Army beats Marines, 29-7 to win 16th straight Armed Forces freestyle title with seven individual champs

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

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – The defending champion U.S. Army beat the U.S. Marine Corps, 29-7, in the finals dual to capture its 16th straight Armed Forces Freestyle title on Saturday. Both teams entered their third-round dual meet with identical 2-0 records.

Army won six of the seven matches against the U.S. Marines, all by technical fall. The Army also received a forfeit at 57 kg in the dual meet. 

The Army had a star-studded lineup led by past college stars. Matthew Brown. a 2015 NCAA champion for Penn State, won at 74 kg. A two-time NCAA All-American from Stanford, Ryan Mango won it at 61 kg. Mike Fuenffinger, a new Army athlete at 57 kg, won two Div. III national titles for Augsburg. Isaac Dukes, who wrestles at 70 kg for the Army, was a Div. III national champion for Case Western Reserve.

“This is a tournament that will take me to the Military World Championships, which I want to wrestle in. It is also good for our team. It is just one more step for me progressing to the U.S. Open. This is kind of like being at Penn State. It is fun to be on a winning team. It’s more than that, because I am wrestling for the Army, and there is that competition between the Services. It is fun, and the competition makes us all get better,” said Brown.

The other Army winners against the Marines were 2012 Greco-Roman Olympian Ellis Coleman at 65 kg, Vlad Dombrovskiy at 86 kg and Endhyr Meza at 125 kg. All seven of the Army winners in the final dual meet were also individual gold medalists.

“We did pretty well. We had a little hiccup in that last match. We were up 2-0, but got caught on a bad double leg and got pinned. It would have been the first time we swept them. That is what we looked for. That is so hard to finish that off. That is 48 straight matches and that’s hard to do. Overall, our team wrestled great and we had high spirits,” said Army Coach Bruce Robinson.

The only Marine Corps winner in the dual meet was Daniel Miller, who pinned Victor Terrell in 1:29 at 97 kg. Miller, an EIWA heavyweight champion for Navy, defeated Terrell, who won a Div. II national title for Grand Canyon.

“Coming into that match, I didn’t have a strong finish yesterday, and I had a strong start today. I really wanted to get out there and get one for our guys. He is a little bit smaller and more agile. He threw a few fakes at me that I was falling for a little bit. He got a nice takedown and locked up a leg lace. I reverted back to my past freestyle days and defended that. We traded shot for shot and we ended up in a situation where I used my size to bulldoze him over and my weight to lay him flat,” said Miller.

Four of the champions won freestyle titles for the second straight year: Mango, Dombrovskiy, Miller and Meza. 

Winning double titles by capturing both Greco-Roman and freestyle gold medals this year were Coleman and Meza. Coleman was 66 kg Greco-Roman and 65 kg freestyle champion. Meza won his Greco-Roman title at 98 kg and his freestyle title at 125 kg.

The Army had a dominant 47-1 overall record in their individual matches over the two days of action, going undefeated in Greco-Roman and losing one match in freestyle.

An inspired U.S. Navy team took third place in freestyle, defeating the U.S. Air Force 21-16 in their final dual meet. The Navy finished with a 1-2 record, while the Air Force went 0-3.

The Navy won four of the first five matches to take an 18-5 lead. Included were two key pins at 61 kg, when Sean Donnelly pinned Johnny DeVeaugh in 1:02 at 61 kg and Randy Bucsok pinned Dakota Ball in 4:43 at 65 kg. 

The 74 kg match was also key for the Navy victory. Bobby Yamashita of the Navy and Tyler Westlund of the Air Force were tied after a high scoring first period, but Westlund was unable to come out for the second period, losing the match by injury default to Yamashita. That match was worth five team points for the Navy. 

The Air Force rallied with consecutive pins by Brandon Johnson at 86 kg and Raul Velez at 98 kg, trailing the Navy by three team points going into heavyweight. However, Navy big man Zachahria Manning held off James Shreve, 4-1, giving the Navy the victory and the third place team award.

