Kyle Snyder looks on after winning gold at the Dan Kolov international on March 3, 2019.
Olympic gold medalists Jordan Burroughs and Kyle Snyder led the way as American wrestlers hauled in 12 individual medals — including four golds — at this weekend’s Dan Kolov International, named for the late, great Bulgarian freestyle wrestler, in Ruse, Bulgaria.
All of those individual medals added up to team success at the tournament, which is a UWW ranking series event.
The U.S. men carried away the freestyle team title in formidable fashion, their successes accumulating them 147 points, far above second place finisher Russia’s 115 points. Turkey settled for bronze with 100 points. With 77 points, ahead of all but China and Ukraine, the women’s team added another bronze to the American trove.
The precocious Snyder, whose gold at the Olympic Games Rio 2016 made him the youngest wrestler ever crowned Olympic champion, put on a display of dominance in his own right, winning all of his matches en route to a hard-fought 4-0 victory over 2012 Olympic silver medalist Valerii Andriitsev of Ukraine in men’s 97 kg.
2012 Olympic champion Burroughs proved unstoppable as well, going undefeated in five matches and holding off Uzbekistan’s Bekzod Abdurakhmanov 4-3 to reign over the men’s 74 kg. freestyle class. The takedown force of three-time NCAA champion Alex Dieringer helped him win the 79 kg. class, where he defeated Romania’s Omaraskhab Nazhmudinov in the final via a first period technical fall, 10-0.
In the women’s 68 kg. class, Tamyra Mensah-Stock capped off her own undefeated campaign with two victories by technical fall, first against 2016 Olympian Adela Hanzlickova of the Czech Republic in the semifinal, where she emerged victorious 10-0. She did it once more for gold when facing Uzbek Bakhtigul Baltaniyazova, who succumbed 11-1.
In one of his first competitions following a hiatus from the sport, two-time NCAA champion Jordan Oliver defeated a host of talented opponents in the men’s 65 kg. class, including 2014 World University champion Selahattin Kilicsallayan of Turkey, to earn the right to face off with 2018 world silver medalist Bajrang Punia of India. Though he lost to Punia 12-3 in the final, Oliver looked in fine form as he secured silver.
After a loss to Oliver in the early rounds, Bernard Futrell claimed repechage matches against Argentinian Agustin Destribats and Team USA’s Evan Henderson to reach the bronze-medal final, where he defeated Kilicsallayan by technical fall, 16-6.
Excellent results saw Michigan resident Erin Golston make it to the 50 kg. final, where she fell to Poland’s Iwona Matkowska 4-1. Among her laurels from Dan Kolov will be having defeated teammates Whitney Conder and Victoria Anthony en route to the final. Condor and Anthony faced off in one of the bronze finals, with Conder coming away the victor on the strength of the only takedown of the match and a pair of stepouts.
Conder vs. Anthony was one of three bronze medal matches that pitted Team USA members against each other. In women’s 53 kg., 2018 world silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt defeated Amy Fearnside 6-4, with Fearnside unable to overcome early takedowns. At 65 kg., Forrest Molinari also defeated Maya Nelson for bronze.
Michael Macchiavello and James Green also contributed bronze medals. Macchiavello, a 2018 NCAA champion, took bronze in the 92 kg. category, while 2017 world silver medalist Green won his bronze at 70 kg.