Spencer Woods in action at the 2023 Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier in Acapulco, Mexico.
Justin Hoch, jhoch.com

Spencer Woods in action at the 2023 Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier in Acapulco, Mexico.

2024 U.S. Olympic Team TrialsUSAWInternationalOlympic Trials Preview

Olympic Trials Preview: Woods, Provisor, Stefanowicz among top competitors at 87 kg

by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling

In his best international performance to date, two-time Senior World Team member Spencer Woods powered into the finals of the 2024 Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier, which qualified the USA to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics at 87 kg. Woods also earned a chance to sit out until the championship series at the Olympic Trials, just two wins away from becoming an Olympian. Woods, who has won three U.S. Open titles, came through the Northern Michigan program before joining Army WCAP.

The field at 87 kg brings in extensive experience. Three past Olympians are in the Challenge Tournament, 2012 and 2016 U.S. Olympian Ben Provisor, 2020 U.S. Olympian John Stefanowicz and Mahmoud Sebie, who recently received U.S. citizenship after making the 2016 Olympics for Egypt.

Provisor has competed on two U.S. Senior World Teams and won three Pan American titles (one in freestyle). In 2023, Provisor was a runner-up at both the U.S. Open and Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. He earned a spot on the Senior National Team at 82 kg by winning his True Thirds match at 2023 Final X.

Stefanowicz, himself a two-time Pan American champion, was also on the 2019 Senior World Team. Stefanowicz won multiple Armed Forces titles for the U.S. Marine Corps. He placed sixth at the December 2023 Senior Nationals, third at the Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament and was the runner-up at 87 kg at the U.S. Open last April.

Sebie placed second at December 2023 Senior Nationals, falling to Woods in the final match. He is coming off of a silver medal finish at the 2024 Pan American Championships, held in Acapulco, Mexico, in February.

Add in 2023 U.S. Senior World Team member Zachary Braunagel, who won the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament and Final X last year, and there should be fireworks at the weight. Braunagel placed fourth at the December 2023 Senior Nationals and third at the 2023 U.S. Open. He was the 87 kg representative for Team USA at the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Payton Jacobson, a two-time age-group World Team member, looks to make the jump to 87 kg following a top finish at the 2023 Bill Farrell Memorial International at 77 kg, which qualified him for the Olympic Trials. Jacobson’s first international event at this new weight was Thor Masters, where he finished ninth in a tough field of top international stars.

Another top athlete at 87 kg is Timothy Young, who was a 2022 Final X runner-up, won the 2023 Bill Farrell International to qualify for the Trials. Young placed fourth at both the 2023 U.S. Open and Senior World Team Trials Challenge Tournament.

Ryan Epps, a 2023 Final X runner-up behind Woods, qualified for the field through the Armed Forces Championships. Epps is a Senior National Team member at 82 kg, and 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial International runner-up.

Richard Carlson, who placed in his first U.S. Open back in 2017, is a Senior National Team member and was third at the Senior Nationals. Carlson was a 2014 U20 World Team member and finished as the runner-up at the 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial International.

At the Last Chance Olympic Team Trials Qualifier, Fritz Schierl finished atop the podium to round out the field at 87 kg. Schierl was the runner-up at the 2021 Senior World Team Trials and finished third at the 2022 Bill Farrell Memorial International.

While weight classes and final athlete registrations are not finalized until the completion of weigh-ins, this cast of 10 wrestlers is the expected 87 kg field for the Olympic Trials.

Fans looking to attend the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in person can still purchase all session tickets and single session tickets through Ticketmaster.

For those unable to grab a ticket, fear not—all the action from Bryce Jordan Center will be broadcast by NBC properties, April 19-20. The Friday and Saturday evening sessions will be televised on USA Network. NBC’s streaming platform Peacock will host live streams of each mat throughout the competition.

Complete brackets and live results for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will be hosted on Trackwrestling.com. Fans can also follow @usawrestling on the various social media platforms for regular updates throughout the event.

For more information about the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, please visit usawrestlingevents.com.

2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials Wrestling | April 19-20, Bryce Jordan Center, State College, Pa.

Event Schedule

10 a.m. (ET) – Challenge tournament prelims, quarterfinals, consolations

6:30 p.m. (ET) – Challenge tournament semifinals, finals

10 a.m. (ET) – Championship series round one (all weights), championship series round two (GR 60-67-77 kg, MFS 57-65 kg), challenge tournament consolations, true third (if necessary)

6:30 p.m. (ET) –Championship series round two, championship series round three (if necessary)

Greco-Roman 87 kg

Best of Three Championship Series

2024 Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier finalist - Spencer Woods (U.S. Army WCAP)

Challenge Tournament participants

2023 World Team member – Zachary Braunagel (Illini WC/Illinois RTC)

2020 Olympic Team member – John Stefanowicz (Navy WC)

2021 World Team member 82 kg – Ben Provisor (New York AC)

2023 Bill Farrell champion 77 kg – Payton Jacobson (Sunkist Kids)

2023 Bill Farrell champion – Timothy Young (U.S. Army WCAP)

Dec. 2023 Senior Nationals runner-up – Mahmoud Sebie (Florida)

Dec. 2023 Senior Nationals third place – Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm)

2024 Armed Forces Greco-Roman runner-up - Ryan Epps (U.S. Army WCAP)

2024 Final Olympic Trials Qualifier champion – Fritz Schierl (Minnesota Storm)