Perkins and Mango strike Greco gold at Pan Ams

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | May 03, 2018, 11 p.m. (ET)

Photo: RaVaughn Perkins battles in the 72 kg finals of the 2018 Pan Am Championships. Photo by Stephen Alvarado, UWW. 

LIMA, Peru – The U.S. Greco-Roman team had a solid start to the 2018 Pan American Championships, winning two gold and two silver on Thursday night in Lima, Peru. Leading the way with gold was RaVaughn Perkins and Ryan Mango.

“We started off a little rocky this morning, dropping a couple of matches that I thought were winnable,” U.S. Greco-Roman coach Matt Lindland said. “But the rest of the team really picked it up. There were great performances from Ryan and RaVaughn. We’ve got three more guys going tomorrow. I’m looking forward to seeing them compete. They’re some heavy hitters so I hope we can keep this going.”

Perkins won the 72 kg Pan Am title on Thursday night with a convincing 4-0 win over 2014 Pan Am Championships gold medalist and 2015 Pan Am Games gold medalist Wuileixis de Jesus Rivas Espinoza of Venezuela in the final round of round-robin action. Perkins, a two-time National Team member, scored early on passivity. He followed it up with a correct throw and then a step out in the second period to seal the gold.

“I knew I had to keep pushing the pace,” Perkins said. “[Rivas] is a great competitor. He’s a 2016 Olympian. I felt like I had to get some redemption on something. I’m still kind of hurt about missing the 2016 Olympics. Battling an Olympian and coming out with a win just felt great. I just have to keep pushing because I’m chasing World medals right now.”

Mango improved upon last year’s fifth-place finish, also capturing his first Pan Am title tonight. Mango competed in a round robin and dominated the competition, going 4-0. In his first three rounds, he put up technical fall victories. In the final round of the night, Mango had his hand raised via medical forfeit.

Robby Smith, who placed fifth at the World Championships twice, fell in a tough battle to 2017 World bronze medalist Oscar Pino Hinds of Cuba in the 130 kg finals. Pino pulled ahead quickly with a 4-0 lead that Smith was unable to overcome. It was Pino’s third-consecutive Pan Am title.

2013 Pan American champion Max Nowry sought out his second Pan Am gold on Thursday night but fell short in a hard-fought battle against Sargis Khachatryan of Brazil, who was formerly a native of Armenia. The two traded leads, but it was Khachatryan who came out on top, 6-4, for the victory at 55 kg.

Because they finished in the top-three, Perkins, Mango, Smith and Nowry have qualified the U.S. for the 2019 Pan American Games at those respective weights.

Also competing tonight was former University of Oklahoma wrestler Zach Merrill, who represented Puerto Rico at 97 kg. He finished fifth. 

Tomorrow, the remaining Greco wrestlers –Kamal Bey, Geordan Speiller and Ben Provisor—as well as some of the women’s freestyle team will compete.  Action is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. ET.

FINALS MATCHUPS
55 kg
GOLD - Sargis KHACHATRYAN (BRA)
SILVER -
Max Emiliano NOWRY (USA)
BRONZE -
Brandon Jesus ESCOBAR AMADOR (HON)

60 kg
GOLD - Luis Alberto ORTA SANCHEZ (CUB) win by injury default Jancel Miguel PIMENTEL GONZALEZ (DOM)
BRONZE - Andres Roberto MONTANO ARROYO (ECU) df. Dicther Hans TORO CASTANEDA (COL), 12-1
BRONZE - Marat GARIPOV (BRA) df. Cristhian PARAVECINO NAVARRO (PER), 6-3

63 kg
GOLD - Ryan Robert MANGO (USA)
SILVER - Gerardo Francisco OLIVA MONTES (PER)
BRONZE - German Manuel DIAZ MALDONADO  (PUR)

67 kg
GOLD - Ismael BORRERO MOLINA (CUB) df. Manuel Alejandro LOPEZ SALCERO (MEX), 8-0
BRONZE - Joilson DE BRITO RAMOS JUNIOR (BRA) df. Luis Alfredo DE LEON (DOM), 9-6
BRONZE - Mario Bernardo MOLINA CORTEZ (PER) df. Jose Alejandro VARELA GARCIA (GUA), 6-0

72 kg
GOLD - Ravaughn PERKINS (USA)
SILVER - Wuileixis de Jesus RIVAS ESPINOZA (VEN)
BRONZE - Christopher PALACIOS ALEXANDER (PER)

97 kg
GOLD - Luillys Jose PEREZ MORA (VEN) df. Kevin MEJIA CASTILLO (HON), 2-0
BRONZE - Oscar LOANGO SOLIS (COL) df. Charles Zachary MERRILL (PUR), 2-0
BRONZE - Gabriel Alejandro ROSILLO KINDELAN (CUB) df. Lester Josue ENRIQUEZ CALDERON (GUA), 10-2

130 kg
GOLD - Oscar PINO HINDS (CUB) df.
Robert Timothy David SMITH (USA), 5-0
BRONZE - Yasmani ACOSTA FERNANDEZ (CHI) df. Edgardo Juan LOPEZ MORELL (PUR), 8-0
BRONZE - Luis Alberto ROMAN BARRIOS (MEX) win by fall Jose Noel ERAZO HENRIQUEZ (ESA), 2:24

U.S. Greco-Roman results
55 kg/121 lbs. – Max Nowry, Colorado Springs, Colo.
(Army WCAP)
WIN Brandon Jesus Escobar Amador (Honduras), 6-1
WIN Mauricio David Plaza Sanchez (Mexico), 9-0
WIN Javier Eduardo Barrera Palacios (Peru), 8-0
LOSS Sargis Khachatryan (Brazil), 6-4

60 kg/132 lbs. – Mike Fuenffinger, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
LOSS Dichter Hans Toro Castaneda (Colombia), 8-6

63 kg/139 lbs. – Ryan Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
WIN Mauri Vicente Silverio Junior (Brazil), 8-0
WIN Gerardo Francisco Oliva Montes (Peru), 8-0
WIN German Manuel Diaz Maldonado (Puerto Rico), 14-4
WIN Adam MacFayden (Canada), medical forfeit

67 kg/147 lbs. - Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP)
WIN Jose Jelmar Sanchez Betancourt (Ecuador), 8-0
LOSS Joilson de Brito Ramos Junior (Brazil), 7-5

72 kg/158 lbs. – RaVaughn Perkins, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
WIN Fernando Vicente Gomez (Mexico), forfeit
WIN David Pereira Barbsa (Brazil), 9-0
WIN Christopher Palacios Alexander (Peru), 8-0
WIN Wuileixis de Jesus Rivas Espinoza (Venezuela), 4-0

97 kg/213 lbs. – Daniel Miller, Jacksonville, N.C. (Marines)
LOSS Gabriel Rosillo Kindelan (Cuba), 8-0

130 kg/286 lbs. – Robby Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
WIN Jose Noel Erazo Henriquez (El Salvador), 13-0

WIN Luis Alberto Roman Barrios (Mexico), fall 1:45