Greco News

Monday Roundup: Pat Smith’s Thoughts On Euro Tour; Final 2018 US Overseas Medal Count

Patrick Smith -- Photo: Richard Immel

This past weekend, Patrick Smith (77 kg, Minnesota Storm) locked down his third straight medal at an overseas event by virtue of finishing second at the Arvo Haavisto Cup in Finland. It was one of the most encouraging developments of the near month-long tour of Europe for the US Seniors. Smith, a University World silver medalist four years ago and a Senior World Team member for the first time in 2017, didn’t have the easiest go of it last season. He struggled getting out of the gate, went winless at the trio of international events he entered, and then found himself on the outside looking in when it came to determining the 72-kilogram spot at the Tulsa Trials.

Smith breaking through and advancing to the Haavisto final indicates a level of consistency he would undoubtedly love to harness and carry over into 2019. How he did it matters just as much as the fact that he, you know, did. Smith decisioned Norwegian Per Anders Kure, recovered, and wound up breaking a suitably-tough Matias Lipasti (FIN) in the semis. There was no stream of the Haavisto Cup available for US fans, but by all accounts, Smith — whilst employing his patented relentless pace — just kept going after Lipasti from whistle to whistle until Lipasti had nothing left to offer. When Smith went for another turn to seal it all up, the Finnish wrestler chose to just stay on his back rather than continue to endure the beating that defined this semifinal match-up.

That’s what Smith does to people when he’s at his best. What also bears mentioning is that the soon-to-be 28-year-old wrestled all of his matches in Europe at 77 kilograms. It doesn’t take a genius to know that 77 is the Olympic weight. Whether or not this tour’s slate of competition represented Smith’s testing of the waters ahead of a permanent stay in advance of the 2020 Trials — or, that he simply didn’t feel like making 74 (two kilo allowances) in effort to instead focus on the training camps — is currently unknown.

Smith in his own words

What isn’t unknown is how Smith felt about this latest jaunt across the Atlantic, what it meant to him, and just as importantly, what it meant to his teammates. At this stage in his career, the popular Storm competitor has become one of the US program’s most reliable leaders. In the wrestling room or coming off the mat after a bout, he is a micro-thinker who can easily explain his perception of the sport’s nuances. But — when he has a moment to take a step back — Smith is all macro, and just as adept at detailing what he sees as the big picture.

What stood out to Smith the most regarding the US performances overseas was workrate. That’s something he is closely associated with, so he was happy to witness the same degree of aggression towards foreigners from his colleagues over the course of their time together in Europe.

“We need to return to that American style where we are constantly getting guys tired. We saw that a lot of times from (US) guys this weekend and on this tour, and that’s something we’ve got to get back to doing. I talked to the guys a lot about it, too — we need to instill the fear that these guys (foreign opponents) are going to get really tired. They need to know that going into a match and that sets a tone. It sets a precedent every time we step on the mat, regardless of who we are. Show that, and make them remember that early on. Because they won’t, they won’t forget that, regardless of what time it is during the season or how much work they put in. Going forward, they won’t forget that feeling, so I think that’s important for us to remember as a country. The pace has always defined us and I don’t think that should change.”

Legends of Gold 2019 Holland Tour

Smith on the progress he made in Europe and staying over an extra week

“Getting matches in, especially since we don’t have any domestic matches in before the first of the new year. This tour is extremely valuable in that sense. What did I have, 11 total matches out here, plus a couple of training opportunities in Russia and Sweden? We were able to learn a little bit in Sweden and get with some really good guys in Russia. I think that was a big benefit overall. If we’re going to talk about the biggest benefit of the trip, it would be the amount of matches we were able to get. I had decent-sized brackets, considering all of the other weights. I was able to get a lot of international matches, which was good. I only wrestled one US guy (Michael Donato) the whole time. That was also a big plus and I think that’s where the value lied in this trip.

“Looking back, it would have been really nice to get more time with that club in St. Petersburg. They had a lot of really quality guys. The camp was kind of small in Haparanda but I thought the coach did a really good job there, as well. We had a good mixture of technique and live go’s, and we were there with a pretty decent Ukrainian team, so there was also good value in that. Three tournaments in three weeks at first sounded like a lot to me, but I’m glad that I did it. It’s good to get that volume in right now, I think that is what’s important.

