Merrill defeats Hancock, Mossing named OW at 2017 University Nationals in Akron

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | June 02, 2017, 6 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Zach Merrill downs U.S. World Team member G'Angelo Hancock in the 98 kg finals of the University Nationals. Photo by Sam Janicki.

Video: University Nationals champions interviews

AKRON, Ohio – In a stunner, Zach Merrill (Norman, Okla./NYRTC) defeated 2017 Junior and Senior World Team member G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/Sunkist Kids) with a 10-0 technical fall in the 98 kg/216 lbs. finals of the 2017 Greco-Roman University Nationals on Friday afternoon in Akron, Ohio.

The bizarre finals match started with an early takedown from Merrill, capitalizing on an errant arm spin by Hancock. While down in par terre, Hancock was hit with a caution and two for a leg foul that got the whole arena buzzing.

On the par terre restart, both wrestlers were warned for early starts. A second quick start for Hancock resulted in another caution and two to put Merrill up 6-0 on the Junior World bronze medalist.

Less than 30 seconds later, Merrill hit an arm spin for four points to end the match in a 10-0 tech fall.

“I love it,” Merrill said. “I just kept good position. I knew he was going to come in tough and banging so I just had to use strategy. I just had to attack, attack, attack until he was so tired. That’s the way we train. That’s how we do things at the New York RTC.”

The 80 kg/176 lbs. match also left spectators chatting as 2016 National Team member Geordan Speiller (Oviedo, Fla./Florida Jets) outlasted 2017 National Team member Jon Jay Chavez (Boise, N.Y./NYRTC).

The two exchanged push out points early in the first period. Speiller pulled ahead to a 2-1 lead after Chavez was penalized for passivity.

There was limited action in the second period, but Chavez was once again hit for passivity inside the final 20 seconds of the match. Speiller was able to hold off Chavez’s several attempts to score and walked away with a 3-1 win.

It was his second-consecutive University Nationals title.

Joining Speiller as repeating University champion is Dalton Roberts (Fowlerville, Mich./New York AC), who avenged a Dave Schultz International loss earlier this year to Mike Fuenffinger (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) in the 59 kg/130 lbs. finals.

With a 7-0 finals win over Fuenffinger, Roberts finished a spectacular day with three tech falls and one decision, outscoring his opponents, 32-0.

“[Today] Fuenffinger was my only real test that went to two periods,” Roberts said. “I just banged with him. I like wrestling him. Last time it didn’t go that way. This time my game plan was just beat him up, fight him and brawl with him, and it worked, so I’m pretty happy.”

The tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award went to Air Force wrestler Alex Mossing (Toledo, Ohio/Foxfire WC), who went through four tough opponents at the 71 kg/154 lbs. bracket.

He put together a dominant performance in the finals against Anthonie Linares (San Jose, Calif./New York AC).

In the first 50 seconds, the two collectively put eight points on the board, each recording a four-point throw. Mossing pulled away by the end of the first period, thanks to a takedown and turn to lead 8-5.

Early in the second period, Mossing scored on a step out and wrapped up with four-point throw to take a 13-5 win.

“He’s a tough wrestler, really long, and that’s not something I’m very good at wrestling,” Mossing said. “He’s a great competitor and it was a god match. Overall today, I was kind of slow at first, but after that I started picking it up. I felt the takedowns, felt the locks and the throws.”

The other champions from the day included Wesley Dawkins (Ashland, Neb./Nebraska Golden Eagles) at 63 kg/139 lbs., Raymond Bunker (Villa Park, Ill./US Marines) at 66 kg/145 lbs., Curt Calovecchi (Brussels, Wisc./NMU-OTS) at 75 kg/165 lbs., Barrett Stanghill (Philipsburg, Mont./Minnesota Storm) at 85 kg/187 lbs. and Donald Longendyke (Vadnais Heights, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 130 kg/286 lbs.

The freestyle portion of University Nationals is set to begin Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and run through Sunday.

Fans can watch live on or keep up with the action on Twitter @USAWrestling.

at Akron, Ohio

University Greco-Roman Finals Results
59 kg: Dalton Roberts (Fowlerville, Mich./New York AC) dec. Mike Fuenffinger (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP), 7-0
63 kg: Wesley Dawkins (Ashland, Neb./Nebraska Golden Eagles) tech. fall Ty Pelot (Manitowoc, Wisc./X-Factor Elite), 10-0
66 kg: Raymond Bunker (Villa Park, Ill./US Marines) tech. fall Dante Rodriguez (Kearney, Neb./Cyclone RTC), 10-2
71 kg: Alex Mossing (Toledo, Ohio/Foxfire WC) tech. fall Anthonie Linares (San Jose, Calif./New York AC), 13-5
75 kg: Curt Calovecchi (Brussels, Wisc./NMU-OTS) dec. Colin Schubert (Brussels, Wisc./New York AC), 4-1
80 kg: Geordan Speiller (Oviedo, Fla./Florida Jets) dec. Jon Jay Chavez (Boise, N.Y./NYRTC), 3-1
85 kg: Barrett Stanghill (Philipsburg, Mont./Minnesota Storm) dec. Richard Carlson (Arden Hills, Minn./Minnesota Storm), 5-2
98 kg: Zach Merrill (Norman, Okla./NYRTC) tech. fall G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/Sunkist Kids), 10-0
130 kg: Donald Longendyke (Vadnais Heights, Minn./Minnesota Storm) dec. Malcolm Allen (Mankato, Minn./Minnesota Storm), 5-4

