Beginning on Friday from the William Neal Reynolds Coliseum on the campus of North Carolina State is the 2019 US Senior Greco-Roman World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. Remember: actual World Team members will not be decided until after the Final X Series wraps up early next month.
Look forward to double-barreled Greco coverage this week thanks to FLOWrestling. 5PM material pertaining to the World Team Trials can be found both on this platform and on FLO, and below is a breakdown of what that will all look like.
5PM WTT Coverage Plan
- A special edition of the Coach Lindland’s Report.
- “10 Sleepers Ready to Awaken”.
- Episode 22 of the Five Point Move Podcast.
- Post-round Trials recap(s).
5PM on FLO Coverage Plan
- “The 5 Biggest Stories Heading Into the Greco Trials“.
- Weight Class Reference Guides (55-72 kg; 77-130 kg)
- “Three Must-See World Team Trials Matchups.”
- Post-Trials recap/overview.
World Team Presence
Eight of the ten weight classes at the Trials challenge tournament will feature athletes who have been on previous Senior World Teams, including four who were in Budapest last year.
Right out of the gate, 60 kilograms can boast two — Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP) and Dalton Roberts (NYAC/OTS). Hafizov, 31, was a US World Teamer in 2017, and before that, made three World Teams plus an Olympic appearance for his native Uzbekistan. Roberts doesn’t require as much of a preamble. The popular NMU rep broke through for the first time a year ago at the Tulsa Trials, defeating none other than who else? Hafizov.
Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP) — 2017 World Team (USA); 2007, ’09, ’11 World Team (UZB); 2008 Olympics (UZB)
Dalton Roberts (NYAC/OTS) — 2018 World Team
Jesse Thielke (63 kg, NYAC/LOG), he of the 2016 Rio Olympiad and two Senior World Teams (2013, ’18), will be returning to competition this week following a multi-month hiatus. Thielke was originally scheduled to compete at the Pan Ams last month but was forced to withdraw due to injury.
Jesse Thielke (NYAC/LOG) — 2016 Olympics; 2013, ’18 World Team
Next up is RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC), the anomaly of the US program. Perkins was victorious at two previous Trials events (2014 and ’16), but didn’t step onto a World mat until last year. A sizable favorite to win the US Open a few weeks ago, Perkins fell in surprising fashion to Ray Bunker (Marines), and is now called upon to try and tough it out through the mini tournament this week.
*RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) — 2018 World Team
77 kilograms offers two former World Team members, and what’s more, from the same year (2017) — Mason Manville (NLWC) and Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm). Smith and Manville have already met twice this season with Smith prevailing both times. They’ll be seeded on opposing sides of the bracket, making a rematch in the best-of-three a tantalizing possibility for many fans who have enjoyed their great good work together thus far.
Mason Manville (NLWC) — 2017 World Team
Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) — 2017 World Team
82 kilograms is home to two-time World Team member Cheney Haight (NYAC; 2011, ’17), who was shocked by NMU’s Spencer Woods in the Open semifinals a week after Haight put the finishing touches on his third Pan Ams title.
Cheney Haight (NYAC) — 2011, ’17 World Team
Patrick Martinez (NYAC) and Ben Provisor (NYAC/NLWC) dug in their heels against one another in Tulsa last year, delivering one of the more physical finals series in recent memory. Both are beholden to impressive resumes. Provisor is a two-time Olympian in addition to having been on the ’17 World squad, while Martinez has now been to three World Championships despite having only begun his Senior career five years ago.
Patrick Martinez (NYAC) — 2015, ’16, ’18 World Team
Ben Provisor (NYAC/NLWC) — 2012, ’16 Olympics; 2017 World Team
Robby Smith (NYAC/Chicago RTC) entered the heavyweight field (for good) in 2013 and assumed command for the next four years without being seriously challenged. That all changed in ’18 with the emergence of Adam Coon (Cliff Keen), and now Smith is set to claw his way towards what he hopes is a rematch with the World silver medalist at the Final X Series next month.
Sound off before the hype train leaves the station.