2017 Junior World Champion Kamal Bey (80 kg, Sunkist) was forced to play from behind before staging a dramatic comeback and Tommy Brackett (TN) did his part by scoring a surprising tech fall victory over one of the biggest favorites in his weight class to set up a finals showdown that is over a year in the making. Meanwhile, Northern Michigan’s Dalton Roberts and Randon Miranda will be meeting up once again and multi-time World Teamer G’Angelo Hancock (130, world no. 16) has put himself in position for another crack at a medal this year. Day 2 of the 2017 US U23 Greco-Roman World Team Trials began earlier this morning at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota and streamed live on Trackwrestling.com.
2016 NCAA Division I All-American Alex Meyer (Hawkeye WC) took a 1-0 passivity point lead on Bey late in the first period and did a good job throughout their semifinal contest of stifling Bey’s attack with two-on-ones and keeping position. As the second period unfolded, Meyer capitalized on a Bey headlock attempt to get behind and pick up two, and then he proceeded to turn Bey with a gutwrench to race out in front 5-1. Bey reversed to grab a point back but still trailed by three when shortly after, Meyer once again snuffed out another Bey headlock try to swoop behind.
Down 7-2 with :34 left in the bout, Bey finally came alive.
As he moved towards the center, Bey darted in for a high-dive and reached Meyer’s body. From there, he cinched a bodylock and arched it back for a match-changing five, tying the score but giving him criteria. Unsatisfied, Bey was back at it again :20 later. Meyer was over the top near the edge. Bey scrambled to his base, stayed (low) on the body, and turned it into a correct hold for two more points and a 9-7 lead, which is how this one would end. With the win, Bey now advances to his third World Team Trials final of 2017.
Brackett, who placed sixth in the US Senior Open in 2016 after winning Fargo earlier that summer, moved into the semifinals with tech wins over Ali Khan (NMU/OTS) and Aaron Trygstad (Otero County WC), respectively. His semifinal opponent, 2017 Fargo Junior National Champion Andrew Berreyesa (NYAC/FLWC) was similarly effective in notching two impressive falls against Michial Foy (Wardogs) and Josh Anderson (NMU/OTS). Brackett and Berreyesa are two of the country’s best young Greco athletes and by all accounts, this bout was supposed to be a barnburner. But it wasn’t.
Berreyesa drew first blood when Brackett went high on a headlock attempt and came loose, allowing the Cornell freshman to collect two near the boundary. The proceeding par terre didn’t provide any further scoring and back up they were, with Brackett beginning to bully his way into double underhooks he’d use to eventually score a takedown. This wound up being the story of the match — Brackett constantly plodding into underhooks with Berreyesa on the defense. Later in the first, Brackett shucked his way behind Berreyesa and locked around for a huge five-point souplex to increase his lead to 7-2.
Maybe Berreyesa didn’t have his rhythm or maybe Brackett just wouldn’t be denied. Either way, the second period was not much different than the first with Brackett jutting in underhooks at every opportunity. The only exception was that he started being able to move Berreyesa around the circle and for his effort, accumulated three step-out points to end this marquee match-up of promising studs :12 early via tech.
Interestingly, Bey and Brackett were originally supposed to meet in the 2016 Fargo finals until Bey dropped out of the tournament due to a minor injury, which gave Brackett the title by default. Both have remained competitive on the national scene in a big way, though Brackett is still a high school folkstyle wrestler in the offseason. Bey’s penchant for excitement along with Brackett’s dogged pressure make their best-of-three series later this afternoon one to keep an eye out for.
Roberts and Miranda have a lot in common. They are both two-time Junior World Team members, both have (or had) been considered undersized for 59 kilos despite performing well, and both occupy the same mat space at Northern Michigan University. Now they are both part of the first-ever US U23 World Team Trials finals.
Roberts zoomed his way into the best-of-three series thanks to blinding technical fall victories over NMU teammates John Massey and Kyndall Rutz. Miranda’s road to the 59 kilogram final wasn’t too different. He started off with a tech against Erik Spence (NMU/OTS) and followed that one up with another over future contender Nelson Baker (Minnesota Storm). Roberts and Miranda have competed against each other before, most recently at the 2016 Bill Farrell Memorial with Roberts coming away with a 13-4 win.