Medal matches

59 kg/130 lbs.
3rd: Randon Miranda, Marquette, MI (NYAC) dec. Lawson Ludwin, Colorado Springs, CO (Tiger Wrestling Club), 8-3
5th: Nelson Baker, La Crosse, WI (LAW) fall Jared Brickley, Lansing, MI (Olivet Wrestling Club), 1:06
7th: Kyndall Rutz, Marquette, MI (NMU-OTS) tech. fall Devon Jackson (3 Style Wrestling), 8-0

63 kg/139 lbs.
3rd: Taylor Zippe, Camp Lejeune, NC (Marines) tech. fall Justus Griffith, Orlando, FL (Florida jets), 10-2
5th: Jordan Auen, San Jose, CA (NMU-OTS) fall Quinton Tucker Fairfax, VA (George Mason), 1:01
7th: Brady Meals (Modern Day Gladiators) fall Trevor Mello, Fairfax, VA (George Mason), 1:25

66 kg/145 lbs.
3rd: Sam Jones, Marquette, MI (NYAC) tech. fall Chase Call, Orem, UT (Wolverine Wrestling Club), 8-0
5th: Grant Lamont, Mapleton, UT (Wolverine Wrestling Club) fall Colton Rasche, Emerald Isle, NC (Marines), 2:46
7th: Evan Cheek, Cleveland, OH (NEORTC) fall Hunter Kelley, Ray City, GA (NMU-OTS), 2:40

71 kg/156 lbs.
3rd: Isaac Dukes, Colorado Springs, CO (U.S. Army) tech. fall Joshua Russo, Camp Lejeune, NC (Marines), 8-0
5th: Austin Morrow, Marquette, MI (NYAC) dec. Logan Kass, Webster, MN (NMU-OTS), 7-2
7th: Ali Khan, Elk Grove, CA (NMU-OTS) win by medical forfeit Clay Frost, Orem, UT (Charger Wrestling Club)

75 kg/165 lbs.
3rd: Jayshon Wilson, NC (Marines) dec. Fritz Schierl, Stevens Point, WI (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club/Ohio Regional Training Center), 8-7
5th: Corey Fitzgerald, Uniontown, OH (NMU-OTS) fall Broc Clark, Camp Lejeune, NC (Marines), 2:55
7th: Josh Mossing, U.S. Air Force Academy, CO (Foxfire Wrestling Club) tech. fall Alec Donovan, Brick, NJ (Centenary University), 8-0

80 kg/176 lbs.
3rd: Jesse Porter, Marquette, MI (NYAC) dec. Kimball Bastian, Orem, UT (Wolverine Wrestling Club), 6-0
5th: Trace Engelkes, Winnebago, IL (Alpha wrestling Academy) win by medical forfeit over Vladyslav Dombrovskiy Colorado Springs, CO (U.S. Army)
7th: Spencer Woods, College Park, MD (Terrapin Wrestling Club) tech fall Josh Anderson, Omaha, NE (NMU-OTS), 14-6

85 kg/187 lbs.
3rd: Ricky Robertson, Madison, WI (University of Wisconsin) tech. fall Jordan Newman, Whitewater, WI (Askren Wrestling), 10-1
5th: Adrian Salas, Ithaca, NY (New York RTC) dec. Austin Chaon, Hayward, WI (NMU-OTS), 4-0
7th: Canaan Bethea (Patriot Eilte Wrestling Club) tech fall Austin Harrison, Fairfax, VA (George Mason), 8-0

98 kg/216 lbs. 
3rd: Daniel Miller, Berlin, MD (Marines) tech. fall Jacob Kasper, Mansfield, OH (Blue Blood Wrestling Club), 9-0
5th:  Austin Schafer, Edmond, OK (bronchos wrestling club) fall Khymba Johnson, Marquette, MI (NYAC), 3:14
7th: Dan Olsen, Algonquin, IL (Unattached) tech. fall Anthony Riopelle, Monroe, MI (NMU-OTS), 9-1

130 kg/285 lbs.
3rd: Eric Fader, Sanford, MI (Marines) fall Parker Betts (Minnesota Storm), 0:34
5th: Jordan Karst, Orem, UT (Wolverine Wrestling Club) dec. Michael Rogers (Bison Legend), 6-2
7th: Matt Voss, Fairfax, VA (George Mason) dec. Justin Karkula, Eau Claire, WI (Unattached), 16-10