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News | March 2, 2024

Armed Forces Wrestling Championships set for U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, March 2-3

By Mr. Gary Abbott - USA Wrestling U.S. Armed Forces Sports

One of wrestling’s traditionally classic events, the 2024 Armed Forces Wrestling Championships, will be held at U.S. Air Force Academy, which is located northwest of Colorado Springs, Colo.. March 2-3. The competition will be held at the Cadet Gymnasium – East Gym..

The competition will feature dual meet competition in freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman between branches of the Armed Forces, under the management of Armed Forces Sports. This year, teams from the U.S. Army, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy will compete.

The Greco-Roman competition on Saturday will serve as a qualifying event for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling, set for Penn State University, April 19-20. The highest placing Senior Greco-Roman athlete, per weight category, winning either a gold or silver medal, who has yet to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials will qualify to compete in the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Wrestling. 

In 2023, athletes from six branches were represented, as wrestlers from the U.S. Marine Corps competed on the Navy team, wrestlers from the Space Force competed on the Air Force team and wrestlers from the Coast Guard competed on the Navy team.

The competition features dual meets, where the three military teams compete against each other. The results of these dual meets determine the final team standings. Individual medalists are also recognized in each weight class, based upon the results at that weight class in the dual meets.

The U.S. Army was the champion in both Greco-Roman and freestyle at the 2023 Armed Forces Championships, which were held at Naval Base Kitsap in Washingto. The Navy was second in 2023 in Greco-Roman, with the Air Force third, while the Air Force was second in freestyle last year, with the Navy in third.

Preliminary rosters have been turned in by each team.  Final rosters are due on Friday.

The U.S. Army team features three Olympians, with 2012 Olympian SGT Ellis Coleman (67 kg) competing in Greco-Roman, and 2016 Olympian SPC Jesse Thielke (74 kg) and 2020 Olympian SPC Alejandro Sancho (70 kg) wrestling in freestyle. 2023 Armed Forces champions on this year’s Army roster include SPC Dalton Roberts (63 kg) in Greco-Roman, and PV2 William Sullivan (57 kg), SPC Britton Holmes (74 kg) SPC Spencer Woods (86 kg) and 1LT Jermiah Imonode (125 kg) in men’s freestyle, plus SPC Aleeah Gould (53 kg) and SPC Brenda Reyna (59 kg) in women’s freestyle.

The U.S. Air Force team includes four athletes who won Greco-Roman silver medals in the 2023 Armed Forces Championships: SrA Mitch Brown (55 kg), 2d Lt Sidney Flores (63 kg), A1C Brenner Vogan (77 kg) and SrA Samuel Adams (82 kg). Flores won a freestyle gold medal last year, while Brown, Vogan and Adams won freestyle silver medals. Rejoining the Air Force squad this year is SSgt Diante Cooper (97 kg), who is a past medalist at this event. In women’s freestyle, 2023 Armed Forces silver medalist SrA Mariah Anderson (53 kg) also returns.

The U.S. Navy team features 2020 Olympian John Stefanowicz (87 kg GR, 86 kg FS), who is a U.S. Marine Corps athlete who has won Armed Forces gold medals in both styles. Another Marine on the roster is Capt. Courtney Freeman (130 kg GR, 125 kg FS), who won both styles in the 2023 Armed Forces Championships. Capt. Jamel Johnson of the USMC, another past Armed Forces champion, will compete in Greco-Roman at 72 kg. Returning from the 2023 Navy team is PO3 Sheldon Ealy (60 kg GR, 61 kg FS)

When teams bring women’s freestyle wrestlers, they will be paired off for competition. Information on when these women’s freestyle matches will be held will be announced when available.

Spectators are encouraged, and admission is free. U.S. citizens must only show their driver’s license to receive access to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Those who are not citizens would need to be sponsored on the base by a team member.

For information on the live stream and coverage of the competition by Armed Forces Sports, visit: