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Olympians Provisor, Hancock make Greco-Roman team for world championships

Alan Vera (blue singlet) throws Ryan Epps in the final at 87 kg in the Greco-Roman tournament for a spot on the U.S. world championship team. (Photo courtesy Sam Janicki /

Courtesy USA Wrestling

The Greco-Roman wrestling team that the United States will send to October’s world championship meet in Olso, Norway will feature a pair of Olympians, three wrestlers with previous world championship meet experience and five wrestlers who will be making their first appearance at the world championship meet.

The 2021 U.S. World Team trials in Lincoln, Nebraska featured a display of veteran talent and some exciting young stars.

Two-time Olympian Ben Provisor of the New York AC qualified for his second world championship meet with an impressive two-match victory over Spencer Woods of Army WCAP at 82 kg. Provisor opened with a dominant 7-1 win in the first match, then kept good position on the way to a 4-2 win in bout two. Provisor wrestled at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and is now going to his second world championship event.

Tokyo Olympian G’Angelo Hancock of the Sunkist Kids at 97 kg is the only member of the four-athlete 2020 U.S. Greco-Roman Olympic Team who will compete in Oslo. Hancock stopped Senior Nationals champion Nicholas Boykin of the Sunkist Kids in two straight bouts, winning the first match 8-2 and the second match 5-0. This will be Hancock’s fourth world championships appearance, to go with his Olympic experience this year.

Another 2020 Olympian in the finals, Ildar Hafizov of Army WCAP will not be joining Hancock on the trip. His Army WCAP teammate Dalton Roberts qualified for his second Senior World Team with a three-match series victory over Hafizov at 60 kg.

Hafizov won a tight 4-3 match in the opener of the series, but Roberts rallied in bout two for a 5-3 victory. In the deciding third match, Roberts hits some big moves and secured a 9-0 technical fall to secure his spot on the Oslo team.

A third 2020 Olympian was in the 67 kg finals, but also did not win his series. 2019 Junior world bronze medalist Peyton Omania of the New York AC, who wrestles for Michigan State, surprised 2020 Olympian Alejandro Sancho of Army WCAP in the 67 kg finals series in two straight bouts. Omania scored a 6-3 decision in bout one and was able to win a tight 3-2 decision in the second round to secure his first Senior World Team berth.

Securing a third career world championship team berth was Patrick Smith of the Minnesota Storm, who needed just two bouts to defeat Benjamin Peak of the Sunkist Kids at 82 kg. Smith won a criteria 3-3 decision in bout one and held the edge in match two for a 6-4 decision.

Max Nowry of Army WCAP made his second world team, stopping Brady Koontz of Titan Mercury WC in two straight matches at 55 kg. Nowry won a pair of close battles, 2-1 in the first match and 3-1 in the second match. Nowry seeks his first World medal, after taking fifth at the 2019 worlds championships. This was a rematch of the 2019 Final X won by Nowry.

Earning spots on their first world championship teams were Omania, plus Sam Jones of the New York AC at 63 kg, Jesse Porter of the New York AC at 77 kg, Alan Vera of the New York AC at 87 kg and Cohlton Schultz of the Sunkist Kids at 130 kg.

Porter, who won the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 77 kg but did not compete in Tokyo because he was unable to qualify the weight class, will head to his first world championship meet. He defeated Fritz Schierl of the Titan Mercury WC in two straight bouts. Porter was dominant in his 9-0 technical fall in bout one but had to be sharp to win his second match, 9-7. Porter has been on past age-group World teams.

Vera, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Cuba, achieved his dream of competing for the United States at the world championships. Vera was able to get citizenship in time for the U.S. Olympic Team trials but did not win that tournament. Vera defeated Ryan Epps in two straight technical falls, 9-0 and 8-0

Schultz, a 1987 Cadet world champion and a three-time age-group world medalist, needed three matches to defeat Jacob Mitchell of Army WCAP at 130 kg. It was Mitchell, a past Senior Nationals champion, who opened strong with a 4-2 win in bout one. Schultz was explosive in bout two, an 8-0 technical fall. In the deciding third bout, Schultz shut down Mitchell for a 6-0 win. Schultz was an All-American at Arizona State last year.

