Smith, Augello and Ragan excel on first day of WT Trials; US Open finals set in MFS

Updated: April 29, 2017

Haley Augelo, a 2016 Olympian at 48 kilos, won the 53-kilo weight class in the 2017 World Team Trials. (J Sachs photo)

LAS VEGAS — Robby Smith (above left) and Haley Augello (right) represented the United States in last summer’s Rio Olympics and Alli Ragan later earned a silver medal at a non-Olympic weight in December, but none of the three were ready to slow down at the start of a new quadrennial … and all three won their weight classes on the first night the World Team Trials in Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle Friday in at the South Point Arena.

By winning both matches in the best 2-of-3 Championship Series, these three Americans made up three of the eight weight classes — four in Greco and four in women’s freestyle — that were decided in both styles on Friday. The final weights will be determined Saturday night and those winners will complete the American team in those two styles that will wrestle at the United World Wrestling World Championships in Paris this August.

Meanwhile, men’s freestyle was still competing in it’s U.S. Open at the same time as the Greco/Women’s Freestyle Trials and all eight finals are now set for Saturday night with the the winners earning at least a No. 1 seed in the Challenge Tournament of the men’s freestyle World Team Trials that be decided June 10 in Lincoln, Neb.

Brandon Wright (top), who wrestled at Grand View College in Iowa, defeated former Northern Iowa All-American Joe Colon in one of the semifinals at 61 kilos in the U.S. Open. (J Sach photo)

The following is a list of those finals:

57k/125 pounds — Tony Ramos vs. Nahshon Garrett

61k/132 pounds — Brandon Wright vs. Kendric Maple

65k/143.5 pounds — Frank Molinaro vs. Jordan Oliver

70k/154 pounds — James Green vs. Nazar Kulchytskyy

74k/163 pounds — Jordan Burroughs vs. Kyle Dake

86k/189 pounds — David Taylor vs. Richard Perry

97k/197 pounds — Micah Burak vs. Kyven Gadson

125/265 pounds — Zach Rey vs. Nick Gwiazdowski

In Greco, Robby Smith used an arm throw to pin Toby Erickson at 130 kilos to claim his third World Team spot and had no problem expressing his frustration with doubters about his future.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries, people thought I was done,” said Smith, who had only competed in one international tournament since last summer’s Olympics. “I had to prove that I still had it.”

In the three other Greco weights that were determined, Ellis Coleman, Cheyney Haight and G’Angelo Hancock also won their weight classes.

Coleman needed three matches to beat Alex Sancho for the 66-kilo berth on this year’s World Team. Last year was very frustrating for Coleman, the 2012 Olympian who finished fourth in both the Olympic Trials and non-Olympic weight Trials.

Haight, who stepped away from the sport for two years after qualifying for the 2011 World Team, will return to the Worlds after beating John Stefanowicz in two straight bouts at 80 kilos.

Hancock, who claimed a bronze medal in last summer’s Junior Worlds, earned his first Senior World membership when he edged former North Dakota State wrestler Hayden Zillmer at 98 kilos.

In women’s freestyle, both Augello and Ragan moved up a weight class. Augello, who wrestled at 48 kilos last summer in Rio, defeated former World Team member Whitney Conder at 53 kilos in two straight bouts while Ragan, a World silver medalist at the non-Olympic weight of 58 kilograms, dominated Francesca Giorgio in two straight matches at 60 kilograms.

Tamyra Mensah (right) beat Olympian Elena Pirozhkova for the 69-kilo championship,

The other two American women to earn a spot on this summer’s World Team were Mallory Velte at 63 kilos and Tamyra Mensha at 69 kilos. Velte, who lost to Jennifer Page at last December’s U.S. Open avenged that setback and beat Page in two straight bouts. Mensah, who won last summer’s Olympic Trials but was unable to qualify the weight class for the United States, rallied in the second period of both of her victories over nine-time World/Olympic team member Elena Pirozhkova, who moved up a weight class for these Trials.

The following are highlights of the Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle World Team Trials that took place on Friday:



66 kilos Championship Series

Match 1 — Ellis Coleman Colorado Springs, CO (U.S. Army) dec.. Alejandro Sancho Garden City, NY (NYAC), 4-3 — Just after Sancho cut the margin to 2-1 with 1:30 left after Coleman was called for passivity, Sancho was penalized two points for illegally

Match 2 — Sancho dec. Coleman, 2-1 — All the points were passivity calls with the second one in the second period keeping Sancho alive for a third match.

Match 3 — Coleman dec. Sancho, 2-1 — A passivity point against Sancho provided the winning margin for Coleman, who have to withstand a late attack by Sancho and had to wait for a video review to realize he qualified for the World Team.


