Nicola, Pine, Goldman, Calandra and Kasser highlight Masters Freestyle Nationals

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | April 27, 2017, 11:32 p.m. (ET)

VIDEO: Master’s freestyle interviews

LAS VEGAS – Eight wrestlers repeated as Masters Freestyle national champions on Thursday night at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas. Five of those wrestlers also won Greco national championships on Wednesday.

The repeat champions were:

  • Andrew Nicola (Concordia Wrestling Club)
  • David Yi (Mad Dawg Wrestling Club)
  • Rudy James (Apple Valley Wrestling Club)
  • Jason Goldman (Team JGold)
  • Antonino Calandra (The Wrestling Family – Italia)
  • Keith Stagg (Township of Washington)
  • James Kasser (Crush Wrestling Club)
  • Kevin Pine (Las Vegas WC)
  • Jeff Anderrson (Chicago Wrestling Club)

    Nicola, Goldman, Calandra, Kasser and Pine finished the weekend with Greco-Roman and freestyle nationals championships.

    Nicola, who competed in Division A at 69 kg, began his Masters career last year and has since won gold in all four tournaments he has competed at, repeating as both Greco and freestyle champ this year.

    Serving as the head coach of Concordia University in Seward, Neb., Nicola did not surrender a single point to his opponents today and outscored the competition 57-10 on the weekend.

    “Everybody came out guns blazing,” Nicola said. “It was fun wrestling both styles. We’re all friends. We’re up there shaking hands and having a good time.”

    Similar to Nicola, Calandra has won four Masters national championships in as many attempts.

    Competing for The Wrestling Family, Calandra started Thursday’s competition with a 10-0 technical fall over Evgeny Didenko and wrapped up the day with a fall in 2:13 over Brian Nicola.

    World Masters gold medalist Jason Goldman added to an already impressive weekend, tackling his second title, defeating Elliot Diaz in his final bout 11-0.

    Last year, Goldman won bronze at the Masters Freestyle World Championships in Walbrzych, Poland. Overall, he owns six Masters World medals, including one gold, three silver and two bronze.

    Fellow multiple-time World medalist Kevin Pine, a hometown favorite from Las Vegas, bulldozed his way through the 85 kg bracket of Division C, outperforming his opponents, 34-4.

    In addition to wrestling, Pine played the role of coach to his daughter, who competed at the Western Junior Regional on Thursday.

    Pine has been competing in the Masters division since 2003.

    “I’m really fortunate,” Pine said. “I know for a fact that my workout partners got me ready for this. They push me every day in practice and beat me up on a regular basis. I think that’s the key to success and also having fun.”

    2015 World champion James Kasser added to his resume, winning his seventh overall Masters national title and his fourth in freestyle.

    In a three-man round robin, Kasser took out both Christopher Roos and Dennis McInerney with 10-0 tech falls to seal the win at 69 kg of Division C.

    In total there were 17 double champions. The other 12 included:

  • Marcus Cobbs (Truett Wrestling Clubs)
  • Ike Okoli (Chicago wrestling club)
  • Roman Vodoviz (Chicago wrestling club)
  • Brett Clark (Team Fluffy)
  • Joe Raia (Chicago wrestling club)
  • Igor Llin (Chicago Wrestling Club)
  • George Porter (Chicago Wrestling Club)
  • Bill Newton (Team Fluffy)
  • Brian Jones (Santa Monica Bay Wrestling)
  • Valery Sorokov (Chicago wrestling club)
  • Steve Contarino (Palmetto)
  • Jack Schwartz (Usc)

Representing Chicago Wrestling Club, 2016 World champion George Porter was a double champ this weekend in Division C at 97-130 kg. He dominated in both tournaments, including rounding up tech falls in his two matches on the day.

“The experience has been great,” Porter said. “Coming off the World Championships in Poland, I wanted to see where I am and what I needed to work on, so that’s why I came here and did both styles. I felt pretty good. My conditioning was good and I think that made the difference in my matches.”

Three-time Olympian for Puerto Rico Jose Betancourt defeated 2016 Masters Freestyle World champion Petros Petrosyan in the 85 kg finals of Division D, with a fall in 1:11.

Chicago Wrestling Club walked away with two team trophies, winning yesterday’s Greco-Roman Masters Cup with 125 points and taking the Freestyle Masters Cup with 135 points.

2017 MASTERS FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
April 27 at South Point Hotel in Las Vegas

Division A

63 kg
1st – Marcus Cobbs (Truett Wrestling Clubs)
2nd – Timothy Randall (Santa Monica)

69 kg
1st – Andrew Nicola (Concordia Wrestling Club)
2nd – Jacob Eck (Sons Of Thunder Academy)
3rd – Christopher Hunt (8west)
4th – Bakytbek Tashtanbekov (Chicago wrestling club)

76 kg
1st – Jordin Humphrey (TMWC)
2nd – Connor Keating (Rock Eater WC)
3rd – Alex Rinas (Greater Heights Wrestling)
4th – Brad Mason (Wayland)

85 kg
1st – Andre Blake (Relentless Wrestling Club)
2nd – Kyle Bub (Manhattan Beach)
3rd – Chad Cook (Wayland)
4th – Broys Savkv (Chicago Wrestling Club)

