Powerful USA team set for World Championships in Serbia, Sept. 16-24, with Olympic berths up for grabs

The United States is sending an experienced and talented team to the 2023 Senior World Wrestling Championships, set for Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, September 16-24.

The United States is coming off one of its best Senior World Championships performances ever in 2022, with a total of 15 Senior World medals, including seven individual gold medalists, six silver medalists and two bronze medalists. The U.S. men’s freestyle team won the World Team Title in 2022 (its fourth ever), and the U.S. women’s freestyle team placed second in the final standings.

This event will serve as the first 2024 Olympic Games qualifying event for Paris, France. The top five athletes in each of the 18 Olympic weight classes will qualify their nation for Paris.

The event kicks off with men’s freestyle competition, which runs September 16-19. The USA team features a pair of Olympic champions, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder (97 kg) and 2020 Olympic gold medalist David Taylor (86 kg). Snyder also boasts a 2020 Olympic silver medal. Both are also multiple Senior World champions, with Snyder owning three World titles and Taylor winning two World golds.

The team also features four-time Senior World champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Kyle Dake at 74 kg, as well as 2022 World silver medalist Zain Retherford at 70 kg.

Six members of the men’s freestyle team will be competing in their first Senior World Championships: Zane Richards (57 kg), Vitali Arujau (61 kg), Nick Lee (65 kg), Chance Marsteller (79 kg), Zahid Valencia (92 kg) and Mason Parris (125 kg). All of these athletes have numerous achievements on the age-group and Senior levels.

The Olympic weight classes in men’s freestyle (with the days of their finals) are: 57 kg (finals Sept. 18), 65 kg (finals Sept. 19), 74 kg (finals Sept. 18), 86 kg (finals Sept. 17), 97 kg (finals Sept. 19) and 125 kg (finals, Sept. 17).

Next up in the competition is the women’s freestyle, which will be contested September 18-21. The U.S. team is led by 2016 Olympic champion and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Helen Maroulis (57 kg), 2020 Olympic silver medalist Adeline Gray (76 kg) and 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Sarah Hildebrandt (50 kg).

Maroulis was the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling, and became the first U.S. woman to win two Olympic wrestling medals. She is also a three-time World champion. Adeline Gray has won a record-tying six Senior World gold medals during her career. Hildebrandt boasts three Senior World medals in her career.

In addition to Maroulis and Gray, Senior World champions on the U.S. women’s team also include 2022 World champion Dominique Parrish (53 kg), 2019 World champion Jacarra Winchester (55 kg) and 2022 World champion Amit Elor (72 kg). Elor became the youngest U.S. wrestler to win a World gold medal when she won her title last year at the age of 18. Winchester was a member of the 2020 U.S. Olympic team.

2020 Olympian and two-time World silver medalist Kayla Miracle will also compete again. Three members of the team will be competing in their first Senior World Championships, although all three have extensive age-group and Senior-level resumes: Jennifer Page (59 kg), Macey Kilty (65 kg) and Emma Bruntil (68 kg).

The Olympic weight classes in women’s freestyle (with the days of their finals) are: 50 kg (finals Sept. 20), 53 kg (finals Sept. 21), 57 kg (finals Sept. 20), 62 kg (finals Sept. 21), 68 kg (finals Sept. 21) and 76 kg (finals Sept. 20).

The tournament concludes with Greco-Roman competition, held September 21-24. The USA team is led by a pair of 2020 U.S. Olympians, Ildar Hafizov (60 kg) and Alejandro Sancho (67 kg). Hafizov is a two-time Olympian, having competed in the 2008 Olympics for Uzbekistan before emigrating to the United States. Both have also competed for the USA in previous Senior World Championships.

Of the 10 wrestlers competing in Greco-Roman for the United States, seven have past Senior World Championships experience. Joining Hafizov and Sancho as past Senior World Team members are Patrick Smith (72 kg), Kamal Bey (77 kg), Spencer Woods (82 kg), Josef Rau (97 kg) and Cohlton Schultz (130 kg).

The three first-time Senior World Team members are Brady Koontz (55 kg), Xavier Johnson (63 kg) and Zachary Braunagel (87 kg).

The Olympic weight classes in Greco-Roman (with the days of their finals) are: 60 kg (finals Sept 23), 67 kg (finals Sept. 24), 77 kg (finals Sept. 22), 87 kg (finals Sept. 24), 97 kg (finals Sept. 23) and 130 kg (finals Sept. 22).

The entire event will be broadcast live on FloWrestling at the following link: https://flosports.link/42Kg0JY

USA Wrestling will have complete coverage of the 2023 Senior World Championships on its website, TheMat.com, as well as on its social media platforms.

