USA Greco

Miranda, Omania Lead the Way at 2017 Junior Greco World Duals

peyton omania wins 2017 junior greco world duals at the community youth center in concord, california
Photo: John Sachs

If there is one thing that the Junior Greco World Duals require, it is perseverance. Wrestlers don’t just show up to Concord, California, weigh in, and hop into a bracket. No, there is bit more commitment involved than that. Before any individual glory is attained, athletes are called upon to duke it out in up to seven dual meets. That’s the minimum. And when that’s over, then the tournament comes into play. You win, advance, win, advance. By the time the weekend is over, there can be as many as ten matches under your belt should you prove successful.

It isn’t easy. It isn’t supposed to be.

But it is rewarding.

Two of the United States’ brightest young stars, California’s “Finesse Brothers”, two-time Junior World Team member Randon Miranda (59 kg, California North) and 2016 Cadet World teamer Peyton Omania (70 kg, CYC), both repeated as champions at the 2017 Junior Greco World Duals, held at the Community Youth Center in Concord. For Miranda, it meant scraping off an upset loss from the day before in order to come through with his second consecutive gold at the event. “I was winning 9-2 with :13 left and then I got caught with a headlock,” Miranda said. “It is what it is. It’s a humbling experience, but I’d rather have that happen here than at Worlds.”

He rebounded just fine. Following the loss, Miranda then proceeded to stomp the rest of the way, notching five straight wins and another three in the individual tournament to come away with the title. “I took a little bit of a break after the Trials,” Miranda noted. “I came in here a little too relaxed, but I think what I have planned this summer to prepare for Finland, I’m going to be 100% for it mentally and physically. Obviously, it’s the most important, but I am going to be the most prepared I’ve ever been.”

Omania, the fast-rising stud who calls the Community Youth Center home, received a heavy dose of international matches en-route to his win. The kid needs competition. Omania misses the cut-off by a mere 17 days to compete another year on the Cadet level, which means that this event represented a premier opportunity for him to get precious international matches in. Needless to say, he took advantage of it, running the table over a grueling two days of bouts to emerge victorious. “Out of every style, this tournament here is my favorite,” Omania said. “It’s just so much fun. It’s like practice to me. I think that this tournament has gotten me so much better. I’ve been getting beat up for this since I was in seventh grade. I really think it’s one of the building blocks, like this camp after when we do technique. You can take that and build from it. Plus, it’s nice to be able to come home and rest up. It’s a good time. There’s no pressure, it’s like you’re wrestling at home.”

Mark Halvorson, the head coach of the Community Youth Center and the event’s director, understands the balance necessary for athletes to survive what the Junior Greco World Duals have to offer. Just because a wrestler starts slow, there is time to get back on track, primarily because there are so many chances to. “One of my kids was 3-4 at the Duals and he came back today, beats a couple guys, and made the finals,” Halvorson said.

Along with Omania, another 2016 Cadet World Team member had himself a nice showing over the weekend — Kansas’ Clay Lautt (79 kg). “He actually wrestled a really tough kid from Chechnya who lives in Sweden,” Halvorson explained. “He was really tough and Clay got two good matches against that kid.” Lautt wound up finishing up second on Sunday.

Missouri standout Cody Phippen (52 kg) made some big-time noise. Phippen is a three-style wrestler who possesses gifts that jump off the page, but one attribute that most notice right away is his ability to win the hard battles inside, something that not a lot of young domestic wrestlers understand how to do. It paid off and then some for Phippen when he locked horns with Swedish Cadet World Team member Niklas Öhlén. Phippen downed Öhlén twice during the weekend. “They wrestled in the first match yesterday and it was wild,” recalled Halvorson. “He (Phippen) had him again in the finals and it was another good match. Both were barnburners.”

One of the country’s most active age-group athletes is Hunter Lewis (49 kg) though in this event, he wrestled for the Scandinavian team that was made up of athletes from various countries. Lewis earned a bronze at the Malar Cupen in Sweden back in November and recently returned home from a trip to Finland. He wanted more international experience and got his wish this weekend, piling on win after win to break all the way through with a gold over CYC’s Cole Greggerson in the finals.

2017 Cadet World Team coach and Combat Wrestling Club founder Lucas Steldt brought some of his charges over to Concord and came away impressed. “This is a must-attend competition,” declared Steldt. “It’s an international age-level competition within our borders. We are coming back next year with a full team that will be training all year in Greco in our HPGT3 program. My personal feeling is that this event should be huge and is ready for adaptation to 2018 and beyond with the ‘Go Greco’ movement in the US. ”

2017 Junior Greco World Duals Final Results

Team standings

  1. Scandinavia
  2. Vikings
  3. Missouri/Kansas
  4. CYC
  5. Wisconsin/Kansas

Tournament placewinners

49 kg
Gold: Hunter Lewis (Scandinavia
Silver: Cole Greggerson (CYC)
Bronze: Preston Martin (Missouri/Kansas

52.5 kg
Gold: Cody Phippen (Missouri/Kansas)
Silver: Niklas Öhlén (Scandinavia)
Bronze: Bret Minor (Wisconsin/Kansas)

56 kg
Gold: Logan Treaster (Missouri/Kansas)
Silver: Georgios Barbanos (Vikings)
Bronze: Tate Carney (Wisconsin/Kansas)

59 kg
Gold: Randon Miranda (California North)
Silver: Mason HartShorn (CYC)
Bronze: Jevon Parrish (Wisconsin/Kansas)

63 kg
Gold: Anton Rosen (Vikings)
Silver: Dwayne Guerrero (CYC)
Bronze: Samual Nyberg (Scandinavia)

66 kg
Gold: Alexander Bica (Scandinavia)
Silver: Emil Svensson (Vikings)
Bronze: AJ Lira (Oregon)

70 kg
Gold: Peyton Omania (CYC)
Silver: Rasmus Åström (Vikings)
Bronze: Lukas Ahlgren (Scandinavia)

74.5 kg
Gold: Andrew Cervantez (CYC)
Silver: Hayden Krein (Wisconsin/Kansas)
Bronze: Didrik Siverin (Vikings)

79 kg
Gold: Khalid Kerchev (Vikings)
Silver: Clay Lautt (Missouri/Kansas)
Bronze: Jack Kilner (CYC)

86.5 kg
Gold: Zebastian Berg (Scandinavia)
Silver: Jakob Lofgård (Vikings)
Bronze: Anthony Gaona (Missouri/Kansas)

98.5 kg
Gold: Markus Ragginger (Scandinavia)
Silver: Haydn Maley (Oregon)
Bronze: Tyler Curd (Missouri/Kansas)

125 kg
Gold: Elias Kenneryd (Scandinavia)
Silver: Christian Lance (Missouri/Kansas)
Bronze: Dallas O’Brien (Oregon)

Best Match
Semifinal at 56 kg — Tate Carney (Wisconsin/Kansas) vs Georgios Barbanos (Vikings)

Lower Weight MVP
Alexander Bica (Scandinavia)

Upper Weight MVP
Markus Ragginger (Scandinavia)

Best Technician
Randon Miranda (California

Listen to “5PM03: Joe Betterman joins the show to talk about life and the World Team Trials” on Spreaker.

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