USA Greco

Recrosio Falls to KAZ on Day 1 of Petrov

casey recrosiom 2024 nikola petrov memorial
Casey Recrosio -- Image: Bulgarian Wrestling Federation YouTube

Casey Recrosio (87 kg, NMU/NTS) was the more physical and assertive competitor in his lone match on Thursday but it was not enough to secure a victory.

Day 1 of the 2024 Nikola Petrov Memorial began at 10:30am local time from Sofia, Bulgaria (3:30am ET) and streamed live on the Bulgarian Wrestling Federation’s YouTube channel.

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Recrosio, starting in the quarterfinal round, drew Talas Ashirkhanov of Kazakhstan and the two quickly engaged in the hand-fight upon the whistle. Recrosio pressed the issue and worked to plunge underhooks, particularly on Ashirkhanov’s right side. The pair broke off to reset following the preamble when Ashirkhanov dipped for an arm throw that forced Recrosio to post before ambling to his feet. Passivity on the US provided Ashirkhanov with an opportunity to inflict damage. From top par terre, he attempted to lift Recrosio but came up short. However, Ashirkhanov stayed with his lock and was eventually able to turn Recrosio twice with a gutwrench for a 5-0 lead. Just before the break, Recrosio put Kazakhstan on his heels by violently upper-cutting a lefty underhook but there was no further playback and the period soon came to an end.

Not long after the second period got underway, Ashirkhanov used a tinge of pressure release to wrap Recrosio around the head and arms and executed a throw that yielded four points. The completed maneuver also represented the bout’s conclusion, which went to Kazakhstan by a score of 9-0. Ashirkhanov was defeated in the semifinal by Vladimeri Karchaidze (FRA), thus eliminating Recrosio from candidacy for repechage.

Day 2

The second day of action in Bulgaria will feature two more Americans, both in the same weight class: three-time World Team member Joe Rau (TMWC) and ’18 U23 World Teamer George Sikes (NMU/NTS). Rau will square off against Daniel Gastl of Austria; if successful, he will face Sikes.

Gastl earned bronze at the ’22 European Championships after several years of trying to establish himself as a legitimate contender on the World level. But, and despite getting the start for Austria last month once again at the Euros, he is currently #2 on the depth chart in his home country. That is due to the emergence of Markus Ragginger on the Senior circuit. Ragginger came away with bronze at the ’21 U23 Worlds and last season was awarded the 97 kg spot in place of Gastl at the Senior World Championships. Gastl still competed in Belgrade, but up at 130 kg. (The schedule for Day 2 can be found below.)

Friday, March 8 — Day 2 (97 kg)
10:30am — Qualification rounds & Day 1 repechage
5:00pm — Semifinals
6:00pm — Finals & bronze matches for Day 1 athletes

2024 Nikola Petrov Memorial

March 7-10 — Sofia, BUL


82 kg: Casey Recrosio (NMU/NTS)
LOSS Talas Ashirkhanov (KAZ) 9-0, TF


97 kg: Joe Rau (TMWC)
vs. Daniel Gastl (AUT, qualification round)

97 kg: George Sikes (NYAC/NTS)
vs. Joe Rau (TMWC) or Daniel Gastl (AUT)

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