Army wins 15th straight Armed Forces freestyle team title, led by six champions

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Armed Forces Sports | February 22, 2016

BREMERTON, Wash. – The U.S. Army won the men’s freestyle competition at the 2016 Armed Forces Championships, winning all three of its dual meets handily and earning six individual champions at KITSAP Naval Base on Sunday. It was the 15th straight year the Army has won this event.

VIDEO: 2016 Armed Forces Men's Freestyle Wrestling Championships Matches and Interviews

The U.S. Army defeated the U.S. Marines, 24-8 in the deciding third round of the competition, as both teams entered the final dual meet undefeated. The Army also defeated the U.S. Navy, 31-2, and the U.S. Air Force, 33-2

The U.S. Marines finished second with a 2-1 record, the U.S. Air Force was third with a 1-2 record and the U.S. Navy was fourth with a 0-3 record.

“I always feel good with a win. It makes the beer a little bit better and not as bitter. I was happy with the win. With freestyle, the Armed Forces are traditionally known for Greco, but this is a very exciting tournament. I always say it’s the toughest tournament in the United States. To come out with a win against the other services means a lot. I don’t know how many in a row it was. I still cherish it, but for some of these young soldiers, the first time competing in the Armed Forces and be part of a team championship, it means a lot for them,” said U.S. Army Coach Shon Lewis.

Individual champions for the Army included SGT Max Nowry (57 kg/125.5 lbs), SPC Ryan Mango (61 kg/134 lbs.), PFC Michael Hooker (65 kg/143 lbs.), SGT Vladyslov Dombrovskiy (74 kg/163 lbs.), SGT Victor Terrell (86 kg/189 lbs.) and SPC Endhyr Meza (125 kg/275 lbs.).

Nowry, Dombrovskiy and Terrell are repeat champions from last year.

Mango, a two-time NCAA All-American for Stanford, has focused mostly on Greco-Roman since joining the Army. He won all three of his matches by technical fall.

“I felt decent. It felt a little bit different wrestling freestyle here. I had to do it for the team. I was able to come up with some good wins and score some points, so I felt pretty good about the day overall,” said Mango.

The U.S. Marine Corps had the other two individual champions, Capt Bryce Saddoris (70 kg/154 lbs.) and 1stLt Daniel Miller (98 kg/215 lbs.). Both were college stars at the U.S. Naval Academy, with Saddoris winning two All-American honors.

Saddoris had to survive a wild 17-14 match in the final dual meet against Army’s SPC Isaac Dukes to come out with the win.

Miller scored a 6-0 win over PFC Lucas Sheridan of the Army, who competed in Div. I college wrestling at Indiana.x

“It is always good to go back. I came from a freestyle background. I am still settling into the whole Greco transition. It was good to get out here and compete both styles. There was a little bit of throwback for freestyle. It felt good to get out there on the mat and mix it up a little bit. Obviously, right now I am trying to improve on the Greco front. I hope to come out here next year and win some gold (in Greco),” said Miller.

PFC Michael Hooker of the Army at 65 kg and Capt Bryce Saddoris of the U.S. Marines and 70 kg were the only double champions at the Armed Forces Championships in 2016, winning both the Greco-Roman and freestyle gold medal.x

“My wrestling was good this weekend. It is nice to get qualified for the Olympic Trials (in Greco-Roman). It is nice to get back out there in freestyle. I haven’t done that in a long time, to get back in freestyle and win one for the team,” said Hooker.

There was one women’s freestyle match, as two-time World bronze medalist SGT Sally Roberts of the Army scored on multiple gut wrenches to earn a 10-0 technical fall over OS3 Abril Ramirez of the Navy.

ARMED FORCES FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At KITSAP Naval Base, Bremerton, Wash., February 21

TEAM STANDINGS

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

ROUND THREE

U.S. Army 24, U.S. Marine Corps 8
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – SGT Max Nowry (Army) dec. CPL Ruben Navejas (Marines), 6-4
61 kg/134 lbs.– SPC Ryan Mango (Army) tech. fall 1stLt Aaron Kalil (Marines), 12-2
65 kg/143 lbs. – PFC Michael Hooker (Army) tech. fall CPL Raymond Bunker (Marines), 10-0
70 kg/154 lbs.– Capt Bryce Saddoris (Marines) dec. SPC Isaac Dukes (Army), 17-14
74 kg/163 lbs. –SGT Vladyslov Dombrovskiy (Army) tech. fall 1stLt Robby Neill (Marines), 10-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – SGT Victor Terrell (Army) tech. fall Sgt John Stefanowicz (Marines), 10-0
97 kg/213 lbs. – 1stLt Daniel Miller (Marines) dec. PFC Lucas Sheridan (Army), 6-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army) tech fall LCPL Eric Fader (Marines)

U.S. Air Force 29, U.S. Navy 7
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – A1C Joey Garza (Air Force) tech. fall FN Ryan Schmehr (Navy), 12-2
61 kg/134 lbs. - SrA Tyler Knepper (Air Force) tech. fall HN Bobby Raines (Navy), 10-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – Capt Kurt Spranger (Air Force) tech. fall AE2 Whit Dawkins (Navy), 10-0
70 kg/154 lbs.– 1Lt Brandon Mueller (Air Force) tech. fall ND3 Blake Borges (Navy), 13-2
74 kg/163 lbs. – 1Lt Gabrian Martinez (Air Force) tech. fall AN Lance Jeffries (Navy), 11-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – MM3 James Souza (Navy) dec. 1 Lt Clayton Gable (Air Force), 12-11
97 kg/213 lbs. – Sgt Jeffrey Zastrow (Air Force) tech. fall AEAN Joseph Blaes (Navy), 16-4
125 kg/275 lbs. – SrA Jorge Hernandez (Air Force) dec. OS2 Zachariah Manning (Navy)

