Team USA wins big against International All-Stars at historic Bout at the Ballpark
by Taylor Miller-Gregorio, USA Wrestling
Photo of Jordan Burroughs by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.
ARLINGTON, Texas – It was an electric night inside Texas Rangers’ Globe Life Field as Team USA took on international all-star teams in Greco-Roman, women’s freestyle and men’s freestyle in friendly competition, cheered on by more than 12,000 fans on Saturday night.
Bout at the Ballpark marked the first event of its kind as the international duals were paired with a college dual, featuring the two most storied college programs in the country, Oklahoma State and Iowa.
The U.S. women’s freestyle team won four of its five matches, taking on athletes from Canada as well as a fellow Team USA member.
The American wins included shut outs from two-time Senior World Team member Victoria Anthony at 50 kg and 2016 Olympic champion Helen Maroulis at 57 kg. Anthony took out Canada’s top-ranked lightweight Madison Parks, 10-0, in 3:49, while Maroulis, a two-time Olympic medalist, downed Karla Godinez, ranked No. 1 in the NCAA, with an 8-0 victory.
2020 Olympians Jacarra Winchester and Kayla Miracle each notched victories on Saturday. Winchester, a 2019 World champion, took on U.S. National Team member Dom Parrish at 53 kg. The pair have faced off in the past with Winchester winning by technical fall; however, tonight’s matchup resulted in Parrish closing the gap but a 5-2 decision for Winchester.
“Parrish was my workout partner for the Olympics. So, we had wrestled each other and she is my No. 1 competition,” Winchester said. “I think that was one of the best ideas because I went from teching her, to now she is catching up, which is only going to help propel me, make me work harder and that’s going to be better for America. We are building, and there isn’t such a big gap between No. 1 and No. 2.”
Miracle, who won silver at the 2021 World Championships, outlasted 2021 U23 World champion Ana Godinez of Canada, 6-5.
The International All-Stars team’s lone win came from 2018 Senior World champion Justina DiStasio of Canada, who defeated two-time U.S. Senior World Teamer Victoria Francis, 7-1.
The men’s dual consisted of 10 men’s freestyle matches and one Greco-Roman bout.
Starting off the night for Team USA, 2021 World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock showed off his signature “body lock or bust” approach to Greco-Roman. Facing Senior and U23 World Team member from Egypt Ahmed Hassan, Hancock used multiple throws, including a five-pointer, to cruise to a 13-3 technical fall win.
“I developed the motto ‘body lock or bust.’ I thank God, USA Wrestling and everyone involved for giving me the opportunity to show off what that motto means. Every time I get that opportunity, I’m going to show you what Greco really is,” Hancock said.
In men’s freestyle, Team USA won all 10 of its matchups by technical fall and without surrendering a single point to the all-stars.
Highlighting the night were wins from Olympic champions Jordan Burroughs at 79 kg and Kyle Snyder at 97 kg. Five-time World champion Burroughs defeated Pan American medalist from Colombia Nestor Taffur, 11-0, in 1:58. Snyder, who added an Olympic silver medal to his resume earlier this summer, took out European Championships silver medalist Zbigniew Baranowski from Poland, 12-0.
“The magnitude of this event, it was serious, and we felt it,” Burroughs said. “I would’ve preferred it if we would have wrestled Iran. I think that would’ve been in electric crowd. But regardless, I think this venue was pretty special. It will definitely be on the top of my list.”
Olympic bronze medalist and 2021 World champion Thomas Gilman defeated Puerto Rico’s Darian Cruz, 11-0, at 57 kg. The two were familiar with each other as Gilman has multiple freestyle wins over Cruz, while Cruz defeated Gilman in the 2017 NCAA finals.
Daton Fix, a 2021 World silver medalist, went 2-0 on the night, becoming the first athlete in USA Wrestling history to compete for Team USA and his university in the same day. In freestyle, Fix needed less than two minutes for a 10-0 win against Ecuador’s Guesseppe Rea. Later in the night, he defeated No. 3 Austin DeSanto of Iowa, 5-2, in the college event.
Other World medalists collecting wins in Arlington were James Green at 70 kg and Nick Gwiazdowksi at 125 kg. Green, who won bronze in 2015 and silver in 2017, dominated Dillon Williams of Canada, 10-0, and Gwiazdowski, a two-time bronze medalist, recorded a 10-0 win of his own against Zach Merrill from Puerto Rico.
Age-group World medal winners Joey McKenna (65 kg), Zahid Valencia (86 kg) and Kollin Moore (92 kg) all won by first-period technical fall with Valencia and Moore winning their matches in less than a minute over opponents from Mexico and Puerto Rico, respectively. McKenna earned a victory in less than 90 seconds over Kamol Begakov of Tajikistan.
2020 Pan American champion Jason Nolf came out on top at 74 kg, taking out 2021 European Championship bronze medalist Mitch Finesilver of Israel, 11-0, in 1:55.
All of Saturday’s matches are archived and available to watch on FloWrestling.
BOUT AT THE BALLPARK
Feb. 12, 2022 | Arlington, Texas | Attendance: 12,208
Team USA Women 14, International All-Stars 5
50 kg: Victoria Anthony (United States) df. Madison Parks (Canada), 10-0 3:49
53 kg: Jacarra Winchester (United States) df. Dom Parrish (United States), 5-2
57 kg: Helen Maroulis (United States) df. Karla Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 8-0
62 kg: Kayla Miracle (United States) df. Ana Godinez Gonzalez (Canada), 6-5
76 kg: Justina DiStasio (Canada) df. Victoria Francis (United States), 7-1
Team USA Men 44, International All-Stars 1
97 kg Greco-Roman: G’Angelo Hancock (United States) df. Ahmed Hassan (Egypt), 13-3
57 kg men’s freestyle: Thomas Gilman (United States) df. Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico), 11-0 3:13
61 kg MFS: Daton Fix (United States) df. Guesseppe Rea (Ecuador), 10-0 1:41
65 kg MFS: Joey McKenna (United States) df. Kamol Begakov (Tajikistan), 10-0 1:26
70 kg MFS: James Green (United States) df. Dillon Williams (Canada), 10-0 2:21
74 kg MFS: Jason Nolf (United States) df. Mitch Finesilver (Israel), 11-0 1:55
79 kg MFS: Jordan Burroughs (United States) df. Nestor Taffur (Columbia), 11-0 1:58
86 kg MFS: Zahid Valencia (United States) df. Noel Torres (Mexico), 10-0 0:57
92 kg MFS: Kollin Moore (United States) df. Evan Ramos (Puerto Rico), 10-0 0:50
97 kg MFS: Kyle Snyder (United States) df. Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland), 12-0 4:19
125 kg MFS: Nick Gwiazdowski (United States) df. Zach Merrill (Puerto Rico), 10-0 1:20