Sam Jones of the NYAC, who has been a national runner-up a number of times, made his first Senior World Team with a two-match sweep of David Stepanian of the NYAC at 63 kg. Jones was in charge in match one for a 9-0 technical fall, and also scored often in his 10-6 win in the second match.

The world championship meet will be October 2-10.

2021 U.S. World Team trials
At Lincoln, Nebraska
Greco-Roman Championship Series

55 kg
1st – Max Nowry (Army WCAP) dec. Brady Koontz (TMWC), 2-0
Bout One – Nowry dec. Koontz, 2-1
Bout Two – Nowry dec. Koontz, 3-1
3rd – Dalton Duffield (Army WCAP) pin Jacob Cochran (Florida), 1:52

60 kg
1st – Dalton Roberts (Army WCAP) dec. Ildar Hafizov (Army WCAP), 2-0
Bout One –Hafizov dec. Roberts, 3-2
Bout Two – Roberts dec. Hafizov, 5-3
Bout Three -Roberts tech. fall Hafizov, 9-0
3rd – King Sandoval (Bandits WC) tech. fall Dylan Koontz (Titan Mercury WC)

63 kg
1st – Sam Jones (NYAC) dec. David Stepanian (NYAC), 2-0
Bout One –Jones tech fall Stepanian, 9-0, 2:01
Bout Two – Jones dec. Stepanian, 10-6
3rd – Dylan Gregerson (Brunson UVRTC) tech. fall We Rachal (Illinois RTC/Illini WC)

67 kg
1st – Peyton Omania (NYAC) dec. Alejandro Sancho (Army WCAP), 2-0
Bout One –Omania dec. Sancho, 6-3
Bout Two – Omania dec. Sancho, 3-2
3rd – Hayden Tuma (Suples WC) tech. fall Jesse Thielke (Army WCAP), 8-0, 1:08

72 kg
1st – Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) dec. Benjamin Peak (Sunkist Kids), 2-0
Bout One – Smith dec. Peak, 3-3
Bout Two – Smith dec. Peak 6-4
3rd –Jamel Johnson (Marines) dec. Michael Hooker (Army WCAP), 7-4

77 kg
1st – Jesse Porter (NYAC) dec. Fritz Schierl (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC), 2-0
Bout One – Porter tech. fall. Schierl, 9-0
Bout Two – Porter dec. Schierl, 9-7
3rd – Britton Holmes (Army WCAP) tech. fall Peyton Walsh (Marines), 14-6, 3:57

82 kg
1st – Ben Provisor (NYAC) dec. Spencer Woods (Army WCAP), 2-0
Bout One – Provisor dec. Woods, 7-1
Bout Two – Provisor dec. Woods, 4-2
3rd – Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm) dec. Tommy Brackett (Gator WC), 6-4

87 kg
1st – Alan Vera (NYAC) dec.. Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm), 2-0
Bout One – Vera tech. fall Epps, 9-0
Bout Two – Vera tech. fall Epps, 8-0
3rd – Tanner Hannah (Combat WC School of Wrestling) dec. George Sikes (NYAC), 4-3

97 kg
1st – G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist Kids) dec. Nicholas Boykin (Sunkist Kids) , 2-1
Bout One –Hancock dec. Boykin, 8-2
Bout Two – Hancock dec. Boykin, 5-0
3rd – Khymba Johnson (NYAC) tech. fall James Souza (Army WCAP), 9-0

130 kg
1st – Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids) dec. Jacob Mitchell (Army WCAP), 2-0
Bout One – Mitchell dec. Schultz, 4-2
Bout Two – Schultz tech. fall Mitchell, 8-0 in 1:00
Bout Three – Schultz dec. Mitchell, 6-0
3rd – Tanner Farmer (NYAC) tech. fall Donny Longendyke (Minnesota), 8-0, 2:03

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