USA Greco

5th Place for Farmer As Team USA Exits ’22 Petrov Memorial

farmer, 5th place, nikola petrov memorial
Tanner Farmer -- Image: Bulgarian Wrestling Federation

Tanner Farmer (130 kg, NYAC/IRTC, 5PM #3) will not be returning home to Illinois with a shiny new international bronze medal. But he will be pocketing something that, for right now, is far more valuable: confidence that he is on the fast track to becoming a legitimately dangerous competitor.

The medal round on Day 3 of the 2022 Nikola Petrov Memorial began at 6:00pm local time (11:00am ET) in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria began at 6:00pm local time (11:00am ET) and streamed live on YouTube.

In the bronze medal match, Farmer had the serviceable Lenny Berei of Romania, who, like Farmer, had fallen to ’20 Euro champ Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu on Friday. Berei and Alexuc-Ciurariu are frequent training partners, naturally; and in their semifinal showdown yesterday, Alexuc-Ciurariu quickly finished Berei.

From the outset, Farmer looked to latch a two-on-one, focusing on Berei’s left arm. The tie was favorable for the American as he desired keeping control of the angle. A breakaway saw Farmer paw Berei’s left shoulder for an apparent off-balance attempt, which worked to a degree though did not invite further pursuit. A clash heads, due mainly to Berei’s shorter stature, gave way to a time-out that had Farmer requiring a moment to gather his bearings.

Passivity eventually made its way into the match with Romania receiving the opportunity from top par terre. Berei used the position to clamp a front headlock, only to have Farmer bound to his feet. Upon standing, Farmer caught a lane on Berei and drove him down and out for a point. More play on the two-on-one followed, but the scoring was capped at 1-1 heading into the second period.

Down via criteria entering the final three minutes, Berei decided to increase his output. He was not so much causing Farmer to cede position, but he was taking ground. All of it was enough for the officials to agree on a passive call against Farmer once again. Berei’s second chance from top, limited to a half-hearted lock around the waist, went nowhere. But the onus now solely resided on Farmer to score. He began to up his pace whilst searching for attacks. An exchange towards the edge proved costly. Sensing a need for points, Farmer locked around Berei for a throw — but the attempt rocked loose to allow Berei to land on top near the edge for four big points. The US challenged, the call was upheld, and Berei had surged to a 7-1 lead that would hold up the rest of the way.

Farmer, whose official finish at Petrov is fifth place, managed to make quite the impression in his second-ever overseas tournament. He leaves Bulgaria with a 2-2 ledger from the event accompanied by 20 offensive points.


  • Most members of the US delegation will head home following the fourth and final day of the 2022 Nikola Petrov Memorial (tomorrow). There are no more American Greco-Roman athletes in the tournament.
  • Others, including National Team head coach Matt Lindland and ’21 World bronze G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist, world #5, 5PM #1), will arrive in Malmo, Sweden on Monday for another training camp.
  • Tomorrow in Sweden is a tournament, the Tarlot Cup, which is mainly defined as a training event. US participation thus far is ’21 World Team member Sammy Jones (63 kg, NYAC, 5PM #1), Erik Spence (67 kg, NMU/NTS), Riley Briggs (72 kg, NMU/NTS), and Julian Beltran (77 kg, NMU/NTS). Despite its informal labeling, there are several high-profile international names entered, including ’19 World silver Alex Kessidis (SWE) and Germany’s Etienne Kinsinger (who Jones will meet twice in their pool).


February 17-20 — Veliko Tarnovo, BUL


60 kg: Gabriel Townsell (California RTC)
LOSS Nedyalko Petrov (BUL) 9-0, TF

63 kg: Chayse LaJoie (California RTC)
WON Ilya Mustakov (BUL) 8-0, TF
LOSS Erik Torba (HUN) 12-4, TF

67 kg: Robert Perez III (Sunkist)
LOSS Ashu Ashu (IND) 7-0

130 kg: Tanner Farmer (NYAC/IRTC) — 5th
WON Singh Mehar (IND) 9-0, TF
LOSS Alin Alexuc-Ciurariu (ROU) via fall
WON Roman Kim (KGZ) 8-0, TF
LOSS Lenny Berei (ROU) 7-1

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