Hancock pins Olympic Greco champ Aleksanyan in semifinals, Brooks also reaches the freestyle finals in Poland

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 07, 2018, 2:16 p.m. (ET)
Photo of G’Angelo Hancock by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors. Photo of Sammy Brooks courtesy of the University of Iowa Athletics.

WARSAW, Poland – In one of the biggest upsets in Greco-Roman wrestling this year, 2018 U.S. World Team member G’Angelo Hancock pinned 2016 Olympic champion and four-time World level gold-medalist Artur Aleksanyan of Armenia in 27 seconds of the semifinals at the Pytlasinski Memorial on Friday.

Hancock, a 2016 Junior World bronze medalist and now a two-time World Team member, has advanced to the championship finals, where he will battle Nikolay Bayryakov of Bulgaria. Bayraykov was fifth at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Hancock had three wins on the day, opening with a 3-2 win over Nikoloz Kakhelashvili of Italy, 3-2, then dominating Maksim Safarian of Russia in a 9-0 technical fall in the quarterfinals.

Also in the championship finals in Poland is U.S. freestyle star Sammy Brooks, who reached the finals of the Ziolkowski Memorial with a 6-2 semifinal win over Ahkhmed Aibuev of France. His championship finals opponent is veteran Zbigniew Baranowski of Poland, who competed at the 2016 Olympics.

Brooks, who starred at the University of Iowa, opened with an injury default win over Edgaras Voitechovski of Lithuania, then hammered Lars Schaefle of Germany by technical fall, 12-2 in the quarterfinals.

Two U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers have reached bronze-medal bouts on Saturday after losing in the semifinals at their weight class, Frank Perrelli at 57 kg and Jordan Oliver at 65 kg.

Perrelli opened with a pair of victories, before falling to Givi Davidovi of Italy, 9-6 in the semifinals. Oliver also opened with two victories, then was edged by 2016 World bronze medalist Akhmed Chakaev of Russia in the semifinals, 9-8.

Perelli’s opponent in the bronze-medal bout will be Georgios Pilidis of Greece. Oliver’s bronze-medal opponent will be determined during repechage on Saturday morning.

In women’s freestyle, at the Poland Open, a UWW ranking tournament, the U.S. entered four Senior World Team members. All four lost matches in the preliminary action, but three have been pulled back into repechage after the athletes who beat them qualified for the gold-medal finals.

Earning a spot in the bronze-medal round is 2018 World Team member Jacarra Winchester at 55 kg, where she will face 2009 World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Sofia Mattsson of Sweden.

Also pulled back into repechage were World Team members Whitney Conder at 50 kg and Forrest Molinari at 65 kg. Conder lost to multiple World champion Mariya Stadnik of Azerbaijan in her second bout, and drew Carolina Castillo Hidalgo of Colombia in repechage. Molinari lost to Junior World champion Danielle Lappage of Canada in her opening bout, and has Krystsina Fedarashka of Belarus in repechage.

In men’s freestyle, a two-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma State, Dean Heil, lost to Chakaev in the opening round at 65 kg, and was drawn into repechage when Chakaev beat Oliver. He will battle Kryysztof Bienkowski of Poland in repechage.

There will be 11 more U.S. athletes who start their competition on Saturday. (see related pairing story).

U.S. wrestling fans can follow a live stream of the event free on TrackWrestling.

Warsaw is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern time zone. The first session on Saturday is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. in Warsaw. Saturday night’s finals, featuring gold-medal hopefuls Hancock and Brooks, begins at 5:00 p.m. Warsaw time.

POLAND OPEN (women’s freestyle)
ZIOLKOWSKI MEMORIAL (men’s freestyle)

U.S. Greco-Roman first day results

97kg: G’Angelo Hancock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
WIN Nikoloz Kakhelashvili (Italy), 3-2
WIN Maksim Safarian (Russia), tech. fall 9-0, 2:29
WIN Artur Aleksanyan (Armenia), pin 0:27
Gold-Medal Finals – Vs. Nikolay Bayryakov (Bulgaria)

U.S. men’s freestyle first day results

57 kg: Frank Perrelli, Bethlehem, Pa. (Titan Mercury WC/LVAC)
WIN Fatos Durmishi (Finland), 12-2
WIN Andrei Dukov (Romania), 4-0
LOSS Givi Davidovi (Italy), 9-6
Bronze-Medal Match – Vs. Georgios Pilidis (Greece)

57 kg: Darion Cruz, Bethlehem, Pa. (LVAC)
LOSS Georgios Pilidis (Greece), 4-3

65 kg: Andy Simmons, Williamstown, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)
LOSS David Habat (Slovenia), 2-1

65 kg: Jaydin Eierman, Columbia, Mo. (Titan Mercury WC/Missouri Wrestling RTC)
WIN Beka Lomtadze (Georgia)
LOSS George Bucur (Romania), tech. fall 21-10, 5:43

65 kg: Dean Heil, Buies Creek, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC)
LOSS Akhmed Chakaev (Russia), tech. fall 10-0, 4:07
Repechage – Vs. Kryysztof Bienkowski (Poland)

65 kg: Jordan Oliver, Ithaca, N.Y. (Sunkist Kids)
WIN Michael Asselstine (Canada), tech. fall, 10-0, 1:50
WIN Masakazu Kamoi (Japan), 4-1
LOSS Akhmed Chakaev (Russia), 9-8
Bronze Medal match - opponent to be determined in repechage

74 kg: Richie Lewis, Toms River, N.J. (LVAC)
LOSS Bolat Sakaev (Kazakhstan), 6-0

86 kg: Sammy Brooks, Iowa City, Iowa (NYAC/TMWC/Hawkeye WC)
WIN Edgaras Voitechovski (Lithuania), inj. dft
WIN Lars Schaefle (Germany), tech. fall 12-2, 3:47
WIN Akhmed Aibuev (France), 6-2
Gold-Medal Finals – Vs. Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland)

86 kg: Kenny Courts, College Park, Md. (Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Adilet Davlumbayev (Kazakhstan), 6-6
LOSS Piotr Ianulov (Moldova), tech. fall 10-0, 0:48

86 kg: Pat Downey, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
WIN Pool Ambrocio Greifo (Peru), 10-1
LOSS Akhmed Aibuev (France), 6-4

97 kg: Kyven Gadson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids/Cyclone WC)
WIN Abraham Conyedo Ruano (Italy), 6-4
LOSS Elizbar Odikadze (Georgia), tech. fall, 11-0, 5:01
LOSS Mamed Ibragimov (Kazakhstan), 6-2

U.S. Women’s Freestyle first day results

50 kg/110 lbs. - Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
WIN Jessica Blaszka (Netherlands), 6-0
LOSS Mariya Stadnik (Azerbaijan), tech. fall, 10-0, 3:11
Repechage – Vs. Carolina Castillo Hidalgo (Colombia)

55 kg/121 lbs. - Jacarra Winchester, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
LOSS Roksana Zasina (Poland), 4-2
Bronze medal match – Sofia Mattsson (Sweden)

59 kg/130 lbs. - Alli Ragan, Iowa City, Iowa (Sunkist Kids/Hawkeye WC/OTC)
LOSS Ling Ling Bao (China), pin 1:34

65 kg/143 lbs. - Forrest Molinari, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
LOSS Danielle Lappage (Canada), tech. fall 12-0, 4:20
Repechage – Krystsina Fedarashka (Belarus)