USA Wrestling has rounded out the international lineup for Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota, which will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on February 12.
Bout at the Ballpark is the first event of its kind with elite collegiate and international wrestlers performing at a competition. Team USA will also bring an elite group of athletes to face international stars side by side in the college game. Team USA will feature many talented World and Olympic medalists. The day will also include a Greco-Roman match.
Bout at the Ballpark will also feature doubles matches between Oklahoma State University and the University of Iowa. These two colleges have won the most NCAA tag team titles in wrestling. In addition to the men’s freestyle competition, two of the best women’s freestyle nations in the world will go head-to-head when Team USA takes on Mongolia, in a six-game dual competition in the Olympic weight classes.
Please note that the fight at the Ballpark will now start at 6:00 p.m. due to the exciting addition of women’s freestyle matches between Team USA and Mongolia. Gates will open as scheduled at 5:00 p.m. and parking lots will open at 4:00 p.m. Fans are encouraged to arrive early so as not to miss an exciting opening ceremony.
While the Iranian Wrestling Federation announced that it would not come to compete, a team of athletes from around the world was organized to compete against the American male athletes. The International All-Stars represent nine different nations from four different continents (Europe, Pan America, Asia and Africa).
The US men’s freestyle team was also finalized, with two-time world bronze medalist Nick Gwiazdowski named to the open position at 125kg. Additionally, Joey McKenna, the 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials runner-up, former US Open champion and multiple World Age Group Medalist, will compete at 65kg and Team Trials runner-up. 2020 U.S. Olympic, 2021 Team Trials World Runner-Up and Two- Age Group World Medalist Kollin Moore will compete at 92kg for Team USA.
These athletes mostly train in the United States in preparation for international competition, most with regional American training centers. Seven of the 11 athletes were successful wrestlers within the American college wrestling system, and a number are now college-level coaches.
2017 NCAA champion Darian Cruz of Lehigh, who competes for Puerto Rico at 57 kg, is part of the group. Other international athletes who have competed at the university include Giusseppe Rea of Ecuador at 61kg (Wilkes), Mitch Finesilver of Israel at 74kg (Duke), Nestor Taffur of Colombia at 79kg (Boston University ), Noel Torres of Mexico at 86 kg (Newman), Evan Ramos of Puerto Rico at 92 kg (Shippensburg) and Zach Merrill of Puerto Rico at 125 kg (Oklahoma and California Baptist).
An international opponent has been determined in the Greco-Roman 97kg match to face 2021 World Bronze Medalist G’Angelo Hancock of the United States, 2017 World Egypt Team member Ahmed Hassan of Egypt.
Among European athletes, Zbigniew Baranowski from Poland at 97kg was a European silver medalist in 2019 and competed at the 2016 Olympics. Finesilver from Israel was a bronze medalist at the 2021 European Championships and was champion of the Maccabiah Games 2017.
Medalists from past Pan Am Championships include Cruz of Puerto Rico at 57kg, Dillon Williams of Canada at 70kg, Taffur of Colombia at 79kg, Torres of Mexico at 86kg and Ramos of Puerto Rico at 92kg.
Team USA at Bout in the Ballpark is loaded, with three Olympic champions in Jordan Burroughs (men’s freestyle, 79kg), Kyle Snyder (men’s freestyle, 97kg) and Helen Maroulis (women’s freestyle, 57kg). There are five former world champions, Burroughs, Snyder, Maroulis, Thomas Gilman (men’s freestyle, 57kg) and Jacarra Winchester (women’s freestyle, 53kg). Nine of the American athletes have won world or senior Olympic medals.
This unique event will also feature an NCAA Div. I have a dual encounter between the two most successful programs in history, Oklahoma State University and the University of Iowa.
Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota, will be the first event at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers, to feature international competition. The two wrestling mats will be located between the pitcher’s mound and second base areas and will be placed on raised stages to improve sight lines from the seat bowl.
Tickets for Bout at the Ballpark, presented by Kubota, start at $15 and are available at texasrangers.com/wrestling.
INTERNATIONAL PAIRINGS FOR BOUT AT THE BALLPARK, PRESENTED BY KUBOTA
Men’s Freestyle Duos
57kg – Thomas Gilman (USA) vs. Darian Cruz (Puerto Rico)
61kg – Daton Fix (USA) vs. Giusseppe Rea (Ecuador)
65kg – Joey McKenna (USA) vs. Kamal Begakov (Tajikistan)
70kg – James Green (USA) vs Dillon Williams (Canada)
74kg – Jason Nolf (USA) vs. Mitch Finesilver (Israel)
79kg – Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Nestor Taffur (Colombia)
86kg – Zahid Valencia (USA) vs. Noel Torres (Mexico)
92kg – Kollin Moore (USA) vs. Evan Ramos (Puerto Rico)
97kg – Kyle Snyder (USA) vs. Zbigniew Baranowski (Poland)
125kg – Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) vs. Zach Merrill (Puerto Rico)
Women’s Freestyle Duos
50kg – Victoria Anthony (USA) vs. Namuuntsetseg Tsogt-ochir (Mongolia)
53kg – Jacarra Winchester (USA) vs. Khulan Batkhuyag (Mongolia)
57kg – Helen Maroulis (USA) vs. Bolortuya Khurelkhuu (Mongolia)
62kg – Kayla Miracle (USA) vs. Narangerel Erdenesukh (Mongolia)
68kg – Kennedy Blades (USA) vs. Delgermaa Enkhsaikhan (Mongolia)
76kg – Victoria Francis (USA) vs Ariunjargal Ganbat (Mongolia)
97kg – G’Angelo Hancock (USA) vs. Ahmed Hassan (Egypt)