Reinvigorated and Wrestling for Championships

Katerina Lange

By Brian Jerzak

When Martin County West's Katerina Lange finished up her freshman year of high school, she had been wrestling for ten years. Although she enjoyed the sport, something was missing for her. Wrestling had been such a big part of her life that she needed to find out more about herself outside of wrestling. Two years later, Lange's love of wrestling was reinvigorated. Now, she has a Pan-Am title to her name and national titles and world team aspirations in her future.

"My sophomore year, I took a break from wrestling to explore myself outside of the sport," Lange said. "I had been in wrestling my entire life. It had become too much of me. I came back last year. I realized I still had a lot of wrestling in me. I felt good, and from there, I decided I still had a passion for it."

During her time away from wrestling – among other things, she played on the basketball team for two years.

"When I came back, I felt like I had a new perspective with wrestling," Lange explained. "Before I took the break, I felt like it was a win/lose game, and there was nothing else in it for me. Taking the break gave me a new mindset. It was something I needed."

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Emily Shilson helped Team USA women’s wrestling make history this summer

MINNEAPOLIS (BVM) — After winning one gold, one silver, and two bronze medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Team USA women’s wrestling doubled down on their impressive summer by making history at the 2021 Junior World Championships in Ufa, Russia.

It was in Russia that Team USA for the first time ever had multiple champions in women’s freestyle with Amit Elor, Kylie Welker, and Emily Shilson all winning gold medals in their respective weight classes.

“Team USA has had a great summer in women’s wrestling,” Shilson said. “It’s so cool to be a part of this team that’s had the summer that we had”

Shilson came into the tournament with high expectations after making it to the Team USA Olympic Trials back in the spring. She missed the cut for Tokyo, but the whole experience was extremely positive and Shilson said it prepared her for Russia. Continue reading at /bvmsports.com →

Pat Smith earns World Team Spot as Competition Wraps in Lincoln

LINCOLN, Neb. – A full weekend of wrestling wrapped up Sunday evening at the Senior World Team Trials in Pinnacle Bank Arena, as former Gopher Pat Smith highlighted the weekend by earning his third career World Team spot in the 72-kilogram Greco-Roman weight division.

Smith, who represented Minnesota Storm RTC as the top seed in his bracket, pinned Griffin Parriott in the quarterfinals and defeated Michael Hooker 4-0 in the semifinals en route to the Best-of-3 finals against Benji Peak (New York Athletic Club). In the finals, Smith continued his winning ways, sweeping the series with 3-3 and 6-4 victories to make his third World Team.

Another former Gopher, Alec Ortiz, competed in Greco-Roman at 77-kilograms as well but fell out of the tournament in the consolation semifinals.

Continue reading →

Olympians Provisor and Hancock make Greco-Roman World Team; Roberts and Omania beat 2020 Olympians

The 2021 U.S. Senior World Greco-Roman Team will feature a pair of Olympians, three others with Senior World Championships experience and five first-time Senior World Team members when it travels to Oslo, Norway for the 2021 Senior World Championships, October 2-10.

The Greco-Roman championship series at the Senior World Team Trials in Lincoln, Neb. was a display of some veteran talent, and some exciting young stars looking to make a breakthrough.

Two-time Olympian Ben Provisor of the New York AC qualified for his second Senior World Team with an impressive two-match victory over Spencer Woods of Army WCAP at 82 kg. Provisor opened with a dominant 7-1 win in the first match, then kept good position on the way to a 4-2 win in bout two. Provisor wrestled at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and is now going to his second Senior Worlds. Continue reading at teamusa.org →

Burroughs makes 10th USA Senior Team; World/Olympic medalists Cox, Green, Gwiazdowski also on men’s freestyle team

Jordan Burroughs of the Sunkist Kids won a new weight class to qualify for his 10th career U.S. World or Olympic Team, with an impressive victory at the World Team Trials in his college hometown of Lincoln, Neb. on Sunday.

Burroughs has made his eighth Senior World teams, along with two U.S. Olympic Team berths. In his previous nine World or Olympic appearances, he has won eight medals, five gold and three bronze.

He defeated talented Alex Dieringer of the Titan Mercury WC/CKWC in the finals series to the delight of his local fans. He secured a 10-5 victory in the first match, winning the key positions, then got an early lead and scored a 4-3 win over Dieringer in match two. Burroughs was a Hodge Trophy winner for Nebraska, then trained there during his international career until recently moving back to his Jersey roots with the Pennsylvania RTC.

Two-time World champion J’den Cox of the Titan Mercury WC/NJRTC secured a spot on his fourth Senior World team with two-match sweep over Kollin Moore of the Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC at 97 kg. Cox shut out Moore in both matches, winning 5-0 in the first match and 4-0 in the second bout. Cox boasts two World titles, an Olympic bronze and a World bronze in his four World-level appearances, winning a medal every time. Continue reading at teamusa.org →

Olympian Miracle makes World Team in women’s freestyle; Burkert wins in deciding third bout for fourth World Team

Six new U.S. Senior World Team members in women’s wrestling were determined during the Championship Series at the Senior World Team Trials in Lincoln, Neb.

The winners join four Tokyo Olympic medalists from the USA to form the 10-athlete team competing in Oslo, Norway, October 2-10.

2020 Tokyo Olympian Kayla Miracle of the Sunkist Kids will also compete in the World Championships in Oslo after defeating 2018 World bronze medalist Mallory Velte in two matches at 62 kg. Miracle won the first bout, 5-3, but was able to open up her offense in a 10-2 victory in bout two. This will be Miracle’s second Senior World team, to go along with the Olympic berth.

Making her fourth Senior World Team was Jenna Burkert of Army WCAP, who needed three full matches to defeat 2019 World champion and 2020 Olympian Jacarra Winchester of the Titan Mercury WC at 55 kg. All three bouts were close, with exciting finishes. Continue reading at teamusa.org →

Olympians Hafizov, Sancho, Hancock, Provisor reach Greco-Roman finals series at World Team Trials

Minnesota wrestlers Pat Smith and Ryan Epps are in the finals

There were 10 spots on the U.S. Senior World Team in Greco-Roman up for grabs this weekend at the World Team Trials at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Neb. The finalists were set in each of these weight classes during a competitive semifinal round on Saturday night.

Advancing into the best-of-three Championship Series on Saturday afternoon are four past Olympians: 2020 Tokyo Olympians Ildar Hafizov of Army WCAP at 60 kg, Alejandro Sancho of Army WCAP at 67 kg and G’Angelo Hancock of the Sunkist Kids at 97 kg, plus 2012 and 2016 Olympian Ben Provisor at 82 kg.

All will compete in a best-of-three Championship Series on Sunday afternoon, with winners advancing to the Senior World Championships in Oslo, Norway, October 2-10. Continue reading at teamusa.org →