USA Wrestling Robby Smith Highligh...

Robby Smith Highlights Team USA Lineup for Jack Pinto Cup Dual Against South America

By Joe Mehling, USA Wrestling | Jan. 19, 2016, 6:02 p.m. (ET)

 Three-time U.S. World Team member Robby Smith 
at the 2015 World Championships. 
Photo: Tony Rotundo,
GREELEY, Colo. - The lineups have been set for The Jack Pinto Cup, which will be held in Greeley, Colo. this Friday. The all-star challenge will feature some of Team USA’s top Greco-Roman athletes, as well as a variety of Greco-Roman stars from around the world.

Paralleling last season's format change, the Jack Pinto Cup will occur just prior to the Northern Colorado dual-meet againist Cal Poly, scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

“I am looking forward to these guys going out and putting on a show,” said U.S. Wrestling National Greco-Roman Coach Matt Lindland. “That’s what these dual meets are all about. We want to engage with our fans and we are very grateful for the opportunity to present Greco-Roman at the University of Northern Colorado. We are very grateful to Coach Troy (Nickerson) for having as up there. We love going there and not only competing in front of a college fan base but also be able to stick around and seeing their team compete.”

The main event of the 10-match meet will feature three-time USA World Team member, and fifth place finisher at the 2015 World Championships, Robby Smith squaring off against Mexico’s Luis Roman Barrios at 130 kg/286.6 lbs.

“Robby is a showman,” said Lindland. “I am very happy he is competing. He said ‘Coach if you need me, I am here if you need a headliner’ and of course we want to showcase one of our top senior athletes. Most of our senior athletes are competing in Europe but Robby was here and happy to compete and put on a show for the fans. He is probably one of the best heavyweight wrestlers I have ever seen. He likes to score points, he likes to throw guys. He is an exciting fighter. He won’t stand in front of the guy and push him around. He will look to score some big moves and put on a show for the fans.”

Battling just before the main event at 75 kg/165 lbs will be U.S. National Team member Kendrick Sanders and top international talent Juan Angel Escobar of Mexico.

“The best match-up we will see as far as wrestling goes is Escobar and Sanders,” Lindland said. “Both are very talented athletes. Sanders is explosive and exciting to watch while Escobar is a fighter and likes to get in there and grind things out.”

Also on display will be many future stars including Kevin Mejia of Honduras along with G’Angelo Hancock and Jess Hankin from Team USA.

“I am looking forward seeing our younger athletes compete,” Lindland said. “Between G’Angelo (Hancock), Jess (Hankin) and Kamal Bey, we have some seriously entertaining athletes. This is a chance for them to go out there and test themselves against some senior athletes.”

The Greco-Roman event started in 2005 using a dual meet series in a tournament style format putting four USA teams against four international teams. The event has also been known as the Kit Carson Cup and the Kiki Cup in years prior. The name change occurred in 2013, to honor the life of six-year-old Jack Pinto, who lost his life in the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy in Newtown, Conn. Active in a number of sports, Pinto was a wrestler with the Newtown Youth Wrestling Association, a USA Wrestling club in his hometown.

Tickets for the UNC vs. Cal Poly dual and Jack Pinto Cup are $7 for adults and $5 for youth (13 & Under), Faculty/Staff and Seniors. You can purchase them beforehand online at or by by calling the UNC Ticket Office at 970-351-4409.

The University of Northern Colorado will provide a live stream of the event at

For more information on the Bears this season, check out, visit their official Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter at @UNCBearsWrestle.

Jack Pinto Cup Lineups
Friday, Jan. 22 at Greely, Colo.

59kg/130lbs - Ali Soto Macias (MEX) vs. Jess Hankin (USA)

66kg/145.5lbs - Victor Mendez Hidalgo (MEX) vs. Chris Gonzalez (USA)

85kg/187lbs - Alfonso Leyva Yepez (MEX) vs. Tarrance Williams (USA)

59kg/130lbs - Wesley Morales (Puerto Rico) vs. Max Nowry (WCAP)

85kg/187lbs - Hanssel Salvador Mejia (MEX) vs. Kamal Bey (USA)

66 kg/145.5 lbs - JeferyMejia (Honduras) vs. RaVaughn Perkins (USA)

98 kg/216 lbs - Kevin Mejia (Honduras) vs. G’Angelo Hancock (USA)

130 kg/286.6 lbs - Edgardo Lopez (Puerto Rico) vs. Toby Erickson (USA)

75 kg/165.35 lbs - Juan Angel Escobar (MEX) vs. Kendrick Sanders (USA)

Main Event - 130 kg/286.6 lbs Luis Roman Barrios (MEX) vs. Robby Smith (USA)