Army, Marines each win two duals in first session of Armed Forces Freestyle Championships

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Armed Forces Sports | February 26, 2017

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – The defending champion U.S. Army and last year’s runner-up team, the U.S. Marine Corps, went 2-0 in the first session, setting up a championship match in freestyle at the Armed Forces Championships on Sunday.

The Army entered the tournament with 15 straight Armed Forces titles in freestyle. Coach Shon Lewis’ Army squad was dominant in its two dual meets, beating the U.S. Navy, 33-1, then stopping the U.S. Air Force, 33-2. The Army won all 16 individual matches, with two pins and 14 technical falls

Against the Navy, the Army team scored one pin and seven technical fall victories. The pin was by Ryan Mango at 61 kg, a 43 second fall over Sean Donnelly. Navy scored only one point in the seven losses by technical fall, as the Army dominated from the opening whistle.

Against the Air Force, Army once again registered a pin and seven technical falls. Scoring the pin was 2012 Greco-Roman Olympian Ellis Coleman, who got the fall over Dakota Ball in 1:13 at 65 kg.

Army’s freestyle lineup is loaded with past college wrestling stars. Matthew Brown at 74 kg was a 2015 NCAA champion for Penn State. Ryan Mango at 61 kg was a two-time Div. I All-American for Stanford. Victor Terrell at 86 kg won a Div. II national title for Grand Canyon. Mike Fuenffinger won two Div. III national titles for Augsburg, while Isaac Dukes was a Div. III national champion for Case Western Reserve.

The U.S. Marine Corps won both of their early battles, handling the U.S. Air Force, 21-16 then putting away the U.S. Navy, 25-10

Against the Air Force, the Marines needed to come from behind in the upper weights for the victory. Trailing 16-13 after six matches, the Marines put together back-to-back 10-0 technical falls by Daniel Miller at 97 kg and Trent Osnes at 125 kg for the win. All five of the Marine Corps wins included bonus points, with technical falls also from Aaron Kalil (61 kg), Raymond Bunker (65 kg) and John Stefanowicz (74 kg). The Air Force scored a pin when Brandon Mueller locked up a cradle and stuck JayShon Wilson at 70 kg.

Against the Navy, the Marines won five matches with bonus points, getting a pin by Christopher Warren at 86 kg, and technical falls from Aaron Kalil at 61 kg, Raymond Bunker at 65 kg, John Stefanowicz at 74 kg and Daniel Miller at 97 kg. The most wide-open bout was at 71 kg, where Blake Borges of the Navy edged JayShon Wilson of the Marines, 12-11.

There are four returning Armed Forces champions in the freestyle tournament, three from the Army: Mango, Terrell, Vlad Dombrovskiy at 80 kg and Endhyr Meza at 125 kg. The other returning champion is Miller of the Marines at 97 kg. 

Three 2016 freestyle silver medalists are back this year, Bunker, Aaron Kalil of the Marines at 61 kg and Dukes of the Army at 70 kg. 

Two Army athletes remain in the hunt for a double title, which recognizes athletes who win both freestyle and Greco-Roman titles the same year, Ellis Coleman at 65 kg and Endhyr Meza at 125 kg. Coleman was the 66 kg Greco-Roman champion and Meza won his Greco-Roman title at 98 kg.

The final session of the Armed Forces Championships will be held at 1:00 p.m. ET, when the Army and the Marine Corps battle for first place and the Air Force and the Navy battle it out for third place. 

All of the action is broadcast live and free of charge on TheMat.com.

ARMED FORCES FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., February 26

ROUND ONE


U.S. Army 33. U.S. Navy 1
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – PFC Mike Fuenffinger (Army) tech. fall E-4 Michael Hollingsworth (Navy). 13-0
61 kg/134 lbs. – SGT Ryan Mango (Army) pin O-3 Sean Donnelly (Navy). 0:43,
65 kg/143 lbs. – SPC Ellis Coleman (Army) tech. fall E-4 Randy Bucsok (Navy). 10-0
70 kg/154 lbs. – SPC Isaac Dukes (Army) tech. fall E-4 Blake Borges (Navy), 12-1
74 kg/163 lbs. – 2LT Matthew Brown (Army) tech. fall E-5 Bobby Yamashita (Navy), 10-0
86 kg/189 lbs. –SGT Vlad Dombrovskiy (Army) tech. fall E-4 Daniel Mazzie (Navy), 10-0
97 kg/213 lbs. – SGT Victor Terrell (Army) tech. fall E-4 Afukeze Mua (Navy), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army) tech. fall E-5 Zachahria Manning (Navy), 10-0

U.S. Marine Corps 21, U.S. Air Force 16
57 kg/125.5 lbs. - SSgt Jeff Warra (Air Force) won by forfeit
61 kg/134 lbs. – 1st Lt Aaron Kalil (Marines) tech. fall A1CJohnny DeVeaugh (Air Force), 13-2
65 kg/143 lbs. – Sgt Raymond Bunker (Marines) tech. fall A1C Dakota Ball (Air Force), 14-1
70 kg/154 lbs. – Lt Brandon Mueller (Air Force) pin Sgt JayShon Wilson (Marines), 4:45
74 kg/163 lbs. – Sgt. John Stefanowicz (Marines) tech. fall A1C Tyler Westlund (Air Force), 10-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – SrA Brandon Johnson (Air Force) tech. fall LCpl Christopher Warren (Marines), 13-3
97 kg/213 lbs. – 1st Lt Daniel Miller (Marines) tech. fall A1C Raul Velez (Air Force), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – Sgt.Trent Osnes (Marines) tech. fall A1C James Shreve (Air Force), 10-0

ROUND TWO

U.S. Army 33, U.S. Air Force 2
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – PFC Mike Fuenffinger (Army) tech fall SSgt Jeff Warra (Air Force), 10-0
61 kg/134 lbs. – SGT Ryan Mango (Army) tech. fall A1C Johnny DeVeaugh (Air Force), 12-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – SPC Ellis Coleman (Army) pin A1C Dakota Ball (Air Force), 1:13
70 kg/154 lbs. – SPC Isaac Dukes (Army) tech. fall Lt Brandon Mueller (Air Force), 12-2
74 kg/163 lbs. – 2LT Matthew Brown (Army) tech. fall A1C Tyler Westlund (Air Force), 10-0
86 kg/189 lbs. –SGT Vlad Dombrovskiy (Army) tech. fall SrA Brandon Johnson (Air Force), 12-2
97 kg/213 lbs. – SGT Victor Terrell (Army) tech. fall A1C Raul Velez (Air Force), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army) tech. fall A1C James Shreve (Air Force), 10-0

U.S. Marine Corps 25, U.S. Navy 10
57 kg/125.5 lbs. - E-4 Michael Hollingsworth (Navy) won by forfeit
61 kg/134 lbs. – 1st Lt Aaron Kalil (Marines) tech. fall O-3 Sean Donnelly (Navy), 10-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – Sgt Raymond Bunker (Marines) tech. fall E-4 Randy Bucsok (Navy), 14-4
71 kg/154 lbs. – E-4 Blake Borges (Navy) dec. Sgt JayShon Wilson (Marines), 12-11
74 kg/163 lbs. – Sgt. John Stefanowicz (Marines) tech. fall E-5 Bobby Yamashita (Navy), 10-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – LCpl Christopher Warren (Marines) pin E-4 Daniel Mazzie (Navy), 4:37
97 kg/213 lbs. – 1st Lt Daniel Miller (Marines) tech. fall E-4 Afukeze Mua (Navy), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – Sgt.Trent Osnes (Marines) dec. E-5 Zachahria Manning (Navy), 4-2

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