USA Wrestling Veteran freestyle wr...

Veteran freestyle wrestlers primed for World Championships in Poland this weekend

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Oct. 06, 2016, 3:34 p.m. (ET)

 Two-time Veteran World champion James Kasser
Photo: Robbert Wijtman,
Team USA is sending 36 Veteran wrestlers to the 2016 Veteran Freestyle World Championships in WaƂbrzych, Poland, Oct. 7-9.

Internationally, Veterans athletes are 35 years old and above, and compete in seven age divisions.

Among the Americans are five Veteran freestyle World champions.

Shirzad Ahmadi of Coventry, Conn., is a three-time Veteran freestyle World champ, going back-to-back-to-back in 2013, 2014 and 2015. He also won a Veteran Greco World gold medal in 2015 as well as a silver in 2013. He will look to continue his streak at 63 kg in Division G.

James Kasser is a two-time Veteran World champion, winning gold in 2015 and 2013. Kasser, from Lewis Center, Ohio, will compete this weekend at 63 kg in Division D.

Shoreham, N.Y., wrestler Tony Peraza is also a two-timer with his Veteran freestyle championships coming 10 years apart in 2005 and 2015. Peraza seeks to defend his title at 85 kg in Division F.

Kenneth Peter of Elmhurst, Ill., won his freestyle gold in 2014, while Jason Goldman of Endicott, N.Y., earned his in 2013.

Goldman also medaled at the 2014 and 2015 Veteran Freestyle World Championships, taking silver in 2014 and bronze in 2015.

Five 2015 Veteran freestyle medalists return to the World stage, including silver medalists Keith Stagg (Township of Washington, N.J.) and Hedj Nelson (Kettle Falls, Wash.), and bronze medalists Kevin Hejnal (Modesto, Calif.), Steve Horton (Cibolo, Texas), Victor Aybar (Manchester, Md.), Kevin Pine (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Petros Petrosyan (Los Alamitos, Calif.).

Two on the U.S. roster competed at the Veteran Greco-Roman World Championships in Seinajoki, Finland, last month.

Bruce Moe of Hillsboro, N.D., is now a seven-time Veterans World Championships medalist after taking silver in Finland. He is set to compete at 76 kg in Division E. Moe has medaled in every Veterans Worlds event he has competed in, including silver medals in the Veterans Greco World Championships in 2013 and 2014 and a bronze at last year’s Greco event. He has also claimed three bronze medals at the Veterans Freestyle World Championships.

Palmetto, Fla., native Steve Contarino, who finished fourth at this year’s Greco championships, owns two bronze medals from the 2013 and 2015 Veterans Greco World Championships. He earned a silver in freestyle at the 2015 Veterans World Championships and a bronze in freestyle in 2013. He is set to compete at 97 kg in Div. F.

U.S. Veterans wrestlers are not required to compete at the Veterans Nationals in order to compete at the World Championships.

Follow the action daily on and through USA Wrestling’s social media outlets.

U.S. Veterans freestyle roster

Div. A
58 kg – Roger Stewart, Colorado Springs, Colo.
69 kg – Michael Amoroso, Westfield, N.J.
76 kg – Rudy James, St. Paul, Minn.
85 kg – Joseph Lim, Alexandria, Va.

Div. B
63 kg – Pete Benedix, International Falls, Minn.
63 kg – Ed Paladino, Alpharetta, Ga.
69 kg – Jason Goldman, Endicott, N.Y.
69 kg – Marc Tadelman, Deerfield, Ill.
97 kg – Octavius Bellamy, Bolingbrook, Ill.

Div. C
63 kg – Joseph Raia, South Elgin, Ill.
69 kg – Steve Horton, Mechanicsville, Va.
69 kg – Greg Welch, Washington, DC
76 kg – Matt Bartlett, Washington, DC
85 kg – Eric Cluck, Cumming, Ga.
85 kg – Kevin Pine, Las Vegas, Nev.
130 kg – George Porter, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Div. D
58 kg – Victor Aybar, Manchester, Md.
63 kg – James Kasser, Lewis Center, Ohio
85 kg – Petros Petrosyan, Los Alamitos, Calif.
97 kg – Joseph Cattan, Louisville, Ken.

Div. E
63 kg – Keith Stagg, Township of Washington, N.J.
69 kg – Hedj Nelson, Kettle Falls, Wash.
76 kg – Kevin Hejnal, Modesto, Calif.
76 kg – Mike Mitrowski, Brewer, Mass.
76 kg – Bruce Moe, Hillsboro, N.D.
85 kg – John Hanrahan, Alpharetta, Ga.
130 kg – Daniel Studenic, Alpharetta, Ga.

Div. F
63 kg – Steve Barkman, Bloomsbury, N.J.
69 kg – Craig Johnson
76 kg – Greg Archer, Terre Haute, Ind.
85 kg – Dean Barnard, Buford, Ga.
85 kg – Peter Haag, Chicago, Ill.
85 kg – Tony Peraza
97 kg – Steve Contarino

Div. G
63 kg – Ahmadi Shirzad, Coventry, Conn.
76 kg – Kenneth Peters

Event Schedule
Friday, Oct. 7
Divisions B, E, F

Saturday, Oct. 8
Divisions C, D

Sunday, Oct. 9
Divisions A, G