Two-time Olympian Spenser Mango battles Joe Betterman in the 2014 U.S. Open finals at 59 kg. Mango advances directly to the Championship Series at the World Team Trials. Tony Rotundo photo.
U.S. Greco-Roman World Team Trials set for June 13 in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The nation’s top Olympic wrestlers in Greco-Roman wrestling will compete at the U.S. World Team Trials, set for June 13 at the Ocean Center Exhibit Hall in Daytona Beach, Fla.
The event will be held alongside the USA Wrestling Cadet National Duals, which will run from June 11-14 in the same venue.
Fans will have the unique opportunity to see the wrestlers who will be battling for spots on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team, along with young wrestlers in the Cadet National Duals event who may be challenging for a spot in the 2020 or 2024 Olympic Games.
Wrestling, which survived a threat to its position on the Olympic program in 2013, has been going through a renaissance, with considerable participation growth, excitement and attention on the sport ever since.
Among the top wrestlers expected to in the field are 2012 Olympians Spenser Mango, Ellis Coleman and Ben Provisor. Mango finished fifth at the 2013 World Championships. Coleman is a two-time Junior World medalist and became nationally known when his “Flying Squirrel” move was aired for several weeks as the top play on ESPN.
Heavyweight Robby Smith also placed fifth at the 2013 Worlds and has had a strong season this year. Andy Bisek is a two-time World Team member. Jordan Holm made the 2013 World Team for the U.S.
Two athletes, Mango and Smith, advance directly to the best-of-three Championship Series based upon Trials procedures. They were both 2014 U.S. Open champions and also placed in the top five at the World Championships or Olympics the last three years.
Four top freestyle wrestlers – Sam Hazewinkel, J.D. Bergman, Tyrell Fortune and Jarod Trice – also are expected to compete in the Greco Trials.
Hazewinkel, a 2012 Olympian in freestyle, is a two-time U.S. Open champion in Greco and is a Florida native. Bergman, a two-time World Team member in freestyle, is a past National Team member in Greco. Fortune made the 2013 University World Team in Greco and Trice is a past University Nationals champion in Greco.
2013 World Team member Caylor Williams also is from Florida as is top young prospect Georden Speiller, a member of the 2014 U.S. World Cup Team.
New U.S. National Coach Matt Lindland, a past Olympic and World silver medalist, also will be at the event. Lindland went on to a successful mixed martial arts career, and fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC).
The tournament will feature the six Olympic weight classes in Greco-Roman wrestling.
Winners at the U.S. World Team Trials will earn a spot on the U.S. teams that will compete at the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sept. 8-14.
Wrestling is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. on June 13 with the best-of-3 finals set for 6 p.m.
The event will be broadcast on national television on Universal Sports Network on a tape-delayed basis. The event will also be webcast live by Flowrestling, as part of its Flo Pro platform.
U.S. WORLD TEAM GRECO-ROMAN TRIALS SCHEDULE
Daytona Beach, Fla, June 13
9 a.m. – Session I: Prelims, quarterfinals, semifinals, consolation first round
3 p.m. – Session II: Consolation through third-place matches
6 p.m. – Session III: Finals and true third-place matches
2014 NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Senior Greco-Roman Freestyle national champions at Olympic weights
59 kg /130 lbs. – Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – RaVaughn Perkins, Omaha, Neb. (ReadyRP Nationals)
75 kg/165 lbs. – Andy Bisek, Chaska, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
85 kg/187 lbs. – Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn (Minnesota Storm)
98 kg/216 lbs. – Caylor Williams, Greensboro, N.C. (Army (WCAP)
130 kg/286 lbs. – Robby Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)