Northern Michigan University Greco-Roman wrestlers qualify for Worlds

Northern Michigan University Greco-Roman wrestler Benji Peak celebrates after winning a match at the Final X Tournament in Stillwater, Okla., last weekend. (Photo courtesy NMU)

MARQUETTE — Led by Benji Peak, several Greco-Roman wrestlers from Northern Michigan University tasted success at tournaments last weekend.

Peak earned a roster spot for USA Wrestling’s Senior World Team that will compete in Belgrade, Serbia, in mid-September at the 2022 Senior World Championships.

Three other NMU wrestlers earned spots on USA Wrestling’s Under-20 World Team that will participate at the World Championships set for Aug. 15-21 in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Here are more details on their qualifying from several NMU Athletics news releases:


Northern Michigan University Greco-Roman wrestler Jonathan Gurule celebrates after a win during USA Wrestling's Under-20 World Team Trials held in Geneva, Ohio, last weekend. (Photo courtesy Sam Janicki)

Peak wins best-of-3

At Stillwater, Oklahoma, Peak won his national team spot by winning his lone match at the Final X Tournament, a best-of-three series.

Peak earned his way to Oklahoma by winning at the World Team Trials Challenge on May 22.

Peak faced returning World Team member Patrick Smith of the Minnesota Storm in his best-of-three series, a return matchup after Smith had won during their dual at the 2021 World Team Trials.

This time, though, Peak came out on top 2-1, losing the first bout 5-3 before bouncing back with 3-2 and 6-2 victories.

Half of the 2022 U.S. Senior World Team was set last weekend as 15 wrestlers punched their ticket to Belgrade. A second Final X event is scheduled for today in New York City at Madison Square Garden, where Northern’s Alston Nutter takes on 2020 Olympian and NMU alumnus Alejandro Sancho, now of the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.


3 make U20 World Team

At Geneva, Ohio, the Wildcats’ Jonathan Gurule, Max Black and Payton Jacobson each won their best-of-three finals to make the U.S. U20 World Team.

At 55 kilograms (121.3 pounds), Gurule outscored his opponents 21-5 in his first three matches to reach the finals against Jakason Burks of MVC Wrestling Academy in the finals. Gurule took a 1-0 lead on a passivity call in their first bout before the NMU wrestler scored back-to-back four-point lifts for a 9-0 technical fall win.

The second bout also started out close as they were tied 1-1 after the second period before Gurule scored another four-point move for a 5-1 win and the match victory.

Black claimed his World Team spot at 60 kg (132.3 lbs.) also with a 2-0 win in the finals. Going against Joseph Couch of Maryland, Black led 6-4 after one period before Couch scored a takedown. But Black persisted to finish the bout with a four-point throw and two gut wrenches to win by technical fall, 14-6.

In their second bout, Black scored a two-point takedown in the first period, adding a passivity point and two more takedowns later for a 7-0 win and match sweep.

Jacobson faced Jared Stricker of Wisconsin at 77 kg (169.8 lbs.) after they finished atop their round-robin qualification. In their first bout, Jacobson scored five pushout points in the opening period for a 5-0 lead, but Stricker got one of those back in the second. Jacobson ultimately took control with two more pushouts and an arm drag for a 9-1 technical fall.

The second bout was an 8-0 shutout as Jacobson scored an arm spin, takedown and four-point lift.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.


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