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Olympians Hafizov, Sancho, Hancock, Provisor reach Greco-Roman finals series at World Team Trials

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Max Nowry of Army WCAP locks up Dalton Duffield of Army WCAP in the 55 kg semifinals. Photo by Austin Bernard.

There were 10 spots on the U.S. Senior World Team in Greco-Roman up for grabs this weekend at the World Team Trials at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. The finalists were set in each of these weight classes during a competitive semifinal round on Saturday night.

Advancing into the best-of-three Championship Series on Saturday afternoon are four past Olympians: 2020 Tokyo Olympians Ildar Hafizov of Army WCAP at 60 kg, Alejandro Sancho of Army WCAP at 67 kg and G’Angelo Hancock of the Sunkist Kids at 97 kg, plus 2012 and 2016 Olympian Ben Provisor at 82 kg.

All will compete in a best-of-three Championship Series on Sunday afternoon, with winners advancing to the Senior World Championships in Oslo, Norway, October 2-10.

Hafizov, who scored a 10-0 technical fall over King Sandoval in the semifinals, will battle Army WCAP teammate Dalton Roberts in the finals, who is also a past Senior World Team member, a winner over Randon Miranda of Rise RTC, 9-5.

Sancho won a competitive 6-5 decision in his semifinals match over 2019 Junior World bronze medalist Alston Nutter of the Sunkist Kids, 6-5. He will face another 2019 Junior World bronze medalist Peyton Omania of the NYAC, who impressively stopped 2016 Olympic Jesse Thielke of Army WCAP in a 9-0 technical fall.

Hancock, who was the American that won a Greco-Roman match at the Tokyo Games, advanced with a 7-2 win over Khymba Johnson of the NYAC. He will face rising young star Nicholas Boykin of the Sunkist Kids, who defeated past Senior Nationals champion Lucas Sheridan of Army WCAP, 3-1.

Provisor, who has competed at a number of different weight classes during his career, secured a 9-0 technical fall win in the semifinals over Richard Carlson. His opponent is past Senior Nationals champion Spencer Woods of Army WCAP, also a winner by technical fall in the finals.

Two other past Senior World Team members Max Nowry of Army WCAP at 55 kg and Patrick Smith of the Minnesota Storm at 72 kg were also among those reaching the finals.

Nowry, who was fifth at the 2019 World Championships scored an 8-0 technical fall over Dalton Duffield of Army WCAP in the semifinals. His opponent will be Brady Koontz of Titan Mercury WC, who also had a technical fall win in the semifinals. Nowry beat Koontz in Final X in 2019 to make the World Team that year.

Smith, who has made two Senior World Teams, beat Michael Hooker of Army WCAP in his semifinals, 4-0. He will battle the explosive Benjamin Peak of the Sunkist Kids in the finals, who had a technical fall win in his semifinal.

Alan Vera, the naturalized U.S. citizen from Cuba, is one step closer to reaching his dream of competing for the United States at the World Championships. Vera reached the 86 kg finals with a 7-3 win over Dan Olson of the Combat WC School of Wrestling. His finals opponent is Ryan Epps of the Minnesota Storm.

It is the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001 attack on the United States, and members of the military and first responders were honored prior to the start of the finals. Four members of U.S. Army WCAP program were able to reach the gold-medal finals : Hafizov, Sancho, Nowry and Jacob Mitchell at 130 kg.

Mitchell will battle past Cadet World champion Cohlton Schultz in the championship finals after both won their semifinal matches.

Other pairings for the finals include Sam Jones of NYAC against David Stepanian of NYAC in the 63 kg finals, and 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials champion Jesse Porter of NYAC against Fritz Schierl of NYAC in the 77 kg finals.

All of Sunday’s action will be live on FloWrestling. Consolation rounds are set for 10:00 a.m. CT and the Championship Series begins at 2:00 p.m. CT

Greco-Roman semifinal results

55 kg - Max Nowry (Army WCAP) vs, Brady Koontz (TMWC)

60 kg - Ildar Hafizov (Army WCAP) vs. Dalton Roberts (Army WCAP)

63 kg - Sam Jones (NYAC) vs. David Stepanian (NYAC)

67 kg - Alejandro Sancho (Army WCAP) vs. Peyton Omania (NYAC)

72 kg - Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) vs. Benjamin Peak (Sunkist Kids)

77 kg - Jesse Porter (NYAC) vs. Fritz Schierl (NYAC)

82 kg - Ben Provisor (NYAC) vs. Spencer Woods (Army WCAP)

87 kg - Alan Vera (NYAC) vs. Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm)

97 kg - G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist Kids) vs. Nicholas Boykin (Sunkist Kids)

130 kg - Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids) vs. Jacob Mitchell (Army WCAP)

Greco-Roman semifinal results

55 kg

Max Nowry (Army WCAP) tech. fall Dalton Duffield (Army WCAP), 8-0, 1:15

Brady Koontz (TMWC) tech. fall Billy Sullivan (Legends of Gold Las Vegas), 8-0, 2:21

60 kg

Ildar Hafizov (Army WCAP) tech. fall King Sandoval (Bandits WC), 10-0, 1:15

Dalton Roberts (Army WCAP) dec. Randon Miranda (Rise RTC), 9-5

63 kg

Sam Jones (NYAC) tech. fall We Rachel (Illinois RTC/Illini WC), 9-0, 1:58

David Stepanian (NYAC) dec. Dylan Gregerson (Brunson UVRTC), 4-4

67 kg

Alejandro Sancho (Army WCAP) dec. Alston Nutter (Sunkist Kids), 6-5

Peyton Omania (NYAC) tech. fall Jesse Thielke (Army WCAP), 9-0, 4:52

72 kg

Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) dec. Michael Hooker (Army WCAP), 4-0

Benjamin Peak (Sunkist Kids) tech. fall Jamel Johnson (Marines), 8-0, 0:41

77 kg

Jesse Porter (NYAC) dec. Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm), 6-5

Fritz Schierl (NYAC) dec. Zachary Grimes (NYAC), 4-0

82 kg

Ben Provisor (NYAC) tech. fall Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm), 9-0, 5:58

Spencer Woods (Army WCAP) tech. fall Tommy Bracket (Gator WC), 9-0, 5:43

87 kg

Alan Vera (NYAC) dec.Dan Olsen (Combat WC School of Wrestling), 7-3

Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm) dec. George Sikes (NYAC), 5-3

97 kg

G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist Kids) dec. Khymba Johnson (NYAC), 7-2

Nicholas Boykin (Sunkist Kids) dec. Lucas Sheridan (Army WCAP), 3-1

130 kg

Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids) dec. Tanner Farmer (NYAC), 5-0

Jacob Mitchell (Army WCAP) dec. Donny Longendyke (Minnesota), 4-1