Two surging Greco-Roman wrestlers will be battling it out for the 71 kilogram crown — Colin Schubert (NYAC/OTS) and Alex Mossing (Air Force RTC). Schubert gradually started coming on in 2016, but 2017 is when he really made his mark. At the World Team Trials in April, the Wisconsinite fought like a monster to advance to the third-place/National Team match where he fell to RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC), one of the country’s most accomplished domestic competitors. Mossing was also in that bracket and while he didn’t have the tournament Schubert did, still managed to leave an impression due to his active, offensively-minded approach. But it was what came next for Mossing that left an even bigger mark.
In one of the most memorable bouts of the year thus far, Mossing defeated fellow top contender Anthonie Linares (NYAC/OTS) in the finals of June’s University Nationals via tech. During the course of that match, Mossing threw the exceptionally-skilled Linares four separate times to rack up his 13 points.
Schubert and Mossing ran into each other in the consolation round at the Trials in April and it didn’t go too well for the latter. Schubert raced ahead on the strength of a step-out and arm throw before sealing it with a takedown 1:45 into the first period. But it’s different now. Mossing has had more time to train in the style and his win back in June is tough to just all of the sudden forget about. Schubert is a true full-timer and the growth he’s experienced also can’t be dismissed. One way or the other, a potential three more matches between these two should be more than enough to get any fan excited.
New Territory, Same Result
One of the faces of US Greco-Roman is Hancock and he wrested control of the 98 kilogram class last year with incredible performances virtually everywhere he went. But following the Junior and Senior World Championships this past summer, he decided a change was in order, so here we are. Hancock made his heavyweight debut this morning and yep, the results are pretty much what you likely expected coming in: dominant.
The 19-year-old required all of :52 to pin Denatra Moshi (Marines) after he trucked over a trap-arm bodylock. The semis offered up someone familiar to him — Nick Boykin (Sunkist) — the Tennessee product who made waves two years ago on the age-group level and is now out at the Olympic Training Center. Boykin wanted to use his (much) lower center of gravity and weight advantage to try and remain upright in the pummel, but Hancock’s athletic gifts and sharpened skill-set proved too much for the youth to overcome.
Boykin’s best chance was to try and catch Hancock leaning down and in. Sensing this, Boykin went for a headlock right away, only to have Hancock easily shuffle it away to ease behind for two. A lift attempt from there didn’t yield anything, but the tone was set. Hancock employed an ardent approach to positioning as he began scanning for openings. One popped up for him a minute into the bout when he hit a beautiful drag to collect two more. 4-0, Hancock.
The only question surrounding Hancock’s ability to compete at 130 centered around how he would do when it came to throws and lifts. An immensely strong athlete, he’s never really encountered any issues going to his patented bodylock when such an opportunity arose. The air is not the same up here, apparently, at least not just yet. Hancock clasped around Boykin with a bodylock and when he went to take it back, Boykin ambled up and exposed Hancock for two.
In the second period, Hancock started finding more success weaving in underhooks and moving Boykin around. This resulted in a step-out and eventually, a nifty go-behind. Boykin tried to stay in it, his offensive strategy resigned to numerous headlock attempts which became slips. It wasn’t the prettiest match Hancock has ever been a part of, but he was effective nonetheless. And like Bey, he will now be participating in his third Trials final of the calendar year.
The finals are scheduled for 3:30pm CT/4:30pm EST and can be viewed live on Trackwrestling.com.
2017 U23 WORLD TEAM TRIALS SEMIFINALS RESULTS — Day 2
Dalton Roberts (NYAC/OTS) def. Kyndall Rutz (NMU/OTS) 10-1, TF
Randon Miranda (NYAC/OTS) def. Nelson Baker (Minnesota Storm) 8-0, TF
Colin Schubert (NYAC/OTS) def. Logan Kass (NMU/OTS) 8-0, TF
Alex Mossing (Air Force RTC) def. Ray Bunker (Marines) 6-3
Kamal Bey (Sunkist) def. Alex Meyer (Hawkeye WC) 9-7
Tommy Brackett (TN) def. Andrew Berreyesa (NYAC/FLWC) 10-2, TF
G’Angelo Hancock (OTC) def. Nick Boykin (Sunkist) 7-2
Alton Meeks (Florida Jets) def. Michael Rodgers (NYAC) 7-4
59 kg: Dalton Young (Unattached) def. Kyndall Rutz (NMU/OTS) 10-1, TF
71 kg: Lenny Merkin (Princeton WC) def. Logan Kass (NMU/OTS) 17-9, TF
80 kg: Carter Nielsen (NMU/OTS) def. Alex Meyer (Hawkeye WC) 7-2
130 kg: David Orndorff (Utah Valley RTC) def. Michael Rodgers (NYAC) 6-3