World Team Trials preview at 80 kg/176 lbs. in Greco-Roman

BY TAYLOR MILLER, USA WRESTLING

Geordan Speiller at 2016 University Nationals in Akron, Ohio. 

Owning the 80 kg/176 lbs. spot the last two years has been two-time World Team member Patrick Martinez. However, with Martinez announcing he will compete for the 85 kg/187 lbs. World Team spot, it’s time for someone else to step in.

After taking eight months off from competition, 2016 Pan-American champion Geordan Speiller recently returned to the mat and has made the move up to 80 kg from 75 kg/165 lbs.

Since his time at 80 kg, Speiller has won the 2016 University Nationals, 2017 Dave Schultz Memorial International, 2017 Cerro Pelado International and earned silver at the 2017 Grand Prix of Hungary to prove himself as one of the top contenders for the World Team spot.

The two-time Junior World Team member finished second to two-time World medalist Andy Bisek at the 2016 Olympic Team Trials at 75 kg.

Despite having not made a Senior World Team, Speiller is well versed in foreign competition and owns 10 international medals with several more top-10 finishes. He competed on two Junior World Teams and a University World Games Team in his age-group competition.

Likely to put up the biggest challenge against Speiller is Greco veteran Cheney Haight, who looks to make his second Senior World Team and first since 2011.

A five-time National Team member, Haight took third at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 85 kg.

Haight has several championships to his name, including 2016 Pan-American title, four Sunkist Kids International championships and two New York AC International titles.

Earlier this year, Haight defeated Jon Jay Chavez, 4-0, in the 80 kg finals of the 2017 U.S. Senior Nationals. It was his second U.S. Open title.

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