USA Greco

Pre-’21 World Team Trials USA Greco-Roman Rankings

Ben Provisor is #1 at 82 kg -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

The rankings are back to baseline, as the 2020 Olympic Trials were responsible for resetting the points and criteria-breaking head-to-head concerns. In other words, the moment action wrapped in Fort Worth on the night before Easter, everyone received a clean slate.

But there have been tournaments — five, to be exact, three of which offer point accumulations for individuals.

— U.S. Senior Nationals (April)
— Pan-American Championships (May)
— World Team Trials Last Chance Qualifier (July)

The two tournaments not yielding points for U.S. athletes were the Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Memorial in June and the Tokyo Olympics. Americans competed at both events, but there were no placewinners.

Explanations

Athletes are not awarded points relative to placing in age-group events (domestic or international). However, wrestlers are still eligible to be ranked based on the strength of their performances below the Senior level.

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Following the ’21 Senior World Team Trials — set to take place this coming weekend from the Pinnacle Bank Arena and airing live on FLOWrestling — the 5PM USA Greco-Roman rankings will again see an update before eventually expanding to 12 (and later, 15). Originally, as per the initial release on FLO, various athletes appeared in weight categories different from where they are actually competing. Not an unexpected occurrence. However, in the field below, Greco-Roman rankings have been amended to reflect the weight classes individuals have chosen to enter at the ’21 WTT.

Weight Category Synopses

55 kg

Max Nowry (Army/WCAP) earned his third National title in April and his third Pan-Ams gold a month later, which naturally elevates him to the top of the field. Taylor LaMont (Sunkist/UVRTC) doesn’t hold any points but his U23 series win over Brady Koontz along with an intent to continue on at 55 come the spring are enough for #2. Elsewhere, Billy Sullivan (LOG-LV) by virtue of his decisive pair of wins at the expense of Cole Smith (Army/WCAP) in July has him just miss out on the top-5 for his Senior rankings debut, as Dalton Duffield (Army/WCAP) is too logical of a fit one spot ahead.

60 kg

All of the 2020 Olympic Team members reside in the #1 position, points or no points, since the rankings precede the World Team Trials where they will receive top seeds. Ryan Mango (Army/WCAP), runner-up to teammate Ildar Hafizov in April, will reportedly not enter the Trials due to an injury. With Dalton Roberts having emerged victorious at the Nationals (his second crown), Roberts takes #2, Mango #3 and — with the exception of Randon Miranda (Rise RTC) at #4 — the rest fall in order according to their results from the spring Open.

63 kg

Miranda does not plan on competing at 63 in Lincoln. Otherwise, he would be #1 given his National crown and Pan-Ams silver, both of which were earned in this weight division. Miranda choosing 60 for the Trials brings about a familiar order. Two-time National titleist Mike Fuenffinger (Army/WCAP) sits up top with “Wildman Sam” Sammy Jones (NYAC) one spot lower. Travis Rice (NYAC/IRTC) has paused his career for the next batch of months; however, his previous ledger in this weight category demands inclusion, as well as placement above those who are newer on the scene.

67 kg

Xavier Johnson is one of several Marines who will be missing the Trials, which is a shame (and the status of the AMWT is also a severe detriment to the health of the US program at least in the short term). Aside from that, Johnson (and all other athletes who are currently ranked but will not be in Lincoln) is going to drop following the proceeding update. Hayden Tuma (Suples) didn’t have the tournament of his life at the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier, though his sterling performance at the Nationals righted the ship, allowing for temporary placement at #3. Jesse Thielke, now with Army/WCAP, has not competed since early ‘19. That doesn’t matter. The sheer fact that Thielke is expected in this bracket at the Trials is more than enough to shoot him right into the top-5 on reputation alone. A candidate for ranking but is absent this time around is Robert Perez III (Sunkist). Perez is one of only three victors from the Last Chance tournament to not make the cut for the first edition of the season.

72 kg

Four athletes who were in different weights for the Olympic Trials have declared their desire to plow forward at 72 — key among them are 2X World Teamer Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) and Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS). Smith knows this landscape well; Peak does not have a lot of time on target at 72, but it is where he will stare down the opposition at the U23 Worlds. Michael Hooker (Army/WCAP) was a World Team Trials finalist in this weight just two years ago, and 72 is where Brandon Mueller (Air Force) first began forging his Senior career. A wildcard for the division is Griffin Parriott (Minnesota Storm), who is as stout of a prospect as it gets considering his age-group experience and showing from the April Open.

