USA Greco

Amos Advances to Final X; Youth Crew Overwhelms Third-Place Round

braxton amos, 2021 junior greco-roman world championships
BRAXTON AMOS -- PHOTO: KADIR CALISKAN/UWW

Before the tournament began, the main preview declared that “the US program is not quite in “turnover” mode”. Which is true; as it stands, 12 of the 20 athletes who will next compete in the Final X Series have been on at least one prior US World-level Team, including nine from last year’s roster alone. Though that fact in and of itself does little to stymie the big picture.

No, the United States Greco-Roman program hasn’t “turned over” and fully handed down the keys to the next generation. But there is also no debate as to the veracity and skill of those coming down the pike. To illustrate that directive further, ’21 Junior World bronze Braxton Amos (97 kg, Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC, 5PM #3) just advanced to his second-straight Senior Trials final, four others on Sunday guaranteed their first appearances in a Senior best-of-three, and five more athletes with more achievements in front of them than behind became National Team members for the first time.

The conclusive round of the 2022 World Team Trials Challenge Tournament began at 2:30pm CT/3:30pm ET from the Xtream Arena in Coralville, IA and aired live on FLOWrestling.

not all roads lead to gold, jim gruenwald

Amos’ rise to a second-consecutive Trials final follows what essentially was the same thing on Sunday afternoon. With G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist, world #5, 5PM #1) sitting out the Challenge Tournament thanks to his World bronze from last year, the event procedures called for a three-match series at 97 to determine his Final X opponent. Amos got in Sunday’s decisive series after defeating Luke Sheridan (Army/WCAP, 5PM #4) on Saturday night, while Haydn Maley (Beaver Dam RTC, 5PM #9), went over top-seed Nick Boykin (Sunkist/Ohio RTC, 5PM #2).

Maley’s performance deserves to be applauded. His presence in the US Open last month was impactful, and he was even better in Coralville.

But it was Amos who sought, and uncovered, the more meaningful offense in this series.

A takedown for Amos after a Maley headlock try gave way to a pair of gutwrenches six points on the board. A step-out point the other way narrowed the margin only a hair. Later in the period, a repeat of Amos’ first score, with Maley thinking about a headlock but coming loose and conceding a takedown. A reset, and next came the Match 1 clincher. Amos cinched the body, winding up hip-to-hip with Maley. He then popped behind for two more, thus wrapping the contest at 10-1.

Match 2 opened with a surge of adrenaline as Amos yanked a four-point headlock before Maley yielded inadvertent exposure. The score was 4-2 in a near-instant. More was on the way.

Following a step-out, Amos’ margin expanded to 5-2. Maley, appearing undaunted and intent on staying in the fight, eventually looped a front headlock until switching off underneath the chin. Amos swiveled his position ever so slightly, and moved to the side to collect a takedown that was accompanied by two gutwrenches. 11-2 read the score and Amos had secured the sweep.

Amos — who had expressed an uncommon sense of humility in the lead-up — shocked many observers last year by fighting into the Olympic Team Trials best-of-three, where he was defeated by Hancock. The Wisconsin Badger did remain committed to Greco through the summer, which culminated with his earning of Junior World bronze.

As for Maley (who himself was once a highly-touted age-grouper and is still considered an outstanding prospect), his next Greco appearance is going to be a match to decide the National Team spot at 97. His opponent at Final X: New York will be Sheridan, who decisioned Boykin 7-1.

New NT Members

It was all about the young guys in the third-place round. Key among them? Mason Hartshorn (63 kg, West Coast Greco RTC, 5PM #5), Noah Wachsmuth (72 kg, Cobra, 5PM #9), and Payton Jacobson (77 kg, Sunkist/NTS, 5PM #6).

Hartshorn — a previously-established and skilled athlete who began his full-time career at NMU — was cut down in the quarters by ’22 Open runner-up Aidan Nutter (NYAC/NTS, 5PM #6). He took each match one-by-one after that, did Hartshorn. A VSU over Logan Savvy (NYAC, 5PM #11) preceded a tight, gritty 3-2 decision at the expense of ’21 Trials runner-up David Stepanyan (NYAC/NTS, 5PM #3). The Californian couldn’t have closed the show any better. As an encore, Hartshorn pieced together a 9-0 tech against Nutter.

Wachsmuth did not have the Open performance of his dreams — but he sure closed that tournament in impressive fashion before using the “Last Chance Qualifier” as his ticket to Coralville. After falling to Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #1) Saturday, the Coloradan once again got past a trio of tough opponents on the backside — Brody Olson (NMU/NTS), Michael Hooker (Army/WCAP), and Jamel Johnson (Marines).

Jacobson was decisioned by Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP, 5PM #3) Saturday, but ousted Chad Walsh (NJ, 5PM #12) to end the session on a high note. Sunday saw Jacobson do nothing other than defeat the two highest-ranked athletes entering the tournament. In the consolation semis, RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC, 5PM #2) was on the wrong end of a VSU; in sealing up third-place, Jacobson next toughed out a 3-2 nod over ’21 World Team member Jesse Porter (NYAC, 5PM #1).

