Koontz, Miranda, Jones, Smith win Pan American Greco-Roman golds, Boykin adds bronze

Pat Smith (USA) throws Horacio Miranda of Argentina at 72kg at the 2022 Pan American Championships. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers are warriors.

ACAPULCO, Mexico — The United States won gold medals in four of the seven Greco-Roman weight classes contested on the opening day of the Pan Am Championships on Thursday and added a bronze for a five-medal haul.

The gold medalists for Team USA were Brady Koontz at 55kg, Randon Miranda at 60kg, Sam Jones at 63kg and two-time World Team member Pat Smith at 77kg. It was a fourth career Pan Am Championships title for Smith, while Koontz, Miranda and Jones won their first Pan Am Championships title.

Koontz clinched the gold medal in the morning session, beating both opponents in a three-way round robin. Koontz started with an 11-0 technical downfall against Brandon Escobar Amador of Honduras, and won his second fight with a 9-1 technical downfall against 2018 Youth Olympic Games bronze medalist Axel Salas Esquivel of Mexico. He finished with a forfeit against Gemerson Moura Dos Santos of Brazil.
Miranda won his first career senior Pan American title with a 12-8 win over Samuel Gurria Vigueras of Mexico. In the first period, he scored a point on a passivity and two points on a leg fault on Gurria after attempting a reverse topspin. There was an active rally in which the officials gave Garria four runs. Miranda challenged and the score was changed to Miranda leading 9-2 at the break. In the second period, there was a two-for-two trade to bring the score to 11-4. Gurria hit a four-point header, with Miranda getting a knockdown for the final score of 12-8. It was Miranda’s second career medal at the Pan American Championships, with a silver in 2021.

Jones was dominant in an 11-0 technical fall in the first period against Jose Rodriguez Hernandez of Mexico. Jones scored the first two points, one on a step and the second on a passivity call. On the floor, Jones had two huge lifts and throws, the first for four points and the second for five points. His weight only had two competitors, so it was his only match of the day. It was her second career medal at the Pan American Championships, following a bronze medal in 2016.

Smith also put on a show in his last game, scoring an 8-0 technical fall over Argentina’s Horacio Miranda in just 1:30. Smith scored first on a step, then got a point on a pass. While on the floor, Smith tipped Miranda for two, then lifted and launched Miranda with a four-point throw to secure the technical downfall of 8-0 in just 1:30. Smith finished the event with a perfect 4-0 record in a five athlete round robin, including three technical falls.

Smith has been dominant at the Pan American level, with four gold medals at the Pan American Championships (2015, 2016, 2017, 2022), a title at the 2019 Pan American Games and a silver medal at the 2020 Pan American Championships.

Nick Boykin won a bronze medal at 97kg, with an injury default victory over Eduardo Gajardo Meneses of Chile in the bronze medal round. He started with a 9-0 technical fall over Mexico’s Luis Rivera Alvarado. Boykin was beaten in the semifinals by veteran star Kevin Mejia Castillo of Honduras in an 8-0 technical fall.

Two other American athletes competed on Thursday, with Hayden Tuma placing seventh at 67kg and Tanner Farmer finishing eighth at 130kg.

The Greco-Roman competition will end on Friday with the final three weight categories, 77 kg, 82 kg and 87 kg. The women’s freestyle begins Friday in four weight classes, 55kg, 59kg, 65kg and 72kg. Session hours are 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. local time, which is the central time zone of the United States. All the action is live on FloWrestling.

In Acupulco, Mexico, May 5, 2022

Greco-Roman medalists

55 kilograms
Gold – Brady Koontz (USA)
Silver – Axel Andre Salas Esquival (Mexico)
Bronze – Brandon Jesus Escobar Amador (Honduras)

60 kilograms
Gold – Randon Miranda (USA)
Silver – Samuel Gurria Vigueras (Mexico)
Bronze – Joao Marco Benavides Rochabrun (Peru)
Bronze – Dicther Hans Toro Castaneda (Colombia)

63 kilograms
Gold – Sam Jones (USA)
Silver – Jose Rodriguez Hernandez (Mexico)

67 kilograms
Gold – Julian Horta Acevedo (Colombia)
Silver – Kenedy Anderson Moraes Pedrosa (Brazil)
Bronze – Enyer Manuel Feliciano (Dominican Republic)
Bronze – Nilton Gonzalo Marcos Soto Garcia (Peru)

Gold – Patrick Smith (USA)
Silver – Edsson Rafael Olmos Gutierrez (Mexico)
Bronze – Cristian Estuardo Mejia Tepen (Guatemala)

