Monday, May 22, 2023

World Medalists Coon and Kikiniou among 10 to Advance to Final X with World Team Trials Challenge Tournament Greco-Roman Titles


By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | May 20, 2023, 8:53 p.m. (ET)

Adam Coon takes down Donny Longendyke in the 130 kg finals at the World Team Trials Challenge Tournament. Photo by Robbert Wijtman.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Senior World medalists Adam Coon (130 kg) and Aliaksandr Kikiniou (77 kg) were among 10 Greco-Roman champions from today’s World Team Trials Challenge Tournament at Discovery Canyon High School to punch their tickets for Final X.

Today’s winners will compete in Final X against the 2023 U.S. Open champion at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., June 10.

Coon, a 2018 World silver medalist, scored a 9-0 technical fall over Donny Longendyke in the finals. Coon advances to Final X to face Cohlton Schultz of the Sunkist Kids who defeated him in the U.S. Open finals in April. Coon had not wrestled until recently after pursuing professional football after the 2021 season.

Kikinou, a 43-year old who won a 2009 World bronze medalist for Belarus, recently received U.S. citizenship and was second at the U.S. Open. He won his finals today with a technical fall over Payton Jacobson, 10-0. He earned a Final X rematch against Kamal Bey who defeated him in the U.S. Open finals.

Kikinou was among three Olympians who were able to advance today to Final X, joined by two-time Olympian Ildar Hafizov at 60 kg and 2020 Olympian Alejandro Sancho at 67 kg.

Hafizov, a 2008 Olympian for Uzbekistan and a 2020 Olympian for Team USA, stopped Randon Miranda, 8-4 in the finals. He earned a rematch with Army teammate and 2023 U.S. Open champion Dalton Roberts in Final X.

Sancho did not have to compete in the finals, when Army teammate and 2016 Olympian Jesse Thielke did not wrestle in the finals match. Sancho will face U.S. Open champion Robert Perez III in Final X.

Two-time World Team member Patrick Smith won the title at 72 kg, with a 4-0 decision over Noah Wachsmuth. Smith returns to Final X to face rising young star Justus Scott, who defeated Smith at the U.S. Open.

Six World Team Trials Challenge Tournament champions qualified for Final X for the first time: Kikiniou plus Dalton Duffield (55 kg), Xavier Johnson (63 kg), Ryan Epps (82 kg), Zachary Braunagel (87 kg) and Christian DuLaney (97 kg).

Duffield, who was No. 3 on the Senior National Team last year, scored a 10-0 technical fall over 2022 U23 World Team member Camden Russell. He gets a Final X rematch with Brady Koontz, who beat him in the U.S. Open finals.

Johnson, a past National Team member, defeated two-time World Team member Sammy Jones in the finals, 7-4. Johnson, who started his career with the U.S. Marines and now wrestles for Army WCAP, draws 2023 U.S. Open champion Hayden Tuma in Final X.

Epps scored a tight 2-1 win over two-time Olympian Ben Provisor in the finals. He will battle 2022 World Team member Spencer Woods in Final X.

Braunagel, a student-athlete at the University of Illinois, used a 6-0 victory over Richard Carlson. Braunagel advances to Final X to face two-time World Team member Alan Vera in Newark.

Dulaney, who was a National Team member last year at 86 kg, has moved up in weight to make his first Final X. He defeated North Carolina student-athlete Cade Lautt in an 8-0 technical fall. His Final X opponent is two-time World Team member Joe Rau.

The World Team Trials Challenge Tournament will continue on Sunday with four women’s freestyle weight classes (55 kg, 59 kg, 68 kg, 76 kg) and three men’s freestyle weight classes (61 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg). Session times are 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. live on FloWrestling.

At Colorado Springs, Colo., May 20, 2023

Greco-Roman results

55 kg
1st - Dalton Duffield, Army WCAP, tech fall Camden Russell, MWC Wrestling Academy/New York AC, 10-0
Duffield advances to Final X to face Brady Koontz (TMWC/Dubuque RTC)

3rd - Billy Sullivan, Army WCAP tech fall Jacob Cochran, Army WCAP, 12-1

60 kg
1st - Ildar Hafizov, Army WCAP dec. Randon Miranda, Rise RTC, 8-4
Hafizov advances to Final X to face Dalton Roberts (Army WCAP)

3rd - Dylan Koontz, Dubuque RTC/Titan Mercury WC tech. fall Jonathan Gurule, NMU-National Training Center, 8-0

63 kg finals
1st - Xavier Johnson, Army WCAP dec. Sammy Jones, Sunkist Kids WC, 7-4
Johnson advances to Final X to face Hayden Tuma (Suples WC)

3rd - Dylan Gregerson, Brunson UVRTC tech fall Corbin Nirschl, MWC Wrestling Academy/New York AC, 9-0

67 kg finals
1st - Alejandro Sancho, Army WCAP forfeit Jesse Thielke, Army WCAP
Sancho advances to Final X to face Robert Perez III (Sunkist Kids WC)
3rd - David Stepanian, New York AC tech fall Joel Adams, The Best Wrestler, 9-0

72 kg finals
1st - Patrick Smith, Minnesota Storm dec. Noah Wachsmuth, New York AC, 4-0
Smith advances to Final X to face Justus Scott (Army WCAP)

3rd - Michael Hooker, Army WCAP dec. Jack Ervien, Viking WC, 4-2

77 kg finals
1st - Aliaksandr Kikiniou, California tech fall Payton Jacobson, Sunkist Kids WC, 10-0
Kikiniou advances to Final X to face Kamal Bey (Army WCAP)

3rd - RaVaughn Perkins, New York AC pin Jesse Porter, New York AC, 1:11

82 kg finals
1st - Ryan Epps, Army WCAP, dec. Ben Provisor, New York AC, 2-1
Epps advances to Final X to face Spencer Woods

3rd - Barrett Stanghill, Minnesota Storm dec. Tommy Brackett, New York AC, 6-4

87 kg finals
1st - Zachary Braunagel, Illinois RTC/Illini WC dec. Richard Carlson, Minnesota Storm, 6-0
Braunagel advances to Final X to face Alan Vera (New York AC)

3rd - John Stefanowicz, Navy WC dec. Timothy Young, Army WCAP, 4-0

97 kg finals
1st - Christian DuLaney, Minnesota Storm, tech fall Cade Lautt, Tar Heel WC, 8-0
Dulaney advances to Final X to face Josef Rau (Titan Mercury WC)

3rd - Nicholas Boykin, Sunkist Kids WC pin Brandon Marshall, Big Game WC, 0:43
advances to Final X to face Josef Rau

130 kg finals
1st - Adam Coon, Cliff Keen WC/New York AC tech fall Donny Longendyke, Minnesota Storm, 9-0
Coon advances to Final X to face Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids)

3rd - Brandon Metz, North Dakota dec. Darryl Aiello, Dubuque RTC, 4-0


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