“I’m glad that we were able to get all of these matches in. From a developmental standpoint, that has been really valuable. Myself and (Eric) Twohey are going to catch a flight out of Helsinki tomorrow to Stockholm to go train with AIK Brottning — Jimmy Samuelsson, Leon Kessidis, Alex Kessids, and all them. That will be a good opportunity and then we’ll come home. It’ll have been about a month total for me, three weeks for Twohey. We’re trying to maximize the opportunity being over here and pick up as much as we can before the holidays.”

Final 2018 USA Greco-Roman Overseas Medal Count

Less than a month ago, we released the penultimate medal count achieved by US athletes throughout the year, so you might think there weren’t too many additions to the list coming down the pike. Wrong! Following the just-concluded tour of Europe that saw Americans compete in three tournaments in consecutive weekends, 16 more pieces of hardware have been tacked onto the final total.

Grand Prix Zagreb Open (CRO) — 2/3/18 (SR)
BRONZE: Xavier Johnson (60 kg, Marines)

Granma Cup (CUB) — 2/18/18 (SR)
GOLD: Kamal Bey (77 kg, Sunkist)
BRONZE: Dalton Roberts (60 kg, NYAC/OTS), Kevin Radford (87 kg, Sunkist)

Thor Masters (DEN) — 2/24/18 (SR)
SILVER: Randon Miranda (55 kg, NYAC/OTS), Jesse Thielke (63 kg, NYAC)
BRONZE: RaVaughn Perkins (72 kg, NYAC)

Austrian Open (AUT) — 3/3/18 (JR)
GOLD: Camden Russell (55 kg, MWC), Benji Peak (60 kg, NMU/OTS), Riley Briggs (67 kg, NMU/OTS), Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, NYAC)
SILVER: Mason Hartshorn (60 kg, NMU/OTS), Alston Nutter (63 kg, NMU/OTS)
BRONZE: John Massey (55 kg, NMU/OTS), Luis Hernandez (63 kg, FL)

Tallinn Open (EST) — 4/1/18 (SCHOOLBOY, CADET & JR)
GOLD: Payton Jacobson (45 kg, WI)
SILVER: Cael Anderson (48 kg, WI)
BRONZE: Blaine Brenner (45 kg, WI), Preston Martin (55 kg, KS)

Easter Wrestling Tournament (HOL) — 4/1/18 (SCHOOLBOY, CADET & JR)
GOLD: Trason Oehme (38 kg, SD), Billy Sullivan (50 kg, NV), Kellyn March (58 kg, SD)
SILVER: Mikey Baker (38 kg, IA), Tanner Meyers (65 kg, SD)
BRONZE: Teague Granum (32 kg, SD), Adam Allard (54 kg, IA), Nick Casperson (87 kg, SD)

Dinko Petrov Tournament (BUL) — 4/1/18 (SCHOOLBOY & CADET)
GOLD: Kayd Craig (44 kg, ID)
SILVER: Teegan Dunn (60 kg, ID)

Pan Am Championships (PER) — 5/4/2018 (SR)
GOLD: Ryan Mango (63 kg, Army/WCAP), RaVaughn Perkins (72 kg, NYAC)
SILVER: Max Nowry (55 kg, Army/WCAP), Geordan Speiller (82 kg, Florida Jets), Robby Smith (130 kg, NYAC)
BRONZE: Ben Provisor (87 kg, NYAC/NLWC)

Pan Am Championships (GUA) — 5/25/18 (CADET)
GOLD: Sheldon Seymour (48 kg, PA), Hunter Lewis (55 kg, WI), Carson Manville (65 kg, VA), Gerrit Nijenhuis (80 kg, PA), Chase Thompson (110 kg, FL)
SILVER: Paxton Creese (51 kg, MN), Beau Bartlett (60 kg, PA), Aaron Gandara (71 kg, AZ)
BRONZE: Stevo Paulin (45 kg, NY), Santos Cantu (92 kg, OR)

Trophee Milone (ITA) — 5/26/18 (SR)
BRONZE: Morgan Flaharty (67 kg, NYAC), Kevin Beazley (97 kg, Cliff Keen WC)

Refik Memišević-Brale Tournament (SRB) — 6/9/18 (CADET)
GOLD: Nate Rubino (45 kg, MWC)
SILVER: Caden Arps (48 kg, MWC)

Croatia Open (CRO) — 6/16/18 (CADET)
GOLD: Nate Rubino (45 kg, MWC), Conor Knopick (55 kg, MWC), Andy Garcia (110 kg, MWC)
SILVER: Caden Arps (51 kg, MWC)

