The stars of USA Wrestling were unleashed upon Times Square on Wednesday evening with Olympic champions Helen Maroulis, Kyle Snyder and Jordan Burroughs leading a U.S. route at the 2017 Beat the Streets Benefit dubbed “East Meets West.”
The Beat the Streets Benefit was held for the eighth-straight year, and sixth time in Times Square, to raise funds on behalf of Beat the Streets in New York City, which supports youth wrestling opportunities for local girls and boys. For this year’s edition, athletes from Japan, Canada and Italy were brought in to compete against the American team in the feature dual meet.
Maroulis, the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling, ousted 2016 Junior World champion Yuzuru Kumano of Japan, 7-4, in the women’s freestyle headliner at 58 kg/128 lbs. Maroulis jumped on top of the ninth-ranked wrestler in the World early with a trio of crisp takedowns and cruised to her sixth career win at the electrifying event.
“I think Japan’s always the top. They are always performing the best, so any time you can get to wrestle one of them it’s just a really great experience,” Maroulis said. “It’s amazing to experience this because it’s different than what we normally do as wrestlers.”
One week after claiming gold at the Pan American Championships, Snyder continued his forward momentum with a memorable 10-0 victory over Japan’s Koki Yamamoto at 97 kg/213 lbs. Snyder set the tone early with a powerful four-point takedown to kick off the bout. He iced the match with three additional takedowns and an appreciative wave to the many fans in attendance.
“Just happy Japan could bring a guy my weight class, and competing out here is so cool, as you guys can see, so just good to be able to compete at this event. I wasn’t able to last year, so I’m happy I could this year,” Snyder said.
Last August, Snyder became the youngest American to win an Olympic gold medal in wrestling at the ripe, young age of 20. He also set the bar as the youngest World champion for the U.S. by taking gold in 2015. He is a two-time NCAA champion heading into his final year at Ohio State.
The ever-expanding legend of Burroughs continued with a 9-2 thrashing of 2014 World silver medalist Sohsuke Takatani of Japan in the evening’s main event contested at 74 kg/163 lbs. The bout was tied 1-1 after the first period, but Burroughs returned with an explosive pop in the second stanza to put up 8 more points and solidify his seventh-straight win at the Beat the Streets Benefit.
“My game plan is to score as many points as possible, and sometimes that’s extremely difficult because those guys have game plans. I just keep on firing off what I have, continue to improve positions and have fun…That was a formidable opponent for me, probably the best I’ve had in a long time,” Burroughs said.
Burroughs has been the face of international wrestling since emerging on the Senior level in 2011. Since that time, he has amassed an Olympic gold medal, three World titles, a World bronze medal and two Olympic berths. Burroughs is coming off his fourth U.S. Open title and is seeking out his seventh-straight U.S. World Team next month at the U.S. World Team Trials in Lincoln, Neb.
Not to be outdone was reigning 61 kg/134 lbs. World champion Logan Stieber who excelled in an 11-0 victory over Japan’s Shingo Arimoto. It was the fourth occasion fan-favorite Stieber has competed at the Beat the Streets Benefit, and the third time his arm has been raised in victory.
The match that boasted perhaps the most pre-match buzz was a 70 kg/154 lbs. showdown between U.S. Open champion Jordan Oliver and Italy’s Frank Chamizo, who was a World champion in 2015 and Olympic bronze medalist in Rio. The two dynamic talents traded blows until the clock struck zero, but it was Chamizo holding off a late Oliver rally to win, 7-6.
2015 World bronze medalist James Green continued his electrifying international run with a rapid fire 10-0 technical fall over Japan’s Nobuyoshi Takojima at 70 kg/154 lbs. Green is a two-time U.S. World Team member and is coming off recent wins at the U.S. Open and Pan American Championships in the past month.
All told, there were five participants at the Beat the Streets Benefit who have combined to win 10 Olympic and World gold medals. Seven total participants have won at least one World medal throughout their careers.
Currently ranked No. 6 in the World at 86 kg/189 lbs., David Taylor once again proved his might with a first period fall over Takahiro Murayama of Japan at the 1:19 mark. Taylor has posted a monstrous 2017 campaign that includes an undefeated World Cup performance and his second U.S. Open gold.
Fellow U.S. Open champions Tony Ramos and Nick Gwiazdowski dispatched their opponents by technical fall. Ramos posted four takedowns and a turn by leg lace to down Canada’s Steven Takahashi, 10-0, at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. Gwiazdowski managed to score his technical fall over Japan’s Katsutoshi Kanazawa at the buzzer, winning 11-0 at 125 kg/275 lbs.
Two-time NCAA champion Zain Retherford kept with his tradition of a punishing six-minute pace to break away from Japan’s Daichi Takatani late and win the 65 kg/143 lbs. bout, 8-2.