80 kilos Championship Series

Match 1 — Cheney Haight Garden City, NY (NYAC) dec. John Stefanowicz Jacksonville, NC (Marines), 3-1 — All of Haight’s points came in the first period off a stepout and takedown. Stefanowicz received a passivitiy point with a minute left and nearly earned a throw, but slipped, as time expired.

Match 2 — Haight dec. Stefanowicz, 3-1 — Haight led 2-0 after one period then clinched the bout on a passivity call with 35 seconds left in the match.


98 kilos Championship Series

Match 1 — G’Angelo Hancock Garden City, NY dec. Hayden Zillmer Crosby, MN (Minnesota Storm), 6-4 — Hancock used a big five-point throw near the edge of the mat with two minutes left in the match and just moments after Zillmer countered a throw to lead 2-1. Zillmer’s final two points came off a pair of passivity calls in the final 1:28.

Match 2 — Hancock dec. Zillmer, 2-0 — Hancock scored both of his points off passivity in the second period. Zillman was first awarded a four-point throw in the first period before an official reviewed waived off the points.


130 kilos Championship Series

Match 1 — Robert Smith Garden City, NY (NYAC) dec. Toby Erickson Colorado Springs, CO (U.S. Army), 2-1 — All three points came from passivity with Smith receiving the final one with one minute left in the match. Smith also earned a passivity point in the first period before Erickson earned his with 1:53 left in the bout.

Match 2 — Smith pinned Erickson, 1:04 — The 2016 Olympian led 2-0 when he used an arm throw to put Erickson on his back and eventually scored the fall.


Women’s Freestyle

53 kilos Championship Series

Match 1 — Haley Augello (Lockport, Ill./NYAC) dec. Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) — Augello countered a double by Conder built an 8-1 lead with two minutes in the match before Conder rallied with six points in the final 1:15, first an arm throw for four points, then a throw by cut the margin to one with 40 40 seconds left.

Match 2 — Augello dec. Conder, 5-4 — Sixteen seconds after Conder scored a takedown to tie the bout 4-4, Augello clinched the match with a reversal after Conder tried to snap her back. A pair of takedowns gave Augello a 4-2 first period lead.


60 kilos Championship Series

Match 1 — Alli Ragan (Colorado Springs, Colo./NYAC) won by TF over Francesca Giorgio, West Lawn, Pa. (Burnaby Mountain WC) — Ragan used a chest to back throw for five points in the first 30 seconds then added three more takedowns to end the bout with 1:14 left in the first period.

Match 2 — Ragan won by TF over Giorgio, 10-0, 1:05 — Ragan’s first takedown led to three turns and six more back points then ended the match with a second takedown.


63 kilos Championship Series

Match 1 — Mallory Velte, Sacramento, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jennifer Page, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC), 10-8 — Velte’s gut after a third takedown gave her an 8-2 lead with 2:21 left in the match, then added a reversal 30 seconds later. Page added some late excitement when she threw Velte to her back for a four-point move as time expired.

Match 2 — Velte dec. Page, 2-2, criteria — Velte scored the deciding point with 1:16 left on a stepout by Page.


69 kilos Championship Series

Match 1 — Tamyra Mensah, Katy, Texas (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Titan Mercury WC), 4-2 — Mensah scored a takedown off a heel pick 20 seconds in the second period to provide the winning margin. Pirozhkova jumped out 2-0 off a defensive turn early in the first period before Mensah scored a reversal and pushout to end the first period.


US Open Men’s Freestyle Results

57 kilos/125.5 pounds


  • Anthony Ramos Scottsdale, AZ (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) dec. Nathan Tomasello Cleveland, OH (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club/Ohio Regional Training Center), 2-2 criteria
  • Nahshon Garrett Scottsdale, AZ (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) won by TF over Alan Waters Kansas City, MO (TMWC) 11-0, 3:33


  • Ramos Scottsdale, dec. Frank Perrelli Hackettstown, NJ (TMWC), 5-5 criteria
  • Tomasello dec. Nico Megaludis PA (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club), 5-4
  • Waters dec. Obenson Blanc Apex, NC (TMWC), 6-2
  • Garrett dec. Zach Sanders Minneapolis, MN (Minnesota Storm), 12-8


61 kilos/134 pounds


  • Brandon Wright Indianapolis, IN (RNO/ IPWA) ST dec. Joe Colon Clear Lake, IA (TMWC), 6-6 criteria
  • Kendric Maple Wichita, KS (TMWC) def. Cody Brewer Birmingham, MI (TMWC), 14-7


