USA Greco

Led By Stepanian, US Juniors Grab 2nd at 2019 Austrian Open

team usa finishes second at 2019 austrian open

One of the biggest measuring sticks the United States Greco-Roman program uses to judge its newest recruits is trial under fire. It’s not the easiest thing to do whilst on domestic shores, primarily because opportunities to compete against international opponents around these parts are few and far between. That means traveling; it means gathering up a collection of willing up-and-comers who want to get their passports stamped in the name of improvement at the highest levels of the sport.

It means trekking to Austria every winter.

David Stepanian (55 kg, NMU/OTS), one of Marquette’s brightest lightweight prospects, earned his first international gold medal today at the 2019 Austrian Open to lead a Team USA delegation that wound up second overall. He wasn’t alone in the “first timer” department, either, another sign of the American youth movement. 2018 Fargo champ Haiden Drury (55 kg, WA) snared his first foreign medal, a bronze, and Illinois native Delon Kanari (60 kg, NMU/OTS) earned silver.

Also making appearances on the podium for the US were three other highly-touted athletes currently demanding more attention — Mason Hartshorn (60 kg, NMU/OTS), who took third after coming in second a year ago, and Keaton Fanning (87 kg, NMU/OTS), who also checked in with a bronze. Olympic Training Center Elite Accelerator Program athlete Noah Wachsmuth (67 kg) was back at it again, as well. Back in Europe for the second time this year after punching through for a bronze in Sweden this past fall, Wachsmuth went 2-2 today, good for third place.

Given that the Austrian Open is run in a format similar to the Nordic system (i.e., athletes are pooled in brackets with a round-robin prior to advancing), there was no choice but for US wrestlers to be forced to take one another out during the tournament. A common occurrence. It went that way for Stepanian. He began his day with 13-4 tech over Andre Silva of Portugal before downing Carter Stephenson (OTC) in the next round 15-6. Things got tight in the 55-kilo final, however, but Stepanian held his ground en-route to a 4-4 criteria decision.

Drury started off by dropping a close one to Gharbi but came back strong in his next two, going back-to-back with tech falls over NMU’s Jacob Cochran and Silva. One weight class up, Kanari put together his finest showing in an NMU singlet thus far. He blanked both Gabriel Federa (AUT) and youngster Nick Leonetti (ID) to advance to the finals. There, his ride came up just short, falling to Rasul Isralipov (SUI).

Altogether the US is walking away from this edition of the Austrian Open with one champ, Stepanian, and five overall medalists. It’s not the haul the American program has enjoyed the past two years, but it’s a positive step considering the turnover from Junior to Senior. The way US coach Lucas Steldt, who along with NMU head Rob Hermann manned the corner for many of the matches today, feels about it, they saw what they needed to see out of the group throughout what is an exceptionally challenging age-group event.

“The competition this year was very tough,” Steld said. “Hungary, France, and Finland brought hammers. Our guys fought hard and it was an up and down day. At the end of the it, we brought home two team trophies. This isn’t a tournament where you test new technical skills, this is a tournament where you test your grit.”

Team USA gets second at the 2019 Austrian Open Greco-Roman tournament.

Steldt (far left) holds the silver trophy at the 2019 Austrian Open. (Photo: Lucas Steldt)

Notes:

  • Stepanian and Fanning added their second overseas medals of the season today. Both athletes were on the podium at Sweden’s Klippan Cup in November, with Fanning taking second and Stepanian coming in third.
  • The US actually had two teams going today, not one — which has become something of an annual tradition. USA I came in second in the tournament, USA II wound up fourth. Finland won the event in the team standings.

