NMU-OTS Greco-Roman wrestlers make presence known in Las Vegas with four finalists and 19 All-Americans

By Michael Kaurala, NMU-OTS | Dec. 19, 2016, 2:26 p.m. (ET)
Sam Jones of the NMU-OTS program placed third at 59 kg, one of 19 U.S. Open All-Americans from the Northern Michigan team. Photo by Robbert Wijtman, CSC Photography

Marquette, Mich.—Four members of the Northern Michigan University Olympic Training Site’s Greco-Roman wrestling team competed in the championship matches at the U.S. Senior Nationals in Las Vegas held Saturday and Sunday. All four athletes earned silver medals, with two teammates winning bronze and 13 others ending the competition in the top eight of their respective weight classes.

The tournament also served as a 2017 World Team Trials qualifier, with the top seven athletes at each weight securing a bid to compete at the trials.

“We had the best finish ever as a program with four finalists,” said coach Rob Hermann. “The goal for NMU is to make World teams and win medals. We will keep working to achieve the most out of our wrestling room.”

Silver medalists for the NMU squad were Alejandro Sancho at 66 kg, Anthonie Linares at 71 kg, Jesse Porter at 75 kg and Khymba Johnson at 85 kg.

Sancho faced 2012 Olympian and NMU alumnus Ellis Coleman in the 66 kg gold-medal match. On the way to the finals, he beat all of his opponents by technical fall, never giving up a point. Sancho dropped the final match 2-2. He was leading 2-1 with 37 seconds left, but he was hit with passivity, giving Coleman the advantage.

Linares, who graduated from NMU earlier this month, earned victories over Brad Dolezal of the Minnesota Storm, 10-1 and Chase Nelson of the Bison Wrestling Club, 8-5, on his way to the 71 kg gold-medal match. In the final match, Linares fell to Patrick Smith of the Minnesota Storm by technical fall, 8-0.

Porter earned his way into the finals by beating teammate Kendrick Sanders 12-6 in the 75 kg semi-final match. Facing Kamal Bey of Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club in the final match, Porter lost by technical fall, 9-0.

Coming into the event as a four seed, Johnson met two-time Olympian and NMU alumnus Ben Provisor in the 85 kg semi-finals. In their match, Johnson earned a point on a passivity call, followed up with a takedown to win the match 3-2. In the finals, Johnson met Kevin Radford of the Sunkist Kids. Johnson was unable to come back from an early 4-0 deficit, losing 4-1.

Third-place finishers for the NMU team were Sam Jones at 59 kg and Kendrick Sanders at 75 kg. Jones earned his bronze by defeating Taylor Lamont of Champions Wrestling Club 4-2. Kendrick Sanders overpowered Alec Ortiz of Minnesota Storm, 8-4, in their bronze-medal match.

For more information on the NMU-OTS program, visit www.nmu.edu/ots or contact resident coach Rob Hermann at 906-227-2869 or rhermann@nmu.edu.

Top Eight Finishes
(NMU-OTS athletes are in bold)


59 kg/130 lbs.
3rd Sam Jones (New York AC) dec. 4th Taylor Lamont (Champions WC), 4-2

66 kg/145 lbs.
1st Ellis Coleman (U.S. Army WCAP) dec. 2nd Alejandro Sancho (NMU/NYAC), 2-2
3rd Jayson Ness (Minnesota Storm) win by fall 4th Jessy Williams (NMU/NYAC), 1:13
5th Jamal Dearmond (NMU/NYAC) dec. 6th Raymond Bunker (Marines), 3-2
7th Christopher Anderson (NMU) dec. 8th Aaron Kliamovich (NMU), 8-1

71 kg/156 lbs.
1st Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) tech. fall 2nd Anthonie Linares (NMU/NYAC), 8-0
5th Logan Kass (NMU) won by injury default 6th Cody Pack (Legends of Gold)
7th Bradley Dolezal (Minnesota Storm) tech. fall 8th Christopher Rodgers (NMU), 8-0

75 kg/165 lbs.
1st Kamal Bey (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall 2nd Jesse Porter (NMU/NYAC), 9-0
3rd Kendrick Sanders (NMU/NYAC) dec. 4th Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm), 8-4
5th Mason Manville (U.S. Army) tech. fall 6th Corey Fitzgerald (NMU), 8-0
7th Michael Donato (NMU) win by injury default 8th Jayshon Wilson (Marines)

80 kg/176 lbs.
7th Sergio Guerrero (NMU) tech fall 8th Curt Calovecchi (NMU), 8-0

85 kg/187 lbs.
1st Kevin Radford (Sunkist Kids) dec. 2nd Khymba Johnson (NMU/NYAC), 4-1
7th Ryan Hope (New York Athletic Club) tech fall 8th Austin Chaon (NMU), 8-0

98 kg/215.5 lbs.
7th Daniel Miller (Marines) tech fall 8th Anthony Riopelle (NMU), 8-0

130 kg/286 lbs.
5th Zack Wilcox (MWC Wrestling Academy) tech fall 6th Ronald Dombkowski (NMU), 8-0