Over the past year and a little more so recently, we have chronicled Max Nowry‘s (Army/WCAP) reaction and then subsequent preparation regarding the return of 55 kilograms to Senior Greco-Roman competition. A University World Champion and Olympic Trials finalist in 2012, the now-27-year-old made his mark at the sport’s lightest weight and seemed to be putting himself in position as either the legendary Spenser Mango’s chief on-the-mat rival or at the very least, his potential heir apparent.
That all changed, however, when FILA (now United World Wrestling) amended the weight classes for Greco-Roman and in the process of doing so, eliminated 55 kilos by consolidating that weight class with Greco’s then-second lightest weight, 60. The result was 59 kilograms — quite the jump for Nowry, who was already somewhat undersized for 55 back a few years ago.
To be fair, this hasn’t been so much about Nowry requiring 55 kilograms in order to remain a top domestic competitor. While his results following the weight class shuffle certainly dipped, he gradually began to regain his footing at the higher weight, as evidenced by his making the US National Team for the third time back in April. Even still, with 55’s reintroduction, it has been hard for many observers not to immediately think of the WCAP wrestler’s chances on the World stage. Lauded throughout the country for his heightened technical acuity, Nowry managed to remain a threat when matched up against heftier opponents due in large part to his wits. He strategized, changed game plans, and at the same time, grew physically stronger. Therefore, it has been easy for many to imagine what he’d be capable of back at his old weight with these attributes now enhanced. Well, he had a chance to demonstrate just that earlier this week.
At the 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial International on Wednesday, Nowry scored dominant technical fall victories over stout NMU prospect Kyndall Rutz and rising age-group competitor Camden Russell (MWC) to earn a spot in Thursday evening’s round-robin final opposite 2016 Junior Asian Championships bronze medalist Son Hee-Dong (KOR). It didn’t go as planned. Son emerged victorious 3-2, a takedown and passivity point to Nowry’s two passivity points. There were moments where it appeared the American was onto something, mainly with numerous front headlock attempts, but he was unable to execute.
Because there had been a lot of buzz surrounding Nowry’s return to 55 kilograms along with our recent coverage of the Schultz, we reached out to him for a quick word after the dust settled on Friday. As could be expected, Nowry had no problem delivering a forthcoming message to US fans:
“I’m pretty pissed at myself for the lack of performance in my last match,” Nowry began. “During the match, in my head, I was being more active and moving more than I actually was when I went back and watched the video. I didn’t score any offensive points. I wasn’t able to capitalize on any of the front headlocks, and that is something that will be addressed and worked on at practice.
“After reflecting on it at home last night and earlier today while watching freestyle, the only thing I can take away from it is that it’s the first tournament of the season and any weaknesses or lack of scoring opportunities were exposed withy my wrestling a foreigner. So, now I need to use this time to adjust and fix some issues for the future. I felt strong and really good for the most part, but there is still a lot of work to be done, and like I said, my failures or shortcomings in positions I should score from will be heavily worked on.”