2016 Olympian/four-time World Team member Robby Smith (130 kg, NYAC, world no. 16) will be competing tonight for the first time since August as a featured bout at the Battle on the Midway in San Diego, California.
Smith, 30, is scheduled to face Canada’s Korey Jarvis, a dual-style wrestler who owns a much more pronounced background in freestyle. As a Greco competitor, Jarvis isn’t completely out of his element. He placed third at the 2011 Pan Am Championships and again the next year at the Olympic qualifying version of the tournament in Florida. However, that was also the last time Jarvis competed in Greco-Roman.
Following the Rio Olympics last year, Smith underwent surgery on his wrist and spent the proceeding four months recovering. He was originally set to return at the (first) 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial in early February until an ankle sprain kept him on the sidelines a little longer. His first competition back was the Thor Masters Invitational in Denmark where he rebounded from a first-round loss to Oskar Marvik (NOR) to run the table en-route to a gold medal. Six weeks later, Smith picked up his fourth victory at the Senior World Team Trials by defeating 2011 Junior World bronze medalist and domestic rival Toby Erickson (Army/WCAP) two matches to none in the best-of-three final.
A bronze at the Pan Ams came next but Smith’s summer culminated at the 2017 World Championships with a 1-1 performance. A dominating win via fall over Tamas Soos (SLO) opened up Smith’s day in Paris, but his bid for a spot on the podium was cut short by eventual bronze medalist Yasmany Acosta Fernandez (CHI).
Along with Smith on the Greco side of things tonight is 2016 Cadet World Team member Peyton Omania (CYC). A recent commit to Michigan State, Omania is also one of the country’s more promising Greco prospects with wins at the Junior Greco World Duals the last two years as well as a runner-up finish at Fargo in 2015.
Smith and Omania both come from the Community Youth Center in Concord, California, whose wrestling program is presided over by well-known US coach Mark Halvorson. In addition, Smith’s protege from the club is current 85 kilogram contender Lucas Sheridan (Army/WCAP), who in turn, mentors Omania.
A card of six international-style matches kicks off the Battle on the Midway (which actually takes place on the USS Midway in San Diego Harbor) and precedes a folkstyle collegiate dual between Fresno State and Air Force. The event begins at 6:00pm and unfortunately, can only be viewed in person. To see about ticket availability, run over to here.
2017 Battle on the Midway
November 21st, 2017
San Diego Harbor, San Diego, California
130 kg: Robby Smith (NYAC) vs. Korey Jarvis (CAN)
70 kg: Peyton Omania (CYC) vs. TBD