Greco News

Monday Roundup: Cadets, University Athletes Missing Out, and Rankings

Malik Johnson, 2016 Cadet World Championships
Photo: John Sachs

It seems almost like the Cadet World Championships have kind of sneaked up on everyone and maybe that’s the case. The Olympics were a big deal, after all. Then the Juniors had their tournament a couple of weeks ago. It has been one thing after another. And so here we are — the Cadets represent the United States’s second to last World Championship tournament of the year (more on that in a second) and this is an extremely deep squad filled with talented, hungry competitors. The task is a tall one, particularly because the US does not get the same number of chances to tussle with international foes as other nations do. There are going to be wrestlers at this event, just like every other age-group Worlds, who are just far and away much more seasoned than the US athletes. That is part of the deal.

All that being said, these US Cadets bring the heat. Whether we’re talking about Mosha Schwartz (46 kg) going haywire, Peyton Omania (63 kg) launching someone, or Cohlton Schultz (100 kg) bullying his way through, there are possibilities here. The US picked a strong Cadet team to send to Georgia this year and if the Juniors’ performance is any indication, there should be a lot of impressive wrestling to look forward to. The action is going to begin Tuesday morning at 2am EST. Five Point Move will be covering the event live on Twitter and Facebook along with post-round summaries here.

US missing out on University Worlds

As you likely know by now, the US is not sending a team over to Turkey for the 2016 University World Championships. Originally, information filtered out so slowly that it was thought the event was cancelled altogether, but that wasn’t the case. The US is choosing not to send athletes because of “security concerns.” Of course, athletes are extremely disappointed and frustrated regarding the decision. Who could blame them? There were more than a few on the University roster who had legitimate chances of scoring medals and had been preparing to do just that. The decision also comes at a somewhat curious time. Turkey had seen a bombing at Istanbul Airport, an attempted coup, and now has military assets in Syria. The region is a mess, certainly.

But the question is, why now? Why cancel the trip now and not a couple of months ago? What exactly changed? At this juncture, USA Wrestling hasn’t made a public announcement regarding the decision, though perhaps one is coming soon.

New rankings and what they mean

To end the suspense, they mean nothing. Rankings, whether conducted by United World Wrestling or USA Wrestling, have zero bearing on an athlete’s ability to perform. You should probably know that. But they are wonderful for bookkeeping.

Andy Bisek saw the biggest change out of the three US Greco Roman wrestlers, dropping all the way down to 13th from fifth (Bisek placed 12th in Rio). Jesse Thielke rose from 19th to 15th and Patrick Martinez stayed put at 17th.

Is Andrew Thomas Bisek the 13th best wrestler at 75 kilos in the World? If you have watched him over the past few years, you know that is obviously not the case. But the Olympics and Worlds set the tone each year. Bisek lost in the quarters to a guy who was tough, for sure, but no superstar (though, Starcevic did essentially pin Roman Vlasov, for what its worth, which isn’t much) and plus, his career is on hold in the interim. So it quite likely matters much less to Bisek than it does to everyone else who expressed disappointment over his new ranking position.

What’s coming up here

  • A new “Coach Lindland’s Report.”
  • Continuing coverage of the Cadet World Championships.
  • An interview with a rising athlete everyone loves.
  • Match breakdowns!
  • Questions? Concerns? Feel like reaching out? Do so on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

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