Last week, United World Wrestling released its January Greco Roman rankings and only one US wrestler, Hayden Zillmer (98 kg, Minnesota Storm, world no. 20) was included. Most recently, Jesse Thielke (59 kg, NYAC), Andy Bisek (75 kg, Minnesota Storm), and Patrick Martinez (80 kg, Minnesota Storm) were the last three American Greco Roman competitors ranked in the top 20 by the global governing body but have since been dropped.
For Zillmer, this is quite the feather in the cap. Following his last season with his now-alma mater North Dakota State University, Zillmer made his first US National Team at the Olympic Trials, defeating the aforementioned Martinez in the 85 kilogram bronze medal match. He then looked to win his second University National title last June (Zillmer first won the event in 2013) before being defeated by Khymba Johnson (NYAC-OTS) in the semifinals. Since then, he’s come back on fire. Up a weight at 98 kilograms, Zillmer has been a runner-up to fellow US National Team member and Junior World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock (NYAC) on three occasions and collected an international silver last month in Finland.
So, this escalated rather quickly
It should have been predictable. After we put out the rosters for the upcoming US Greco-Roman trips in March to Denmark (Seniors) and Austria (Juniors), of course a whole bunch of athletes were left out, specifically for the Juniors. As such, we have since updated the original roster sheet and included a brand new one with all of the changes. Basically, most of the better-known young talent coming down the pike from Northern Michigan is making the trip out to Austria for the Austrian Open and the proceeding training camp. Some are staying back to focus solely on the World Team Trials — naturally. But upstarts like Jordan Auen, Logan Kass, Michael Donato and Chris Roger are all included in the group of 22 making the trip. Even high schoolers like Britton Holmes and Tommy Brackett are along for the ride.
There is a lot for the Junior athletes to get done before the Trials in April and for the overwhelming majority of them, Austria represents the last shot at competition leading up. If you ask a few of the wrestlers taking the flight, making the most out of it is the priority. They’ll have their chance to do just that in just a couple of weeks.
Watch matches from the Olympics
You can now go back and check out all of the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. United World Wrestling in conjunction with the Olympic Channel has every match from every style up and ready to view. The matches are only available either on the UWW website or if you are an Olympic Channel subscriber. In other words, you cannot click through to YouTube on UWW like everything else.
Although the US Greco Roman team did not come away with any medals, there were a few moments worth remembering. Thielke’s destruction of Mehdi Messaoudi (MAR), Robby Smith’s arm throw of eventual bronze medalist Sabah Shariati (AZE), and though he lost, Ben Provisor’s physical beatdown of Rustam Assakalov (UZB) are pretty entertaining. For the sentimental lot, there is also the capability to watch Bisek’s final two performances.
What’s coming up here
- With no recent events to catch up on, the new “Coach Lindland’s Report” will mainly consist of off-topic musings and perhaps a couple of training points. Of course, YOU could always chime in and send a question over yourself and we’ll include it.
- Look forward to at least one extended athlete profile this coming week.
- The first “Catching Up With…” segment with Geordan Speiller seemed to be a big success, so you can expect more of them going forward.
- A couple of camp and event updates should be arriving soon, please keep an eye out for them.