Kendrick Sanders hits an under-arm spin on Pat Smith in the finals at 77 kilograms (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
CORALVILLE, Iowa -- Kendrick Sanders wrestled like a man on a mission Friday.
The 30-year-old claimed a Senior Nationals title in Greco-Roman Friday night in Coralville, Iowa, with an impressive 8-0 first-period technical superiority over two-time world team member Pat Smith. Sanders, a U.S. Open champion in 2014 and 2019, raced out to a 4-0 lead on the strength of an under-arm spin. He then used a trapped-arm gut wrench to turn Smith twice and end the match.
Benji Peak celebrates after winning the title at 67 kilograms (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
Benji Peak of Northern Michigan cruised to the title at 67 kilograms with a first period 8-0 technical superiority over Calvin Germinaro and earned Outstanding Wrestler honors in the process. Peak scored an early takedown and then attempted a lift before Germinaro was penalized for a leg foul, giving Peak an additional two points after a successful challenge. Peak then lifted Germinaro and executed a four-point throw to finish off a first period technical superiority.
Alex Thomsen runs out to the mat for his finals match (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
University of Nebraska wrestler Alex Thomsen, wrestling his home state of Iowa, claimed his first Senior Nationals title with a 5-2 victory over Colorado native Mosha Schwartz. Thomsen scored the first point of the match off a step out. Schwartz came back with a takedown to go up 2-1. Thomsen retook the lead when he countered a throw and took a 3-2 lead into the break. Thomsen added to his lead with a takedown to go up 5-2. Schwartz cut the deficit to two with a step out. In the final seconds, Schwartz attempted a duck under and transitioned to throw, but was unable to score and Thomsen held on for the win.
Alan Vera with the championship plaque (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
Alan Vera, a gold medalist at the Dave Schultz Memorial and Bill Farrell International, solidified himself as the nation's top 87-kilogram Greco-Roman wrestler with a convincing 7-1 victory over Joe Rau. Vera, formerly of Cuba, scored first off a caution and then used a gut wrench to go up 3-0. He added another takedown to lead 5-0 at the break. Rau was able to get on the scoreboard in the second period with a caution. But Vera would add another takedown to win by six.
Nick Boykin defeated Chad Porter in the finals at 97 kilograms (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
Second-seeded Nick Boykin topped No. 1-seeded Chad Porter 5-1 in the finals at 97 kilograms. Boykin jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after he countered a Porter arm throw and scored a two-point exposure. The match would remain 2-0 into the break. Boykin added to his lead with a passivity to go up 3-0. Porter would get on the board with a step out to cut the deficit to 3-1. But a late go-behind by Boykin increased his lead to 5-1, which is how the match would end.
Cohlton Schultz talks to his coach Mark Perry (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
Three-time age group world medalist Cohlton Schultz earned the title at 130 kilograms with a 4-2 win over West Cathcart. Schultz scored first off a passivity to go up 1-0 and then attempted a gut wrench, which Cathart countered and exposed Schultz for two before Schultz recovered and got to his feet and scored a step out. Schultz, who currently competes for Arizona State, would add a step out and take a 3-2 lead into the break. He would tack on an additional point off a step out in the second period.
60: Alex Thomsen dec. Mosha Schwartz, 5-3
67: Benjamin Peak tech. Calvin Germinaro, 8-0
77: Kendrick Sanders tech. Pat Smith, 8-0
87: Alan Vera dec. Joe Rau, 7-1
97: Nick Boykin dec. Chad Porter, 5-1
130: Cohlton Schultz dec. West Cathcart, 4-2