Tyler Graff wins the Cerro Pelado Granma Cup on the first day of competition
Photo by: Milena Wick
Led by Tyler Graff, TMWC/ USA dominates first day of wrestling in Cuba
By: Jonny Ruggiano
A delegation of wrestlers from the United States, led by Titan Mercury Wrestling Club started strong at the Cerro Pelado International Granma Cup in Havana, Cuba. Eight wrestlers competed on day one and the team came home with one champion, two silver medalists and four bronze medals.
Tyler Graff claimed the title at 57 kg., after China’s Liu Mingh forfeited the finals match. Prior to the finals, Graff claimed two solid wins. In his prelim bout, Tyler Graff won against Alvarez from Cuba with a 10-0 tech-fall. In his semifinal, Graff won 7-4 against Juan Pablo Gonzalez.
BJ Futrell and JT Felix also made the finals on the first day of the Granma Cup. In two exciting bouts, both Futrell and Felix fell to their Cuban counterparts. At 65 kg., BJ Futrell faced off against Maren of Cuba. In the first minute, Futrell found himself in a 0-2 deficit. Futrell answered back with a four-point double to take the lead, 4-0. The Cuban regained the lead with a minute left, 6-4. In what seemed to be a match ending takedown, Futrell scored a takedown with only thirteen seconds left to lead the match 6-6. However, in the last four seconds Maren scored a push-out to win the finals bout, 7-6.
At 97 kg., JT Felix faced veteran Olympian Reineriz Salas Perez of Cuba. The three-time World medalist started off strong against Felix with a 4-0 lead at the break. However, JT Felix came into the second round firing all cylinders. Felix narrowed the deficit 5-7 with only seconds left. At the end of the bout JT Felix was close to a takedown, but was unable to finish, resulting in Salas’ 7-5 win in the finals.
In the consolation finals, all four wrestlers in the bronze medal bout came out victorious. At 57 kg., Jesse Delgado earned a quick 10-0 tech fall against his Mexican opponent. Nick Dardanes earned bronze at 65 kg., with his 16-6 tech fall against Aucupina of Peru. Chris Perry won his 74 kg. bronze medal with a 12-2 tech against Anguelano of Mexico. Kyven Gadson also claimed bronze at 97 kg. with a 10-0 tech-fall against Sanchez of Mexico.
Frank Perrelli was 1-2 for the day at 57 kg. Perrelli was defeated 4-2 against Jesse Delgado in the quarterfinals to drop out of medal contention.
Tomorrow’s competition begins at 2 PM EST. Titan Mercury Wrestling Club will provide live updates as competition continues @titan_mercury.
Place winners for Wednesday 2/22/17 :
57 kg: Tyler Graff: Champion
57 kg: Jesse Delgado: Bronze
57 kg: Frank Perrelli: DNP
65 kg: BJ Futrell: Silver
65 kg: Nick Dardanes: Bronze
74 kg: Chris Perry: Bronze
97 kg: JT Felix: Silver
97 kg: Kyven Gadson: Bronze
TMWC/ USA roster for Thursday 2/23/17:
61 kg: Andrew Hochstrasser
61 kg: Alan Waters
61 kg: Kanen Storr
61 kg: Shelton Mack
70 kg: Nazar Kulchytskyy
86 kg: Austin Trotman
86 kg: Timmy McCall
125 kg: Bobby Telford