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Gross tops Fix, Velte stops Molinari, Peak beats Smith, as 15 World Team members set at Final X Stillwater

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Seth Gross comes out in a scramble with Daton Fix during Final X. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

STILLWATER, Okla. – Half of the 2022 U.S. Senior World Team was set, as 15 athletes punched their ticket to Belgrade, Serbia for the 2022 Senior World Championships, five in each of the three Olympic disciplines.

There were five weight classes which went the full three match, which is a high percentage for this event. In addition, four of the 15 champions will be competing in their first Senior Worlds.


The men’s freestyle team features three Olympic medalists, three World champions, four past World Team members and only one first-time World Team member.

Kyle Snyder continued to dominate the 97 kg weight class in the United States, with a two-match sweep over former Ohio State teammate Kollin Moore, both by technical fall. Snyder won the first bout, 11-0 and the second 12-2. It was a rematch of the 2020 Olympic Trials finals, also won by Snyder.

Snyder has won seven straight World or Olympic medals, and will have a chance to go for an eighth. He was, a 2016 Olympic champion, 2015 and 2017 World champion, 2018 and 2021 World silver medalist and a 2019 World bronze medalist.

2021 World champion Thomas Gilman will get to defend his World title after sweeping his finals series over Virto Arujau, both by technical falls, 12-2, and 14-2. Gilman has also been a 2017 World silver medalist. This was also a 2020 Olympic Trials finals rematch, which Gilman also won.

The other three men’s freestyle series went the full three bouts.

J’den Cox, a 2018 and 2019 World champion, will return to the World Championships after beating rising star Nate Jackson in three bouts at 92 kg. Cox won the first match 4-2, but Jackson powered back with a 3-2 win in match two. In the deciding third match, Cox shut down Jackson and secured a 3-0 win. Cox has also been a 2016 and 2021 World bronze medalist and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist.

Zain Retherford made his third Senior World Team which a tough battle against former Oklahoma State star Jordan Oliver at 70 kg. Retherford opened with an 8-3 win, but Oliver fired up the local crowd with a 5-4 win in bout two. In the last match, Retherford jumped to a 4-0 lead and held on for a 4-3 win.

It was a tough day for Oklahoma State fans, as 2021 World silver medalist Daton Fix was upset in three bouts by Seth Gross at 61 kg. Fix won a 5-5 criteria decision in the first match, but Gross came back with a tight 5-4 win in the second bout. In the deciding match, Fix jumped to an early lead, but Gross scored a takedown with 38 seconds left to take a lead, and added an exposure to win 9-5


The women’s freestyle champions were headlined by 2020 Olympic champion, 2019 World champion and two-time World bronze medalist Tamyra Mensah Stock, who easily dispatched college star Sienna Ramirez in the finals in two straight at 68 kg. Both were technical falls, 14-3 and 10-0. Mensah Stock has now made her fifth World team, along with her Olympic appearance.

2019 World champion and 2020 Olympic Jacarra Winchester of USOPTC/TMWC received the spot at 55 kg, after her opponent, 2021 World bronze medalist Jenna Burkert of the Army WCAP was injured in their second bout. Burkert, who had beaten Winchester in the 2021 World Team Trials series, won the first match 6-4. Trailing 2-0 in bout two, Burkert scored on a double leg, but when the athletes landed, Burkert remained on the mat and could not continue at the 2:24 mark. There was no third bout.

2018 World bronze medalist Mallory Velte overcame a bad cut on her forehead and a tough opponent in 2021 World bronze medalist Forrest Molinari in a three-match battle at 65 kg. Velte won a convincing 9-1 bout to open the series, but Molinari came back in match two for a 3-1 win. Velte opened up the offense in bout three with a 10-0 technical fall in just 1:33 to secure the team berth.

The women’s field included two athletes who have made their first Senior World teams, Abigail Nette at 59 kg and Dymond Guilford of USOPTC/TMWC at 76 kg

Nette stopped college star Lexie Basham in two straight matches, 12-4 in bout one and 8-5 in bout two. Nette was a two-time WCWA champion in college, and joined Army WCAP after that career was over.

Guilford, a two-time NAIA champion, beat two-time NCWWC champion Yelena Makoyed in two straight. boutsGuilford was dominant on her feet and had her offense clicking, winning the first match 10-5, the finishing strong with a 12-2 technical fall in bout two.


The Greco-Roman champions included four who made past World Teams, and includes a pair of Olympians, 2012 and 2016 Olympian Ben Provisor of the New York AC (82 kg Greco-Roman) and 2012 Olympian Jesse Thielke of Army WCAP (63 kg Greco-Roman).

Provisor faced Spencer Woods, who he also beat in the 2022 U.S. Open finals. Provisor had two big throws in the first match for an 8-0 technical fall. He came back to win 5-2 in the next bout. Thielke won a pair of close matches, beating 2021 World Team member Sammy Jones in two straight, 4-4 and 3-2.

Returning to the World Championships are past team member Max Nowry of Army WCAP (55 kg) and Cohlton Schultz of Sunkist Kids (130 kg). Nowry made a third World Teams, while Schultz is on his second.

