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Armed Forces Update: Marines Alter Lineup But Still On Collision Course with Army

ray bunker, 2018 5pm impact performer
Photo: All-Marine Wrestling

As expected, the All-Marine Team will have a chance to end Army’s nearly two-decade stranglehold on the Armed Forces Championships Greco-Roman title.

Competition began at 11:00am local time from Naval Base Kitsap in Washington (2:00pm ET) and aired live on Trackwrestling.

The Marines won their first dual over Air Force 44-9 — and raced to a similarly lopsided team triumph over Navy 42-1.  Army’s degree of dominance was just as pronounced in the first two rounds. First was a 55-0 throttling of Navy followed by a 39-5 win against Air Force.

Notes

Highlighted in a preview yesterday was 2019 World Team Trials champ Alex Mossing (Air Force). Up at 82 kilograms, Mossing locked horns with ’19 World Teamer John Stefanowicz (Marines) in what wound up a very tight contest. In the first period, Stefanowicz netted three from a passive point and gutwrench. Mossing later was awarded two from a caution — and another following a failed challenge from the Marines. Tension permeated through the final minute until Stefanowicz iced the match with a takedown to win 6-3.

In Air Force’s dual against Army, Mossing trailed Dillon Cowan (Army) but had closed the gap with a four-point counter off of an arm throw attempt. However, Cowan later piled it on after he stepped over a Mossing attempt, and prevailed 13-4. Mossing, who at best will finish with a record of 1-2, will now need to enter the Last Chance Olympic Trials Qualifier next month in Millersville, PA.

Joining him there will be Brandon Mueller (Air Force). Mueller was defeated by National Team member Peyton Walsh (Marines) in the first dual for both teams. Mueller then faced Vlad Dombrovskiy (Army) — who also needed to finish in the top-2 today — and was edged 5-3.

Also given a closer look on this platform Friday was Vaughn Monreal-Berner, who the Marines bumped up to 97 kilos. That provided an opportunity for Terrence Zaleski at 87, who defeated Justin Rau (Air Force) and Kyle Fox (Navy), both via tech. But at 97, “VMB” fell victim to an early throw and turn from Diante Cooper (Air Force) before eventually being pinned in Round 1; but got back on track with a tech at the expense of Mark Saunders (Navy) in Round 2.

Interestingly, the Marines’ lineup creativity had two-time National champ Daniel Miller compete at heavyweight, where he is 2-0 with two tech’s thus far. Meanwhile, Lucas Sheridan (97 kg, Army) is also 2-0 (two pins). Miller and Sheridan were expected to continue their ongoing rivalry that is considered the best in the country. But if the Marines stick with the order of athletes they used in their first two duals, that obviously won’t be happening.

Behind a squad featuring three ’19 World Team members and a slew of current and former National Team competitors, Army has been close to lights out. Dombrovskiy’s decision over Mueller has been their only victory thus far that was not a pin, tech (or forfeit). ’19 World Teamers Max Nowry (55 kg, world #7) and Ryan Mango (63 kg, world #13) are both 2-0, with each having earned a pin and a tech after the first two rounds. For the Marines, Stefanowicz is 2-0, as is fellow World Teamer Ray Bunker (72 kg), whose two wins were achieved via tech fall.

It all sets up the highly-anticipated deciding dual between All-Army and the All-Marine Team coming up shortly. Though Army has owned the series for almost a generation, the Marines came awfully close to breaking the streak seven years ago. In a dual that included eight weight classes, Army clinched early when two-time World bronze Harry Lester was awarded a victory via medical forfeit. Charles Fish (96 kg) and former stud heavyweight David Arendt (130 kg) both earned pins for the Marines, but they still fell by one point. On a side note, Stefanowicz was on the All-Marine Team at the time and was the scratch against Lester. “STEF” is also the only athlete on either team who was a competitor in the ’13 dual.

The Armed Forces Championships is being broadcast FREE on Trackwrestling.

