Coleman, Smith, Haight, Hafizov beaten in Tuesday morning Greco-Roman session at World Championships

PARIS, France – The final four members of the U.S. Greco-Roman team were defeated during the morning session at the World Wrestling Championships on Tuesday. None of the U.S. wrestlers were eligible for the repechage rounds when their opponents failed to reach the finals.

2012 Olympian and two-time Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) finished with a 1-1 record at 66 kg/145 lbs.

Coleman was dominant in his opener, scoring an 8-0 first-period technical fall over three-time Brazil Cup champion Diego Ribeiro Romanelli of Brazil. Coleman controlled all positions, earning two takedowns and four step out points to finish off the match quickly.

Coleman was defeated in his second match by 2016 European U23 silver medalist Mate Nemes of Slovakia, 3-1. The bout started with controversy, as officials penalized Coleman with a caution and two points to Nemes, when Coleman used a stiff-arm to Nemes’ neck during an active pummel. From that point on, neither wrestler could score, with each being penalized once for passivity. When Nemes was defeated in the quarterfinals, Coleman was not eligible for repechage. Continue reading at

Greco-Roman athletes Hafizov, Coleman, Haight and Smith receive draws for World Championships

PARIS – Four U.S. athletes have weighed in and received their draws for the second day of Greco-Roman action at the 2017 World Championships being held at AccorHotels Arena.

A veteran group comprised of past Olympians Ildar Hafizov (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP), Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) and Robby Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC/OTC), plus multiple-time World Team member Cheney Haight (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC/OTC), take the mat for America tomorrow in Paris.

“We’ve got four talented, capable athletes. I’m looking forward to seeing them go out there and compete up to their potential. If we do that we can win a few medals tomorrow,” U.S. National Greco-Roman Coach Matt Lindland said.

Making his first World Championships appearance for the U.S., Hafizov is set to face Armenia’s Vazgen Khachatryan in the first round at 59 kg/130 lbs. Hafizov was an Olympian and three-time World Team member for Uzbekistan prior to moving to the U.S. Continue reading at

A Pursuit of Persistence

By the time Pat Smith stepped onto the mat in Iowa City, Iowa, for his shot at the 2016 Olympics, the Minnesota-born-and-raised wrestler had already endured his share of heartbreak in his beloved sport.

There was the college career that didn’t reach the heights he had hoped. And the second-place finish at the 2014 World Team Trials that left him one win short of a spot on the United States team for that year’s World Championships. And yet another finals loss at the 2015 World Team Trials.

So it would have been entirely understandable if Smith had left Carver-Hawkeye Arena that April night—after one more agonizing finals defeat, this one with a Rio Olympics berth on the line, with a one-match lead slipping away, with a referee’s judgment call playing a role—and simply walked away from wrestling. In the short term, he and his brother had talked about training for an Ironman triathlon together. Longer term, he had a business career to build and a body, mind, and spirit to rest.

But then, this is what has carried the 26-year-old through setbacks on the mat, through a demanding gauntlet of wrestling, work, and master’s schooling, and to this month’s World Championships in Paris: He just keeps going. Continue reading at

Pat Smith shedding runner-up tag in breakthrough 2017

Prior to his breakthrough in April at the Greco-Roman World Team Trials, Patrick Smith was perhaps best known as the country’s premier carrot-chaser. A perennial bridesmaid. A fall-on-your-sword type of athlete who would always leave his heart out on the mat only to walk away second-best.

It’s a torturous cycle, to come up just short over and over again, to be that close only to watch the carrot disappear.

Although a Greco-Roman competitor going back to the age-group level, Smith went onto the University of Minnesota where he wrestled under legendary head coach J Robinson. He couldn’t crack the starting lineup but still got plenty of mat time in open tournaments, winning a lot and losing some.

Smith made significantly wider strides on the Greco circuit during his collegiate downtime. In 2010, he won the University Nationals and the next year put together an impressive fourth-place showing at the U.S. Open. Continue reading at

Guillotine Grapevine: Pat Smith and studying abroad in school and wrestling in Sweden

Minnesota Storm Greco-Roman athlete Pat Smith is back in the U.S. after three months studying abroad in Sweden. The U.S. Open champion is gearing up for the U.S. World Team Trials and looking to make his first World Team.

But since winning the U.S. Open back in December, Smith decided to study in Sweden while working on his Master’s degree at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

On Episode 27, Smith opens up his doors to talk about the trip to Sweden, the prep for Vegas, the pain of 2016 and of course, the monumental trip to Uzbekistan for the 2014 World Championships.

He’ll also break out the relationship between him and two-time World medalist Andy Bisek.

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