97 kilograms
Gold – Kevin Mejia Castillo (Honduras)
Silver – Juan Luis Conde Ibanez (Cuba)
Bronze – Carlos Alberto Adames Palmer (Dominican Republic)
Bronze – Nicholas Allen Boykin (United States)

130 kilograms
Gold – Oscar Pino Hinds (Cuba)
Silver – Eduard Soghomonyan (Brazil)
Bronze – Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (Chile)
Bronze – Leo Dalis Santana Heredia (Dominican Republic)

American Greco-Roman performances

55 kg: Brady Koontz (Ohio RTC/Titan Mercury WC), gold medal
WIN Brandon Escobar Amador (Honduras), technician. fall, 11-0, 1:56
WINAXel Salas Esquivel (Mexico), tech. fall, 9-1, 5:31
WINS Gemerson Moura Dos Santos (Brazil), forfeited

60 kg: Randon Miranda (Rise RTC), gold medal
WIN Emerson Felipe Ordonez (Guatemala), technician. fall 11-1, 3:36
VICTORY Marat Garipov (Brazil), 7-1
VICTORY Joao Benavides Rochabrun (Peru), 8-7
VICTORY Samuel Gurria Vigueras (Mexico), 12-8

63 kg: Sam Jones (New York AC), gold medal
VICTORY Jose Rodriguez Hernandez (Mexico) ,11-0, 2:08

67 kg: Hayden Tuma (Suples WC), 7th place
WIN Mauricio Lovera (Argentina), technician. fall 11-0, 2:38
DEFEAT Diego Martinez de Leija (Mexico), 8-4

72 kg: Pat Smith (Minnesota Storm), gold medal
WINS Cristian Mejia Tepen (Guatemala), technical fall 9-0, 1:58
VICTORY Eddson Olmos Gutierrez (Mexico), 4-2
WIN Angel Cortes Bonilla (Panama), technician. fall, 8-0 1:47
WIN Horacio Miranda (Argentina), technical fall 8-0, 1:30

97 kg: Nick Boykin (Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC), bronze medal
WIN Luis Rivera Alvarado (Mexico), technician. fall, 9-0, 3:49
LOSS Kevin Mejia Castillo (Honduras), technician. fall 8-0, 0:52
WIN Eduardo Gajardo Meneses (Chile), injury default 0:00

130 kg: Tanner Farmer (New York AC), 8th place
LOSS Oscar Pino Hinds (Cuba), technician. fall 9-0
DEFEAT Yasmani Acosta Fernandez (Chile), 3-1

American Greco-Roman Draws for Friday

77kg: RaVaughn Perkins (USOPTC/New York AC)
Jerome Hoyte (Barbados) – 9th Pan American Championships 2017

82 kg: Tyler Cunningham (MWC Academy)
Group B opponents
Brayden Ambo (Canada) – 6th Pan American Championships 2020, 2nd Canada Cup 2018
Nestor Tafur Barrios (Colombia) – no Greco-Roman achievements, 2nd at Pan Am 2021 in freestyle

87kg: Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm)
Vs. Carlos Munoz Jaramillo (Colombia) – 2nd Pan American Championships 2020, Olympian 2016

US women’s freestyle draw for Friday

55kg: Jacarra Winchester (USOPTC/Cowboy RTC/Titan Mercury WC)
Group A opponents
Nadia Trujillano La Rosa (Peru) – 2017 Junior Pan American Champion
Lisily Lima Da Silva (Brazil) – no information

59kg: Xochitl Mota-Pettis (USOPTC/Rise RTC)
Round robin
Ameyali Jessel Rojas (Mexico) – no information
Laurence Beauregard (Canada) – 2019 Pan American Champion, 2018 World University Champion

65kg: Forrest Molinari (Sunkist Kids)
Round robin
Saidy Chavez Figueroa (Honduras) – 3rd 2016 Cerro Pelado (Cuba)
Atzimba Landaverde Moreno (Mexico) – 1st Junior Pan American Championship 2018
Miki Rowbottom (Canada) – 4th Canada Cup 2019

72kg: Skylar Grote (Beaver Dam RTC/New York AC)
Round robin
Brenda Aguiar Dos Santos (Brazil) – 3rd at the 2021 Pan American Championships, 4th at the 2020 Pan American Championships
Maria Garcia Bautista (Mexico) – 3rd Central American and Caribbean Games 2011
Taylor Follensbee (Canada) – 2nd World University Championships 2018

Robert J. King