Four U.S. Olympians and three UWW Junior National champions from the United States won matches against top foreign opponents, headlining an exciting night of action at “United In the Square,” the Beat the Street Gala event in Times Square on Thursday night.
Winning bouts for the USA were two 2016 U.S. Olympians in men’s freestyle, J’den Cox at 97 kg/213 lbs. and Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg/163 lbs., as well as 2016 U.S. Olympians Helen Maroulis at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. and Adeline Gray at 75 kg/165 lbs.
Burroughs won his sixth career match in a Beat the Streets event, and Maroulis her fifth time, while Cox and Gray were competing here for the first time.
The event is being held for the seventh straight year to raise substantial funds for the work of Beat the Streets in New York City, which supports youth wrestling opportunities for boys and girls. This year, athletes in the dual came from the United States, Iran, Canada and Korea.
Cox, the two-time NCAA champion from Missouri who burst onto the international scene this year by making the U.S. Olympic team, was dominant on his feet in the second period to defeat Asian Games champion Meisam Mostafa Joukar of Iran, 10-5. The match was 1-1 at the break, but Cox scored four second-period takedowns and added a stepout for a rousing victory.
It was another big win in an amazing run for Cox, who won the NCAA Championships, the U.S. Olympic Trials, the World Olympic Games Qualifier in Mongolia and now a Beat the Streets match in less than two months.
A 2012 Olympic champion and three time World champion, Burroughs scored a dominant 11-2 win over 2105 Asian champion Peyman Yarahmadi of Iran in the final match of the night. Burroughs led just 2-0 after an early takedown, and was leading 3-2 when he hit a four-point blast double leg to open up the match.
Burroughs remains unbeaten in six Beat the Streets international events, with previous wins over four Russian wrestlers and an opponent from Cuba.
Maroulis, a 2015 World champion and three-time World medalist, scored a pin in 2:41 over Canadian veteran Samantha Stewart. Maroulis scored a four-point takedown in the second period which would have secured a technical fall, but finished off the pin. Her five Beat the Streets wins were over opponents from five different nations, with wins over Canada, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba and the United States.
Gray, a three-time World champion and five-time World medalist, scored an impressive 11-2 win over 2015 Canadian World Team member Justina Distasio. Gray scored three takedowns, and had a pair of ankle lace turns and also scored when Distasio couldn’t score on the shot clock. It was a rematch of the 2015 Pan American Games finals, which Gray won by scoring in the final seconds.
The United States won three of its four UWW Junior-level matches against Iran, with wins from Daton Fix of Oklahoma at 55 kg/121 lbs., Mitchell McKee of Minnesota at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Mark Hall at 74 kg/163 lbs. All four of the U.S. athletes competing at this level were 2016 UWW Junior Nationals champions.
It was the first time in which age-group international events were included in a Beat the Streets event.
Fix, a 2015 UWW Cadet World bronze medalist, got his offense rolling in a 14-3 technicall fall over 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist Kheyrollah Ghahramani of Iran. Fix scored three consecutive gut-wrenches to open the match up, then closed it out with a slick shrug takedown.
McKee hit a four-point counter throw, the key move in an 8-8 criteria decision over 2015 Asian Junior champion Peiman Biabani of Iran. McKee was leading 7-4, but Biabani scored a takedown and a gutwrench to lead 8-7, but a McKee reversal tied it up and forced the criteria to be enforced.
2014 Cadet World champion Hall broke open a 2-2 tie with a takedown and an exposure and went on to defeat 2014 Asian Cadet bronze medalist Ahmad Bazrighaleh of Iran, 8-5.
Iran’s only win of the night came in the UWW Junior match at 84 kg/185 lbs., when 2015 Junior World champion Mojtaba Goleij of Iran had a strong second period to defeat 2015 U.S. Junior World Team member Zahid Valencia, 10-1.
Fix, McKee, Hall and Valencia will fly off to Irving, Te
xas to compete in this weekend’s UWW Junior World Team Trials, held alongside the Body Bar Women’s Nationals.