2020 Armed Forces Championships

February 22 — NB Kitsap (WA)

Round 1

Army — 55 Navy — 0

55 kg: Max Nowry (Army) def. Teron Woodson (Navy) 8-0, TF
60 kg: Ildar Hafizov (Army) def. Bobby Raines (Navy) 8-0, TF
63 kg: Ryan Mango (Army) won via forfeit
67 kg: Alex Sancho (Army) def. Cory Asato (Navy) via fall
72 kg: Michael Hooker (Army) def. Bobby Yamashita (Navy) 9-0, TF
77 kg: Vlad Dombrovskiy (Army) won via forfeit
82 kg: Dillon Cowan (Army) def. Austin Craig (Navy) 8-0, TF
87 kg: George Hooker (Army) def. Kyle Fox (Navy) 8-0, TF
97 kg: Lucas Sheridan (Army) def. Mark Saunders (Navy) via fall
130 kg: Toby Erickson (Army) def. Reggie Williams (Navy) via fall

Marines — 44 Air Force — 9

55 kg: Josh Medina (Marines) won via forfeit
60 kg: Colton Rasche (Marines) def. Cordney Chairs (Air Force) 5-1
63 kg: Xavier Johnson (Marines) def. Cooper Hunt (Air Force) 11-0
67 kg: Jamel Johnson (Marines) def. James Culp (Air Force) 10-0, TF
72 kg: Ray Bunker (Marines) def. Dane Robbins (Air Force) 9-1, TF
77 kg: Peyton Walsh (Marines) def. Brandon Mueller (Air Force) 9-0, TF
82 kg: John Stefanowicz (Marines) def. Alex Mossing (Air Force) 6-3
87 kg: Terrence Zaleski (Marines) def. Justin Rau (Air Force) 11-1, TF
97 kg: Diante Cooper (Air Force) def. Vaughn Monreal-Berner (Marines)
130 kg: Daniel Miller (Marines) def. Karl Oeser (Air Force) 8-0, TF

Round 2

Army — 39 Air Force — 5

55 kg: Max Nowry (Army) won via forfeit
60 kg: Ildar Hafizov (Army) def. Cordney Chairs (Air Force) via fall
63 kg: Ryan Mango (Army) def. Cooper Hunt (Air Force) 10-0, TF
67 kg: Alex Sancho (Army) def. James Culp (Air Force) 8-0, TF
72 kg: Michael Hooker (Army) def. Dane Robbins (Air Force) 8-0, TF
77 kg: Vlad Dombrovskiy (Army) def. Brandon Mueller (Air Force) 5-3
82 kg: Dillon Cowan (Army) def. Alex Mossing (Air Force) 13-4, TF
87 kg: Justin Rau (Air Force) def. George Hooker (Army) 7-4
97 kg: Lucas Sheridan (Army) def. Diante Cooper (Air Force) via fall
130 kg: Toby Erickson (Army) def. Karl Oesser (Air Force) 8-0, TF

Marines — 42 Navy — 1

55 kg: Josh Medina (Marines) def. Teron Woodson (Navy) 9-0, TF
60 kg: Colton Rasche (Marines) def. Bobby Raines (Navy) 8-0, TF
63 kg: Xavier Johnson (Marines) won via forfeit
67 kg: Jamel Johnson (Marines) def. Cory Asato (Navy) 9-0, TF
72 kg: Ray Bunker (Marines) def. Bobby Yamashita (Navy) 16-4, TF
77 kg: Peyton Walsh (Marines) won via forfeit
82 kg: John Stefanowicz (Marines) def. Austin Craig (Navy) 9-0, TF
87 kg: Terrence Zaleski (Marines) def. Kyle Fox (Navy) 8-0, TF
97 kg: Vaughn Monreal-Berner (Marines) def. Mark Saunders (Navy) 8-0, TF
130 kg: Daniel Miller (Marines) def. Reggie Williams (Navy) 8-0, TF

Listen to “5PM33: The Marine Corps’ Jamel Johnson” on Spreaker.

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