The four Junior match-ups between the United States and Iran in freestyle wrestling have been finalized for the 2016 Beat the Streets international competition, which returns to New York City’s Times Square on Thursday, May 19.
This will feature talented stars from the USA and Iran in the UWW Junior age-group level, which is between 17-20 years old. It will be historic, as the first international age-group matches featured in a Beat the Streets event in Times Square.
All four of the U.S. wrestlers competing in Times Square were champions at their weight classes at the recent UWW Junior Nationals held in Las Vegas, Nev., April 29-30. This includes one college wrestling star and three of the nation’s best high school talents.
Daton Fix of Sand Springs, Okla. will face Kheyrollah Ghahramani of Iran at 55 kg/121 lbs. Fix was a bronze medalist at the 2015 UWW Cadet World Championships, and has been a UWW Junior Nationals champion for the last two years. Fix won a silver medal at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, and was a 2013 Cadet Nationals champion in both styles. Ghahramani was a 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist and a 2012 Asian Cadet silver medalist.
Mitchell McKee of Hanover, Minn. will battle Peiman Biabani of Iran at 60 kg/132 lbs. McKee won the 2016 UWW Junior Nationals in freestyle and was second at the 2015 UWW Junior Nationals. At the 2015 Junior Nationals in Fargo, N.D., McKee won a gold medal in Greco-Roman and a silver medal in freestyle. He was a 2014 Junior Nationals freestyle champion. McKee has signed with the University of Minnesota. Biabani was a 2015 Asian Junior champion and won a gold medal at the Senior-level Dan Kolov Tournament in Bulgaria this year.
Mark Hall of Apple Valley, Minn. has drawn Ahmad Bazrighaleh of Iran at 74 kg/163 lbs. Hall was a 2014 UWW Cadet World champion and was ninth in the 2015 UWW Junior World Championships. As a high school senior, he had an impressive 2-2 record at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. He was a 2013 USA Wrestling Cadet Triple Crown winner, earning national titles in folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle the same year. Hall was the 2015 USA Today High School Wrestler of the Year, and won the 2016 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Hall, a six-time Minnesota state high school champion, has signed with Penn State University. Bazrighaleh was a 2014 Asian Cadet bronze medalist and was ninth at the 2014 Cadet World Championships.
Zahid Valencia of Bellflower, Calif. will go up against Mojtaba Goleij of Iran at 84 kg/185 lbs. Valencia is a freshman at Arizona State University, where he took a redshirt year this season. Valencia was 10th at the 2015 UWW Junior World Championships, and won the UWW Junior Nationals for the second straight year. Valencia won the 2012 and 2013 Cadet Nationals in freestyle and the 2013 Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman. He was the 2015 ASICS High School Wrestler of the Year and won the 2015 Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Goleij was a 2015 Junior World champion, and won a bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Junior Championships.
These four Junior matches will be added to the Main Event, which features five U.S. Olympic Team members facing top international opponents.