Meet your Team USA at the 2019 World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Sept. 13, 2019, 1:39 a.m. (ET)
Team USA is loaded with talent, including Adam Coon (Greco-Roman), Adeline Gray (women's freestyle) and Jordan Burroughs (men's freestyle)

The United States will send a strong team to the 2019 World Wrestling Championships will be held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, September 14-22.

This year’s World Championships has additional importance, as it serves as the first qualifying event for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan in the 18 Olympic weight classes. The top six place winners in each of the Olympic weights will qualify their nation for the Olympic Games.

Team USA for the 2019 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary is a mix of experienced veterans and young talents. Most of the team was determined in Final X: Rutgers or Final X: Lincoln in June. Two of the men’s freestyle spots were determined in Special Wrestle-offs over the summer.

The USA is coming off its greatest combined World Championships ever, winning 12 medals at the 2018 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The U.S. men’s freestyle team is have a fantastic four-year cycle, winning the 2017 World Team Title in Paris, and placing second as a team at the 2018 Worlds in Budapest. The U.S. women’s freestyle team has won a trophy the last two World Championships, placing second at the 2017 Worlds in Paris and third at the 2018 Worlds in Hungary.

In men’s freestyle, the team is led by a pair of Olympic gold medalists, 2012 Olympic champion Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg and 2016 Olympic champion Kyle Snyder at 97 kg. Burroughs also owns four World Championship gold medals, while Snyder has also won two World Championship gold medals. Last year, Snyder added a World silver medal and Burroughs won a World bronze medal (his seventh career World or Olympic medal).

Also on the team is 2018 World champion, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist and 2017 World bronze medalist J’den Cox at 92 kg. Cox has made his fourth straight World or Olympic team for the USA.

2018 World champion Kyle Dake will attempt to repeat at 79 kg, after winning a Special Wrestle-off for the team spot. He received an extension for his Final X Series at 79 kg due to injury. Dake beat World Team Trials Challenge Tournament champion Alex Dieringer in a Special Wrestle-off on August 17 in Austin, Texas, 3-2 and 2-1. Dake won his 2018 World title in his first Senior World appearance.

James Green
, a 2017 World silver medalist and 2015 World bronze medalist, holds down 70 kg and will be on his fifth Senior World Team. 2017 and 2018 World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski will wrestle at 125 kg for his third straight World Championships.

Zain Retherford will be competing in his second Senior Worlds at 65 kg after appearing at the 2017 Worlds in Paris.

At Final X: Rutgers, Retherford beat Yianni Diakomihalis in two straight matches to claim the 65 kg spot on the team. However. Diakomihalis pursued his rights, challenging the results of the second match. An arbitrator struck down the second match result and ordered that the series be completed with Retherford leading the series at one match to none. In a Final X Special Wrestle-off in a sold-out gym at Wilkes College on September 2, Retherford won the second bout, 2-1, to earn the trip to the World Championships.

First-time Senior World Team members will include Daton Fix at 57 kg, Tyler Graff at 61 kg and Pat Downey at 86 kg. All three have been on U.S. age-group teams, and Fix and Downey are past age-group World medalists. Fix has won four age-group World medals, including a 2017 Junior World gold.

In women’s freestyle, four-time World champion, six-time World medalist and 2016 Olympian Adeline Gray at 76 kg leads the lineup. Gray won World titles in 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2018, and added bronze medals in 2011 and 2013.

There could be some big-time U.S. history written in Nur-Sultan, as both Gray and Burroughs are both aiming to become the first U.S. wrestler to win five career Senior World titles. They are currently tied with wrestling legends John Smith and Tricia Saunders with four World Championship gold medals.

On the women’s squad, Gray is joined by two-time World silver medalist Alli Ragan at 59 kg, who made her seventh straight Senior World Team. Last year, Ragan was injured after making the USA team and was unable to compete in Budapest.

Other World medalists on the team are 2018 World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt at 53 kg and 2018 World bronze medalist Tamyra Mensah-Stock at 68 kg. Both are on their third Senior World team.

