2014 U.S. World Team Trials preview in Greco-Roman at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Ellis Coleman and RaVaughn Perkins in the Finals
of the 2014 U.S. Open. Tony Rotundo Photo.
In recent years, 66 kg/145.5 lbs. has been as competitive a weight class in the Greco-Roman field as any in the United States. Expect the 2014 edition of the World Team Trials to continue the trend.
With the departures of top names Justin Lester (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) and Kendrick Sanders (Homestead, Fla./NYAC/USOEC) to higher weight classes, the field will be even more wide open for competitors to challenge for the top spot.
2014 U.S. Open champion RaVaughn Perkins (Omaha, Neb./ReadyRP Nationals) burst onto Greco-Roman radar in Las Vegas after a thrilling victory over 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) in the U.S. Open finals. Perkins secured the win by pinning Coleman after trailing late in the second period. Most recently, Perkins competed for the U.S. at the Greco-Roman World Cup in Tehran, Iran, picking up some key wins for the U.S. en route to a ninth-place team finish.
The top challenge to Perkins is none other than the “Flying Squirrel” himself, 2014 U.S. Open runner-up Ellis Coleman. In 2013, Coleman was runner-up at the World Team Trials to Lester, but was selected to compete at the World Championships after Lester pulled out of the tournament for medical reasons. Coleman went 0-1 in his first World Championships. In 2012, Coleman surged to a berth on the Olympic team that competed in London by defeating Joe Betterman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) in the Olympic Trials finals at 60 kg/132 lbs.
Another young star emerging at this weight class is U.S. Marine Bryce Saddoris (Sneads Ferry, N.C./U.S. Marines). In January, Saddoris earned a silver medal at the Dave Schultz Memorial International, claiming the top spot of any American at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Saddoris placed ahead of Perkins, who took third in the event. At the 2014 U.S. Open, Saddoris took home the bronze with his lone loss coming to Perkins in the semifinals 10-6. In his college years, Saddoris earned All-American honors for the Naval Academy.
2014 U.S. Open fourth-place finisher Jamel Johnson (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) will look to improve upon a strong performance in Las Vegas where he dropped bouts to Coleman and Saddoris. Johnson has a proven track record being consistently in the mix at this weight in previous years. In 2012, Johnson earned a bronze medal at the University World Championships.
2013 U.S. Open finalist Marco Lara (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) will be a factor as he has transitioned up from his old weight class of 60 kg/132 lbs.
Other experienced competitors that can make noise at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. are 2014 U.S. Open place winners Brian Graham (Kansas City, Mo./Minnesota Storm), Nick Alvarez (Miami, Fla./NYAC) and Thrasher Porcher (Chuluota, Fla./USOEC).
University National Champion Kade Moss (South Jordan, Utah/Nittany Lion WC) has wildcard potential to stun some of the more seasoned veterans. Moss took out Nick Alvarez in the finals of the University Nationals in April in a wildly entertaining finals series. Moss wrestles for college powerhouse Penn State University.
2014 U.S. Open Greco-Roman Results at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
1st – RaVaughn Perkins, Omaha, Neb. (ReadyRP Nationals) pin Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 4:30
3rd - Bryce Saddoris, Sneads Ferry, N.C. (Marines) dec. Jamel Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP), 5-0
5th - Brian Graham, Kansas City, Mo. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Marco Lara, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 12-10
7th - Nick Alvarez, Miami, Fla. (NYAC) dec. Thrasher Porcher, Chuluota, Fla. (USOEC), 10-5
2014 Greco-Roman World Team Trials Qualifiers at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
2014 U.S. Open champion – RaVaughn Perkins, Omaha, Neb. (ReadyRP Nationals)
2014 U.S. Open second place – Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
2014 U.S. Open third place – Bryce Saddoris, Sneads Ferry, N.C. (Marines)
2014 U.S. Open fourth place – Jamel Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
2014 U.S. Open fifth place – Brian Graham, Kansas City, Mo. (Minnesota Storm)
2014 U.S. Open sixth place – Marco Lara, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
2014 U.S. Open seventh place – Nick Alvarez, Miami, Fla. (NYAC)
2014 University Nationals champion – Kade Moss, South Jordan, Utah (Nittany Lion WC)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals champion, 63 kg – Colt Schilling, Sweet Home, Ore. (Cal Poly)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals second place, 63 kg– Blake Clevenger, Kearney, Mo. (Greater Heights Wrestling)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals champion, 66 kg – Alejandro Sancho, Miami, Fla. (NYAC/USOEC)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals second place, 66 kg– Brett Stolarzyk, Stewartville, Minn. (unattached)
2014 Northeast Senior Regionals champion, 66 kg – Jake Calhoun, Allentown, Pa. (Modern Day Gladiators WC)
Top U.S. medalist at 2013 NYAC International - Thrasher Porcher, Chuluota, Fla. (USOEC)