Three NMU Greco-Roman wrestlers make the U23 World Team

MARQUETTE, Michigan (WLUC) – National Training Site for Greco-Roman Wrestlers at Northern Michigan University Peak Benji, Alston Nutter and David Stepanien stepped on the podium at the U23 Nationals yesterday in Lincoln, Nebraska. All three have earned a spot on USA Wrestling’s U23 World Team and will compete in Belgrade, Serbia in November.

Competing at 72kg, Peak received outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament honors for outscoring his opponents 43-1. In his best-of-three final, Peak faced 2019 World Team member Lenny Merkin and picked up back-to-back wins with a first-half pin and a 10-1 technical fall.

Making his third Age Group World Team was Alston Nutter. The 2019 World Juniors bronze medalist picked up 9-6 and 8-5 wins over Jaden Enriquez to earn his ticket to Serbia at 67kg.

At 63kg, Stepanian picked up 5-2 and 8-3 victories over 2020 Senior National finalist Mosha Schwartz.

Head coach Andy Bisek was pleased with his team’s eleven top-eight finishes.

“The team fought well,” Bisek said. “They faced tough opponents and made great mid-game adjustments to secure their places.”

UWW U23 National Championship Results60kg Rafaele Masi, eighth place72kg Peak BenjiFirst Place63kg David StepanienFirst Place67kg Alston NutterFirst Place67kg Lydell CanadaFifth Place67kg Nick Leonetti, Eighth Place77kg Brody Olsonsixth place77kg Julien BeltranEighth Place82kg DM Hallett, Eighth Place97kg Keaton FanningFourth Place82kg George SikesThe second place

Best of three final results

63kg – David Stepanien (NMU/NYAC) vs. Mosha Schwartz (Northern Colorado WC), 2 matches to 0Match 1: Stepanian dec Schwartz, 5-2Match 2: Stepanian dec Schwartz, 8-3

67kg – Alston Nutter (NMU/Sunkist Kids) vs. Jaden Enriquez (Michigan WC), 2 matches to 0Match 1: Nutter dec Enriquez, 9-6Match 2: Nutter dec Enriquez, 8-5

72kg: Peak Benji (NMU/Sunkist Kids) vs. Lenny Merkin (NYAC), 2 matches to 0Match 1: Peak FALL Merkin, 1:00Match 2: Peak tech Merkin, 10-1

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Robert J. King