Tommy Brackett (82 kg, Unattached, 5PM #4) was defeated by Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm) in the quarterfinal. Today, he shut out ’22 Pan-American Championships bronze Tyler Cunningham (MWC) — and edged Epps 2-1 for third place.

Christian DuLaney (87 kg, Minnesota Storm) largely flies under the radar, this despite owning tremendous talent and credible experience. A first-round victory over Tyler “Truck” Hannah (Combat WC) opened the action for DuLaney, but then eventual Final X qualifier/’21 World Teamer Alan Vera (NYAC, 5PM #1) clipped his string. DuLaney more than recovered in time for Sunday’s effort. First, he tech’ed Austin Craig (All-Navy); for third, he piled on for a 12-8 decision at the expense of Hannah.

The next and last phase of ’22 World Team selection will occur at one of two Final X dates, June 3 in Stillwater, OK and June 8 in New York. Below is where each weight category will be contested.

2022 Final X Series

New York

60 kg: Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP, 5PM #1) vs. Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2)
67 kg: Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP, 5PM #1) vs. Alston Nutter (Sunkist/NTS, 5PM #4)
77 kg: Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP, 5PM #3) vs. Britton Holmes (Army/WCAP, 5PM #4)
87 kg: Alan Vera (NYAC, 5PM #1) vs. Timothy Young (Unattached, 5PM #7)
97 kg: Haydn Maley (Beaver Dam RTC, 5PM #9) vs. Lucas Sheridan (Army/WCAP, 5PM #4) — for “true third”
97 kg: G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist, world #5, 5PM #1) vs. Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC, 5PM #3)

Stillwater

55 kg: Max Nowry (Army/WCAP, world #11, 5PM #1) vs. Brady Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC, 5PM #2)
63 kg: Sammy Jones (NYAC, 5PM #1) vs. Jesse Thielke (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2)
72 kg: Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #1) vs. Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS, 5PM #2)
82 kg: Ben Provisor (NYAC, 5PM #1) vs. Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP, 5PM #2)
130 kg: Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist, 5PM #1) vs. Tanner Farmer (NYAC/IRTC, 5PM #3)

2022 World Team Trials

May 21-22 — Coralville, IA

97 KG BEST-OF-THREE

Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC) def. Haydn Maley (Beaver Dam RTC) 2 matches to 0.

Match 1: Amos def. Maley 9-1, TF
Match 2: Amos def. Maley 11-2, TF

Third-Place Results

55 kg: Dalton Duffield (Army/WCAP) def. Drew West (IL)
60 kg: Randon Miranda (Rise RTC) def. Max Black (NMU/NTS) 5-3
63 kg: Mason Hartshorn (West Coast Greco RTC) def. Aidan Nutter (NYAC/NTS) 9-0, TF
67 kg: Peyton Omania (NYAC/MSU) def. Lenny Merkin (NYAC/NJRTC) 10-2, TF
72 kg: Noah Wachsmuth (Cobra) def. Jamel Johnson (Marines) 10-4
77 kg: Payton Jacobson (Sunkist/NTS) def. Jesse Porter (NYAC) 3-2
82 kg: Tommy Brackett (Unattached) def. Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm) 2-1
87 kg: Christian DuLaney (Minnesota Storm) def. Tyler Hannah (Combat WC) 12-8
97 kg: Lucas Sheridan (Army/WCAP) def. Nick Boykin (Sunkist/Ohio RTC) 7-1
130 kg: David Tate Orndorff (TMWC/Ohio RTC) def. Courtney Freeman (Marines) 9-2

SEMIFINAL RESULTS

55 KG

Max Nowry (Army/WCAP) def. Drew West (IL) 8-0, TF
Brady Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC) def. Dalton Duffield (Army/WCAP) 9-0, TF

60 KG

Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP) def. Randon Miranda (Rise RTC) 8-0, TF
Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP) def. Dylan Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC) via fall

63 KG

Sammy Jones (NYAC) def. David Stepanyan (NYAC/NTS) 9-0, TF
Jesse Thielke (Army/WCAP) def. Aidan Nutter (NYAC/NTS) 8-0, TF

67 KG

Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP) def. Peyton Omania (NYAC/MSU) 5-1
Alston Nutter (Sunkist/NTS) def. Lenny Merkin (NYAC/NJRTC) 16-5, TF

72 KG

Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) def. Jamel Johnson (Marines) 8-0, TF
Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS) def. Michael Hooker (Army/WCAP) 14-4, TF

77 KG

Britton Holmes (Army/WCAP) def. RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) 4-3
Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP) def. Jesse Porter (NYAC) 6-3

82 KG

Ben Provisor (NYAC) def. Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm) 3-1
Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP) def. Tyler Cunningham (MWC) 8-0, TF

