USA Wrestling is sending 17 of the nation’s top men’s freestyle athletes to the 2019 Continental Cup in Khasavjurt, Russia, Oct. 11-13.
Of those 17 athletes, four have medaled at a World Championships.
Leading the way is 2017 Senior World silver medalist and two-time Senior World Team member Thomas Gilman, who will represent the USA at 57 kg.
This will mark Gilman’s first international event since the Dan Kolov Tournament in Ukraine in March, where he finishes outside of the top-10. Prior to that, he won bronze at the prestigious Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in January, and last October, he was fifth at the 2018 World Championships.
This season, Gilman is No. 2 on the National Team at 57 kg.
2018 Junior World champion Mekhi Lewis will enter the field at 74 kg. Lewis made his international debut at Junior Worlds in Slovakia, where he stunned the planet with a gold-medal finish.
Shortly after, he started his freshman NCAA season for Virginia Tech. In March, he knocked off two-time NCAA champion Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State for the 2019 NCAA title at 165 pounds.
In Russia, he will return to the international stage for the first time since 2018 Junior Worlds and only the second time in his career.
Wrestling at 86 kg is 2017 Junior World silver medalist Zahid Valencia, who has not competed internationally since that outing.
Valencia was a three-time Junior World Team member, representing the U.S. in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Recently he has put his international career on hold in order to pursue NCAA glory. Wrestling for Arizona State, Valencia is a 2018 and 2019 NCAA champion and took third at nationals in 2017.
The final World medalist for USA is 2017 U23 World bronze medalist Ty Walz, who is expected to compete at 97 kg.
Since transitioning into full-time freestyle, Walz has been consistently successful on the Senior international level, winning gold medals at the 2018 Bill Farrell International and 2019 Dave Schultz Memorial International and silver medals at the 2018 Cerro Pelado and 2019 Alexander Medved Prizes.
There are five other past Olympic or age-group World Team members competing for the Red, White and Blue, including 2016 Olympian Frank Molinaro at 70 kg, 2017 U23 World Team member Isaiah Martinez at 74 kg, 2017 U23 World Team member Sam Brooks at 86 kg, 2008 Junior World Team member Zach Sanders at 57 kg and 2012 Cadet World Team member Garrett Ryan at 125 kg.
Mike Kosoy, wrestling at 125 kg, represented the USA at the 2017 Maccabi Games, where he won gold medals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman.
Other names to look out for are Dean Heil at 65 kg, Dan Vallimont at 74 kg, Nazar Kulchytskyy at 74 kg, Kevin Radford at 86 kg, Nick Heflin at 86 kg, Mike Macchiavello at 92 kg at Hayden Zillmer at 97 kg.
The competition runs from Oct. 11-13. USA Wrestling will update with results as they are received.
2019 CONTINENTAL CUP
at Khasavjurt, Russia, Oct. 10-14
U.S. men’s freestyle roster
57 kg: Thomas Gilman (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
57 kg: Zach Sanders (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm)
65 kg: Dean Heil (Norman, Okla./Titan Mercury WC/Oklahoma RTC)
70 kg: Frank Molinaro (Norman, Okla./Titan Mercury WC/Oklahoma RTC)
74 kg: Isaiah Martinez (Champaign, Ill./Titan Mercury WC)
74 kg: Dan Vallimont (Philadelphia, Pa./Pennsylvania RTC)
74 kg: Nazar Kulchytskyy (Minneapolis, Minn./Titan Mercury WC/Gopher WC)
74 kg: Mekhi Lewis (Bound Brook, N.J./Titan Mercury WC/Southeast RTC)
86 kg: Kevin Radford (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids)
86 kg: Zahid Valencia (Bellflower, Calif./Sunkist Kids)
86 kg: Sammy Brooks (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC)
86 kg: Nick Heflin (Norman, Okla./Titan Mercury WC/Oklahoma RTC)
92 kg: Mike Macchiavello (Raleigh, N.C./Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack WC)
97 kg: Ty Walz (Blacksburg, Va./Titan Mercury WC/Southeast RTC)
97 kg: Hayden Zillmer (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm)
125 kg: Garrett Ryan (Scottsdale, Ariz./Sunkist Kids)
125 kg: Mike Kosoy (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids)
Friday, Oct. 11
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)
5 p.m. – Semifinals (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)
Saturday, Oct. 12
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (61 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
11 a.m. – Repechage (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)
5 p.m. – Semifinals (61 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
5:30 p.m. – Finals (57 kg, 65 kg, 74 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)
Sunday, Oct. 13
11 a.m. – Repechage (61 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
5 p.m. – Finals (61 kg, 70 kg, 79 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)