U.S. Greco’s experienced squad is up first at U23 Championships, Nov. 21-22

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Nov. 13, 2017, 12:34 p.m. (ET)

USA Wrestling is sending eight talented Greco-Roman wrestlers for the first portion of the 2017 U23 World Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Nov. 21-26.

It will be the first UWW U23 World Championships, which features 18-23-year-old athletes in the three Olympic disciplines.

The U.S. Greco team is led by 2017 Junior World champion Kamal Bey and 2017 Senior World Team member G’Angelo Hancock, both veterans of age-group World competitions.

At 19 years old, Bey (Chicago, Ill./Sunkist Kids) is heading to his third World Championships in his young career and second of 2017. Earlier this year, he traveled with the U.S. Junior Greco World Team to Tampere, Finland, for the Junior World Championships, where he put on show to win the Junior World title at 74 kg/163 lbs. It was his second-straight trip to Junior Worlds.

For Bydgoszcz, Bey is bumping up to 80 kg/176 lbs.

In addition to his Junior gold, Bey won the 2017 U.S. Open, 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial International in February and 2016 Bill Farrell International. He also was the 2017 Senior World Team Trials runner-up.

Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/New York AC) heads to his third World Championships of the year, after traveling to Finland for Junior Worlds and Paris, France, for Senior Worlds, where he notched a seventh-place finish. In recent competitions, he has competed at 96 kg or 98 kg, but will take on the heavyweight role in Poland, wrestling at 130 kg/286 lbs.

In 2016, Hancock, a three-time Junior World Team member, traveled to Macon, France, for the Junior Worlds and picked up a World bronze medal.

Like Bey, Hancock also owns gold medals form the 2017 U.S. Open, 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial and 2016 Bill Farrell International.

Both living at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Bey and Hancock have become domestic forces at their weight classes in a short time.  

Former age-group World Team members Dalton Roberts and Alejandro Sancho will make the trip at 59 kg/130 lbs. and 66 kg/145 lbs., respectively. Both train at the Northern Michigan Olympic Training Site in Marquette, Mich.

Roberts (Fowlerville, Mich./Sunkist Kids) is heading to the World stage for the fourth time after trips to the 2012 Cadet Worlds in Baku, Azerbaijan, 2015 Junior Worlds in Salvador, Brazil, and 2016 Junior Worlds in Macon. In 2015, Roberts produced a top-10 finish in the world, taking eighth.

The Northern Michigan junior owns two University Nationals titles and a pair international medals, including silver at the 2017 Arvo Haavisto Cup and bronze at the 2015 Eduardo Campbell Cup.

Sancho (Miami, Fl./New York AC) has been part of the Senior National Team for the last three years, while making four teams. In 2016, he earned a spot on the National Team at two different weights, finishing third at the Olympic Trials at 66 kg and taking second at the Non-Olympic Weight World Team Trials at 71 kg. In the 2015 and 2017 World Team Trials, he put up runner-up finishes.

Sancho is no stranger to international competition as he has seven international medals to his name, which include golds from the 2014 Bill Farrell International and 2017 Grand Prix Zagreb Open. He also went to the 2014 Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.

Roberts and Sancho are joined by three other current and former NMU-OTS teammates in Jesse Porter at 75 kg/165 lbs., Barrett Stanghill 85 kg/187 lbs. and Blake Smith at 98 kg/216 lbs. All three have already seen a fair amount of success in international competition but will make their debuts on the world stage this month.

NMU junior Porter (Albany, N.Y./New York AC) was the 2017 U.S. Open runner-up, falling to now-U23 teammate Bey in the finals. In 2016, Porter took the crown at the UWW University Nationals. Overseas, he has won five medals, one silver and four bronzes.

A former wrestler at NMU, Stanghill (Philipsburg, Mont./Minnesota Storm) is a two-time University Nationals champion, winning in 2015 and 2017.

Smith (Peoria, Ariz./NMU-OTS), a freshman at Northern Michigan, won this summer’s Junior World Team Trials at 96 kg but lost in a special wrestle-off to Hancock for the chance to go to Finland.

Stanghill and Smith are both seeking their first international medals.

Representing the U.S. at 71 kg/156 lbs. is U.S. Air Force Academy’s Alex Mossing (Toledo, Ohio/Foxfire WC). Mossing was the University Nationals champion this year and finished seventh at the World Team Trials.

The Greco-Roman portion of the U23 World Championships is set for Nov. 21-22. First up for the U.S. is Mossing (71 kg), Porter (75 kg), Stanghill (98 kg) and Smith (98 kg) on Tuesday, Nov. 21, followed by Roberts (59 kg), Sancho (66 kg), Bey (80 kg) and Hancock (130 kg) on Wednesday, Nov. 22.  

The preliminary rounds begin at 10 a.m. local time (4 a.m. ET), with the medal matches beginning at 6 p.m. (12 p.m. ET) on both days. Bydgoszcz is six hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern time zone.

Fans can find live streams and brackets on Trackwrestling.com.

U23 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
at Bydgoszcz, Poland, Nov. 21-26

Schedule (Bydgoszcz local time)
Tuesday, Nov. 21
Greco-Roman – 71 kg, 75 kg, 85 kg, 98 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
5 p.m. – Opening ceremony
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Wednesday, Nov. 22
Greco-Roman – 59 kg, 66 kg, 80 kg, 130 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Thursday, Nov. 23
Women’s freestyle – 55 kg, 58 kg, 63 kg, 75 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Friday, Nov. 24
Women’s freestyle – 48 kg, 53 kg, 60 kg, 69 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Saturday, Nov. 25
Men’s freestyle – 57 kg, 61kg, 86 kg, 125 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches

Sunday, Nov. 26
Men’s freestyle – 65 kg, 70 kg, 74 kg, 97 kg
10 a.m. – Qualification rounds and repechage
6 p.m. – Medal matches