87 KG

Alan Vera (NYAC) def. Christian DuLaney (Minnesota Storm) 8-0, TF
Timothy Young (Unattached) def. George Sikes (NYAC/NTS) via fall

97 KG

Haydn Maley (Beaver Dam RTC) def. Nick Boykin (Sunkist/Ohio RTC) 11-7
Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC) def. Luke Sheridan (Army/WCAP) 7-4

130 KG

Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist) def. David Tate Orndorff (TMWC/Ohio RTC) 11-2, TF
Tanner Farmer (NYAC/IRTC) def. West Cathcart (NYAC/IRTC) via fall

QUARTERFINAL RESULTS

55 KG

Max Nowry (Army/WCAP) def. Cole Smith (Army/WCAP) 8-0, TF
Brady Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC) def. Jakason Burks (MWC) 13-4, TF
Dalton Duffield (Army/WCAP) def. Camden Russell (MWC) 12-2, TF
Drew West (IL) def. Jacob Cochran (NMU/NTS) 9-0, TF

60 KG

Dalton Roberts (Army/WCAP) — bye
Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP) def. Phillip Moomey (Spartan Wrestling RTC) 8-0, TF
Dylan Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC) def. Mitchell Brown (Air Force RTC) 4-2
Randon Miranda (Rise RTC) def. Max Black (NMU/NTS) 5-2

63 KG

Sammy Jones (NYAC) def. Ty Lydic (Knights WC) 8-0, TF
Jesse Thielke (Army/WCAP) def. Logan Savvy (NYAC) 8-0, TF
Aidan Nutter (NYAC/NTS) def. Mason Hartshorn (West Coast Greco RTC) 5-1
David Stepanyan (NYAC/NTS) def. Corbin Nirschl (MWC) 4-0

67 KG

Alex Sancho (Army/WCAP) def. We Rachal (IRTC) 9-0, TF
Alston Nutter (Sunkist/NTS) def. Jessy Williams (Spartan Wrestling RTC) 10-0, TF
Lenny Merkin (NYAC/NJRTC) def. Morgan Flaharty (NYAC) 8-6
Peyton Omania (NYAC/MSU) def. Nate Moore (UNCO) 8-0, TF

72 KG

Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) def. Noah Wachsmuth (Cobra) 13-4, TF
Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS) def. Ryan Wheeler (Colorado Mesa WC) 8-0, TF
Michael Hooker (Army/WCAP) def. Eddie Smith (Pickaxe WC) 6-1
Jamel Johnson (Marines) def. Brody Olson (NMU/NTS) 4-4 (criteria)

77 KG

RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) def. Fritz Schierl (TMWC/Ohio RTC) 9-1, TF
Jesse Porter (NYAC) def. Chad Walsh (NJ) 10-4
Kamal Bey (Army/WCAP) def. Payton Jacobson (Sunkist/NTS) 7-2
Britton Holmes (Army/WCAP) def. Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm) 8-0, TF

82 KG

Ben Provisor (NYAC) — bye
Spencer Woods (Army/WCAP) — bye
Tyler Cunningham (MWC) def. Ben Lee (Viking WC) via fall
Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm) def. Tommy Brackett (Unattached) 5-1

87 KG

Alan Vera (NYAC) — bye
Tim Young (IL) — bye
George Sikes (NYAC/NTS) def. Austin Craig (All-Navy) 4-0
Christian DuLaney (Minnesota Storm) def. Tyler Hannah (Combat WC) 3-1

97 KG

Nick Boykin (Sunkist/Ohio RTC) def. Timothy Eubanks (NMU/NTS) 8-0, TF
Braxton Amos (Sunkist/Wisconsin RTC) def. Chad Porter (Sunkist) 8-0, TF
Luke Sheridan (Army/WCAP) def. Brady Vogel (Dubuque WC) 9-0, TF
Hadyn Maley (Beaver Dam RTC) def. Guy Patron (Dubuque WC) via fall

130 KG

Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist) def. Malcolm Allen (LOG) 8-0, TF
Tanner Farmer (NYAC/IRTC) def. Tom Foote (NYAC) 8-0, TF
West Cathcart (NYAC/IRTC) def. Ron Dombkowski (BK WC) 8-0, TF
David Tate Orndorff (TMWC/Ohio RTC) def. Courtney Freeman (Marines) 13-5, TF

PRELIMINARY RESULTS

55 KG

Cole Smith (Army/WCAP) def. Jonathan Gurule (NMU/NTS) 5-1
Jakason Burks (MWC) def. Dominic Robertson (All-Navy) 8-0, TF

63 KG

Ty Lydic (Knights WC) def. Diego Romero (NMU/NTS) via fall

77 KG

Fritz Schierl (TMWC/Ohio RTC) def. Jack Ervien (Viking WC) 15-4, TF
Chad Walsh (NJ) def. Tyler Eischens (CARTC) 12-7

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