Mango downs Hazewinkel in battle of Olympians at Greco World Team Trials
Spenser Mango swept Sam Hazewinkel in the Greco-Roman finals at 59 kg/130 lbs. on Friday night. David Peterson photo.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Spenser Mango won the battle of Olympians.
And did it in a big way.
Mango used huge second periods in both matches to sweep Sam Hazewinkel in two straight matches in the finals of the U.S. Greco-Roman World Team Trials on Friday night at the Ocean Center.
Both matches were scoreless after the first period before Mango prevailed 13-2 and 8-0 over Hazewinkel, a 2012 Olympian in freestyle who was second at the U.S. World Team Trials in freestyle two weeks ago.
“Me and Sam have wrestled so many times,” Mango said. “He has a good arm throw, and he’s kind of sneaky with it and it’s almost impossible to stop. I was ready for him. The more competition we have at this weight the better we will be internationally.”
Mango, a two-time Olympian, made his fifth straight U.S. World Team. He was fifth at the 2013 World Championships. Mango used his strength in the top position, gaining turns and lifts to power to the finals win at 59 kg/130 lbs.
“I was really close to winning a medal last year,” Mango said. “I’m working hard and making improvements. I’m looking to bring home that medal finally.”
Hazewinkel turned in a strong performance to win the Challenge Tournament earlier in the day to earn a shot at Mango in the finals. Hazewinkel last wrestled Greco full-time in 2009 and trained only briefly before this event. He was second at the World Team Trials in Greco for the third time.
Champions at the Trials advance to September’s World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
RaVaughn Perkins, who is just 21, made his first World Team in dramatic fashion. Perkins won the first finals match over Bryce Saddoris 5-0 before falling behind 7-0 in the second bout. A point from losing by technical fall, Perkins launched Saddoris with a body lock to earn a fall.
Perkins jumped to his feet and clapped his hands in celebration after winning the title at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
“You just got to keep pushing – you can’t stop,” Perkins said. “I just had to keep attacking and get to the body.”
Robby Smith, fifth in the 2013 Worlds, continued his strong season by sweeping top young prospect Toby Erickson in the Greco finals at 130 kg/286 lbs.
Andrew Bisek will compete in his third World Championships after sweeping Jon Anderson in the finals at 75 kg/165 lbs. Bisek has been on a roll this season and has excelled internationally.
Jordan Holm made his second straight World Team, rolling to a pair of technical falls over Zachary Nielsen at 85 kg/187 lbs.
Caylor Williams also made his second straight World Team, capping his sweep over John Wechter with a spectacular throw that resulted in a fall.
Five of the six champions repeated as World Team members.
The final two World Team spots in Greco-Roman, in the two non-Olympic weight classes, will be determined at the Phase II World Team Trials in late July in Fargo, N.D.
U.S. World Team Trials
Ocean Center, Daytona Beach Fla.
59 kg/130 lbs.
Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP) def. Sam Hazewinkel (Norman, Okla./Minnesota Storm), 2 matches to 0
Mango tech. fall over Hazewinkel, 13-2
Mango tech. fall over Hazewinkel, 8-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
RaVaughn Perkins (Omaha, Neb./New York AC) def. Bryce Saddoris (Camp Lejeune, N.C./U.S. Marines), 2 matches to 0
Perkins dec. Saddoris, 5-0
Perkins pinned Saddoris, 3:21
75 kg/165 lbs.
Andrew Bisek, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Minnesota Storm) def. Jon Anderson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP), 2 matches to 0
Bisek tech. fall over Anderson, 9-1
Bisek dec. Anderson, 5-0
85 kg/187 lbs.
Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) def. Zachary Nielsen, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 2 matches to 0
Holm tech. fall over Nielsen, 9-1
Holm tech. fall over Nielsen, 8-0
98 kg/216 lbs.
Caylor Williams (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) def. John Wechter (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm), 2 matches to 0
Williams dec. Wechter, 3-0
Williams pinned Wechter, 2:28
130 kg/286 lbs.
Robby Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) def. Toby Erickson (East Helena, Mont./New York AC/USOEC), 2 matches to 0
Smith dec. Erickson, 3-0
Smith dec. Erickson, 11-2