WORLD WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Belgrade, Serbia, September 16-24

2023 U.S. Senior Men’s Freestyle World Team
**57 kg – Zane Richards (Titan Mercury WC/Illinois RTC) – competes Sept. 17-18
61 kg – Vitali Arujau (Titan Mercury WC/Spartan Combat RTC) – competes Sept. 16-17
**65 kg – Nick Lee (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) – competes Sept. 18-19
70 kg – Zain Retherford (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) – competes Sept. 16-17
**74 kg – Kyle Dake (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) – competes Sept. 17-18
79 kg – Chance Marsteller (Titan Mercury WC/NYC RTC) – competes Sept. 17-18
**86 kg – David Taylor (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) – competes Sept. 16-17
92 kg – Zahid Valencia (Sunkist Kids) – competes Sept. 17-18
**97 kg – Kyle Snyder (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) – competes Sept. 18-19
**125 kg – Mason Parris (Titan Mercury WC/Cliff Keen WC) – competes Sept. 16-17

2023 U.S. Senior Women’s Freestyle World Team
**50 kg – Sarah Hildebrandt (New York AC/USOPTC) – competes Sept. 19-20
**53 kg – Dominique Parrish (Sunkist Kids) – competes Sept. 20-21
55 kg –Jacarra Winchester (Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC) – competes Sept. 18-19
**57 kg – Helen Maroulis (Sunkist Kids) – competes Sept. 19-20
59 kg –Jennifer Page (Titan Mercury WC/Nittany Lion WC) – competes Sept. 18-19
**62 kg – Kayla Miracle (Sunkist Kids) – competes Sept. 20-21
65 kg –Macey Kilty (Sunkist Kids) – competes Sept. 19-20
**68 kg –Emma Bruntil (Titan Mercury WC/USOPTC) – competes Sept. 20-21
72 kg – Amit Elor (Titan Mercury WC/NYC RTC) – competes Sept. 20-21
**76 kg –Adeline Gray (New York AC) – competes Sept. 19-20

2023 U.S. Senior Greco-Roman World Team
55 kg – Brady Koontz (Titan Mercury WC/Dubuque RTC) – competes Sept. 21-22
**60 kg –Ildar Hafizov (U.S. Army WCAP) – competes Sept. 22-23
63 kg –Xavier Johnson (U.S. Army WCAP) – competes Sept. 23-24
**67 kg –Alejandro Sancho (U.S. Army WCAP) – competes Sept. 23-24
72 kg –Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) – competes Sept. 22-23
**77 kg – Kamal Bey (U.S. Army WCAP) – competes Sept. 21-22
82 kg – Spencer Woods (U.S. Army WCAP) – competes Sept. 21-22
**87 kg –Zachary Braunagel (Illini WC/Illinois RTC) – competes Sept. 23-24
**97 kg – Josef Rau (Titan Mercury WC/Wildcat WC) – competes Sept. 22-23
**130 kg – Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist Kids) – competes Sept. 21-22

** – denotes Olympic weight class

Daily schedule by weight classes

Saturday September 16
Men’s Freestyle (61 kg, 70 kg, 86 kg, 125 kg) through semifinals

Sunday, September 17
Men’s Freestyle (61 kg, 70 kg, 86 kg, 125 kg) finals
Men’s Freestyle (57 kg, 74 kg, 79 kg, 92 kg) through semifinals

Monday, September 18
Men’s Freestyle (57 kg, 74 kg, 79 kg, 92 kg) finals
Men’s Freestyle (65 kg, 97 kg) through semifinals
Women’s Freestyle (55 kg, 59 kg) through semifinals

Tuesday, September 19
Men’s Freestyle (65 kg, 97 kg) finals
Women’s Freestyle (55 kg, 59 kg) finals
Women’s Freestyle (50 kg, 57 kg, 65 kg, 76 kg) through semifinals

Wednesday, September 20
Women’s Freestyle (50 kg, 57 kg, 65 kg, 76 kg) finals
Women’s Freestyle (53 kg, 62 kg, 68 kg, 72 kg) through semifinals

Thursday, September 21
Women’s Freestyle (53 kg, 62 kg, 68 kg, 72 kg) finals
Greco-Roman (55 kg, 77 kg, 82 kg, 130 kg) through semifinals

Friday, September 22
Greco-Roman (55 kg, 77 kg, 82 kg, 130 kg) finals
Greco-Roman (60 kg, 72 kg, 97 kg) through semifinals

Saturday, September 23
Greco-Roman (60 kg, 72 kg, 97 kg) finals
Greco-Roman (63 kg, 67 kg, 87 kg) through semifinals

Sunday, September 24
Greco-Roman (63 kg, 67 kg, 87 kg) finals

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