Half of the Greco Olympic team must still qualify spots before Paris

Updated: April 17, 2024

The following is a look at which wrestlers will be making the biggest impact at the six weight classes in Greco-Roman at the 2024 Olympic Trials, held April 19-20 in State College, Pa.

A Challenge Tournament will take place on Friday with the top finishers advancing to Saturday’s Best-of-3 Championship Series. The lone exceptions are the weights where individuals qualified the weight at the 2024 Pan Am Olympic Qualifier earlier this year and earned an automatic spot in the Championship Series.

Once the team is set, the winners of three weight classes — 60 kilos, 67 kilos and 77 kilos — will have to qualify the weight class for Team USA in a final qualifier, May 19-21, in Istanbul, Turkey.

WIN Magazine will provide updates from State College as well as present a comprehensive look back at the Trials in the next issue of WIN, which will be printed on May 1. Click here or call 888-305-0606 to subscribe.

60 kilos / 132 pounds

  • Ildar Hafizov (U.S. Army WCAP) will be shooting to make his third Olympic team; first with his native Uzbekistan in 2008 and a second for the United States in 2021; seven years after he emigrated to this country in 2014. Along the way, the 36-year-old has represented Team USA in four World Championships (2017, 2019, 2022 and 2023) with his highest finish (10th) coming in 2022.

    Ildar Hafizov (left)

  • Dalton Roberts (U.S. Army WCAP), a 27-year-old native of Fowlerville, Mich., has represented Team USA in 2018 and 2021 (when he finished 12th) and came up short against Hafizov in the 2023 World Team Trials. Roberts also competed in four age-group World Championships: Juniors in 2015 and 2016 (8th): and U23 in 2017 (9th) and 2019.
  • Hayden Tuma (New York AC), 28, is still trying to make his first Olympic/World team on the Senior level after the native of Boise, Idaho, represented Team USA in two Cadet Worlds (2011 and 2012) and two Junior Worlds (2013 and 2015). He reached Final X in 2023 but lost to Xavier Johnson.
  • Max Black (NMU-National Training Center) is currently a junior at Northern Michigan, a training center for Greco-Roman wrestlers. The native of Castle Rock, Colo., has represented Team USA in the last two U20 World Championships.
  • Randon Miranda (California RTC), 27, is also trying to his first World/Olympic team on the Senior level after competing in two Junior Worlds (2016, when the native of Palmdale, Calif., placed seventh, and 2017) and the 2018 U23 Worlds.
  • Sammy Jones (Sunkist Kids WC), 30, is from Folsom, La., and represented Team USA in the 2021 World Championships at 63 kilos.

67 kilos/147.5 pounds

  • Alejandro Sancho (U.S. Army WCAP), a 30-year-old native of Miami, Fla., will be shooting to make his second Olympic team after finishing 10th in Tokyo in 2021. He also has represented Team USA in the last two World Championships, finishing 11th in 2022 and 12th last fall. Sancho also competed in the 2014 Junior Worlds and 2017 U23 Worlds.

    Alejandro Sancho (right)

  • Peyton Omania (Michigan WC/ New York AC), who wrestles at Michigan State, is a native of Concord, Calif. and has had most of his success in Greco-Roman, especially in 2019 when he claimed a bronze medal at the 2019 Junior Worlds and in 2021 when he competed in the Senior Worlds. He also wrestled in pair of U23 Worlds in 2019 and 2022 (when he claimed seventh place).
  • Robert Perez III (Sunkist Kids WC), a 20-year-old from Colorado Springs, has spent the past five years wrestling in age-group World Championships: 2019 Cadet (13th), 2022 U20 (7th) and 2023 U23 Worlds (11th).
  • David Stepanian (New York AC) is a graduate student at Northern Michigan and native of Macomb, Mich., who finished eighth in the 2022 U23 World Championships.
  • Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm), a 33-year-old native of Chaska, Minn., will be looking to make his first Olympic Team after coming in second at the 2016 Trials at 66 kilos and later representing Team USA in four World Championships (2017, 2019, 2021 and 2023, at 72 kilos).
  • Other Notables: There are a pair of past Olympians, Ellis Coleman (2012) and Jesse Thielke (2016), who were pre-seeded 7th and 9th, respectively. Coleman, a 32-year-old native of Chicago, made himself famous when he displayed a “Flying Squirrel” move in winning the second of two Junior World bronze medals in 2011. He also wrestled in several World Championships and came up second to Sancho in the 2021 Olympic Trials. Thielke, 33 from Germantown, Wisc., wrestled in four Junior Worlds before making two World Teams (2013 and 2018).

77 kilos/169.5 pounds

  • Kamal Bey (U.S. Army WCAP), a 26-year-old native of Bellwood, Ill., has been a mainstay at this weight in three of the past five years, highlighted by a seventh-place finish in the 2018 World Championships, before also competing in the 2022 and 2023 Worlds (10th). Bey first became a Greco-Roman hopeful in 2017, when he won a gold medal at the Junior Worlds.

    Kamal Bey (left)

  • Benji Peak (Sunkist Kids WC), 24, made plenty of noise in 2022 when he qualified to wrestle in both the Senior and U23 World Championships. The native of Elkhorn, Wisc., is currently a graduate student at Northern Michigan.
  • Aliaksandr Kikiniou (California) at age 44 is old enough to be the father of his Trials competitors. A native of Belarus, he wrestled in both the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. He also wrestled in six Worlds for Belarus and earned a bronze medal in the 2009 World Championships. Since becoming a U.S. citizen, he has served as an assistant coach at Poway High School and has two sons, Arseni and Aliaksandr, who also excel in wrestling.
  • RaVaughn Perkins (New York AC) defeated Patrick Smith to win the 2016 Olympic Trials at 66 kilos but failed to qualify the weight class for Team USA. The 31-year-old native of Omaha, Neb., did compete in the 2018 Senior Worlds.
  • Jesse Porter (New York AC) won the 2021 Olympic Trials but failed to qualify the weight class for Team USA. The 27-year-old native of Albany, N.Y., did compete in the Senior World Championships that year after competing in three straight U23 World Championships (2017, 2018 and 2019).

87 kilos / 191.5 pounds

  • Spencer Woods (U.S. Army WCAP) earned a spot in Saturday’s Best-of-3 Championship Series by reaching the finals of the Pan Am Qualifier earlier this year. The 25-year-old native of Kotzebue, Alaska, caught everyone’s attention when he finished second at the 2022 Final X at 82 kilos, but he still competed in the Worlds when Ben Provisor did not. Last year, Woods won Final X to earn a second Worlds appearance, but went 0-1.

    Spencer Woods (left)

  • Mahmoud Sebie (Florida) recently earned U.S. Citizenship after he represented Egypt in the 2016 Olympics at 75 kilos. The 31-year-old had hoped to try out for the 2021 Olympic Trials but retired to compete in Mixed Martial Arts.
  • Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm), a 29-year-old native of Arden Hills, Minn., has come a long way since representing Team USA in the 2014 Junior World Championships. After earning two NCAA Division III All-American honors at Wisconsin-La Crosse in 2017, he has been a consistent high finisher in World Team Trials, including second in 2023.
  • Zac Braunagel (Illini WC/Illinois RTC) is a redshirt senior at Illinois, who has qualified for three different NCAA tournaments before the native of Belleville, Ill., upset Alan Vera at 2023 Final X to earn a spot on last fall’s World Team.

Other Notables: John Stefanowicz (Navy WC) and Ben Provisor (New York AC) are past Olympians. Stefanowicz, the 31-year-old brother of freestyler Chance Marsteller, and a native of Fawn Grove, Pa., beat Joe Rau in the 2021 Trials, and finished 12th in Tokyo. This was two years after he also wrestled in the 2019 Worlds. Provisor, a 33-year-old native of Stevens Point, Wisc., represented Team USA in both the 2012 at 74 kilos and 2016 Olympics at 85 kilos.

97 kilos / 213.5 pounds

  • Alan Vera (New York AC) earned a spot in Saturday’s Best-of-3 Championship Series when he reached the finals of the 2024 Pan Am Qualifier earlier this year. Vera, a 33-year-old immigrant from Cuba, and now resides in New Jersey, has represented Team USA in two World Championships (2021 and 2022) at 87 kilos.

    Alan Vera (left)

  • Joe Rau (Titan Mercury WC) is a 33-year-old native of Chicago, who first won an NCAA Division III title for Elmhurst College in 2013 before he turned his attention to international wrestling. While he did compete in freestyle, finishing second in the 2017 World Team Trials, he won the 2016 Olympic Trials in Greco-Roman but failed to qualify the weight for the USA. Five years later, Rau finished second to John Stefanowicz at the Olympic Trials, but did come back to earn a spot on his third World Team in 2023.
  • Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC) took an Olympic redshirt this season at Wisconsin to focus on Greco. The native of Mineral Wells, W. Va., claimed a Junior World championship in 2021 and represented Team USA in the 2022 Worlds.
  • Nicholas Boykin (Sunkist Kids WC) is a redshirt senior at Ohio State and native of Murfreesboro, Tenn., who has competed at three age-group World Championships: 2019 Juniors and both the 2021 and 2022 U23 Worlds.

130 kilos / 286.5 pounds

  • Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids WC) earned a spot in the Best-of-3 Finals on Saturday after reaching the finals of the 2024 Pan Am Olympic Qualifer this year. The native of Ponderosa, Colo., has also excelled in college freestyle, earning four All-American honors for Arizona State, including a second-place finish in 2022. Born on the same day (Sept. 27, 2000) that Rulon Gardner won a gold medal for USA in the Sydney Olympics, Schultz finished second in the 2021 Olympic Trials, but has competed in the last three World Championships, finishing as high as 10th last fall. He also competed in six age-group Worlds; earning a silver in the 2019 Junior Worlds and bronze in 2018 Juniors.

    Cohlton Schultz (left)

  • Adam Coon (Cliff Keen WC/New York AC) won the 2021 Olympic Trials over Schultz but failed to qualify the weight for USA. The 29-year-old native of Fowlerville, Mich., did win a silver medal in the 2018 World Championships.
  • Courtney Freeman (U.S. Marine Corps) did not start competing on the Senior level until 2021 after he was an NAIA national runner-up for The Cumberlands and earned a spot at the Trials with a second-place finish at the 2023 Senior Nationals.
  • Aden Attao (Suples WC) became the future of U.S. Greco in 2022 when he earned a bronze medal at the U20 World Championships. He is a native of Boise, Idaho, and currently wrestles for Oregon State.