Mango among Greco champs crowned at US Open

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | April 20, 2014, 1:47 a.m. (ET)

Spenser Mango downed Joe Betterman in the Greco-Roman finals on Saturday night. Tony Rotundo photo.

LAS VEGAS – Spenser Mango continues to stockpile championships at the U.S. Open. 

Mango earned his sixth Open crown in Greco-Roman at the U.S. Open on Saturday night at the Las Vegas Convention Center

Mango defeated close friend and U.S. Army teammate Joe Betterman, a four-time Open champion, in the finals at 59 kg/130 lbs. 

Mango and Betterman finished their match tied 1-1, but Mango won the match by virtue of scoring last at 59 kg/130 lbs.

“I’m still adjusting to the bigger weight class,” Mango said. “Nine pounds is a big difference. The guys are heavier, harder to turn, harder to move and harder to defend against. I’ve just got to keep making those adjustments.” 

Mango was one of eight Greco champions crowned on Saturday.

The top seven wrestlers in each Olympic weight class qualify for the U.S. World Team Trials on May 31-June 1 in Madison, Wis. 

Two-time World medalist and 2012 Olympian Justin Lester put on a show with an array of spectacular throws in a 12-3 win over Patrick Smith in the finals at 71 kg/156.5 lbs. Lester trailed 3-0 early, but stormed back to win his fifth Open title.

Robby Smith, fifth in the World last year, rolled to an 8-0 technical fall over Toby Erickson in the heavyweight finals. Smith won his first Open crown. 

RaVaughn Perkins scored a stunning second-period fall over 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman in the finals at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Perkins trailed 4-1 before throwing Coleman to his back for the dramatic fall.

Perkins was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Greco tournament. 

2013 World Team member Jordan Holm won his third Open title with a dominating 8-0 win over Zac Nielsen in the finals at 85 kg/187 lbs.

Two-time World Team member Andy Bisek earned a hard-fought 3-1 win over Jon Anderson in the finals at 75 kg/165 lbs. Bisek wins his first Open title. 

Kendrick Sanders bumped up in weight and finished strong in edging veteran Aaron Sieracki 2-1 in the finals at 80 kg/176 lbs. Sanders won his first Open title. Sieracki, a past U.S. National Team member, left his shoes on the mat to signify his retirement following the match.

2013 World Team member Caylor Williams downed John Wechter 2-0 in the finals at 98 kg/216 lbs. Williams won his first Open title. 

“I’m setting my goals real high and I’m thinking about winning a World championship,” Williams said. “Being in the Army now, I’ve learned how to stay cool under pressure. Wechter is real physical, and I took my time and stayed patient.”

The U.S. Army won the team title in Division I with the Minnesota Storm winning the Division II title.


59 kg/130 lbs.

Spenser Mango (U.S. Army) dec. Joe Betterman (U.S. Army), 1-1 criteria

66 kg/145.5 lbs.

RaVaughn Perkins (ReadyRPNationals) pinned Ellis Coleman (U.S. Army), 4:30

71 kg/156.5 lbs.

Justin Lester (U.S. Army) dec. Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm), 12-3

75 kg/165 lbs.

Andy Bisek (Minnesota Storm) dec. Jon Anderson (U.S. Army), 3-1

80 kg/176 lbs.

Kendrick Sanders (USOEC) dec. Aaron Sieracki (U.S. Army), 2-1

85 kg/187 lbs.

Jordan Holm (Minnesota Storm) dec. Zac Nielsen (Minnesota Storm), 8-0

98 kg/216 lbs.

Caylor Williams (U.S. Army) dec. John Wechter (Minnesota Storm), 2-0

130 kg/286 lbs.

Robby Smith (New York AC) dec. Toby Erickson (New York AC), 8-0