NMU-OTS puts 6 on U23 Greco world team

AKRON, Ohio — Greco-Roman wrestling teammates Randon Miranda and Dalton Roberts of the Northern Michigan University Olympic Training Center duked it out in the finals at the Cadet and Under-23 World Team Trials on Friday.

Miranda came out on top in the best-of-three championship round at 60 kilograms (132.3 pounds), 5-7, 4-2, 6-3, as he avenged his loss in last year’s finals to Roberts.

Five of their teammates joined Miranda in qualifying for the U23 World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, in November, all champions in their weight claasses on Friday — Travis Rice at 63 kg (138.9 lbs.), Logan Kass at 72 kg (158.7 lbs.), Jesse Porter at 77 kg (169.8 lbs.), Carter Nielsen at 82 kg (180.8 lbs.) and George Sikes at 87 kg (191.8 lbs.).

Miranda, who was this year’s U.S. Open runner-up, trailed 3-1 with just 6 seconds left in the third and final bout of his finals match with Roberts. But Miranda benefitted from Roberts’ high-dive attempt as the eventual champ scored four points and earned another point on a failed challenge.

This will be Miranda’s third trip to an age-group World Championships, also making the 2016 and 2017 Junior World teams.

Rice and Porter are also returnees to the World stage.

Rice, a 2015 Junior World Team member, defeated Xavier Johnson of the Marines in two matches, winning 6-6 and 18-7. In the second match, Rice trailed 7-6 with 10 seconds left before rattling off 12 quick points with a 4-pointer and four gut wrenches to pick up the technical fall.

Porter, who returns to the U23 World Championships for the second straight year, beat Fritz Schierl of Ohio State, 6-6 and 10-0.

The three others from NMU will be first-timers at the World Championships.

In championship matches, Nielsen defeated Andrew Berreyesa of Finger Lakes Wrestling Club 1-1 and 12-2, Sikes put up 2-0 and 5-1 decisions over Jimmy Stillerman of Lancaster Alliance, and Kass won on injury default and medical forfeit over 2017 U23 World Team member Alex Mossing of the Air Force RTC.

In addition, the top three finishers in each weight class at Akron qualify for the Senior Greco World Team Trials to be held in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from June 21-22.

Here are second-, third- and fourth-place finishers among NMU-OTS athletes in Akron:

63 kg —

3rd place match, Ty Pelot (X-Factor Elite) won by fall over Erik Spence (NMU-OTS) 0:25

67 kg (147.7 lbs.) —

3rd place match, Britton Holmes (NMU-OTS) def. Wesley Dawkins (Nebraska Golden Eagles) 14-6

82 kg —

3rd place match, Chandler Rogers (Cowboy RTC/TMWC) won by fall over Spencer Woods (NMU-OTS), 0:27

97 kg (213.8 lbs.) —

championship match, G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist Kids) def. Roy Nash (NMU-OTS) 8-0, 10-1