Yesterday in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Max Nowry (55 kg, Army/WCAP) earned his second gold medal from the Pan Am Championships, six years after the first one.
But Nowry’s victory at the tournament was notable for other reasons. For starters, it was the first time he had to make “scratch” weight this season, since his appearance at the Armed Forces Championships came with a two-kilogram allowance. Vengeance was also on the table. Last year in Peru, Nowry was in the gold-medal match versus Armenian-born Sargis Khachatryan (BRA) and fell 6-4 due to confusing, if not downright inept officiating (which we saw more of on Thursday with Dalton Roberts’ bronze match).
After getting past Marine Josh Medina (PUR) in the opening round, Nowry clashed with Khachatryan once again. It was a close contest and the American carried a mere 1-0 passivity-point lead into the second. Khachatryan then received his own passive chance towards the end of the bout. He did manage to gut Nowry over — but as he did, Nowry stepped over for a reversal before locking onto Khachatryan’s left arm and rolling a gutwrench to take a 4-3 lead he did not relinquish. Nowry later secured gold via a :34 destruction of Marcelo Torres (ARG) Thursday afternoon.
The 2012 University World/2018 National champ was definitely happy to get this win out of the way when reached for comment last night, and seemed to particularly enjoy the late-match histrionics against Khachatryan (“Was it clear to see me laughing when I got put down?” he asked). More than anything else, Nowry pointed to the coaching he gets on a daily basis along with his willingness to prepare for an important competition as to why he was able to reach the top of the podium yesterday.
“I was happy to get this one in the week before Nationals, especially making scratch weight again. Having the Brazilian first round was a fun challenge because it made me test myself and see how I can compete back down at 55 after being out for a little while. A culmination of training with Coach Medlin and the Pan Am Camp incorporating everything Coach Mango and Coach Lewis have been telling me to do was very beneficial leading into this competition and it felt great being back out there.
“(Regarding Khachatryan), I knew better than to leave it in the refs’ hands again. Even still, down in par terre I stopped moving too soon, thinking we were going to go back on our feet. But it made me just want to keep wrestling hard and move him around. It kind of gave me more energy getting called for passivity when I felt like I was the one being active.”