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

Freestyle Team Standings

1. U.S. Army, 3-0 record
2. U.S. Marines, 2-1 record
3. U.S. Navy, 1-2 record.
4. U.S. Air Force, 0-3 record

SUNDAY AFTERNOON
ROUND THREE


U.S. Army 29, U.S. Marine Corps 7
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – PFC Mike Fuenffinger (Army) won by forfeit
61 kg/134 lbs. – SGT Ryan Mango (Army) tech. fall 1st Lt Aaron Kalil (Marines), 11-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – SPC Ellis Coleman (Army) tech. fall Sgt Raymond Bunker (Marines), 10-0
70 kg/154 lbs. – SPC Isaac Dukes (Army) tech. fall Sgt JayShon Wilson (Marines), 10-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – 2LT Matthew Brown (Army) tech. fall Sgt. John Stefanowicz (Marines), 10-0
86 kg/189 lbs. –SGT Vlad Dombrovskiy (Army) tech. fall LCpl Christopher Warren (Marines), 13-2
97 kg/213 lbs. –1st Lt Daniel Miller (Marines) pin SGT Victor Terrell (Army), 1:29
125 kg/275 lbs. – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army) tech. fall Sgt.Trent Osnes (Marines), 12-2

U.S. Navy 21, U.S. Air Force 16
57 kg/125.5 lbs.– E-4 Michael Hollingsworth (Navy) dec. SSgt Jeff Warra (Air Force), 3-2
61 kg/134 lbs. – O-3 Sean Donnelly (Navy) pin A1C Johnny DeVeaugh (Air Force), 1:02
65 kg/143 lbs.– E-4 Randy Bucsok (Navy) pin A1C Dakota Ball (Air Force), 4:43
70 kg/154 lbs. – Lt Brandon Mueller (Air Force) tech. fall E-4 Blake Borges (Navy), 11-0
74 kg/163 lbs. – E-5 Bobby Yamashita (Navy) inj. dft. over A1C Tyler Westlund (Air Force), 3:00
86 kg/189 lbs. – SrA Brandon Johnson (Air Force) pin E-4 Daniel Mazzie (Navy), 1:36
98 kg/213 lbs. – A1C Raul Velez (Air Force) pin E-4 Afukeze Mua (Navy), 0:12
125 kg/275 lbs.– E-5 Zachahria Manning (Navy) dec. A1C James Shreve (Air Force), 4-1

SUNDAY MORNING
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

SUNDAY MORNING
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

Individual Medalists

57 kg/125.5 lbs. 
Gold – PFC Mike Fuenffinger (Army)
Silver - E-4 Michael Hollingsworth (Navy)
Bronze - SSgt Jeff Warra (Air Force)

61 kg/134 lbs. 
Gold – SGT Ryan Mango (Army) 
Silver - 1st Lt Aaron Kalil (Marines)
Bronze - Sean Donnelly (Navy)

65 kg/143 lbs. 
Gold – SPC Ellis Coleman (Army) 
Silver - Sgt Raymond Bunker (Marines)
Bronze - Randy Bucsok (Navy)

70 kg/154 lbs. 
Gold – SPC Isaac Dukes (Army) 
Silver - Lt Brandon Mueller (Air Force)
Bronze - E-4 Blake Borges (Navy)

74 kg/163 lbs. 
Gold – 2LT Matthew Brown (Army)
Silver - Sgt. John Stefanowicz (Marines)
Bronze - E-5 Bobby Yamashita (Navy)

86 kg/189 lbs. 
Gold –SGT Vlad Dombrovskiy (Army) 
Silver - SrA Brandon Johnson (Air Force)
Bronze - LCpl Christopher Warren (Marines)

97 kg/213 lbs.
Gold - 1st Lt Daniel Miller (Marines)
Silver – SGT Victor Terrell (Army)
Bronze - A1C Raul Velez (Air Force)

125 kg/275 lbs. 
Gold – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army) 
Silver - Sgt.Trent Osnes (Marines)
Bronze - E-5 Zachahria Manning (Navy)

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