Army Captures Seven National Titles; Takes Div. I Greco Team Crown

By Steven Dinote | Armed Forces Sports | April 21, 2014

Five soldiers crowned national champions at the 2014 USA Wrestling Senior Open Nationals in Las Vegas, NV 18-19 April. 

Army Sergeant Spenser Mango won his sixth National Greco-Roman title at the Las Vegas Convention Center over Army teammate and four-time national champion Sergeant Joseph Betterman in the 59kg/130lbs weight class.  The pair was tied 1-1, but Mango won as he scored last during the competition. 

Two-time World medalist and 2012 Olympian Army Sergeant Justin Lester fought back from a 3-0 deficit after an array of throws to win 12-3 over Patrick Smith in the 71kg/156.5lbs Greco-Roman finals. 

Army Specialist Caylor Williams recorded his first national title downing John Wechter 2-0 in the 98kg/216lb Greco-Roman finals. 

Army won the Greco-Roman Division 1 Team Title with seven soldiers competing in the finals and 15 soldiers placing in the top six. 

The Marine Corps’ 1stLt Bryce Saddoris was the highest placing Marine by taking bronze in the 66 kg/145.5 lbs Greco-Roman weight class.  The Marines placed four wrestlers in the top eight within the Greco-Roman division. 

In Women’s Freestyle, Army emerged with two national champions and placed second in the Division II Team scoring.  Army emerged with three soldiers competing in the finals and placed six in the top five.   

Army Sergeant and Olympic Bronze medalist Randi Miller won her second National Championship in the 69 kg/152 lbs Women’s Freestyle finals over 2013 World Team member Veronica Carlson. 

Also returning to the podium for her second national championship was Army Sergeant Whitney Conder.  Conder defeated Katherine Fulp-Allen to take the 53 kg/116.5 lbs title. 

Lance Corporal Melissa Apodaca was the lone Marine Corps representative in Women’s Freestyle, placing 7th overall defeating Areana Villaescusa 11-0 in the 58 kg/128 lbs weight class. 

In Men’s Freestyle, Army Sergeant Moza Fay earned silver by reaching the finals in the 70 kg/154 lbs, losing to Nick Marable 5-1. 

The Armed Forces was well represented at the 2014 Senior Nationals, producing 45 athletes from the Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force. 

The top seven wrestlers in each Olympic weight class qualify for the U.S. World Team Trials on May 31-June 1 in Madison, Wis. 

The United States will host the Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) Military World Wrestling Championship 1-8 October at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ.  Service members who medaled at the 2014 Armed Forces Championship this past March will represent the U.S. against other military wrestlers from around the world. 

Visit www.armedforcessports.com for more information. 

Complete top-ten results below:Senior Greco-Roman Results
Team Score
Div. I Team Awards – 1. U.S. Army WCAP, 90, 2. New York AC, 35

59 kg/130 lbs.
1st - SGT Spenser Mango, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) dec. SGTJoseph Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 1-1
3rd - SPC Jermaine Hodge, Colorado Springs, Colo (Army WCAP) dec. PFC Max Nowry, Wheeling, Ill. (Army WCAP), 6-0
5th - Nikko Triggas, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC) tech. fall SGT Nathan Engel, Colorado Sprigns, Colo (Army (WCAP), 10-2

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
1st – RaVaughn Perkins, Omaha, Neb. (ReadyRP Nationals) pin PFC Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 4:30
3rd - 1stLt Bryce Saddoris, Sneads Ferry, N.C. (Marines) dec. PFC Jamel Johnson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP), 5-0
5th - Brian Graham, Kansas City, Mo. (Minnesota Storm) dec. SGT Marco Lara, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 12-10

71 kg/156 lbs.
1st - SPC Justin Lester, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) tech. fall Patrick Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 12-3
7th - Christopher Gonzalez, Bolingbrook, Ill. (Sponsor Me Wrestling) dec. 1stLt Robby Neill, Emerald Isle, N.C. (U.S. Marines), 4-0

75 kg/ 165 lbs.
1st – Andrew Bisek, Chaska, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. CPT John Anderson, Fort Carson, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 3-1
5th - Cpl John Stefanowicz, Jacksonville, N.C. (U.S. Marines) inj. dft. Dylan Reel, Washington, Ill. (Clackamas WC), 0:00

80 kg/176 lbs.
1st - Kendrick Sanders, Homestead, Fla. (NYAC/USOEC) dec. SSG Aaron Sieracki, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 2-1

85 kg/187 lbs.
3rd - SGT Peter Hicks, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) dec. Mark Stenberg, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC), 1-0
5th - Easton Hargrave, Tumwater, Wash. (TumOly Wrestling Club) dec. Cpl Courtney Myers, Jacksonville, N.C. (Marines), 10-5

98 kg/216 lbs.
1st - SPC Caylor Williams, Greensboro, N.C. (Army (WCAP) dec. John Wechter, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 2-0
5th - SGT Pete Gounaridis, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) tech. fall Patrick Carey, St. Paul, Minn. (Minnesota Storm), 9-0

130 kg/286 lbs.
3rd - PFC Erik Nye, Tempe, Ariz. (Army (WCAP) pin Nikola Bogojevic, Superior, Wis. (Minnesota Storm), 2:38

Senior Freestyle Results70 kg/154 lbs.
1st – Nick Marable, Columbia, Mo. (Sunkist Kids/Missouri WF) dec. SGT Moza Fay, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 5-1

Senior Women's Freestyle Results
Team Score
Div. II Team Awards – 1. Sunkist Kids, 54; 2. U.S. Army WCAP, 3853 kg/114.5 lbs.
1st - Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) dec. Katherine Fulp-Allen, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC), 2-0

58 kg/128 lbs.
3rd - Michaela Hutchison, Lebanon, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC) dec. SGT Othella Feroleto, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army WCAP), 6-3
5th - SGT Sally Roberts, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) dec. Kayla Miracle, Campbellsville, Ky. (Sunkist Kids), 4-2
7th - LCpl Melissa Apodaca, Chugiak, Alaska (U.S. Marines) tech. fall Areana Villaescusa, Rio Rico, Ariz. (Rio Rico WC), 11-0

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
3rd - CPT Leigh Provisor, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) tech. fall Olivia Seppinni, Sacramento, Calif. (Bearcat WC), 12-1

69 kg /152 lbs.
1st - SGT Randi Miller, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP) dec. Veronica Carlson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (NYAC/USOEC), Dec 3-1

75 kg/165 lbs.
1st - Jackie Cataline, Alhambra, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC) pin SSG Iris Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Army (WCAP), 2:54