The opening match of the evening featured Greco-Roman, and 2012 Olympic champion and 2013 World champion Kim Hyeon-Woo of Korea hit a first-period arm throw for two points and went on to defeat two-time World bronze medalist Andy Bisek of the United States, 3-0.
Retired NFL superstar Ray Lewis was the honorary coach for Team USA, and gave the American team a rousing and inspiring speech before the matches began. A worldwide audience watched the event live on Flowrestling.
Beat the Streets “United In The Square,”
At Times Square, New York City, May 19
Greco-Roman 75 kg/165 lbs. – Kim Hyeon-Woo (Korea) dec. Andy Bisek (USA), 3-0
Women’s 53 kg/116.5 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (USA) pin Samantha Stewart (Canada), 2:41
Women’s 75 kg/165 lbs.– Adeline Gray (USA) tech. fall Justina Di Stasio (Canada), 11-0
Junior men’s freestyle 55 kg/121 lbs. – Daton Fix (USA) tech. fall Kheyrollah Ghahramani (Iran), 14-3
Junior men’s freestyle 60 kg/132 lbs. – Mitchell McKee (USA) dec. Peiman Biabani (Iran), 8-8
Junior men’s freestyle 74 kg/163 lbs. – Mark Hall (USA) dec. Ahmad Bazrighaleh (Iran), 8-5
Junior men’s freestyle 84 kg/185 lbs. – Mojtaba Goleij (Iran) dec. Zahid Valencia (USA), 10-1
Men’s freestyle 86 kg/189 lbs. – J’Den Cox (USA) dec. Meisam Mostafa Joukar (Iran), 10-5
Men’s freestyle 74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) dec. Pehman Yarahmadi (Iran), 11-2
Beat the Streets Youth Matches
Shamelle Sinclaire, BTS-NY pin Tiarra Andrews, BTS-Philadelphia, 1st period
Shamella Sinclaire, BTS-NY tech. fall Jailyn Reedy, BTS-Baltimore, 10-0
Clement Woods, BTS-Baltimore, pin Jack Reusing, BTS-NY, 2nd period
Jayden Cardenas, BTS-NY dec. Kyree Brisco, BTS-Baltimore, 14-6
Angel Garcia, BTS- Philadelphia, pin Joe Perez, BTS-NY, 1st period
Josh Laubach, BTS-Baltimore, pin Demitrius Henry, BTS-NY, 2nd period
Jake Barry, BTS-NY dec. Ron Palmer, BTS-Philadelphia, 14-11
Edwin Morales, BTS- Philadelphia tech. fall Simon Chee, BTS-NY, 21-8
Leo Rabinovich, BTS-NY tech. fall Ernest Holland, BTS-Philadelphia, 10-0
PSAL Girls Freestyle Dual Meet Finals
Brooklyn Tech 30, Truman 22
117 –Adalix Siri (Brooklyn Tech – 12th) dec. Natasha Padilla (Truman-11th), 10-5
121 – Jessica Lau (Brooklyn Tech) pin Patricia Booth (Truman -10th)
139 – Michael Samuel (Brooklyn Tech – 12th) pin Lusia Perez (Truman – 11th)
148 – Shannon Zheng (Brooklyn Tech – 11th) pin Zandora Blyden (Truman – 12th)
159 – Kiara Rice (Brooklyn Tech – 11th) pin Dasia Smithjordan (Truman – 11th)
172 – Nia Crossdale (Truman-11th) pin Wenley Ma (Brooklyn Tech – 12th)
198 – Shaniece Hunter (Truman-12th) by forfeit
255 – Shanique Reid (Truman – 12th) by forfeit
105 – Pearl Fletcher (Truman-11th) pin Crystal Siew (Brooklyn Tech – 11th)
112 – Aileen Gonzales (Brooklyn Tech – 12th) pin Femi Brown (Truman-9th)
130 – Katrin Okalyukhin (Brooklyn Tech – 11th) dec. Collette Hamilton (Truman – 11th), 10-6