  • Wright won by TF over Johnni Dijulius Aurora, OH (TMWC), 10-0 1:06
  • Colon dec. Seth Gross Brookings, SD (Jackrabbit Wrestling Club), 16-12
  • Brewer won by TF over Daniel Deshazer Minneapolis, MN (Minnesota Storm), 14-3 5:17
  • Maple won by TF over Joshua Kindig Scottsdale, AZ (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club), 11-1 5:40


65 kilos/143.5 pounds


  • Frank Molinaro State College, PA (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club) dec. Jimmy Kennedy Garden City, NY (NYAC), 8-4
  • Jordan Oliver Scottsdale, AZ (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) dec. Zain Retherford PA (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club), 5-3


  • Molinaro won by TF over Mario Mason Easton, PA (Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club), 10-0 4:15
  • Kennedy Garden City, NY (NYAC) won by TF over Evan Henderson Cary, NC (TMWC), 12-2 5:46
  • Oliver dec. Kellen Russell Garden City, NY (NYAC), 6-0
  • Retherford won by TF over Nicholas Dardanes Iowa City, IA (TMWC), 10-0 2:16


70 kilos/154 pounds


  • James Green Willingboro, NJ (TMWC) dec.. Jason Nolf PA (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club), 9-8
  • Nazar Kulchytskyy Al Qassim (TMWC) won by TF over Alec Pantaleo Ann Arbor, MI (Michigan RTC), 10-0, 1:06


  • Green won by TF over Dylan Ness Minneapolis, MN (Minnesota Storm), 11-0 4:14
  • Nolf won by TF over Thomas Gantt East Saint Louis, IL (TMWC), 10-0 5:54
  • Kulchytskyy won by TF over Hunter Stieber Monroeville, OH (TMWC), 10-0 2:07
  • Pantaleo dec. Jason Chamberlain Springville, UT (TMWC), 8-6


74 kilos/163 pounds


Jordan Burroughs, Scottsdale, AZ (Sunkist Kids) won by TF over Kevin LeValley, Lewisburg, Pa. (Buffalo Valley) 12-2, 5:58

Kyle Dake, Ithaca, NY (TMWC) dec. Alex Dieringer, Stillwater, Okla. (TMWC), 3-0


  • Burroughs Scottsdale dec. Dan Vallimont Garden City, NY (NYAC), 6-0
  • Levalley dec. Chris Perry Stillwater, OK (TMWC), 3-2
  • Dieringer dec. Anthony Valencia Tempe, AZ (Arizona State University), 11-9
  • Dake won by TF over Vladyslav Dombrovskiy Colorado Springs, CO (U.S. Army), 11-0 3:37


86 kilos/189 pounds


  • David Taylor State College, PA (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club) won by TF over Nicholas Heflin Princeton, NJ (Princeton Wrestling Club), 15-4, 5:30
  • Richard Perry Garden City, NY (NYAC) dec. Bo Nickal PA (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club) 11-8


  • Taylor won by TF over Patrick Downey Linthicum Heights, MD (Unattached), 10-0 2:11
  • Heflin dec. Gabe Dean Ithaca, NY (TMWC), 6-3
  • Nickal won by TF over John Staudenmayer Scottsdale, AZ (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club), 10-0 3:33
  • Perry dec. Timothy Dudley Lincoln, NE (Nebraska Wrestling Training Center), 7-1


97 kilos/213 pounds


  • Micah Burak Colorado Springs, CO (TMWC) dec. Kallen Kleinschmidt Garden City, NY (NYAC), 4-1
  • Kyven Gadson Scottsdale, AZ (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club) won by TF over Nathan Burak Iowa City, IA (TMWC), 11-1, 4:09


  • Burak won by TF over SP Donald Mcneil Plainville, MA (New England Regional Training Center), 13-2 4:48
  • Kleinschmidt dec. Ty Walz Cleveland, OH (TMWC), 8-5
  • Burak dec. Blaze Cabell Fresno, CA (Valley RTC), 6-2
  • Gadson won by TF over Joshua Manu Annapolis, MD (Navy-Marine Corps RTC), 10-0 1:14


125 kilos/264.5 pounds


  • Zachery Rey Easton, PA (Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club) vs. • Anthony Nelson Minneapolis, MN (Minnesota Storm), 4-3
  • Nick Gwiazdowski Raleigh, NC (TMWC) dec. Dominique Bradley Scottsdale, AZ (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club), 6-4


  • Rey dec. Benjamin Durbin Gilbert, IA (TMWC), 4-0
  • Nelson dec. Justin Grant Garden City, NY (NYAC), 5-3
  • Gwiazdowski dec. Bobby Telford Des Moines, IA (TMWC), 4-1
  • Bradley won by TF over Nathan Butler Stanford, CA (Stanford – California RTC), 10-0 2:23