U.S. Army puts Coleman, Burkert, Nowry on World Team with session one victories at Final X: Rutgers

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | June 08, 2019, 3:08 p.m. (ET)
Max Nowry nails a five-point throw against Brady Koontz on the way to his Final X victory at 55 kg in Greco-Roman. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The U.S. Army had a strong first session at Final X: Rutgers on Saturday, putting three athletes on the 2019 U.S. World Team, including two Greco-Roman wrestlers and a women’s freestyler.

The U.S. Army winners were Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) at 67 kg in Greco-Roman, Jenna Burkert (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) at 57 kg in women’s freestyle and Max Nowry (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 55 kg.

Coleman, a 2012 Olympian, made his fifth U.S. World or Olympic team with a two-match sweep over Jamel Johnson (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps.

In bout one, Coleman got on top after a passivity call, hit two gut wrenches, then closed it out with a four-point throw for a 9-1 technical fall.

In bout two, Coleman scored five points in one sequence, with a passivity penalty leading to a gut wrench and two-point lift. A second period passivity point against Johnson led to a 6-0 Coleman shutout.

“I just wanted to get on top. I told myself I was going to push the pace on my feet, and I just need one opportunity on top. If I get on top one time, I’m going to win the match. I got on top one time and finished the match. (My gut wrench) is my best move. I wasn’t just going to let it leave my repertoire or lose it from my arsenal, so I’ve been consistent with my gut wrench at the senior level,” said Coleman.

Burkert became a three-time Senior World Team member with a two-match sweep over 2017 World bronze medalist Becka Leathers (Chapel Hill, N.C./Titan Mercury WC/Tarheel RTC). It was a rematch of the 2019 U.S. Open finals, won by Leathers, 7-5.

Burkert jumped to a 4-0 lead on Leathers in bout one, with a takedown and two stepouts. Leathers got a second period takedown but Burkert won 4-2.

In bout two, Burkert closed down Leathers’ offense entirely, getting two takedowns and a pushout for a 5-0 victory.

“If I lose, genuinely, I feel like it’s not because the person is better than me. It’s because I beat myself up. After I lost at the Open, I punished myself. In 51 seconds, I gave up that match. I did sprints, I did aerodyne, I did everything you can think of for 51 seconds just to beat myself up to make sure that when I’m winning, and I have a lead, I close it out,” she said.

Nowry, a 2012 University World champion, made his first Senior World Team on his 10th attempt, winning an exciting two-match series over Brady Koontz (Plover, Wis./Ohio RTC), who has made U.S. Cadet and Junior World Teams.

Nowry won the first bout 3-0, getting a passivity point in the first period, then securing a two-point lift and throw from par terre to score the only points of the match.

In bout two, Koontz had a strong start with some slick technique on the mat to lead 5-2. Nowry scored a takedown and turns to lead 6-5 at the break. Nowry closed it out in the second period, securing a pretty five-point back arch throw for an 11-5 victory.

Of the six Championship Series in session one, four of the winners were members of the U.S. military. Claiming his first Senior World Team berth was John Stefanowicz (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps) who swept a two match series over two-time U.S. Open champion Kendrick Sanders (Marquette, Mich./New York AC).

Stefanowicz scored a four-point takedown on the edge in the first match to take a lead, but Sanders closed it to 5-5. Stefanowicz forced a stepout, then secured a caution and two against Sanders late in the match and to win 8-5.

In the second bout, Stefanowicz scored a takedown in the closing seconds of the first period for a 3-1 lead at the break, and only gave up a passivity point the rest of the way to finish with a 3-2 victory.

All six of the championship series on Saturday morning were two-bout sweep. Making their second U.S. Senior World Teams were Joe Rau (Chicago, Ill./Titan Mercury WC/Chicago RTC) at 87 kg in Greco-Roman and Victoria Francis (Litchfield, Ill./Titan Mercury WC) at 72 kg in women’s freestyle.

