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Miranda, Jones, Koontz, Smith to battle for Pan American Championships Greco-Roman golds, Boykin to go for bronze

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Randon Miranda (USA) scores at the 2022 Pan American Championships. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors

ACAPULCO, Mexico – On the first day of the Pan American Championships, four U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers have either reached the gold-medal finals or are undefeated in their round robins with a chance to win a gold medal.

Advancing into the finals after winning their half-bracket are Randon Miranda at 60 kg and Sam Jones at 63 kg.

Miranda won all three of his bouts, including a tight 8-7 win over Joao Benavides Rochabrun of Peru in the semifinals. He opened with an 11-1 technical fall over Emerson Felipe Ordonez of Guatemala, then stopped Marat Garipov of Brazil, 7-1. He will battle Samuel Gurria Vigueras of Mexico in the finals.

Jones is in a weight class with just two athletes, so he will face Jose Rodriguez Hernandez of Mexico in the second session for the gold medal.

U.S. wrestlers who are unbeaten in their round robins and need just one more victory to claim gold are Brady Koontz at 55 kg and two-time World Team member Pat Smith at 77 kg.

Koontz opened with an 11-0 technical fall over Brandon Escobar Amador of Honduras, and won his second bout by forfeit. He must beat 2018 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Axel Salas Esquivel of Mexico in the second session to secure his title.

Smith won three matches in his five-athlete round robin, and will face Horacio Miranda of Argentina in his final round robin bout. He had technical falls over Cristian Mejia Tepen of Colombia and Angel Cortes Bonilla of Panama, and beat Eddson Olmos Gutierrez of Mexico, 4-2.

Nick Boykin has qualified for a bronze medal bout at 97 kg. He opened with a 9-0 technical fall over Luis Rivera Alvarado of Mexico. Boykin was defeated in the semifinals by veteran star Kevin Mejia Castillo of Honduras in an 8-0 technical fall. He will compete in a bronze-medal bout and will face Eduardo Gajardo Meneses of Chile for the bronze medal.

Two U.S. entries will not advance into the medal rounds.

At 130 kg, Tanner Farmer had an extremely difficult draw. He was defeated in his opening match by three-time World medalist Oscar Pino Hinds of Cuba. Hinds advanced to the gold-medal match, pulling Farmer back into repechage. He was defeated by 2017 World bronze medalist Yasmani Acosta Fernandez of Chile in the repechage round, 3-1 and eliminated from medal contention.

Hayden Tuma opened with a technical fall win at 67 kg over Mauricio Lovera of Argentina, then lost in the quarterfinals to three-time Pan American Championships medalist Diego Martinez de Leija of Mexico, 8-4. Martinez was beaten in the semifinals round, eliminating Tuma from medal contention.

The medal matches for the day one weight classes will be held at 5:00 p.m. local time, which is the same as U.S. Central Time Zone. All of the action is live on FloWrestling.


At Acupulco, Mexico, May 5, 2022

U.S. Greco-Roman performances

55 kg: Brady Koontz (Ohio RTC/Titan Mercury WC)

Round Robin

WIN Brandon Escobar Amador (Honduras), tech. fall, 11-0, 1:56

WIN Gemerson Moura Dos Santos (Brazil), forfeit

Vs. Axel Salas Esquivel (Mexico)

60 kg: Randon Miranda (Rise RTC)

WIN Emerson Felipe Ordonez (Guatemala), tech. fall 11-1, 3:36

WIN Marat Garipov (Brazil), 7-1

WIN Joao Benavides Rochabrun (Peru), 8-7

Gold Medal – Vs. Samuel Gurria Vigueras (Mexico)

63 kg: Sam Jones (New York AC)

Gold Medal - Vs. Jose Rodriguez Hernandez (Mexico)

67 kg: Hayden Tuma (Suples WC)

WIN Mauricio Lovera (Argentina), tech. fall 11-0, 2:38

LOSS Diego Martinez de Leija (Mexico), 8-4

72 kg: Pat Smith (Minnesota Storm)

Round Robin

WIN Cristian Mejia Tepen (Guatemala), tech fall 9-0, 1:58

WIN Eddson Olmos Gutierrez (Mexico), 4-2

WIN Angel Cortes Bonilla (Panama), tech. fall, 8-0 1:47

Vs. Horacio Miranda (Argentina)

97 kg: Nick Boykin (Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC)

WIN Luis Rivera Alvarado (Mexico), tech. fall, 9-0, 3:49

LOSS Kevin Mejia Castillo (Honduras), tech. fall 8-0, 0:52

Bronze Medal – Vs. Eduardo Gajardo Meneses (Chile)

130 kg: Tanner Farmer (New York AC)

LOSS Oscar Pino Hinds (Cuba), tech. fall 9-0

LOSS Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (Chile), 3-1