ROUND TWO

U.S. Army 33, Air Force 2
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – SGT Max Nowry (Army) tech. fall A1C Joey Garza (Air Force), 10-0
61 kg/134 lbs.– SPC Ryan Mango (Army) tech. fall SrA Tyler Knepper (Air Force), 10-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – PFC Michael Hooker (Army) tech. fall Capt Kurt Spranger (Air Force), 10-0
70 kg/154 lbs.– SPC Isaac Dukes (Army) tech. fall 1Lt Brandon Mueller (Air Force), 12-0
74 kg/163 lbs. –SGT Vladyslov Dombrovskiy (Army) tech. fall 1Lt Gabrian Martinez (Air Force) 11-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – SGT Victor Terrell (Army) tech. fall 1 Lt Clayton Gable (Air Force), 13-2
97 kg/213 lbs. – PFC Lucas Sheridan (Army) tech. fall Sgt Jeffrey Zastrow (Air Force), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army) pin SrA Jorge Hernandez (Air Force), 0:59

U.S. Marine Corps 28, U.S. Navy 8
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – CPL Ruben Navejas (Marines) tech. fall FN Ryan Schmehr (Navy), 10-0
61 kg/134 lbs. - 1stLt Aaron Kalil (Marines) tech. fall HN Bobby Raines (Navy), 10-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – CPL Raymond Bunker (Marines) tech. fall AE2 Whit Dawkins (Navy), 11-0
70 kg/154 lbs.– Capt Bryce Saddoris (Marines) tech. fall ND3 Blake Borges (Navy), 11-1
74 kg/163 lbs. – 1stLt Robby Neill (Marines) tech. fall AN Lance Jeffries (Navy), 12-2
86 kg/189 lbs. – MM3 James Souza (Navy) pin Sgt John Stefanowicz (Marines), 1:00
97 kg/213 lbs. – 1stLt Daniel Miller (Marines) tech. fall AEAN Joseph Blaes (Navy), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – LCPL Eric Fader (Marines) dec. OS2 Zachariah Manning (Navy), 13-2

ROUND ONE

U.S. Army 31, US Navy 2
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – SGT Max Nowry (Army) tech. fall FN Ryan Schmehr (Navy), 10-2
61 kg/134 lbs.– SPC Ryan Mango (Army) tech. fall HN Bobby Raines (Navy),10-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – PFC Michael Hooker (Army) tech. fall AE2 Whit Dawkins (Navy), 10-0
70 kg/154 lbs.– SPC Isaac Dukes (Army) tech. fall ND3 Blake Borges (Navy), 11-1
74 kg/163 lbs. –SGT Vladyslov Dombrovskiy (Army) tech. fall AN Lance Jeffries (Navy), 10-0
86 kg/189 lbs. – SGT Victor Terrell (Army) dec. MM3 James Souza (Navy), 8-0
97 kg/213 lbs. – PFC Lucas Sheridan (Army) pin AEAN Joseph Blaes (Navy), 0:55
125 kg/275 lbs. – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army) tech. fall OS2 Zachariah Manning (Navy), 10-0

U.S. Marine Corps 19, Air Force 11
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – CPL Ruben Navejas (Marines) tech. fall A1C Joey Garza (Air Force), 10-0
61 kg/134 lbs. - 1stLt Aaron Kalil (Marines) tech. fall SrA Tyler Knepper (Air Force), 10-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – CPL Raymond Bunker (Marines) tech. fall Capt Kurt Spranger (Air Force), 12-0
70 kg/154 lbs.– Capt Bryce Saddoris (Marines) dec. 1Lt Brandon Mueller (Air Force), 9-6
74 kg/163 lbs. – 1stLt Robby Neill (Marines) dec. 1Lt Gabrian Martinez (Air Force), 9-9
86 kg/189 lbs. – 1 Lt Clayton Gable (Air Force) tech. fall Sgt John Stefanowicz (Marines), 10-0
97 kg/213 lbs. – 1stLt Daniel Miller (Marines) tech. fall Sgt Jeffrey Zastrow (Air Force), 10-0
125 kg/275 lbs. – SrA Jorge Hernandez (Air Force) pin LCPL Eric Fader (Marines), 1:00

INDIVIDUAL FREESTYLE MEDALISTS

57 kg/125.5 lbs.
Gold – SGT Max Nowry (Army)
Silver - CPL Ruben Navejas (Marines)

61 kg/134 lbs.
Gold – SPC Ryan Mango (Army)
Silver - 1stLt Aaron Kalil (Marines)

65 kg/143 lbs.
Gold – PFC Michael Hooker (Army)
Silver - CPL Raymond Bunker (Marines)

70 kg/154 lbs.
Gold – Capt Bryce Saddoris (Marines)
Silver - SPC Isaac Dukes (Army)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold –SGT Vladyslov Dombrovskiy (Army)
Silver - 1stLt Robby Neill (Marines), 10-0

86 kg/189 lbs.
Gold – SGT Victor Terrell (Army)
Silver – MM3 James Souza (Navy)

97 kg/213 lbs.
Gold – 1stLt Daniel Miller (Marines)
Silver - PFC Lucas Sheridan (Army), 6-0

125 kg/275 lbs.
Gold – SPC Endhyr Meza (Army)
Silver - SrA Jorge Hernandez (Air Force)

WOMEN’S FREESTYLE

63 kg/138.75 lbs – SGT Sally Roberts (Army) tech. fall OS3 Abril Ramirez (Navy), 10-0

63 kg/138.75 lbs
Gold - SGT Sally Roberts (Army)
Silver – OS3Abril Ramirez (Navy)
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