The United States Greco-Roman Seniors are back this weekend on their second stop of the 2017 March European tour. Last Saturday it was the 15th annual Thor Masters Invitational which saw Ildar Hafizov (59 kg, Army/WCAP) and Robby Smith (130 kg, NYAC) earn gold medals while Patrick Smith (71 kg, Minnesota Storm) checked in with a hard-fought bronze medal. All in all, it was a very encouraging day for the US program, as the Seniors clocked in with 32 wins in 51 possible matches throughout the day.
Currently, the US delegation has finished up its second to last day of training camp in Denmark and tomorrow afternoon will be flying over to Croatia (11am local time) for the 2017 Grand Prix Zagreb Open. This is an annual stop on the calendar for the Americans and this year, will be the last event before April’s World Team Trials for most of the roster.
Here are some news and notes to keep handy for this weekend:
- Alex Sancho (NYAC-OTS) lost a tight battle to Smith in the bronze medal match at 71 kilograms in Denmark and this weekend is returning to his usual 66 kilos for Zagreb.
- Fresh off of their dominant performances at the Austrian Open Saturday, Kamal Bey (75 kg, Sunkist) and 2016 Junior World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock (98 kg, NYAC) are back in action on the Senior circuit, as both will be competing in Croatia. The always-dangerous Jesse Porter (75 kg, NYAC-OTS) took third in Austria and is also wrestling at the Grand Prix Zagreb Open.
- Ellis Coleman (66 kg, Army/WCAP), who was on an undefeated run in Denmark, got his shoulder torqued towards the end of his thrilling win over 2016 Olympian Edgaras Venckaitis (LTU, world no. 17) and was forced to withdraw. Unfortunately, he is headed back to the States to get images taken on his shoulder.
- When you hear about what Hayden Tuma (59 kg, Army/WCAP) was dealing with, your level of respect for his ability to take pain will skyrocket. Tuma wrestled in Denmark with a wisdom tooth pounded into his jaw. Unreal. But he too is also out for Zagreb and coming home. Godspeed, young man.
- Patrick Martinez (80 kg, NYAC) endured a significant gash on his chin that required stitches, which prematurely ended his day at 2-0. His status for this weekend is currently up in the air.
- Coaches Momir Petković and Mark Halvorsen will be joining US National Team head coach Matt Lindland for the event.
Updated US Greco-Roman Roster — 2017 Grand Prix Zagreb Open, Zagreb, Croatia, March 11th
Ildar Hafizov (Army/WCAP)
Sammy Jones (NYAC-OTS)
Alex Sancho (NYAC-OTS)
RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC)
Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm)
Kamal Bey (Sunkist)
Jesse Porter (NYAC-OTS)
Nick Tarpley (NYAC)
Cheney Haight (NYAC)
Patrick Martinez (NYAC)
Ben Provisor (NYAC)
Kevin Radford (Sunkist)
G’Angelo Hancock (NYAC)
Hayden Zillmer (Minnesota Storm)
Toby Erickson (Army/WCAP)
Robby Smith (NYAC)