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Large U.S. team featuring top freestyle and Greco- Roman talents set for 4th Paris International, Jan. 27-29

By Kala Ibarra, USA Wrestling | Jan. 19, 2017, 1:53 p.m. (ET)

Tony Ramos, shown at the 2016 Pan American Olympic Qualifier, will compete in France next weekend. Photo by Tony Rotunda, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

The U.S. continues with their busy international tour season as a team of U.S. wrestlers travel to Paris, France to compete in the 4th Paris International Tournament, Jan. 27-29.

The U.S. delegation will feature 18 men freestyle wrestlers and eight Greco-Roman wrestlers.

Among the freestyle wrestlers will be two- time World Team member and U.S. Olympic Trials runner- up Tony Ramos (Chapel Hill, N.C./ Titan Mercury WC). Ramos will be wrestling at 61 kg/132 lbs., up from his normal weight class. This will be Ramos’ second appearance in Paris; his last appearance was in 2015 where he was a gold medalist.

2015 World Team member, Zach Rey (Bethlehem, Pa./ Lehigh Valley WC) will also be competing at 125 kg/275 lbs. Rey was a 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials runner- up. 2014 U.S. Open Champion and 2014 World Team member Jimmy Kennedy (Ann Arbor, Mich./ New York AC/ Michigan RTC) will be wrestling at 65 kg/143 lbs.

Four- time NCAA Champion and U.S. Olympic Trials runner- up Kyle Dake (Ithaca, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes WC) will be wrestling at 74 kg/163 lbs. This is down a weight class from where Dake competed last year.

Of the 18 freestyle men that will be traveling there are nine past NCAA champions. Those include Ramos, Rey, and Dake, plus Nico Megaludis (State College, Pa. /Nittany Lion WC), Jayson Ness (Minneapolis, Minn. /Minnesota Storm), Matt Brown (State College, Pa./ Army WCAP), David Taylor (State College, Pa./ Nittany Lion WC), Alex Dieringer (Stillwater, Okla./ Titan Mercury WC) and Tony Nelson (Minneapolis. Minn./ Minnesota Storm).

Megaludis, Brown, and Taylor won NCAA titles for Penn State, while Ness and Nelson won for Minnesota. Dake (Cornell), Ramos (Iowa), and Rey (Lehigh) are the other past NCAA champions.

Combined the men hold 16 NCAA titles. Dake has one four NCAA titles, Dieringer has three, Taylor and Nelson both have two, and Ramos, Rey, Megaludis, Ness, and Brown have one.

Eight U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers from the U.S. Marine Corps will be competing at the Paris International.

Jayshon Wilson (Camp Lejeune, N.C./Marines) will be wrestling at 75 kg/165 lbs. Wilson placed fifth at the Grand Prix of Germany in 2016.

Wrestling at 80 kg/176 lbs. is Michael Brant (Camp Lejeune, N.C./Marines). Brant will be making his second appearance in Paris. Last year Brant was a bronze medalist and is looking to improve this year.

Also, making his second appearance in Paris is Daniel Miller (Camp Lejeune, N.C./Marines) at 98 kg/215.5 lbs., he placed fifth last year. Miller also went 2-1 at the Armed Forces Championship and was a bronze medalist at the Grand Prix Zagreb Open last year.

Following these men will be U.S. Open placer Eric Fader (Jacksonville, N.C./ Marines) at 130 kg/286 lbs. This is Fader’s first appearance at the Paris International.

Of the eight Greco- Roman wrestlers that will be traveling five of them are past U.S. Open placers. Those include Wilson, Miller, and Fader, plus Xavier Johnson (Camp Lejeune, N.C./ Marines) and Raymond Bunker (Camp Lejeune, N.C./ Marines).

Greco- Roman delegation will be staying in Paris after the tournament for training.

There will also be a women’s freestyle division, but no U.S. women are expected to enter.

Men’s freestyle roster

57 kg/125.5 lbs.- Nico Megaludis, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
61 kg/134 lbs.- Tony Ramos, Chapel Hill, N.C. (Sunkist Kids/Tarheel RTC)
65 kg/143 lbs.- BJ Futrell, Philadelphia, Pa (Titan Mercury WC/Pennsylvania RTC)
65 kg/143 lbs.- Nick Dardanes, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
65 kg/143 lbs.- Jayson Ness, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
65 kg/143 lbs.- Jimmy Kennedy, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
70 kg/154 lbs.- Chase Pami, Philadelphia, PA (Sunkist Kids/Pennsylvania RTC)
70 kg/154 lbs.- Jason Welch, Evanston, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC)
74 kg/163 lbs.- Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC)
74 kg/163 lbs.- Dan Valimont, Philadelphia, Pa. (New York AC)
74 kg/163 lbs.- Matt Brown, State College, Pa. (Army WCAP)
74 kg/163 lbs.- Alex Dieringer, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC)
86 kg/189 lbs.- David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
86 kg/189 lbs.- Richard Perry, Philadelphia, Pa. (New York AC)
97 kg/215 lbs.- Nathan Burak, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
125 kg/275 lbs.- Zach Rey, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley WC/ Hawkeye WC)
125 kg/275 lbs.- Bobby Telford, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
125 kg/275 lbs.- Tony Nelson, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
Coach- Brandon Slay, Philadelphia, Pa.
Coach- Jeff Buxton, Blairstown, N.J.
Coach- Kenny Monday, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Referee- Rob Williamson, Knoxville, Iowa
Medical - Joseph “Jody” Moore, Waco, Texas

Greco-Roman roster
59 kg/130 lbs. Xavier Johnson, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (Marines)
59 kg/130 lbs. Colton Rasche, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (Marines)
66 kg/145 lbs. Raymond Bunker, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (Marines)
71 kg/156 lbs. Joshua Russo, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (Marines)
75 kg/165 lbs. Jayshon Wilson, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (Marines)
80 kg/176 lbs. Michael Brant, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (Marine)
98 kg/215.5 lbs. Daniel Miller, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (Marines)
130 kg/286 lbs. Eric Fader, Jacksonville, N.C. (Marines)
Coach: Jason Loukides, Jacksonville, N.C.

4th Paris International Tournament schedule

Saturday, January 28
Men’s freestyle (57 kg, 65 kg, 70 kg, 97 kg), Greco-Roman (71 kg, 75 kg, 85 kg, 98 kg), Women’s freestyle (48kg, 53kg, 60kg, 69 kg)

Sunday, January 29
Men’s freestyle (61 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 125 kg), Greco-Roman (59 kg, 66 kg, 80 kg, 130 kg), Women’s freestyle (55 kg, 58 kg, 63 kg, 75 kg)