U.S. to send talented team to CISM Military World Championships in Lithuania, Sept. 20-23

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 13, 2017, 5:18 p.m. (ET)
Ellis Coleman, shown at the 2017 World Championships in France, will compete for the USA at the CISM World Military Championships in Lithuania. Photo by Larry Slater.

The top wrestlers from the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces will come together to compete in the CISM World Military Wrestling Championships in Klaipeda, Lithuania, Sept. 18-25.

The team will feature athletes in all three Olympic disciplines (men’s freestyle, Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle). Included on the 2017 U.S. CISM team will be a number of past U.S. Senior World Team members, as well as college champions and All-Americans.

The initial qualifying event for the team was the 2017 Armed Forces Wrestling Championships, held at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. in February 2017.

In Greco-Roman, the U.S. team features a past U.S. Olympian, SPC Ellis Coleman of the U.S. Army at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., as an Olympian from Uzbekistan, SPC Ildar Hafizov of the U.S. Army at 59 kg/130 lbs. Both Hafizov and Coleman were also members of the 2017 U.S. Senior World Team.

Other U.S. Army wrestlers on the Greco-Roman team are nationally respected SPC Dillon Cowan at 75 kg/165 lbs. , SGT Courtney Myers at 80 kg/176 lbs. and SPC Lucas Sheridan at 85 kg/187 lbs. The U.S. Marine Corps put two athletes on the Greco-Roman team, 1LT Daniel Miller at 98 kg/215 lbs. and LCPL Eric Fader at 130 kg/286 lbs. A member of the U.S. Air Force team, 1LT Brandon Mueller at 71 kg/156 lbs., will also compete.

At the 2017 Armed Forces Championships, Hafizov, Coleman, Cowan, Myers and Sheridan were individual Greco-Roman champions, while Mueller and Miller were runners-up.

In men’s freestyle, a number of the team members have a strong college wrestling background. The U.S. Army placed five past college stars on the freestyle team. Matthew Brown. a 2015 NCAA champion for Penn State, competes at 74 kg. A two-time NCAA All-American from Stanford, Ryan Mango, will wrestle at 61 kg. Mike Fuenffinger, the team member at 57 kg, won two Div. III national titles for Augsburg. Isaac Dukes, who wrestles at 70 kg, was a Div. III national champion for Case Western Reserve. Competing at 86 kg/189 lbs. is former Sierra College star SGT Vladyslav Dombrovskiy.

The U.S. Marine Corps placed a pair of wrestlers on the CISM freestyle team, SGT Raymond Bunker at 65 kg/143 lbs. and SGT Trent Osnes at 97 kg/213 lbs.

Fuenffinger, Mango, Dukes, Brown and Dombrovskiy were 2017 Armed Forces freestyle champions, while Bunker and Osnes were runners-up.

The women’s freestyle team will be the largest ever entered by the USA at a CISM Wrestling Championships, with seven athletes, six from the U.S. Army program and one from the U.S. Marine Corps. Included on the team is 2014 Senior World Team member PFC Jenna Burkert of the U.S. Army at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., who was a 2017 U.S. Open champion and member of three U.S. Junior World Teams.

Also competing is SPC Samantha Klingel at 55 kg/121 lbs., who was a WCWA women’s college national champion for King University. Also competing are a pair of sisters from the U.S. Army, PV2 Katerina Lobsinger at 69 kg/152 lbs. and PV2 Anastasia Lobsinger at 75 kg/165 lbs. Anastasia was a 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist, while sister Katerina was fifth at the 2014 Cadet World Championships.

Two other nationally ranked women wrestlers from the U.S. Army will compete, PFC Allene Somera at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and PFC Areana Villaescusa at 58 kg/128 lbs. Representing the U.S. Marine Corps will be LCPL Shanice Vernon-Jackson at 60 kg/132 lbs.

The U.S. team will be coached by Shon Lewis of the U.S. Army, Jason Loukides of the U.S. Marine Corps and SGT Spenser Mango of the U.S. Army.

The last CISM World Military Championships in which the USA participated was held in 2014 at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey. None of the members of the 2017 U.S. CISM team competed on the 2014 U.S. team.

In 2015, the USA participated in the CISM World Military Games in Korea, which was a major multi-sport event. Dombrovskiy competed on the U.S. freestyle team, placing ninth at 74 kg/163 lbs.

USA Wrestling will provide updated information as possible from the CISM World Military Championships.

CISM WORLD MILITARY CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Klaipeda, Lithuania, Sept. 18-25


USA Greco-Roman athletes
59 kg/130 lbs. - SPC Ildar Hafizov (U.S. Army)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - SPC Ellis Coleman (U.S. Army)
71 kg/156 lbs. - 1LT Brandon Mueller (U.S. Air Force)
75 kg/165 lbs. - SPC Dillon Cowan (U.S. Army)
80 kg/176 lbs. - SGT Courtney Myers (U.S. Army)
85 kg/187 lbs. - SPC Lucas Sheridan (U.S. Marine Corps)
98 kg/215 lbs. - 1LT Daniel Miller (U.S. Marine Corps)
130 kg/286 lbs. - LCPL Eric Fader (U.S. Marine Corps)

USA Men’s freestyle athletes
57 kg/125.5 lbs. - PFC Michael Fuenffinger (U.S. Army)
61 kg/134 lbs. - SGT Ryan Mango (U.S. Army)
65 kg/143 lbs. - SGT Raymond Bunker (U.S. Marine Corps)
70 kg/154 lbs. - SPC Isaac Dukes (U.S. Army)
74 kg/163 lbs. - 2LT Matthew Brown (U.S. Army)
86 kg/189 lbs. - SGT Vladyslav Dombrovskiy (U.S. Army)
97 kg/213 lbs. - SGT Trent Osnes (U.S. Marine Corps)

USA Women’s freestyle athletes
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - PFC Allene Somera (U.S. Army)
55 kg/121 lbs. - SPC Samantha Klingel (U.S. Army)
58 kg/128 lbs. - PFC Areana Villaescusa (U.S. Army)
60 kg/132 lbs. - LCPL Shanice Vernon-Jackson (U.S. Marine Corps)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – PFC Jenna Burkert (U.S. Army)
69 kg/152 lbs. - PV2 Katerina Lobsinger (U.S. Army)
75 kg/165 lbs. - PV2 Anastasia Lobsinger (U.S. Army)

Chief of Mission - COL Gregory Weaver
Team Captain – Claudia Berwanger
CSC member - MAJ Jay Antonelli, U.S. Marine Corps
Medical – Kyle Eckert
Delegate - SSG Iris Smith, U.S. Army
Coach – Shon Lewis, U.S. Army
Coach – Jason Loukides, U.S. Marine Corps
Coach - SGT Spenser Mango, U.S. Army

Event Schedule

Wednesday, September 20
Men’s Freestyle: 57 kg, 61 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg
Women’s Freestyle: 48 kg, 53 kg, 55 kg, 58 kg

Thursday, September 21
Men’s Freestyle: 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg, 125 kg
Women’s Freestyle: 60 kg, 63 kg, 69 kg, 75 kg

Friday, September 22
Greco-Roman: 59 kg, 66 kg, 71 kg, 75 kg

Saturday, September 23
Greco-Roman: 80 kg, 85 kg, 98 kg, 130 kg