Over the next few days, USA Greco-Roman Seniors who traveled to Europe earlier this month will all return home. It is unclear at this time if there will be a US presence at next month’s Granma Cup in Cuba. If not, what that means is all foreign competition for the US (Senior) program is capped until the Pan American Championships, and subsequently, the Pan Am Olympic Qualifier.
As of now, the plan for the US is to send those who were on the 2019 World Team to Ottawa for both events. United World Wrestling “Ranking Series” points are the reason why. The thinking is that if the six US wrestlers occupying Olympic weights earn points at the Pan Am Championships, then they will have a better chance to be seeded in the top-2 at the Olympic qualifier one week later. Athletes who finish in the top-2 at the Pan Am Qualifier accomplish the mission of securing their respective weight categories for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The first opportunity for United States athletes to earn ranking points occurred two weeks ago at the Matteo Pellicone Memorial in Rome, Italy. Max Nowry (Army/WCAP) finished second, and now holds the #3 ranking on UWW’s list. G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist), who placed third and thus earned 14 new ranking points, now sits in the #13 spot after spending most of the past year ranked within the top-3.
Three US athletes — two of whom will attempt to qualify their weight classes in Ottawa — finished fifth in Rome, thereby earning ten points. They are: Joe Rau (87 kg, TMWC/Chicago RTC; #15); Patrick Martinez (87 kg, NYAC/FLWC; #14); and ’18 World silver Adam Coon (130 kg, NYAC/Cliff Keen; #13). No other American Greco wrestler at an Olympic weight carries significant “Ranking Series” points upon the global sanctioning body’s point reset following Pellicone. This is something the US program is hoping to change at the Pan Am Championships.
Overall, there are eight American athletes who are currently ranked in the top-16 by United World Wrestling — which has not expanded rankings for any of the ten Greco-Roman weight categories to 20 as of press time.
Max Nowry (55 kg, Army/WCAP) — #3; 30 pts
Ryan Mango (63 kg, Army/WCAP) — #7; 16 pts
RaVaughn Perkins (77 kg, NYAC) — #16; 10 pts
John Stefanowicz (82 kg, Marines) — #15; 8 pts
Patrick Martinez (87 kg, NYAC/FLWC) — #14; 10 pts
Joe Rau (87 kg, TMWC/Chicago RTC) — #15; 10 pts
G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist) — #13; 14 pts
Adam Coon (130 kg, NYAC/Cliff Keen) — #13; 10 pts
New 2020 Overseas Medal Count
January is far too early usually to break out a medal count, but we’re operating with different rules. As mentioned above, the US schedule overseas (for Seniors) is compressed due to Olympic concerns. Plus, there have been several foreign events featuring American participation (counting the recent age-group activity), which provides enough of a presentable sample size.
- Three Senior medals (two silvers and one bronze).
- Three Junior medals (three golds).
- Two Cadet medals (one silver and one bronze).
Matteo Pellicone Memorial (ITA) — 1/15/20 (SR)
SILVER: Max Nowry (55 kg, Army/WCAP)
BRONZE: G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist)
Thor Masters (DEN) — 1/18/20 (SR)
SILVER: Brady Koontz (55 kg, TMWC/Ohio RTC)
Kolding Cup (DEN) — 1/18/20 (CADET & JR)
GOLD: Payton Jacobson (60 kg, Topper WC; JR)
SILVER: Cael Kahle (55 kg, Topper WC; CADET)
BRONZE: Henry Amborn (65 kg, Topper WC; CADET)
Sundsvall Open (SWE) — 1/26/20 (JR)
GOLD: Payton Jacobson (60 kg, Topper WC); Benji Peak (67 kg, Sunkist/NMU)