Nine of the 10 U.S. women freestylers are past Senior World Team members. Making her fifth Senior World team is Whitney Conder at 50 kg. Competing in her third Senior Worlds will be Jenna Burkert at 57 kg.

Making a second Senior World Team are Jacarra Winchester at 55 kg, Forrest Molinari at 65 kg and Victoria Francis at 72 kg. Winchester and Molinari made medal matches at the 2018 Senior Worlds, placing fifth in their weight classes. 

The only first-time Senior World Team member is Kayla Miracle at 62 kg, who is a multiple age-group World medalist for the USA.

The Greco-Roman team is led by 2018 World silver medalist Adam Coon at 130 kg, who is on his second straight Senior World Team. Coon has also won three age-group World medals for the USA.

A pair of past Olympians on the team are Ildar Hafizov at 60 kg and Ellis Coleman at 67 kg. Coleman competed in the 2012 Olympics for the USA, while Hafizov was a 2008 Olympian for Uzbekistan. Coleman has now made his fourth Senior World team. Hafizov will be on his second U.S. Senior World Team, and has also competed in two World Championships for Uzbekistan.

Making a third straight Senior World Team is G’Angelo Hancock at 97 kg. Wrestling in their second Senior World Championships will be Pat Smith at 77 kg and Joe Rau at 87 kg.

First-time Senior World Team members in Greco-Roman include Max Nowry at 55 kg, Ryan Mango at 63 kg, Raymond Bunker at 72 kg, and John Stefanowicz at 82 kg. Nowry was a 2012 University World champion.

Based on success during the 2019 UWW Ranking Series, which included results from the 2018 Worlds and select international ranking events this season, 12 U.S. wrestlers will receive seeds in Nur-Sultan.

Earning No. 1 seeds are Dake, Cox and Snyder in men’s freestyle and Hildebrandt and Molinari in women’s freestyle. No. 2 seeds will go to Mensah-Stock and Gray in women’s freestyle, Burroughs in men’s freestyle and Coon in women’s freestyle. Securing a No. 3 seed in Greco-Roman is Hancock. Add in No. 4 seeds Gwiazdowski in men’s freestyle and Winchester in women’s freestyle.

The current U.S. World Team includes two Olympic champions, three Olympic medalists, four World champions (who have won a combined eight World golds), 11 World medalists (with a combined 27 World medals) and six Olympians.

There are 22 athletes who have competed in previous Senior World Championships, and another eight who will be wrestling in their first Senior World Championships.

Included on the roster are six past NCAA champions (with a combined 17 NCAA titles) and six WCWA women’s national champions (with a combined 14 WCWA titles).

That said, the rest of the World will be ready. Fans can expect that each of the Olympic weight classes will be filled with top stars, as many World and Olympic medalists from the non-Olympic weight classes will move into an Olympic weight class.

Earning a spot in the Olympics will be more difficult in 2020, as there will only be 16 athletes in each weight class for the Tokyo Games, down from 18-19 athletes in the Rio Games in 2016. That makes the 2019 World Championships even more important, because there will be fewer opportunities to qualify than in the past.

The USA looks to be strong at the Olympic weight classes, as U.S. athletes won nine medals at the Olympic weight classes at the 2018 World Championships. At the 2019 Pan American Games, which included only the 18 Olympic weight classes, the USA won 15 medals, including nine gold medals. Burroughs won his third career Pan American Games gold medal, an amazing achievement.

Each weight class will be contested over two days. The event starts with Greco-Roman, then moves on into women’s freestyle, and concludes with men’s freestyle.

U.S. fans can watch the live broadcast on Trackwrestling. For complete coverage, USA Wrestling, through TheMat.com and its other media platforms, will cover the 2019 World Championships start to finish. Nur-Sultan is 10 hours ahead of the U.S. Eastern Time Zone.

2019 U.S. SENIOR WORLD WRESTLING TEAMS

Greco-Roman
55 kg/121 lbs. - Max Nowry, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Ildar Hafizov, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
63 kg /138.75 lbs. - Ryan Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Raymond Bunker, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
77 kg/169.5 lbs. - Pat Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
82 kg/180.5 lbs. - John Stefanowicz, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
87 kg/191.5 lbs. - Joe Rau, Chicago, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC/Chicago RTC)
97 kg/213.75 lbs. - G’Angelo Hancock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
130 kg/286 lbs. - Adam Coon, Fowlerville, Mich. (New York AC/Michigan RTC)
National Greco-Roman Coach – Matt Lindland, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Manager of Greco-Roman Programs – Gary Mayabb, Colorado Springs, Colo.
World Team Coach – Bruce Robinson, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Personal/Club Coaches – Herb House, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Jason Loukides, Jacksonville, N.C.; Sean Bormet, Ann Arbor, Mich., Robert Smith, Chicago, Ill.,

Women's freestyle
50 kg/110 lbs. - Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
53 kg/116.5 lbs. - Sarah Hildebrandt, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/OTC)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Jacarra Winchester, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Jenna Burkert, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
59 kg/130 lbs. - Alli Ragan, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids/Hawkeye WC/OTC)
62 kg/136.5 lbs. - Kayla Miracle, Iowa City, Iowa (Sunkist Kids/Hawkeye WC)
65 kg/143 lbs. - Forrest Molinari, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
68 kg/149.75 lbs. - Tamyra Mensah-Stock, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
72 kg/158.5 lbs.- Victoria Francis, Litchfield, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC)
76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Adeline Gray, Denver, Colo. (New York AC)
Team Leader – Jim Bennett, New Caanan, Conn.
National Women’s Coach – Terry Steiner, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Assistant National Women’s Coach – Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, Colo.
World Team Coaches – Coleman Scott, Chapel Hill, N.C. and Troy Steiner, Fresno, Calif.
Personal/Club Coaches – Mark Perry, Iowa City, Iowa; Izzy Izboinikov, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Jermaine Hodge, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Aaron Sieracki, Colorado Springs, Colo., Brad Harper, Granger, Ind.

Men's freestyle
57 kg/125.5 lbs. - Daton Fix, Sand Springs, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC/Cowboy RTC)
61 kg/134 lbs. - Tyler Graff, Princeton, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC/NJRTC)
65 kg/143 lbs. - Zain Retherford, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
70 kg/154 lbs. - James Green, Lincoln, Neb. (Titan Mercury WC/Nebraska WTC)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Jordan Burroughs, Lincoln, Neb. (Sunkist Kids/Nebraska WTC)
79 kg/174 lbs. - Kyle Dake, Ithaca, N.Y. (Titan Mercury WC/Finger Lakes RTC)
86 kg/189 lbs. - Pat Downey, Cranbury, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC/NJRTC)
92 kg/202.5 lbs. - J’den Cox, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC/OTC)
97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Kyle Snyder, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
125 kg/275 lbs. - Nick Gwiazdowski, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC/Wolfpack RTC)
Team Leader – Jamie Dinan, New York, N.Y.
National Freestyle Coach – Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Manager of Freestyle Programs – Joe Russell, Colorado Springs, Colo.
World Team Coach – Jeff Buxton, Easton, Pa.
Personal/Club Coaches – Cody Sanderson, State College, Pa.; Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio; Reece Humphrey, Daton, N.J., Adam Hall, Raleigh, N.C., Derek Fix, Sand Springs, Okla., Mark Manning, Lincoln, Neb., Rob Koll, Ithaca, N.Y.; Bryan Snyder, Lincoln, Neb.

Doctor – Dr. Jason Holm. Edina, Minn.
Athletic Trainers – Corey James, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Rod Rodriguez, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Shelby Hoppis, Princeton, N.J.
USOPC Staff – Rob Skinner, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Mason Walters, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Other medical and support staff – Cyrus Poitier, Berkely, Calif., Fred Roberto, Marietta, Ga., Amy Murry, Olympia, Wash.

