Mason Manville after making 2017 U.S. Senior World Team in Las Vegas. Photo by Justin Hoch, jhoch.com
VIDEO: Greco-Roman World Team Trials interviews
LAS VEGAS – The last four Greco-Roman World Team spots were filled Saturday night at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas.
All four competitors made their first U.S. Senior World Team in an exciting wrap-up to the weekend.
Cadet World champion Mason Manville (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) drew oohs and ahhs from the crowd Saturday night, defeating Kamal Bey (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), a heavy favorite entering the tournament, in two matches at 75 kg.
In the first bout, Bey took a 2-0 lead with a takedown, but Manville responded with a four-pointer. Adding another takedown, Manville led the 2016 Junior World Team member, 6-2, at the break. Bey came out strong in the second period with a takedown and two turns to go up, 8-6. He was later hit with passivity just before Manville scored a takedown to win it 9-8.
It was all Manville in the second match, scoring early with a four-point throw. He later countered for a takedown and wrapped it up with another takedown to earn a spot on his first Senior World Team.
"[Manville] made huge steps,” Greco-Roman National Coach Matt Lindland said. “He didn't surprise me because he's a World champ. He's a great competitor. He's competed at every level Cadet, Juniors, and now he's on the top of the Seniors. It was a little surprising he came out and I was like, ‘okay that wasn't the guy I thought we were going to get on the team,’ but certainly happy where everybody is."
U.S. Army WCAP put another wrestler on the 2017 Greco World Team, its third of the weekend when Ildar Hafizov (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) bested No. 2 ranked and top-seeded Hayden Tuma (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) in the 59 kg finals.
The first bout saw all its points come in the first period. Tuma put the first point on the board, but a flurry of points came shortly after with Hafizov going up 5-3, thanks to a big five-point move. He later scored a takedown, which proved to be enough as he won the first bout 7-3.
In the second match, Tuma scored first on passivity, but in the second period, Hafizov put up seven more points with a body-lock for four points followed by a gut wrench.
He went on to make his first U.S. World Team with a 7-1 win. A former wrestler for Uzbekistan, Hafizov has competed in three World Championships and one Olympic Games.
At 71 kg, Patrick Smith (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) dethroned 2016 World Team member Chris Gonzalez (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) in straight matches.
A pair of passivity calls brought the match to 1-1 in the second period. A double overhook from Gonzalez was countered for a Smith takedown, but Gonzalez’s corner challenged. The challenge was denied and Smith walked away with a 4-1 win.
In the second match, an exchange on the edge gave Smith a four-point advantage. The call was challenged and denied, putting Smith up 5-0. He held on and finished with a 6-0 win.
This is Smith’s first World Team.
Two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) can now add Senior World Team member to his resume.
He defeated 2016 Olympic Team Trials champion at 98 kg Joe Rau (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) two matches to none in the 85 kg finals.
The first match was tied 1-1 in the second. Provisor executed a body-lock takedown for two, and the call was challenged. When the call was confirmed, Provisor received a point and went on to win the match, 4-1.
In the second bout, Provisor led early, 2-0, with a step out and passivity. After the break, Provisor was penalized for passivity and Rau crept in, trailing just 2-1. With less than two minutes left in the match, Rau took a 3-2 lead as Provisor was hit with a caution and two, but quickly responded with a takedown to win the bout, 4-3.
“[Rau] is a great competitor,” Provisor said. “He’s going to come hard and the way I wrestle the harder you come at me the easier it’s going to be for me to off balance you and get you out of bounds. He tried to run at me and I just stood in the center and he went flying out of bonds, because that’s my style. The harder you push the easier it’s going to be.”
The squad will represent the United States at the 2017 World Championships in Paris, France, August 21-26.
2017 Greco-Roman World Team roster
59 kg/130 lbs. - Ildar Hafizov, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
66 kg/145 lbs. - Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
71 kg/156 lbs. - Pat Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
75 kg/165 lbs. - Mason Manville, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
80 kg/176 lbs. - Cheney Haight, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
85 kg/189 lbs. - Ben Provisor, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
98 kg/215 lbs. - G’Angelo Hancock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/Sunkist Kids)
130 kg/286 lbs. - Robby Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
2017 GRECO-ROMAN WORLD TEAM TRIALS
April 29 at South Point Hotel in Las Vegas
Best-of-three championship finals
59 kg/130 lbs.: Ildar Hafizov, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP) dec. Hayden Tuma, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP), two matches to none
Bout one – Hafizov dec. Tuma, 7-3
Bout two – Hafizov dec. Tuma, 7-1
71 kg/156 lbs.: Pat Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Chris Gonzalez, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), two matches to none
Bout one – Smith dec. Gonzalez, 4-1
Bout two – Smith dec. Gonzalez, 6-0
75 kg/165 lbs.: Mason Manville, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP) dec. Kamal Bey, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids), two matches to none
Bout one – Manville dec. Bey, 9-8
Bout two – Manville tech. fall Bey, 8-0
85 kg/189 lbs.: Ben Provisor, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) dec. Joe Rau, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), two matches to none
Bout one – Provisor dec. Rau, 4-1
Bout two – Provisor dec. Rau, 4-3