2019 Austrian Open

March 2nd — Götzis, Austria

TEAM USA RESULTS

55 kg

David Stepanian (NMU/OTS) — gold
WON Andre Silva (POR) 13-4, TF
WON Carter Stephenson (OTC) 15-6, TF
WON Yazid Gharbi (FRA) 4-4 (criteria)

Haiden Drury (WA) — bronze
LOSS Yazid Gharbi (FRA) 7-6
WON Jacob Cochran (NMU/OTS) 8-0, TF
WON Andre Silva (POR) 10-0, TF

Jacob Cochran (NMU/OTS) — 5th
LOSS Yazid Gharbi (FRA) 9-0, TF
LOSS Haiden Drury (WA) 8-0, TF
WON Carter Stephenson (OTC) 6-4

Carter Stephenson (OTS) — 6th
LOSS David Stepanian (NMU/OTS) 15-6, TF
LOSS Andre Silva (POR) 8-0, TF
LOSS Jacob Cochran (OTC) 6-4

60 kg

Delon Kanari (NMU/OTS) — silver
WON Gabriel Federa (AUT) 8-0, TF
WON Nick Leonetti (ID) 6-0
LOSS Rasul Isralipov (SUI) 12-4, TF

Mason Hartshorn (NMU/OTS) — bronze
WON Tarrell Wallace (FL) 9-0, TF
LOSS Rasul Isralipov (SUI) 3-3 (criteria)
WON Gabriel Federa (AUT) 11-0, TF

Nick Leonetti (ID) — 5th
LOSS Gabriel Federa (AUT) 9-0, TF
LOSS Delon Kanari (NMU/OTS) 6-0
LOSS Tarrell Wallace (FL) 8-0, TF

Tarrell Wallace (FL) — 6th
LOSS Mason Hartshorn (NMU/OTS) 9-0, TF
LOSS Rasul Isralipov (SUI) 12-4, TF
WON Nick Leonetti (ID) 8-0, TF

63 kg

Adrian Gomez (CA)
WON Cole Stephenson (OTC) 9-0, TF
LOSS Abere Fetene (ISR) 10-0, TF
LOSS Sandor Kajtar (SVK) 9-1, TF

Erik Spence (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Daniel Caldas (POR) 8-0, TF
LOSS Gagik Snjoyan (FRA) 9-0, TF

67 kg

Noah Wachsmuth (OTC) — bronze
WON Timmy Thompson (TX) 9-0, TF
LOSS Erik Persson (SWE) 8-0, TF
WON Michael Portmann (SUI) 9-5
LOSS Aker Al Obaidi (AUT) 10-6

Riley Briggs (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Elmer Mattila (FIN) 8-0, TF
WON Alex Beck (SWE) 12-1, TF
LOSS Istvan Sluka (SVK) 10-6

Britton Holmes (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Joni Kompaa (FIN) 3-1
LOSS Elmer Mattila (FIN) 3-1

Timmy Thompson (TX)
LOSS Noah Wachsmuth (OTC) 9-0, TF
LOSS Denis Mertl (CZE) 6-0

Alec McDoulett (OK)
WON Erik Persson (SWE) 11-2, TF
LOSS Aker Al Obaidi (AUT) 10-0, TF
LOSS Michael Portmann (SUI) 5-4

72 kg

Zach Tolver (NMU/OTS) — 5th
LOSS Akseli Yli-Hannuksela (FIN) 9-0, TF
WON Jan Bozok (CZE) 8-0, TF
LOSS Erik Loser (GER) 9-2
WON Gadzimurad Pacuta (CZE) 11-1

77 kg

Zach Grimes (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Banca Holocsi (SVK) 19-8, TF
LOSS David Zhytmoyrsky (ISR) 8-0, TF

82 kg

DM Hallett (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Istvan Takacs (HUN) 9-0, TF
LOSS Zoltan Megaly (SVK) 2-0
LOSS Otto Ketonen (FIN) 4-0
LOSS Anton Vieweg (GER) 8-0, TF

87 kg

Keaton Fanning (NMU/OTS) — bronze
WON Patrick Mezei (HUN) via fall
LOSS Juho Pahikianen (FIN) 2-0
LOSS Christian Zemp (SUI) 7-3
WON Anti Haanpaa (FIN) 8-0, TF

97 kg

Ryan Delgado (FL)
LOSS Markus Ragginger (AUT) 8-0, TF
LOSS Alex Szoke (HUN) 8-0, TF

Kaleb Gaede (NMU/OTS)
LOSS Karl Marbach (GER) 1-1 (criteria)
LOSS Faustin Lopez (NMU/OTS) 16-8, TF

Faustin Lopez (CO)
LOSS Loic Samen (FRA) 4-2
WON Kaleb Gaede (NMU/OTS) 16-8, TF
LOSS Karl Mosbach (GER) 8-0, TF

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