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International bout order set for Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota; Read summaries of all 16 matches for Team USA

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Images of Team USA stars Helen Maroulis, G'Angelo Hancock and Kyle Snyder by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.


We are just one day away from the unique Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota, which will have a unique combination of high-level college wrestling (Oklahoma State vs. Iowa) and international wrestling (USA vs. International All-Stars).


The format and bout order for the international portion has been set. The international 16-match card will be held first on two mats, with eight matches on each mat, starting at 6:00 p.m. CT. That will be followed by the Oklahoma State-Iowa college dual meet.


We present the international bout order as assigned to each mat, with a summary of the pairings for each match. You can use this as a guide for watching the event, either in person at Globe Life Field, or online from the FloWrestling broadcast.


MAT A


#1 - MFS 61 kg – Daton Fix (USA) vs. Giusseppe Rea (Ecuador)


Right off the bat, we get Fix, who is planning to wrestle in both the international card and in the Oklahoma State vs. Iowa dual. Fix, a 2021 World silver medalist, puts on a great offensive show in freestyle, but he has been training mostly in folkstyle during the college season. Rea, who wrestled for Wilkes College, recently placed 10th in the 2021 World Championships. Rea will need to find a way to slow down Fix and keep the bout close in the early going.

#2 - MFS 74 kg – Jason Nolf (USA) vs. Mitch Finesilver (Israel)


Nolf is the bigger name in American wrestling because of his three NCAA titles for Penn State, as well as his performance at the Olympic Team Trials. However, Finesilver, who was a strong Div. I wrestler for Duke, has a deeper international freestyle resume. Finesilver was third in the 2021 European championships, and also competed at the 2021 Worlds in Oslo. Nolf has excellent freestyle skills, but Finesilver has also been improving since making the decision to compete for Israel. This could be an exciting match for the fans.

#3 - MFS 86 kg – Zahid Valencia (USA) vs. Noel Torres (Mexico)


Valencia won a Junior World silver medal in 2017 and boasts a 2019 Senior Nationals title. He reached No. 2 on the USA men’s freestyle ladder when he was runner-up at the 2018 Final X. Valencia won two NCAA titles for Arizona State and always had his focus on the Olympic level. Torres was 10th in the 2021 World Championships and placed third at the 2021 Pan American Championships. Torres was a 2018 NCAA Div. II national champion for Newman University.

#4 - MFS 70 kg – James Green (USA) vs. Dillon Williams (Canada)


Green has been the man for Team USA at 70 kg for a long time, making six World Teams and winning a World silver medal in 2017 and a World bronze medal in 2015. His Olympic quest has been challenging, as he does not fit easily at an Olympic weight. Williams is one of the most experienced of the international wrestlers on the card, competing at the Senior level going back to 2015. He has been on two Canadian Senior World Teams and won a bronze medal at the 2016 Pan American Championships.

#5 - MFS 65 kg – Joey McKenna (USA) vs. Kamal Begakov (Tajikistan)


Joey McKenna comes off a great 2021, where he was second in both the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and the World Team Trials. A two-time age-group World medalist, McKenna continues to advance on the Senior level each season. His opponent Kamal Begakov of Tajikistan does not have a wide body of work, but has been involved on some RTC cards here in the USA recently. McKenna has competed recently overseas, and should be sharp.

#6 - MFS 57 kg – Thomas Gilman (USA) vs. Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico)


This was a rivalry back in their college days, when Cruz was an NCAA champion for Lehigh and Gilman an All-American at Iowa. While Cruz was able to beat Gilman in folkstyle, that has not been the case in freestyle. Gilman has become one of the world’s best in freestyle, a World champion, Olympic bronze medalist and World silver medalist on his resume. Cruz recently transferred to the Puerto Rico team and will now appear in more international events under their banner. We will see how much Cruz has improved his freestyle game in this bout.

#7 - MFS 79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Nestor Taffur (Colombia)


Jordan Burroughs is amazing, somebody you want to watch every time he competes. Who else has one Olympic gold, five World golds and nine World and Olympic medals? When he moved up to 79 kg for the 2021 Worlds and reached the top of the podium, his added to a Hall of Fame legacy. Burroughs has committed to 79 kg, at least for the short term. His opponent is well known in the USA, Nestor Taffur of Colombia, who was an EIWA champion for Boston University. Taffur has competed in four Senior Worlds for Colombia and won a few medals at the Pan American Championships.

#8 - MFS 97 kg – Kyle Snyder (USA) vs. Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland)


Kyle Snyder loves to compete. He recently went to Russia to win his third Yarygin title, in his quest for continual improvement. He is so consistent, with an Olympic title, two World titles and a medal in every World or Olympic event going back to 2015. While we count medals, Snyder is more interested in getting better. He faces a veteran international opponent in Baranowski, who wrestled in the 2016 Olympics and has been as high as second at the rugged European Championships. Snyder tends to get stronger as the match goes on, so Baranowski will need to weather the storm early if he wants a chance to win.