Competing at 69 kg/152 lbs., U.S. World Team member Tamyra Mensah impressed with a 5-1 decision over past Cadet World silver medalist Miwa Morikawa of Japan.
The first Senior-level match of the evening saw past Junior and University World champion Yuki Irie of Japan edge U.S. World Team member and two-time Junior World champion Victoria Anthony, 10-6, at 48 kg/105.5 lbs.
One of the top young talents in the U.S., Daton Fix, opened the event with a 14-1 technical fall win over two-time Illinois state champion Joey Melendez in aa 55 kg/121.25 lbs. Junior-level bout. Fix has won bronze medals at both the Cadet and Junior World Championships on top of being a four-time Oklahoma state champion.
2017 BEAT THE STREETS BENEFIT
At New York, May 17
East Meets West Results
Men’s Freestyle 55 kg/121.25 lbs. – Daton Fix (Oklahoma) tech. fall Joey Melendez (Illinois), 14-1
Women’s Freestyle 48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Yuki Irie (Japan) dec. Victoria Anthony (USA), 10-6
Women’s Freestyle 69 kg/152 lbs. – Tamyra Mensah (USA) dec. Miwa Morikawa (Japan), 5-1
Women’s Freestyle 58 kg/128 lbs. – Helen Maroulis (USA) dec. Yuzuru Kumano (Japan), 7-4
Men’s Freestyle 70 kg/154 lbs. – Frank Chamizo (Italy) dec. Jordan Oliver (USA), 7-6
Men’s Freestyle 57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Tony Ramos (USA) tech. fall Steven Takahashi (Canada), 10-0
Men’s Freestyle 61 kg/134 lbs. – Logan Stieber (USA) tech. fall Shingo Arimoto (Japan), 11-0
Men’s Freestyle 65 kg/143 lbs. – Zain Retherford (USA) dec. Daichi Takatani (Japan), 8-2
Men’s Freestyle 70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green (USA) tech. fall Nobuyoshi Takojima (Japan), 10-0
Men’s Freestyle 86 kg/189 lbs. – David Taylor (USA) fall Takahiro Murayama (Japan), 1:19
Men’s Freestyle 97 kg/213 lbs. – Kyle Snyder (USA) tech. fall Koki Yamamoto (Japan), 10-0
Men’s Freestyle 125 kg/275 lbs. – Nick Gwiazdowski (USA) tech. fall Katsutoshi Kanazawa (Japan), 11-0
Men’s Freestyle 74 kg/163 lbs. – Jordan Burroughs (USA) dec. Sohsuke Takatani (Japan), 9-2
Beat the Streets Youth Matches
85 lbs. – Maliyah Walker (BTS Philadelphia) fall Keyanie Riddick (BTS New York), 0:15
112 lbs. – Wilver Mariano-Peralta (BTS New York) tech. fall Jay Copeland (BTS Philadelphia), 12-2
97 lbs. – Beautiful Robinson (BTS New York) fall Esmerelda Rodriguez (BTS Providence), 1:08
115 lbs. – Mitchell Barcus (BTS New York) fall Talib Copeland (BTS Philadelphia), 3:19
118 lbs. – Alessandra Elliott (BTS New York) tech. fall Monica Lara (BTS Chicago), 10-0
125 lbs. – Edwin Kent (BTS New York) tech. fall Obed Yancor (BTS Providence), 14-4
145 lbs. – Daniel Bogie (BTS New York) tech. fall Ousmane Diarra (BTS Philadelphia), 16-5
195 lbs. – Miles Lee (BTS Philadelphia) tech. fall Simon Chee (BTS New York), 10-0
99 lbs. – Jonathan Prata (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Brandon Nunez (BTS New York), 12-2
NYC PSAL Girl’s Freestyle Dual Meet Championship
Truman 43 – Wingate 10
105 lbs. – Lucia Camacho (Truman) forfeit (Wingate)
112 lbs. – Cheyanne Villamil (Truman) fall Daisy Bravo (Wingate), 0:35
117 lbs. – Pearl Fletcher (Truman) fall Fatoumata Diallo (Wingate), 1:47
121 lbs. – Natasha Padilla (Truman) fall Rebecca Dufresne (Wingate), 2:01
130 lbs. – Naomi Henry (Wingate) fall Patricia Booth (Truman), 0:26
139 lbs. – Chloe Cabrera (Truman) tech. fall Shanine Mondesir (Wingate), 10-0
148 lbs. – Colette Hamilton (Truman) tech. fall Tyaun Antoine (Wingate), 10-0
159 lbs. – Lucia Perez (Truman) fall Alison Ortega (Wingate), 3:31
172 lbs. – Dasia Smith-Jordan (Truman) fall Ariel Cranston (Wingate), 2:00
198 lbs. – Nia Crosdale (Truman) forfeit (Wingate)
255 lbs. – Moridiyat Kalejaiye (Wingate) fall Khadeja Ayers (Truman), 0:40