World Championships (CRO) — 7/8/18 (CADET)
BRONZE: Jacob Kaminski (92 kg, Ill)

Grand Prix of Spain (ESP) — 7/15/18 (SR)
SILVER: Jamel Johnson (67 kg, Marines), Trent Osnes (130 kg, Marines)
BRONZE: Xavier Johnson (63 kg, Marines)

Grand Prix of Germany (GER) — 8/19/18 (SR)
SILVER: Dalton Roberts (60 kg, NYAC/OTS)

Wladyslaw Pytlasinski Memorial (POL) — 9/8/18 (SR)
GOLD: G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist)

World Championships (SVK) — 9/19/18 (JR)
SILVER: Andrew Berreyesa (82 kg, NYAC/FLWC)
BRONZE: Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, NYAC)

ÖIS Grand Prix (SWE) — 9/28/18 (SR)
SILVER: Brandon Mueller (72 kg, Air Force/WCAP)

Eduardo Campbell Cup (PAN) — 9/28/18 (SR)
GOLD: Mason Hartshorn (60 kg, NMU/OTS), Riley Briggs (67 kg, NMU/OTS), Colin Schubert (77 kg, NYAC/OTS), George Hooker (87 kg, NMU/OTS), Khymba Johnson (97 kg, NYAC/OTS)
SILVER: Jordan Auen (67 kg, NMU/OTS), Spencer Woods (77 kg, NMU/OTS), Zach Merrill (97 kg, OTS), Marc Leon (130 kg, NMU/OTS)
BRONZE: Aaron Kliamovich (77 kg, NMU/OTS), Roy Nash (97 kg, NMU/OTS)

Klippan Cup (SWE) — 10/27/18 (SR)
GOLD: Benji Peak (67 kg, NMU/OTS)
SILVER: Sean Sesnan (55 kg, WBC), Keaton Fanning (87 kg, NMU/OTS), Tyler Curd (130 kg, NMU/OTS)
BRONZE: Jacob Cochran (55 kg, NMU/OTS), David Stepanian (60 kg, NMU/OTS), Nick Boykin (97 kg, Sunkist)

World Championships (HUN) — 10/28/18 (SR)
SILVER: Adam Coon (130 kg, Cliff Keen WC)

Malar Cupen (SWE) — 11/4/18 (SCHOOLBOY, CADET/JR, & SR)
GOLD: Kolby Warren (38 kg, MO), Christopher Coates (41 kg, KS), Greyson Clark (48 kg, WI), Jadon Skellenger (57 kg, ID), Tyler Curd (130 kg, NMU/OTS)
SILVER: Cheaney Schoeff (48 kg, IN), Logan Hatch (65 kg, WI)
BRONZE: Cole Stephenson (60 kg, CO), Noah Wachsmuth (65 kg, OR), Corey Fitzgerald (82 kg, NMU/OTS)

SA Lavrikov Memorial (RUS) — 11/24/18 (SR)
GOLD: Joe Rau (87 kg, Chicago RTC)
BRONZE: Ray Bunker (72 kg, Marines), Jamel Johnson (72 kg, Marines), Patrick Smith (77 kg, Minnesota Storm), Terrence Zaleski (82 kg, Marines), Daniel Miller (97 kg, Marines)

Haparanda Cup (SWE) — 12/1/18 (SR)
GOLD: Trent Osnes (130 kg, Marines)
SILVER: Colton Rashe (63 kg, Marines), Jamel Johnson (72 kg, Marines), Joe Rau (87 kg, Chicago RTC)
BRONZE: Rafaelle Masi (63 kg, Marines), Patrick Smith (77 kg, Minnesota Storm), John Stefanowicz (82 kg, Marines), Daniel Miller (97 kg, Marines)

Arvo Haavisto Cup (FIN) — 12/8/18 (SR)
SILVER: Patrick Smith (77 kg, Minnesota Storm), Eric Twohey (97 kg, Minnesota Storm)

MEDAL BREAKDOWN

  • Overall — 107
  • Senior — 58 (13 gold, 22 silver, 23 bronze)
  • Junior & below — 49 (22 gold, 14 silver, 13 bronze)
  • Four World medals — (Adam Coon — silver, Senior; Andrew Berreyesa — silver, Junior; Cohlton Schultz — bronze, Junior; Jacob Kaminski — bronze, Cadet)

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