2014 U.S. World Team Trials Preview in Greco-Roman at 59 kg/130 lbs.
|Spenser Mango works to turn Joe Betterman in the
finals of the 2014 U.S. Open. Tony Rotundo Photo.
The nation’s top stars return to center stage on June 13 in Daytona Beach, Fla. as the series of 2014 World Team Trials tournaments continues, Greco-Roman style.
Perhaps the deepest Greco-Roman weight class stateside, 59 kg/130 lbs. will not disappoint as established veterans and upstart prospects will clash with one goal in mind, to represent the United States at the 2014 World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan this September.
The favorite at 59 kg/130 lbs. is U.S. Army WCAP veteran Spenser Mango (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP). Coming off his sixth U.S. Open championship and his best performance at the World Championships to date, earning fifth place, Mango is in prime position to make his seventh U.S. World Team in seven years. Mango earned an automatic berth to the best of three finals series in Daytona Beach by virtue of placing in the top five at last year’s World Championships combined with winning the 2014 U.S. Open. He will await the victor of a deep 59 kg/130 lbs. challenge tournament.
Two-time World Team member Joe Betterman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) would have been among the top challengers to Mango, but Betterman has confirmed he will not compete in Daytona Beach due to injury. Betterman boasts a 1-1 record against Mango in 2014, having defeated Mango 4-2 in the finals of the Dave Schultz Memorial International before dropping the U.S. Open finals bout to Mango 1-1. Betterman is a four-time U.S. Open champion.
Also looking to get back to the World Championships is 2013 World Team member Jesse Thielke (Germantown, Wis./New York AC). Displaying an arsenal of high-flying moves, Thielke has developed into one of the most exciting Greco-Roman stars in the country. At the 2013 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary Thielke won two matches before dropping a tightly contested bout in the quarterfinals to eventual bronze medalist Seung-Jae Woo of Korea. Thielke just completed his freshman campaign at the University of Wisconsin and earned a University National Championship in Greco-Roman last month.
Also looking to throw his name in the hat for the World Team spot is Ryan Mango (Palo Alto, Calif./Cardinal Wrestling Club), the younger brother of top-seed Spencer Mango. Ryan Mango was World Team Trials runner-up last year to Thielke at the old weight of 60 kg/132 lbs. Mango just completed his last season of college wrestling for Stanford University where he earned two All-American honors.
As a result of the separation of the Greco-Roman and Freestyle World Team Trials tournaments, those who qualified for the Freestyle World Team Trials also have the opportunity to compete in the Greco-Roman World Team Trials.
One such athlete making use of this option is the 2014 World Team Trials runner-up in freestyle Sam Hazewinkel (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids). Hazewinkel was the 2014 U.S. Open champion in freestyle at 57 kg/125 lbs., advancing him to the best of three finals series last week in Madison where he was defeated in two matches by former Iowa Hawkeye standout Tony Ramos. Hazewinkel will now return to his Greco-Roman roots for the first time since 2009 to compete yet again for a World Team spot. Hazewinkel won U.S. Open titles in Greco-Roman in 2005 and 2007.
Other veterans looking to emerge at 59 kg/130 lbs. are third place finisher at the 2014 U.S. Open Jermaine Hodge (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP), past U.S. Open and U.S. Olympic Team Trials finalist Max Nowry (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP), 2014 World Team Trials runner-up Nate Engel (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) and fifth place finisher at the 2014 U.S. Open Nikko Triggas (Colorado Springs, Colo./NYAC).
2014 U.S. Open Greco-Roman Results at 59 kg/130 lbs.
1st - Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) dec. Joseph Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 1-1
3rd - Jermaine Hodge, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP) dec. Max Nowry, Wheeling, Ill. (Army WCAP), 6-0
5th - Nikko Triggas, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC) tech. fall Nathan Engel, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 10-2
7th - Dmitry Ryabchinskiy, Marquette, Mich. (NYAC) dec. Julian Gunnels, Kansas City, Mo. (Minnesota Storm), 10-5
2014 Greco-Roman World Team Trials Qualifiers at 59 kg/130 lbs.
Final Wrestle-off Qualifier -
2014 U.S. Open champion & Top 5World/Olympics last 3 years - Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
Trials Tournament Qualifiers
2014 U.S. Open second place – Joseph Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
2014 U.S. Open third place – Jermaine Hodge, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
2014 U.S. Open fourth place – Max Nowry, Wheeling, Ill. (Army WCAP)
2014 U.S. Open fifth place – Nikko Triggas, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC)
2014 U.S. Open sixth place – Nathan Engel, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP)
2014 U.S. Open seventh place – Dmitry Ryabchinskiy, Brooklyn, N.Y. (NYAC)
2013 World Team Trials champion, 60 kg – Jesse Thielke, Germantown, Wis. (New York AC)
2013 World Team Trials second place, 60 kg – Ryan Mango, Palo Alto, Calif. (Cardinal Wrestling Club)
2014 University Nationals champion – Sammy Jones, Folsom, La. (USOEC)
2014 University Nationals second place – Isaiah Varona, Homestead, Fla. (New York AC/USOEC)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals champion, 50 kg – Josiah Seaton, Bonner Springs, Kansas (Bonner Springs HS)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals second place, 50 kg – Michael Beck, Ellicott City, Md. (TEAM Penguin)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals champion, 55 kg – Arthur Carmona, Brawley, Calif. (USOEC)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals second place, 55 kg – Trey Andrews, Safford, Ariz. (Bear Cave WC)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals champion, 60 kg – Joshua Rodriguez, Santa Maria, Calif. (Bison WC)
2014 FILA Junior Nationals second place, 60 kg – Victor Trujillo, Rio Linda, Calif. (Swisher Shooters)
2014 Northeast Senior Regionals champion, 55 kg – Aaron Kalil, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marines)
2014 Northern Plains Senior Regionals champion, 55 kg – Mike Fuenffinger, Hibbing, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
2013 Eduardo Campbell Cup (Panama) silver medal, 55 kg – Alec Noa, Lombard, Ill. (USOEC)
2013 Eduardo Campbell Cup (Panama) silver medal, 60 kg – Joey DeNova, Fortson, Ga. (USOEC)
Wildcard selection – William Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)
2014 U.S. Open champion, freestyle- Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)