With fans packed around the mat, and live video on the huge screens in Times Square, the United States defeated Cuba 9-4 at the Beat the Streets “Salsa in the Square.”
The fans came for a show, and the U.S. delivered, highlighted by an explosive win from the Magic Man, 2015 U.S. Open champion David Taylor, who beat Olympic bronze medalist and three-time World medalist Livan Lopez in an 18-7 technical fall.
The first period was tied 6-6, with Taylor scoring the first six points, then Lopez powering back with a two-point turn and a four-point crotch lift throw. The second period was all Taylor. A four-point throw was followed by a series of takedowns and turns which ended with a cradle turn then a bar arm tilt for the technical fall.
“He is a tough guy. He was wrestling a great competition. Sometimes I hold myself back. In that match, I just continued to wrestle. Since I was a little kid, I do my best when I wrestle the entire time,” said Taylor.
2012 Olympic Champion and two-time World champion Jordan Burroughs also added to the show, competing in the final match of the night against young Luis Esteban Quintana. Burroughs led 6-0 at the break, and added four more points in the second period for a 10-1 lead. Then he exploded for a takedown, taking Quintana to his back and securing the pin at 4:50.
“That dude was extremely athletic. He wanted to keep the score close and I didn’t. I had to be the opposite of the perspective he brought to the match. I like to score points and thrive on the crowd’s energy,” said Burroughs.
Another highlight win for the American freestylers came at 97 kg/213 lbs., when 2013 Junior World champion Kyle Snyder, just 19 years old, beat 2014 World bronze medalist Javier Cortina, 4-0. Snyder scored on78 a single leg takedown and two pushouts to shut out the Cuban star. Snyder, an NCAA runner-up as a freshman for Ohio State, won his first U.S. Open title earlier this month.
“I love wrestling on the stage. I am so grateful Mike Novogratz picked me to compete here, That guy was strong. It is great to wrestle a World bronze medalist and compete well against him. There are some things I can fix moving forward, but it was good,” said Snyder.
The United States won five of the seven men’s freestyle matches, in a card which featured 14 bouts encompassing all three Olympic styles. Other men’s freestyle winners for the United States were veteran stars Brent Metcalf at 65 kg/145.5 lbs. and Tervel Dlagnev at 125 kg/275 lbs.
For the second time in the last two months, Metcalf defeated Franklin Maren, this time by an 8-5 margin. Metcalf opened it up with a takedown to a gutwrench for four key points in the second period. Metcalf also beat Maren at the Freestyle World Cup in Los Angeles in April.
Dlagnev, a two-time World bronze medalist, opened up his offense for a 10-0 technical fall over young Andres Ramos Dinza, with a combination of takedowns and gutwrenches.
Cuba had a pair of men’s freestyle wins, as World medalist Yowlys Bonne beat Tony Ramos at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. by a 14-1 margin, with three spectacular throws. Also, three-time World medalist Reineris Salas stopped 2009 World silver medalist Jake Herbert at 86 kg/185 lbs., 8-4.
The meet started with four women’s freestyle matches, which featured three U.S. wins.
2008 Olympic bronze medalist Randi Miller of Team USA opened the night with an 11-0 technical fall over 17-year old Yudari Sanchez of Cuba at 69 kg/152 lbs.. Miller scored four spin-behind takedowns, an ankle pick and a pushout to get her victory in the second period.
2012 Olympic bronze medalist and 2008 World champion Clarissa Chun came back at 48 kg with an 8-2 win over Yusneylis Guzman. Chun opened with a 6-0 lead in the first period, with a four-point toss and a takedown. Guzman came back with a takedown, but could not close the gap after that.
2012 World silver medalist and 2014 World bronze medalist Helen Maroulis kept up the momentum with a 10-0 technical fall over Yamilka del Valle. After leading 4-0 at the break, Maroulis scored three second period takedowns to put the match away.
Cuba got a win at 60 kg/132 lbs. with a technical fall of their own, as Yekelin Stornell defeated New York City native Rosemary Flores, 11-0. A product of the Beat the Streets program, Flores competed for Curtis High School on Staten Island, and wrestled in Times Square during the Beat the Streets youth matches while she was in high school. She is now at Campbellsville University.
There were two Greco-Roman matches, which were split 1-1 between the nations.
At 75 kg/165 lbs., 2014 World bronze medalist Andy Bisek scored a key gutwrench turn to defeat Yurisandi Hernandez, 4-1. Bisek controlled the pace of the match throughout.
In an active match with some excellent throws, Cuban Maykel Anache defeated two-time Olympian Spenser Mango (USA), 6-4. It was his second win over Mango this season, including the 2015 Pan American Championships finals.
In a special challenge match, reigning NCAA Div. I national champion Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State defeated reigning NCAA Div. II national champion Joey Davis of Notre Dame College, 9-0. Dieringer led 1-0 at the break. When he was put on the shot clock in the second period, he scored a nice ankle-pick takedown to get his offense going. After a throw-by, he hit two gutwrenches for the 9-0 win.
Dieringer is a two-time NCAA champion. Davis is a three-time NCAA champion, and has not yet lost a college wrestling match. This match caught the interest of the wrestling community.
This is the fourth time this event has been held in Times Square in its six-year history. Other locations have been Grand Central Terminal and on the deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid aircraft carrier.
This event is a fundraiser for the Beat the Streets program, which provides wrestling opportunities for more than 3,000 young people in New York City each year.
BEAT THE STREETS “SALSA IN THE SQUARE”
USA 9, CUBA 4
69 kg/152 lbs. – Randi Miller (USA) tech. fall Yudari Sanchez Rodriguez (Cuba), 11-0
60 kg/132 lbs. – Yekelin Stornell Elastigue (Cuba) tech. fall Rosemary Flores (USA), 11-0
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Clarissa Chun (USA) dec. Yusneylis Guzman Lopez (Cuba), 8-2
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (USA) tech. fall Yamilka del Valle Alvarez (Cuba), 10-0
75 kg/165 lbs. – Andy Bisek (USA) dec. Yurisandi Hernandez Rios (Cuba), 4-1
59 kg/130 lbs. –Maykel Anache Lamout (Cuba) dec. Spenser Mango (USA), 6-4
125 kg/275 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev (USA) tech. fall Andres Ramos Dinza (Cuba), 10-0
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Yowlys Bonne Rodriguez (Cuba) tech. fall Tony Ramos (USA), 14-1
97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder (USA) dec. Javier Cortina Lacerra (Cuba), 4-0
65 kg/143 lbs. – Brent Metcalf (USA) dec. Franklin Maren Castillo (Cuba), 8-5
74 kg/163 lbs. – David Taylor (USA) tech. fall Livan Lopez Azcuy (Cuba), 18-7
86 kg/189 lbs. – Reineris Salas Perez (Cuba) dec. Jake Herbert (USA), 8-4
74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) pin Luis Esteban Quintana Martinez (Cuba), 4:50
Special Challenge Match
NCAA Div. I champion Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) dec. NCAA Div. II champion Joey Davis (Notre Dame College), 9-0