77 kg

Before the year is out, Kamal Bey will appear in the 77 rankings. For the interim, what the US has is still very strong. Jesse Porter (NYAC), Peyton Walsh (Marines), RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC), and reigning National Champion Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm) are a formidable top-4. ’17 World Team member Mason Manville (NLWC) is bypassing Lincoln. Still deserves premier placement. Right outside of the top-5 is Austin Morrow (NYAC/NTS), who has demonstrated what he can do when not draining his body. Jake Fisher (Curby 3-Style) begrudgingly accepted the #1 seed at the Olympic Trials — and is not a player for Lincoln but is still in the mix going forward.

82 kg

Ben Provisor (NYAC) is #1 with a bullet at 82, and this might just be the perfect weight for him at this stage of his career. Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP) won the Nationals over Tommy Brackett (UA) at 87. Both are down to 82 for the Senior Trials but keep their point values. The rest of the order goes according to script from the April Open and Last Chance WTT Qualifier.

87 kg

If not for the absence of Joe Rau, 87 would appear closely aligned with its rendering prior to Fort Worth. The top-3 are by default, with John Stefanowicz (Marines) clearly leading the charge. Three-time World Team member Patrick Martinez (NYAC) was the Olympic Trials Challenge runner-up, and ’20 National champ Alan Vera fell to Stefanowicz in the mini tournament’s semis. Academic. Woods’ drop to 82 hurts when it comes to optics. Losing Rau, for however long, depletes 87 significantly. Without Rau and Woods, this once-incredibly deep weight class is now in dire need of fresh blood to fill in the gaps.

97 kg

A weight category that is by and large bereft of suspense. G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist), the Olympian, holds it down over Junior World bronze Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC), who was Hancock’s runner-up from the Olympic Trials; Lucas Sheridan (Army/WCAP) is the National Team member, and Nick Boykin (Sunkist) — despite two consecutive Senior “stop signs” and an appearance in the U23 Worlds on the way — falls in line behind Sheridan. As is the case with most other weight classes, 97’s rankings are primarily derived from the National results through the bottom of the order until the season matures.

130 kg

Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm) at #3 and the fearsome Illinois duo of West Cathcart and Tanner Farmer follow the no-brainer combo of Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist) and Jacob Mitchell (Army/WCAP) owning #1 and #2, respectively. The real head-scratcher for heavyweight is Daniel Miller (Marines) all the way down at #7. Miller is a two-time Open winner and was a severe contender one weight class lower throughout the Tokyo quad. But he went 130 for the Nationals, falling via decision to Malcolm Allen (LOG) in the final. It is odd to put someone like Miller in so low; but if heavyweight is where Miller is planting his flag (that is, should he compete again and hopefully he does), he will have to re-establish his presence. Brandon Metz (Bison WC) had been a tough, skilled age-grouper and his showing in April was one of 130’s biggest silver linings. Metz is a fine athlete who may eventually develop into a legitimate force should he remain committed to this discipline.

Pre-Trials USA Greco-Roman Rankings

55 kg

1 – Max Nowry (Army/WCAP) — 52 pts
2 – Taylor LaMont (Sunkist/UVRTC)
3 – Brady Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC) — 20 pts
4 – Jacob Cochran (NMU/NTS) — 18 pts
5 – Dalton Duffield (Army/WCAP) — 12 pts
6 – Billy Sullivan (LOG-LV) — 20 pts
7 – Gabriel Gray (TX Panhandle WC) — 6 pts
8 – Cole Smith (Army/WCAP) — 4 pts
9 – Dane Durlacher (IRTC) — 2 pts
10 – Elijah Varona (Viking WC)

60 kg

1 – Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP)
2 – Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP) — 24 pts
3 – Ryan Mango (Army/WCAP)
4 – Randon Miranda (Rise RTC) — 48 pts
5 – Dylan Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC) — 20 pts
6 – Alec Thomsen (Nebraska Wrestling TC) — 18 pts
7 – Joey Palmer (Bear Claw)
8 – King Sandoval (Bandits WC) — 12 pts
9 – KeVon Powell (LA) — 6 pts
10 – Thomas Hicks (Marines) — 4 pts