MAT B

#1 - GR 97 kg – G’Angelo Hancock (USA) vs. Ahmed Hassan (Egypt)


The featured Greco-Roman match will be a fun one, as 2021 World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock will compete for Team USA. Hancock, a 2020 Olympian, has been No. 1 at this weight in the USA going back to 2017. Because he was so good, so young, Hancock has extensive international success but may not have reached his prime at all. Hassan has competed at the Senior World Championships and U23 World Championships for Egypt, an excellent Greco-Roman nation. Don’t be surprised to see some great technique and big scores in this bout.

#2 - WFS 62 kg – Kayla Miracle (USA) vs. Ana Godinez Gonzalez (Canada)


After winning a 2021 World silver medal and competing at the Tokyo Olympics, Kayla Miracle is a force on the Senior level. She has won a World medal at four age levels: Cadet, Junior, U23 and Senior. Her ultimate goal, World and Olympic champion, stands ahead of her. Her opponent is one of Canada’s best young talents, Ana Godinez Gonzalez, who won the 2021 U23 Worlds. Godinez was eighth at the 2021 Senior Worlds and won a NCWWC (NCAA-only) national title for Simon Fraser. This bout will show off two skilled wrestlers.

#3 - WFS 50 kg – Victoria Anthony (USA) vs. Madison Parks (Canada)


This is another bout with the potential for a ton of offense. Two-time Senior World Team member Victoria Anthony is well known for her explosive technique and is always fun to watch. A two-time Junior World champion, Anthony has battled with the best in the world for many years. Canada’s No. 1 at 50 kg is Madison Parks, who was seventh at the 2021 Senior Worlds and has been competing at the Senior level since 2013. Parks has competed and trained often in the USA, so these athletes will know each other’s styles.

#4 - WFS 53 kg – Jacarra Winchester (USA) vs. Dom Parrish (USA)


Technically, this an all-USA bout, but Winchester was on the USA team for the Bout at the Ballpark, and Parrish agreed to compete with her after Mongolia pulled out. As a 2019 World champion and 2020 Olympic team member, Winchester has set the standard in the USA in recent seasons. Parrish was third at the 2021 Olympic Trials, won by Winchester. Parrish has made four U.S. U23 World Teams, so her international experience is extensive. This is a battle we could see more times leading into the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

#5 - WFS 76 kg – Victoria Francis (USA) vs. Justina DiStasio (Canada)


On paper, the International All-Stars could be favored in this match, with 2018 World champion and two-time World medalist Justina DiStasio stepping up to take the match with two-time World Team member Victoria Francis of the USA. DiStasio has won four Pan American golds. Francis has a vast resume of international achievements herself, and has the ability to win this match, especially if she can open up her scoring on the feet. This should be an excellent match.

#6 - WFS 57 kg – Helen Maroulis (USA) vs. Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada)


Helen Maroulis continues to raise the bar for U.S. women’s wrestling. The first U.S. women to win an Olympic gold medal in 2016, she became the first to win two Olympic medals with her bronze in 2020. Add in three World titles and much more, and she is already an all-time great. She has some of the best technical skills on the planet. Godinez Gonzales is a rising star on the Canadian team, placing fifth at the 2021 U23 Worlds. Godinez is ranked No. 1 among NCAA women at 123 pounds for Simon Fraser, where Maroulis was a college star almost a decade ago.

#7 - MFS 125 kg – Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) vs. Zach Merrill (Puerto Rico)


Two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski of the USA remains one of the top heavyweights in the world. Gwizz has changed training locations, moving back to his native New York at Cornell, after years at NC State. Regardless of whether Gable Steveson wrestles freestyle ever again, Gwiazdowski is focused on a return to the World podium. His opponent Merrill wrestled for California Baptist and Oklahoma in college, is also talented in Greco-Roman, and has established himself on Team Puerto Rico at heavyweight.

#8 - MFS 92 kg – Kollin Moore (USA) vs. Evan Ramos (Puerto Rico)


You might have missed the fact that Kollin Moore is coming off a strong 2021, placing second at both the U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 97 kg and the World Team Trials at 92 kg. To become No. 1, he will need to beat Olympic medalists and World champions Kyle Snyder (97 kg) or J’den Cox (92 kg). That said, Moore has two age-group World medals, and seeks one at the Senior level. His opponent Evan Ramos was a two-time Div. II All-American for Shippensburg and has represented Puerto Rico at the major events since 2019. It could be a good test for Moore.


If you can still make your way to the Dallas area tomorrow, tickets for Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota, are available at texasrangers.com/wrestling.


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