Rau swept long-time rival and two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC). Rau’s first Senior World Team was in 2014.

In bout one, Rau was trailing on criteria but came up with an explosive action to force a step out by Provisor with four seconds left in the second period to win, 2-1.

In the second match, Rau scored on a passivity point, then hit two gut wrenches to lead 5-0. Provisor only scored on a passivity in the second, and Rau won the bout, 5-1.

Francis, a 2017 Senior World Team member, swept college star Alyvia Fiske (Napa, Calif./Titan Mercury WC). It was a reversal of the 2019 U.S. Open finals, won by Fiske, 5-4.

In bout one, Fiske scored the first takedown and the opening period ended at 2-2. Francis opened it up in the second period, with a sweep hip toss for four, and emerged with a 7-2 win.

In the second match, Fiske again scored the first takedown and led 2-0. However, another Francis hip toss led to a stunning pin in 3:30.

The second session will begin at 6:00 p.m. Eastern time, and will feature three men’s freestyle bouts, three women’s freestyle bouts and a Greco-Roman bout. All of the action in all of the Final X events is broadcast live by FloWrestling.

FINAL X: RUTGERS
At the RAC in Piscataway, N.J., Saturday, June 8
Updated bout order

Session One – 12:00 noon results

Greco-Roman

55 kg – Max Nowry (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) dec. Brady Koontz (Plover, Wis./Ohio RTC), 2 matches to 0
Bout one – Nowry dec. Koontz, 3-0
Bout two – Nowry dec. Koontz, 11-5

67 kg – Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) dec. Jamel Johnson (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps), 2 matches to 0
Bout one – Coleman tech. fall Johnson, 9-1
Bout two – Coleman dec. Johnson, 6-0

82 kg –John Stefanowicz (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps) dec. Kendrick Sanders (Marquette, Mich./New York AC), 2 matches to 0
Bout one – Stefanowicz dec. Sanders, 8-5
Bout two – Stefanowicz dec. Sanders, 3-2

87 kg- Joe Rau (Chicago, Ill./Titan Mercury WC/Chicago RTC) dec. Ben Provisor (State College, Pa./New York AC/Nittany Lion WC). 2 matches to 0
Bout one – Rau dec. Provisor, 2-1
Bout two – Rau dec. Provisor, 5-1

Women’s freestyle

57 kg –Jenna Burkert (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) dec. Becka Leathers (Chapel Hill, N.C./Titan Mercury WC/Tarheel RTC)
Bout one – Burkert dec. Leathers, 4-2
Bout two – Burkert dec. Leathers, 5-0

72 kg
Victoria Francis (Litchfield, Ill./Titan Mercury WC) dec. Alyvia Fiske (Napa, Calif./Titan Mercury WC) , 2 matches to 0
Bout one – Francis dec. Fiske, 7-2
Bout two – Francis pin Fiske, 3:30

Session Two – 6:00 p.m.ET pairings

Bout 1: Women’s FS 65 kg – Forrest Molinari (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) vs. Maya Nelson (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/OTC)
Bout 2: Men’s GR 77 kg – Kamal Bey (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids/OTC) vs. Pat Smith (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm)
Bout 3: Women’s FS 68 kg –Tamyra Mensah-Stock (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/OTC) vs. Alexandria Glaude (W. Sacramento, Calif./Titan Mercury WC/McKendree Bearcat WC)
Bout 4: Women’s FS 50 kg –Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) vs. Victoria Anthony (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids)
Bout 5: Men’s FS 125 kg –Nick Gwiazdowski (Raleigh, N.C./Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC) vs. Gable Steveson (Apple Valley, Minn./Minnesota RTC)
Bout 6: Men’s FS 65 kg – Yianni Diakomihalis (Rochester, N.Y./Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC) vs. Zain Retherford (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC)
Bout 7: Men’s FS 92 kg –J’den Cox (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC/OTC) vs. Bo Nickal (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC)