Photo of Benji Peak in 67 kg finals. Photo by Larry Slater.
CORALVILLE, Iowa – Benji Peak earned the Outstanding Wrestler award, and five other athletes captured titles on the first day of the 2020 Senior Nationals in Coralville, Iowa.
Without surrendering a single point the entire day, Peak claimed the Senior Nationals title at 67 kg, outscoring his competition 46-0 in five matches.
In the finals, Peak took on good friend Calvin Germinaro. Scoring a takedown, Peak took an early lead and extended it when Germinaro was dinged with a leg foul, resulting in two points for Peak and a chance on top in par terre. Peak capitalized with a big lift for four points and the title.
One of the most anticipated bouts of the entire day was the 87 kg final, where two-time U.S. World Teamer Joe Rau took on former Cuban wrestler Alan Vera.
Vera dominated the match, scoring two takedowns and capitalizing in a par terre opportunity with a gut wrench to win his first U.S. national tournament.
No. 3 seed Kendrick Sanders won the 77 kg weight class after a big day that included four technical falls out of his five matches. One of those tech falls came in the 77 kg against multiple-time World Team member Pat Smith.
Sanders scored an exciting four-pointer and rattled off two gut wrenches for an 8-0 win and his second national title.
Putting together an impressive day at 60 kg was Alex Thomsen, who navigated a tough and experienced bracket to get to the top of the podium. Seeded ninth, Thomsen took out No. 1 seed and 2016 Junior World bronze medalist Taylor LaMont in the quarterfinals, 10-4, and also registered two technical falls in the first half of his day.
In the finals, Thomsen, a University of Nebraska wrestler, edged out fellow NCAA wrestler Mosha Schwartz with a 5-3 win for the national title.
Other NCAA wrestlers winning titles were Nick Boykin (Ohio State) at 97 kg and Cohlton Schultz (Arizona State) at 130 kg.
Boykin defeated ASU wrestler and past Junior World Team member Chad Porter, 5-1, in the finals.
Schultz, a Cadet World champion and two-time Junior World medalist, held off a pin attempt from West Cathcart in the finals and collected a 4-2 victory for his second Senior national title in less than a year.
Check out FloArena for complete Greco-Roman results.
Greco-Roman finals results
1st - Alex Thomsen (Nebraska WTC) df. Mosha Schwartz (unattached), 5-3
3rd - Taylor Lamont (Sunkist Kids) df. Chance Rich (Roadrunner WC), 8-0
5th - Randon Miranda (New York AC) df. Dylan Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC), 9-0
7th - Brady Koontz (TMWC/OHIO RTC) df. Conor Knopick (MWC Wrestling Academy), 10-2
1st - Benji Peak (Sunkist Kids) df. Calvin Germinaro (Minnesota Storm), 8-0
3rd - Lenny Merkin (New York AC) df. Anthony Abidin (West Point WC), 10-0
5th - Nolan Baker (New York AC) df. Jessy Williams (New York Athletic Club), fall 0:31
7th - Jasiah Williams (CSU Pueblo RTC) df. Duncan Nelson (Unattached), 8-0
1st - Kendrick Sanders (NYAC) df. Pat Smith (Minnesota Storm), 8-0
3rd - Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm) df. Peyton Robb (Nebraska WTC), 6-1
5th - Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm) df. Zachary Grimes (SWAT), 9-0
7th - Fritz Schierl (TMWC/OHIO RTC) df. Eddie Smith (Dubuque WC), 9-0
1st - Alan Vera (NYAC) df. Joe Rau (Titan Mercury WC), 7-1
3rd - Zachary Braunagel (Illinois RTC/Illini WC) df. Marcus Finau (New York AC), 6-2
5th - Christian Dulaney (Minnesota Storm) inj. dft. Trent Munoz (Unattached)
7th - Lukas Poloncic (Minnesota Storm) df. John Hagey (505 Wrestling Club), 10-0
1st - Nicholas Boykin (Sunkist Kids) df. Chad Porter (Sunkist Kids), 5-1
3rd - Braxton Amos (Badger RTC) df. Jeremiah Imonode (West Point WC), 8-0
5th - Brady Vogel (Unattached) df. John Kent (Unattached), fall 1:47
7th - Denzel Mabry (Unattached) inj. dft. Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh WC)
1st - Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist kids) df. West Cathcart (NYAC), 4-2
3rd - Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm) df. Tanner Farmer (New York AC), 3-1
5th - Luke Luffman (Illinois RTC/Illini WC) df. Malcolm Allen (Legends of Gold), 8-0
7th - Zach Schrader (Unattached) inj. dft. Austin Emerson (Nebraska WTC)
Greco-Roman semifinals results
Alex Thomsen (Nebraska WTC) df. Chance Rich (Roadrunner WC), 8-0
Mosha Schwartz (unattached) df. Dylan Koontz (TMWC/Ohio RTC), 3-1
Benji Peak (Sunkist Kids) df. Nolan Baker (Alpha Wrestling), 9-0
Calvin Germinaro (Minnesota Storm) df. Lenny Merkin (NYAC), 16-8
Pat Smith (Minnesota Storm) df. Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm), 4-1
Kendrick Sanders (NYAC) df. Ryan Epps (unattached), 4-2
Alan Vera (NYAC) df. Trent Munoz (unattached), injury default
Joe Rau (Titan Mercury WC) df. Christian DuLaney (unattached), 10-0
Chad Porter (Sunkist Kids) df. Jeremiah Imonode (West Point WC), 2-1
Nicholas Boykin (Sunkist Kids) df. Braxton Amos (Badger RTC), 3-2
Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist kids) df. Tanner Farmer (NYAC), 4-3
West Cathcart (NYAC) df. Luke Luffman (Illinois RTC), 7-0