63 kg

1 – Mike Fuenffinger (Army/WCAP)
2 – Sammy Jones (NYAC/UVRTC)
3 – David Stepanyan (NYAC/NTS) — 20 pts
4 – Travis Rice (NYAC/IRTC)
5 – Dylan Gregerson (UVRTC)
6 – Chayse LaJoie (Spartan Wrestling RTC)
7 – We Rachal (IRTC) — 18 pts
8 – Corbin Nirschl (MWC) — 12 pts
9 – Aiden Nutter (NMU/NTS) — 20 pts
10 – Mason Lewis (PA) — 6 pts

67 kg

1 – Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP)
2 – Xavier Johnson (Marines) — 52 pts
3 – Hayden Tuma (Suples) — 24 pts
4 – Jesse Thielke (Army/WCAP)
5 – Alston Nutter (Sunkist/NTS) — 20 pts
6 – Nolan Baker (NYAC) — 18 pts
7 – Calvin Germinaro (Minnesota Storm)
8 – Peyton Omania (CYC/MSU)
9 – Lenny Merkin (NYAC)
10 – Jessy Williams (NYAC/Spartan Wrestling RTC) — 12 pts

72 kg

1 – Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm)
2 – Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS)
3 – Jamel Johnson (Marines) — 52 pts
4 – Michael Hooker (Army/WCAP) — 18 pts
5 – Brandon Mueller (Air Force)
6 – Griffin Parriott (Minnesota Storm) — 12 pts
7 – Justus Scott (LOG-LV) — 20 pts
8 – Justin Koethe (Ubasa WA) — 6 pts
9 – Hunter Murphy (Olivet WC) — 4 pts
10 – Ryan Ojeda (CA) — 2 pts

77 kg

1 – Jesse Porter (NYAC)
2 – Peyton Walsh (Marines) – 20 pts
3 – RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC)
4 – Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm) — 24 pts
5 – Mason Manville (NLWC)
6 – Austin Morrow (NYAC/NTS)
7 – Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm) — 20 pts
8 – Jake Fisher (Curby 3-Style)
9 – Corey Hope (NYAC)
10 – Britton Holmes (Army/WCAP) — 6 pts

82 kg

1 – Ben Provisor (NYAC) — 52 pts
2 – Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP) — 24 pts
3 – Tommy Brackett (TN) — 20 pts
4 – Rich Carlson (Minnesota Storm)
5 – John Hagey (505 WC) — 12 pts
6 – Kyle Briggs (IA) — 6 pts
7 – John Kent (Gator) — 4 pts
8 – Tyler Cunningham (MWC) — 20 pts
9 – Jordan Lara (TX Panhandle WC) — 2 pts
10 – James Burks (MWC)

87 kg

1 – John Stefanowicz (Marines)
2 – Patrick Martinez (NYAC)
3 – Alan Vera (NYAC)
4 – Barrett Stanghill (Minnesota Storm)
5 – Terrence Zaleski (Marines) — 18 pts
6 – George Sikes (NYAC/NTS)
7 – Joel Nivar (Marines) — 12 pts
8 – Dan Olsen (UA) — 6 pts
9 – Tyler Hannah (Combat/Dubuque WC) — 20 pts
10 – Nick Reenan (Wolfpack WC) — 4 pts

97 kg

1 – G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist)
2 – Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC)
3 – Luke Sheridan (Army/WCAP)
4 – Nick Boykin (Sunkist/Ohio RTC) — 24 pts
5 – JD Souza (Army/WCAP) — 20 pts
6 – Khymba Johnson (NYAC)
7 – Eric Twohey (Minnesota Storm)
8 – Vaughn Monreal-Berner (Marines) — 18 pts
9 – Chad Porter (Sunkist) — 12 pts
10 – Diante Cooper (Air Force) — 6 pts

130 kg

1 – Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist)
2 – Jacob Mitchell (Army/WCAP)
3 – Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm) — 24 pts
4 – West Cathcart (NYAC/IRTC)
5 – Tanner Farmer (NYAC/IRTC)
6 – Malcolm Allen (LOG) — 24
7 – Daniel Miller (Marines) — 20
8 – Brandon Metz (Bison WC) — 18 pts
9 – Tommy Helton (Southern Illinois RTC) — 12 pts
10 – Kaleb Reeves (IA) — 6 pts

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