Senior Pan Am roster finalized after late lineup changes, competition set to begin Thursday in Guatemala
by Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling
The 2021 Pan American Championships start up this weekend, and the United States is sending 29 wrestlers to the event in Guatemala City, Guatemala, including 11 Tokyo Olympians. Action begins on Thursday with Greco-Roman, while women’s freestyle starts on Friday and men’s freestyle starts on Saturday.
Greco-Roman, May 27-28
There have been some late lineup changes to the Greco-Roman squad at 67 kg, 72 kg and 77 kg. Xavier Johnson, who won the 2021 Senior Nationals at 72 kg, earned the right to represent at the same weight at the Pan American Championship; however, because Olympian Alex Sancho pulled out from competition, Xavier elected to wrestle at 67 kg, and his teammate Jamel Johnson, the Senior Nationals runner-up, will compete at 72 kg. The other change comes at 77 kg, where Olympic Team Trials champion Jesse Porter pulled from competition. Replacing him will be Olympic Team Trials runner-up Peyton Walsh. Xavier Johnson, Jamel Johnson and Walsh all compete for the U.S. Marines.
Another Marine in the lineup is Olympian and 2019 World Team member John Stefanowicz, who will wrestle at 87 kg. Only one other Tokyo Olympian will join Stefanowicz in Guatemala, as Ildar Hafizov, a multiple-time U.S. World Team member and 2008 Olympian for Uzbekistan, is set for 60 kg.
Others representing the USA include 2012 and 2016 Olympian Ben Provisor at 82 kg, 2021 Olympic Team Trials runner-up Braxton Amos at 97 kg, 2021 Senior Nationals champion Randon Miranda at 63 kg and Donny Longendyke, who was fourth at Olympic Trials at 130 kg.
The U.S. will not send a representative to Pan Ams at 55 kg in Greco-Roman as there was not enough competition registered at the weight.
Women’s freestyle, May 28-29
Five of the six USA’s women’s freestyle Olympians will make the trip to Guatemala, highlighted by five-time World champion Adeline Gray (76 kg), 2019 World champions Jacarra Winchester (55 kg) and Tamyra Mensah-Stock (68 kg), 2018 World silver medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg) and 2019 World Teamer Kayla Miracle (62 kg).
Winchester is the Olympian at 53 kg, but she won the 2021 Senior Nationals title at 55 kg, allowing her to choose which weight she wanted to go. Instead, taking the spot at 53 kg at Pan Ams is Olympic Team Trials runner-up Ronna Heaton.
Rounding out the team are 2021 Senior Nationals champions Maya Nelson (59 kg), Jennifer Page (65 kg) and Alexandria Glaude (72 kg) and Olympic Trials fourth-place finisher Cameron Guerin (57 kg). Nelson, Page and Glaude all own age-group World medals with Nelson winning gold at the 2017 Junior Worlds, Page winning bronze at the 2013 Junior Worlds and Glaude winning bronze at the 2018 U23 Worlds.
Men’s freestyle, May 29-30
Four of the five Olympians in men’s freestyle are slated to compete this week, led by 2016 Olympic champion and two-time World champion Kyle Snyder (97 kg), two-time World champion Kyle Dake (74 kg), 2018 World champion David Taylor (86 kg) and three-time age-group World champion Gable Steveson (125 kg), who is making his Senior international debut.
The only men’s freestyle Olympian not wrestling at this event is 2017 World silver medalist Thomas Gilman. Replacing him at 57 kg is Olympic Trials runner-up Vitali Arujau, who is a 2019 Junior World silver medalist. Another Olympic Trials runner-up making the trip is Joey McKenna, who will wrestle at 65 kg.
Three 2021 Senior Nationals champions will suit up for the Red, White and Blue, including Shelton Mack (61 kg) and Nate Jackson (92 kg). Senior Nationals runner-up Alec Pantaleo will compete at 70 kg.
There was a late change to 79 kg as 2021 Senior Nationals champion Taylor Lujan had to pull out. Taking his spot will be 2019 U.S. Open runner-up Tommy Gantt.
2021 SENIOR PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
Guatemala City, Guatemala | May 27-30
U.S. men’s freestyle roster
57kg: Vitali Arujau (Spartan WC/TMWC)
61kg: Shelton Mack (NYC RTC)
65kg: Joey McKenna (Pennsylvania RTC/TMWC)
70kg: Alec Pantaleo (Cliff Keen WC)
74kg: Kyle Dake (Spartan Comabt WC/TMWC)
79kg: Tommy Gantt (Wolfpack RTC/TMWC)
86kg: David Taylor (Nittany Lion WC/TMWC)
92kg: Nate Jackson (NJ RTC/NYAC)
97kg: Kyle Snyder (Nittany Lion WC/TMWC)
125kg: Gable Steveson (Gopher WC RTC)
National Coach: Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo.
National Coach: Joe Russell, Colorado Springs, Colo.
U.S. Greco-Roman roster
60kg: Ildar Hafizov (U.S. Army WCAP)
63kg: Randon Miranda (Rise RTC)
67kg: Xavier Johnson (U.S. Marines)
72kg: Jamel Johnson (U.S. Marines)
77kg: Peyton Walsh (U.S. Marines)
82kg: Ben Provisor (NYAC)
87kg: John Stefanowicz (U.S. Marines)
97kg: Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC)
130kg: Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm)
National Coach: Matt Lindland, Colorado Springs, CO
Coach: Herb House, Castle Rock, CO
U.S. women’s freestyle roster
50kg: Sarah Hildebrandt (USOPTC/NYAC)
53kg: Ronna Heaton (Wisconsin RTC/Sunkist Kids)
55kg: Jacarra Winchester (USOPTC/TMWC)
57kg: Cameron Guerin (McKendree Bearcat WC/TMWC)
59kg: Maya Nelson (USOPTC/Sunkist Kids)
62kg: Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids)
65kg: Jen Page (Nittany Lion WC/TMWC)
68kg: Tamyra Mensah-Stock (USOPTC/TMWC)
72kg: Alexandria Glaude (Beaver Dam RTC/TMWC)
76kg: Adeline Gray (Beaver Dam RTC/NYAC)
National Coach: Terry Steiner, Colorado Springs, CO
National Coach: Clarissa Chun, Colorado Springs, CO
Medical: Dr. Adam Susmarski, Dubuque, Iowa
ATC: Joseph Moore, Waco, Texas
Communications: Taylor Miller, Colorado Springs, CO
Official: Jason Babi, Centennial, Colo.
Official: Tim Pierson, Virginia Beach, Va.
Official: Richard Tucci, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Team Leader: Rich Tavoso, New York, N.Y.
Schedule (Central Time)
Thursday, May 27
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (GR 55, 60, 63, 67, 72, 97, 130 kg)
5:30 p.m. – Opening Ceremony
6 p.m. – Finals (GR 55, 60, 63, 67, 72, 97, 130 kg)
Friday, May 28
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (GR 77, 82, 87; WFS 55, 59, 65, 72 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (GR 77, 82, 87; WFS 55, 59, 65, 72 kg)
Saturday, May 29
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (WFS 50, 53, 57, 62, 68, 76; MFS 79, 92 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (WFS 50, 53, 57, 62, 68, 76; MFS 79, 92 kg)
Sunday, May 30
11 a.m. – Qualification rounds (57, 61, 65, 70, 74, 86, 97, 125 kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (57, 61, 65, 70, 74, 86, 97, 125 kg)