Referees – Sam Julian, Schuylkill Haven, Pa., Casey Goessl, Oscoeola, Wis.; Danny Blackshear, Oklahoma City, Okla.

USA Wrestling President – Bruce Baumgartner, Edinboro, Pa.
Executive Director – Rich Bender, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Associate Executive Director of Programs and Strategy – Les Gutches, Colorado Springs, Colo.
National Teams staff – Cody Bickley, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Jaimie McNab, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Corporate Partnership staff – Ryan Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Communications staff – Gary Abbott, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Mike Willis, Philadelphia, Pa.
Delegates – Paul Kieblesz, Middle Village, N.Y., Jose Campo, Poway, Calif.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE

Saturday, Sept. 14
11:00 a.m. - Preliminary Round (GR 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg, 82kg)
6:00 p.m. – Semifinals (55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg)

Sunday, Sept. 15
11:00 a.m. – Preliminary Round (GR 67 kg, 87 kg, 97 kg)
11:00 a.m. – Repechage (GR 55 kg, 62 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg)
6:00 p.m. – Semifinals (GR 67 kg 87 kg, 97 kg)
7:00 p.m. – Medal Matches (GR 55 kg, 62 kg, 72 kg, 82 kg)

Monday, Sept. 16
11:00 a.m. – Preliminary Round (GR 60 kg, 77 kg, 130 kg)
11:00 a.m. – Repechage (GR 67 kg, 87 kg, 97 kg)
5:00 p.m. – Semifinals (GR 60 kg, 77 kg, 130 kg)
6:00 p.m. - Medal Matches (GR 67 kg, 87 kg, 97 kg)

Tuesday, Sept. 17
11:00 a.m. – Preliminary Round (WFS 50 kg, 53 kg, 55 kg, 72 kg)
11:00 a.m. – Repechage (GR 60 kg, 77 kg, 130 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Semifinals (WFS 50 kg, 53 kg, 55 kg, 72 kg)
6:00 p.m. – Medal Matches (GR 60 kg, 77 kg, 130 kg)

Wednesday, Sept. 18
11:00 a.m. – Preliminary Round (WFS 57 kg, 59 kg, 65 kg, 76 kg)
11:00 a.m. – Repechage (WFS 50 kg, 53 kg, 55 kg, 72 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Semifinals (WFS 57 kg, 59 kg, 65 kg, 76 kg)
6: 00 p.m. – Medal Matches (WFS 50 kg, 53 kg, 55 kg, 72 kg)

Thursday, Sept 19.
11:00 a.m. – Preliminary Round (WFS 62 kg, 68 kg)
11: 00 a.m. – Preliminary Round (MFS 57 kg, 65 kg)
11:00 a.m. – Repechage (WFS 57 kg, 59 kg, 65 kg, 76 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Semifinals ( WFS 62 kg, 68 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 57 kg, 65 kg)
6:00 p.m. – Medal Matches (WFS 57 kg, 59 kg, 65 kg, 76 kg)

Friday, Sept 20.
11:00 a.m. – Preliminary Round (MFS 70 kg, 74 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
11:00 a.m. – Repechage (WFS 62 kg, 68 kg)
11:00 a.m. – Repechage (MFS 57 kg ,65 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 70 kg, 74 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
6:00 p.m. – Medal Matches (WFS 62 kg, 68 kg)
6:00 p.m. – Medal Matches (MFS 57 kg, 65 kg)

Saturday, Sept. 21
11:00 a.m. – Preliminary Round (MFS 61 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)
11:00 a.m. – Repechage (MFS 70 kg, 74 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)
4:45 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 61 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)
6: 00 p.m. – Medal Matches (MFS 70 kg, 74 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg)

Sunday, Sept. 22
3:30 p.m. – Repechage (MFS 61 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)
6:00 p.m. – Medal Matches ( MFS 61 kg, 79 kg, 86 kg, 97 kg)