Official release courtesy of Gary Abbott / USA Wrestling.
USA Wrestling has completed the international lineup for the Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota, set for Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on February 12.
Bout at the Ballpark is the first of its kind event with elite collegiate and international wrestlers performing at one competition. Team USA will also bring an elite group of athletes to compete against International All-Stars side-by-side during the college match. Team USA will feature numerous talented World and Olympic Medalists. The day will also include one Greco-Roman match.
Bout at the Ballpark will also include college dual matches between Oklahoma State University and University of Iowa. These two colleges have won the most NCAA team titles in wrestling. In addition to the men’s freestyle competition, two of the world’s best women’s freestyle nations will battle when Team USA faces Mongolia, in a six-match dual meet at the Olympic weight classes.
Please note, Bout at the Ballpark will now start at 6:00 p.m. due to the exciting addition of the women’s freestyle matches between Team USA and Mongolia. Doors will open as scheduled at 5:00 p.m., with parking lots opening at 4:00 p.m.. Fans are encouraged to arrive early in order to not miss an exciting Opening Ceremony.
With the Iran Wrestling Federation announcing it was not coming to compete, a team of athletes from around the world has been organized to face the United States men’s athletes. The International All-Stars represent nine different nations from four different continents (Europe, Pan America, Asia and Africa).
The U.S. men’s freestyle team was also finalized, with two-time World bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski named to the open position at 125 kg. In addition, 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up, past U.S. Open champion and multiple age-group World medalist Joey McKenna will compete at 65 kg and 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up, 2021 World Team Trials runner-up and two-time age-group World medalist Kollin Moore will compete at 92 kg for Team USA.
These athletes are mostly training in the United States in preparation for international competition, many with U.S. Regional Training Centers. Seven of the 11 athletes were successful wrestlers within the U.S. college wrestling system, and a number are now coaching on the college level.
Included in the group is 2017 NCAA champion Darian Cruz of Lehigh, who competes for Puerto Rico at 57 kg. Other international athletes who competed in college include Giusseppe Rea of Ecuador at 61 kg (Wilkes), Mitch Finesilver of Israel at 74 kg (Duke), Nestor Taffur of Colombia at 79 kg (Boston University), Noel Torres of Mexico at 86 kg (Newman), Evan Ramos of Puerto Rico at 92 kg (Shippensburg) and Zach Merrill of Puerto Rico at 125 kg (Oklahoma and California Baptist).
An international opponent has been determined in the 97 kg Greco-Roman match to face 2021 World bronze medalist G’Angelo Hancock of the United States, 2017 Egyptian World Team member Ahmed Hassan of Egypt.
Among the European athletes, Zbigniew Baranowski of Poland at 97 kg was a 2019 European silver medalist and competed in the 2016 Olympic Games. Israel’s Finesilver was a bronze medalist at the 2021 European Championships and was a 2017 Maccabiah Games champion.
Medalists from past Pan American Championships events include Cruz of Puerto Rico at 57 kg, Dillon Williams of Canada at 70 kg, Taffur of Columbia at 79 kg, Torres of Mexico at 86 kg and Ramos of Puerto Rico at 92 kg.
Team USA at the Bout in the Ballpark is loaded, featuring three Olympic champions in Jordan Burroughs (men’s freestyle, 79 kg), Kyle Snyder (men’s freestyle, 97 kg) and Helen Maroulis (women’s freestyle, 57 kg). There are five past World champions, Burroughs, Snyder, Maroulis, Thomas Gilman (men’s freestyle, 57 kg) and Jacarra Winchester (women’s freestyle, 53 kg). Nine of the U.S. athletes have won Senior World or Olympic medals.
This unique event will also feature an NCAA Div. I dual meet between the two most successful programs in history, Oklahoma State University and the University of Iowa.
Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota, will be the first event at Globe Life Field, the Home of the Texas Rangers, to feature an international competition. The two wrestling mats will be located between the areas of pitcher’s mound and second base and will be placed on raised stages to improve sightlines from the seating bowl.
Tickets for Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota, start as $15 and are available at texasrangers.com/wrestling.
INTERNATIONAL PAIRINGS FOR BOUT AT THE BALLPARK, PRESENTED BY KUBOTA
Men’s freestyle pairings
57 kg – Thomas Gilman (USA) vs. Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico)
61 kg – Daton Fix (USA) vs. Giusseppe Rea (Ecuador)
65 kg – Joey McKenna (USA) vs. Kamal Begakov (Tajikistan)
70 kg – James Green (USA) vs. Dillon Williams (Canada)
74 kg – Jason Nolf (USA) vs. Mitch Finesilver (Israel)
79 kg – Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Nestor Taffur (Colombia)
86 kg – Zahid Valencia (USA) vs. Noel Torres (Mexico)
92 kg – Kollin Moore (USA) vs. Evan Ramos (Puerto Rico)
97 kg – Kyle Snyder (USA) vs. Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland)
125 kg – Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) vs. Zach Merrill (Puerto Rico)
Women’s freestyle pairings
50 kg – Victoria Anthony (USA) vs. Namuuntsetseg Tsogt-ochir (Mongolia)
53 kg – Jacarra Winchester (USA) vs. Khulan Batkhuyag (Mongolia)
57 kg – Helen Maroulis (USA) vs. Bolortuya Khurelkhuu (Mongolia)
62 kg – Kayla Miracle (USA) vs. Narangerel Erdenesukh (Mongolia)
68 kg – Kennedy Blades (USA) vs. Delgermaa Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia)
76 kg – Victoria Francis (USA) vs. Ariunjargal Ganbat (Mongolia)
97 kg – G’Angelo Hancock (USA) vs. Ahmed Hassan (Egypt)