Nowry beat Brady Koontz in two matches by the same score, 1-1 by criteria. The only points scored in both bouts were on passivities. Nowry was fifth in the 2019 World Championships.

Schultz, who was an NCAA runner-up this winter for Arizona, made a second straight World team with a two-match sweep over Tanner Farmer, 5-1 in bout one and 5-2 in bout two.

The new World Team member is Benji Peak at 72 kg, who won an exciting three-bout series against two-time past World Team member Pat Smith. Smith won the first match 5-3, but Peak rallied with two straight wins. In bout two, Peak edged Smith, 3-2, and he scored more in the 6-2 win in bout three.

The final 15 World Team members will be set in Final X New York at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Wednesday, June 8. This serves as the Beat The Streets Benefit for this year, raising funds for youth in the city.

Final X Stillwater Best-of-three Series
At Stillwater, Okla., June 3

Men’s freestyle results

57 kg MFS – Thomas Gilman (Nittany Lion WC/TMWC) dec.Vitali Arujau (Spartan Combat RTC/TMWC), two matched to none
Bout One – Gilman tech. fall Arujau, 12-2, 5:15
Bout Two – Gilman tech. fall Arujau, 14-2, 5:09

61 kg MFS –Seth Gross (Sunkist Kids) dec. Daton Fix (Cowboy RTC/TMWC), two matches to one
Bout One – Fix dec. Gross, 5-5
Bout Two – Gross dec. Fix, 5-4
Bout Three – Gross dec. Fix, 9-5

70 kg MFS - Zain Retherford (NLWC/TMWC) dec.Jordan Oliver (Sunkist Kids), two matches to one
Bout One – Retherford dec. Oliver, 8-3
Bout Two – Oliver dec. Rutherford, 5-4
Bout Three – Retherford dec. Oliver, 4-3

92 kg MFS – J’den Cox (Cliff Keen WC/TMWC) dec. Nathan Jackson (New Jersey RTC/NYAC), two matches to one
Bout One – Cox dec. Jackson, 4-2
Bout Two – Jackson dec. Cox, 3-2
Bout Three – Cox dec. Jackson, 3-0

97 kg MFS – Kyle Snyder (Nittany Lion WC/TMWC) dec. Kollin Moore (Ohio RTC/TMWC), two matches to none
Bout One – Snyder tech. fall Moore, 11-0, 3:37
Bout Two – Snyder tech. fall Moore, 12-2, 5:46

Women’s results

55 kg WFS –. Jacarra Winchester (USOPTC/TMWC) dec. Jenna Burkert (Army WCAP), two matches to one.
Bout One – Burkert dec. Winchester, 6-4
Bout Two – Winchester inj. dft. Burkert, 2:24
Bout Three – Winchester inj. dft Burkert, 0:00 (match not held)

59 kg WFS – Abigail Nette (Army WCAP) dec. Lexie Basham (Spartan Mat Club), two matches to none
Bout One – Nette dec. Basham, 12-4
Bout Two – Nette dec. Basham, 8-5

65 kg WFS – Mallory Velte (Beaver Dam RTC/TMWC) dec. Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids), two matches to one
Bout One – Velte dec. Molinari, 9-1
Bout Two – Molinari dec. Velte, 3-1
Bout Three – Velte tech fall Molinari, 10-0, 1:33

68 kg WFS – Tamyra Mensah Stock (USOPTC/TMWC) dec. Sienna Ramirez (Southern Oregon RTC), two matches to none
Bout One – Mensah Stock tech. fall Ramirez, 14-3, 5:56
Bout Two – Mensah Stock tech. fall Ramirez, 10-0, 4:37

76 kg WFS - Dymond Guilford (USOPTC/TMWC) dec.Yelena Makoyed (Cardinal WC/TMWC), two matches to none
Bout One – Guilford dec. Makoyed, 10-5
Bout Two – Guilford tech. fall Makoyed, 12-2

Greco-Roman results

55 kg GR - Max Nowry (Army WCAP) dec. Brady Koontz (Ohio RTC/TMWC), two matches to none
Bout One – Nowry dec. Koontz, 1-1
Bout Two – Nowry dec. Koontz, 1-1

63 kg GR - Jesse Thielke (Army WCAP) dec. Sammy Jones (NYAC), two matches to none
Bout One – Thielke dec. Jones, 4-4
Bout Two – Thielke dec. Jones, 3-2

72 kg GR -. Benjamin Peak (Sunkist Kids) dec. Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm), two matches to one
Bout One – Smith dec. Peak, 5-3
Bout Two – Peak dec. Smith, 3-2
Bout Three – Peak dec. Smith, 6-2

82 kg GR – Ben Provisor (NYAC) dec. Spencer Woods (Army WCAP), two matches to none
Bout One – Provisor tech. fall Woods, 8-0, 1:52
Bout Two – Provisor dec. Woods, 5-3

130 kg GR - Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids) dec. Tanner Farmer (NYAC), two matches to none
Bout One – Schultz dec. Farmer 5-1
Bout Two – Schultz dec. Farmer, 5-2

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