World Team Trials preview at 75 kg/165 lbs. in Greco-Roman

BY TAYLOR MILLER, USA WRESTLING

Kamal Bey lifts an opponent for a throw at the 2016 Dave Schultz Memorial International.

Andy Bisek won two World bronze medals for the U.S. competing at 75 kg/165 lbs. However, the newly appointed Northern Michigan assistant coach is not expected to compete at this year’s World Team Trials, leaving the spot to likely be filled by one of youngsters coming onto the Senior Greco-Roman scene.

Consistently challenging Bisek at the weight was Geordan Speiller, who will make the move up to 80 kg/176 lbs. this year. The absence of Bisek and Speiller makes way for U.S.’s youth to take over.

Top competitors Kamal Bey and Jesse Porter took a different route than most U.S. youth wrestlers, foregoing the traditional college wrestling experience in order to pursue Greco-Roman wrestling full time.

The two have clashed in three tournament finals recently, with Bey taking home the gold in each of them. In February, Bey defeated Porter in the Dave Schultz Memorial International finals, 5-3, in their most recent meeting. That outcome was much closer than Bey’s 9-0 technical fall over Porter in the U.S. Senior Nationals finals in December.

Prior to that, the two battled it out for the 74 kg/163 lbs. spot on the 2016 Junior World Team. Porter took the first bout in a best-of-three finals series, but Bey responded with two-straight wins to earn the World Team spot and went on to finish eighth in the world.

Bey, a five-time Fargo finalist and 2015 Junior Greco National champion, moved from his home state of Illinois to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., last year and has shown tremendous improvement.

In his first tournament as an OTC resident athlete, Bey finished fourth at the 2016 Dave Schultz Memorial International. Since then, he has collected three international gold medals and a Senior Greco national championship. Most recently, he won gold at the Junior Greco-Roman Austrian Open before earning bronze at the respected Grand Prix Zagreb Open in Croatia in March.

Porter, a New York native, went straight to full-time Greco by way of Northern Michigan University.

Similar to Bey, Porter won two international medals last month, earning bronze in both the Zagreb Open and Junior Austrian Open. Porter has also picked up international medals at the 2017 Dave Schultz (silver), 2016 Bill Farrell (bronze) and 2016 Klippan Cup (bronze) in Sweden. Nationally, he was a 2016 University Nationals champion and a 2017 U.S. Senior Nationals runner-up.

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