97 kg
1st – Frank Richmond (Nor Cal Wrestling Academy)
2nd – Scott Hunter (Unattached)
3rd – Sean Nonamaker (Unattached)
4th – Stephen Gruginski (Twin City Wrestling Club)

97-130 kg
1st – Ike Okoli (Chicago wrestling club)
2nd – Wes Woody (Team Fluffy)

Division B

50-58 kg
1st – Jason Goldman (Team JGold)
2nd – Elliot Diaz (Iewa Veterans)
3rd – Alan Kan (Buckhead Wrestling Club)

63 kg
1st – David Yi (Mad Dawg Wrestling Club)
2nd – Aleksandr Serebrinnikov (Chicago wrestling club)
3rd – Adrian Rinas (Mat Rat Wrestling Club)
4th – Ryan Hernandez (Iewa Veterans)

69 kg
1st – Roman Vodoviz (Chicago wrestling club)
2nd – Jason Lowe (Iewa Veterans)
3rd – Nick Rodriguez (Sons Of Thunder Academy)
4th – Rustin Marchello (Las Vegas WC)

76 kg
1st – Rudy James (Apple Valley Wrestling Club)
2nd – Opalnyk Kostiantyn (Chicago Wrestling Club)
3rd – Norman Manning (unattached)
4th – Ashkan Morvari (Team Smash)

85 kg
1st – Jeff Estrada (Sons of Thunder Academy)
2nd – Scott Phillips (Twin City WC)
3rd – Aaron Meister (Wayland)
4th – Mike Malinconico (Rhino)

97 kg
1st – James Medeiros (SK Goldenboys)
2nd – Octavius Bellamy (Chicago wrestling club)
3rd – Joshua Nacey (Western Wyoming)
4th – Karl Junitz (Dawg House Wrestling)

97-130 kg
1st – Brett Clark (Team Fluffy)
2nd – Jarad Carson (Bomb Squad Wrestling)
3rd – Thomas Battista (Unattached)

Division C

50-58 kg
1st – Carson Gainey (Ohio Core)
2nd – Ric Fehr (relentless Wresstlin Club)
3rd – David Olson (Western Wyoming)

63 kg
1st – Joe Raia (Chicago wrestling club)
2nd – Moises Pacheco (American Scaffold)

69 kg
1st – Antonino Calandra (The Wrestling Family – Italia)
2nd – Brian Nicola (Crush Wrestling Club)
3rd – Deke Turner (Sammamish)
4th – David Sarmiento (unattached)

76 kg
1st – Igor Llin (Chicago Wrestling Club)
2nd – Tony Piva (Bronco WC)
3rd – Derek Brignell (Winnipeg WC)
4th – Mark Mansfield (East Idaho WC)

85 kg
1st – Kevin Pine (Las Vegas WC)
2nd – Alvin Riggs (Fin Spin Elite)
3rd – Brad Perry (unattached)
4th – Boris Kulich (Chicago Wrestling Club) 

97 kg
1st – Jeff Anderrson (Chicago wrestling club)
2nd –Gabriel Garcia (Las Vegas Wc)
3rd – Ronald Ayers (Las Vegas Wc)

97-130 kg
1st – George Porter (Chicago Wrestling Club)
2nd – Aaron Hayes (Iewa Veterans)
3rd – Angelo Borzio Jr (LVWC)
4th – Roger Shoup (Maverick Wrestling)

Division D

50-58 kg
1st – Zhora Hovhannisyan (Arm)
2nd – Robert Karstetter (Team BIG)

63 kg
1st – Keith Stagg (Township of Washington)
2nd – Hedj Nelson (Inwtc)
3rd – Steve Barkman (Hunterdon Hills Wrestling Club)

69 kg
1st - James Kasser (Crush Wrestling Club)
2nd – Dennis McInerney (Mac Attack)
3rd – Christopher Roos (Santa Monica Bay Wrestling)

76 kg
1st – Bill Newton (Team Fluffy)
2nd – Bruce Moe (Hillsboro)
3rd – Steve Morris (Rick Sanders Wrestling)
4th – Darcy Dunlop (Counties Hunua)

85 kg
1st – Jose Betancourt (Robbinsville)
2nd – Petros Petrosyan (International Sport Club)
3rd – Montymonty Graham (Rick Sanders Wrestling)
4th – Jeff Pratt (Ima)

97 kg
1st – James Clark (Valhalla Wrestling Team)
2nd – Larry Robertson (Rick Sanders Wrestling)
3rd – Edward Freysinger (Rick Sanders Wrestling)
4th – Jesse Carrillo (Champions Wrestling Club)

97-130 kg
1st – Brian Jones (Santa Monica Bay Wrestling)

Division E

50-58 kg
1st – Robert Karstetter (Team BIG)

69 kg
1st – Craig Johnson (Unattached)
2nd – Kenneth Bonte (none)
3rd – Craig Miner (Tactik)
4th – Gaetano DiZebba (Indianapolis)

76 kg
1st – Jeff Jacobs (Brown Bears)
2nd – Tim Holmstron (Tactik 3-Style Wrestling)
3rd – Lyubomir Lambov (Chicago wrestling club)
4th – Peter Wirs (Pennsylvania Wrestling Club)