photo courtesy of Larry Slater
On the final day of competition at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, Tamrya Mensah-Stock made American wrestling history by capturing her third title at this event. Last year Mensah-Stock became the first US wrestler to win the Yarygin in back-to-back years, a feat that was quickly matched by Kyle Snyder a day later. Not only is she the only American to win gold at the Yarygin three times, but she has also done it in three consecutive years. Mensah-Stock won at 72 kg, which is one weight above the class where she earned her first world medal last year. At the 2018 World Championships, Mensah-Stock won the bronze medal at 68 kg which capped an impressive, breakout year for her. In Russia, Tamyra started her tournament with a 10-0 shutout of 2018 Junior World silver medalist Evgenia Zakharchenko (Russia), followed by a 9-4 win over Tatyana Kolesnikova (Russia), who was also a Junior World silver medalist in 2013 and a Senior Russian Champion in 2018. Her finals opponent was young Japanese star Yuka Kagami, a two-time Cadet World Champion. Mensah-Stock got on the board first with a takedown and then she trapped the Japanese wrestler on her back during her attempt at a second takedown. Kagami could not fight off her back and the fall was called at 2:43 for Mensah-Stock. The win will provide Tamyra with ranking points that will be used when determining seeds for the 2019 World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan.
The American contingent will come home with five medals from the Yarygin. Mensah-Stock and Sarah Hildebrandt (53 kg) were the only who won gold. Victoria Anthony (50 kg) was the other woman who medaled, and she took the bronze. On the men’s side Thomas Gilman (57 kg) and Alex Dieringer (79 kg), both earned bronze medals, as well.