOSS Sean Sesnan (WBC) 10-0, TF

60 kg

David Stepanian (NMU/OTS) — bronze
WIN Jon Massey (NMU/OTS) 11-3, TF
LOSS Inaya Mohseni (SWE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Aliaksandr Niahoda (BLR) 9-6
WIN Cole Stephenson (CO) 7-6

Cole Stephenson (CO) — 4th
LOSS Inaya Mohseni (SWE) 8-0, TF
WIN Jon Massey (NMU/OTS) 9-1, TF
LOSS Aliaksandr Niahoda (BLR) 8-0, TF
LOSS David Stepanian (NMU/OTS) 7-6

Jon Massey (NMU/OTS) — 5th
LOSS David Stepanian (NMU/OTS) 11-3, TF
LOSS Aliaksandr Niahoda (BLR) 14-11
LOSS Inaya Mohseni (SWE) 8-0, TF

63 kg

Erik Spence (NMU/OTS) — 9th
LOSS Christoffer Svensson (SWE) 13-4, TF
LOSS Maksim Nehoda (BLR) 8-0, TF

67 kg

Benji Peak (NMU/OTS) — gold
WIN Noah Wachsmuth (OR) 8-0, TF
WIN Anton Månsson (SWE) 9-0, TF
WIN Puttichart Phaitoonwong (SWE) via fall
WIN Baber Ali (SWE) 8-0, TF

Noah Wachsmuth (OR) — 4th
LOSS Beni Peak (NMU/OTS) 8-0, TF
WIN Puttichart Phaitoonwong (SWE) via fall
LOSS Aliaksandr Liavonchyk (BLR) 8-0, TF

Timmy Thompson (NMU/OTS) — 5th
WIN Christian Johansson (SWE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Aliaksandr Liavonchyk (BLR) 7-0
LOSS Baber Ali (SWE) 14-4, TF

Britton Holmes (NMU/OTS) — 7th
LOSS Baber Ali (SWE) 6-2
LOSS Aliaksandr Liavonchyk (BLR) 5-3

77 kg

Zach Tolver (NMU/OTS) — 5th
LOSS Lukas Ahlgren (SWE) 8-0, TF
WIN Joakim Tuohimma (SWE) 8-4
LOSS Artsiom Valaskovich (BLR) 6-2

Ryan Cummings (NMU/OTS) — 7th
WIN Zachary Grimes (NMU/OTS) 9-1, TF
LOSS André Isberg (SWE) 3-2
LOSS Mikita Mihun (BLR) 8-0, TF

Zachary Grimes (NMU/OTS) — 9th
LOSS Ryan Cummings (NMU/OTS) 9-1, TF
LOSS Khalid Kerchiyev (SWE) 8-0, TF

Finley Allen (NMU/OTS) 10th
LOSS Artsiom Valaskovich (BLR) 9-0, TF
LOSS Lukas Ahlgren (SWE) 8-0, TF

82 kg

Tommy Dantzler (Front Range Twisters) 6th
WIN Linus Sjöholm (SWE) 11-3, TF
LOSS Erik Amarian (SWE) 11-3, TF
LOSS Oskar Johansson (SWE) 11-2, TF

DM Hallet (NMU/OTS) — 10th
LOSS Andrija Maletin (SWE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Naib Ilaldayev (BLR) 10-0, TF

Corey Fitzgerald (NMU/OTS) — 11th
LOSS Oskar Johansson (SWE) 9-1
WIN Linus Sjöholm (SWE) via injury default

87 kg

Keaton Fanning (NMU/OTS) — silver
WIN Gustav Månsson (SWE) 13-4, TF
WIN Jacob Logård (SWE) 7-6
LOSS Emil Sandahl (SWE) 8-0, TF

97 kg

Nick Boykin (Sunkist) — bronze
LOSS Kalle Persson (SWE) 8-0, TF
WIN Linus Persson (SWE) via fall
LOSS Billy Rääf (SWE) 3-2
WIN Trace Schirmers (NMU/OTS) 11-0, TF

Trace Schirmers (NMU/OTS) — 5th
LOSS Linus Persson (SWE) via fall
LOSS Kalle Persson (SWE) 10-0, TF
LOSS Nick Boykin (Sunkist) 11-0, TF

130 kg

Tyler Curd (NMU/OTS) — silver
LOSS Ilya Yudchuts (BLR) 9-1, TF


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