No announcement yet.

Celebrating the ILLINI RTC's Four Athletes Going to Final X!

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Celebrating the ILLINI RTC's Four Athletes Going to Final X!

    Parts of this story were initially posted here and here on the ILLINI Wrestling Blog and Forum and Beyond.


    Here's your 2022 IRTC Final X poster. I retain no copyright, so you can sell it, use it as a screensaver, post it anywhere, make NFTs to sell to stupid people, but ... and this is a big but, I do ask that you don't put mustaches or eye patches or scars on the athletes. That would be super childish, bruh! What are you, like twelve?

    This poster celebrates an epic achievement by the ILLINOIS Regional Training Center in putting four athletes into Final X. Three of the wrestlers, Tanner Farmer, Kamal Bey and Max Nowry will wrestle in Final X for the top spot on the World Team. Zane Richards will wrestle at Final X for the third spot on the World Team.

    The poster is understated yet powerful, like a Rothko. It is deep like a slice of Papa Del's pizza and tangy like the sauce at Li'l Porgy's. Retail price is $1,000,000.00 (US), but you can have it for the low, low price of free.


    The ILLINI Regional Training Center put three athletes into Final X, and Zane Richards will also be there wrestling for the third spot on the World Team. This was a brilliant tournament for the IRTC! On the Greco side, the only wrestler to lose a semifinal match was West Cathcart, and his loss was to fellow IRTC big Tanner Farmer.

    On the Freestyle side, Zane Richards lost in the semis, but he won two matches on the back side to earn third place. Because there is a world medalist at this weight, he will get a chance to earn true second (and a spot on the world team) at Final X in a showdown with Jacob Camacho.

    Final X, for some reason, is divided between Stillwater, Oklahoma (June 3) and New York City (June 8). The IRTC has wrestlers who will be competing in both of these venues. Kamal Bey will wrestle in New York, while Max Nowry and Tanner Farmer will wrestle in Stillwater.


    When it is said that Max Nowry is a veteran, that is based on fact. He has been representing the United States since first joining a Junior World team in 2008.


    In the image above, you see what happens to an opponent who gets a shrug-by from Nowry. I don't think I've ever seen a shrug-by send a wrestler eight yards over the mat. It took Max under two minutes to secure the takedown, add on three gut wrenches and get his hand raised against the long drink of water known as Drew West. Now, it's on to Final X!


    Kamal won in the quarters and on Sunday faced Jesse Porter of the NYAC. This was a revenge match for Bey, as Porter beat him at the US Open via uncalled leg foul. (Even though it was reviewed!).


    This was the winning sequence for the IRTC athlete. Porter was placed down for passivity. Kamal went for a reverse lift, but Porter sprang to his feet before it was locked. Bey ended up with a front headlock and tried a head pinch, but Porter slipped out and got behind him. Then, it was Kamal's turn to slip out, gain the hold you see and score the most important takedown of the match. The final was 6-3 for the good guy.


    The final semi involving IRTC athletes included both Tanner Farmer and West Cathcart. They had to face off against each other, brother versus brother. The winner gets a trip to Final X.


    The winner would be Farmer by a 5-0 margin according to Flo, but in actual real life, it was a fall for Farmer. Cathcart was placed down by the ref, while Farmer used a modified method to obtain his lock and started pulling Cathcart over. At one point--you can see it in the picture above--there was some question about whether Cathcart would be able to step over and secure a pin. It was Tanner Farmer, though, who powered through that position and gained the pinfall.

    They had a good brother versus brother hug afterwards.


    Zane had to win twice on the day to secure the bronze medal. He won both matches. Since he never got to face the second-place finisher, Jacob Camacho, there will be a true third-place match wrestled between the two at Final X. This was confirmed to me by the IRTC in a tweet, and in the name of all things holy, it is the right thing to do.


    Zane was on the offensive in the match against Ramos until he got the lead. Ramos made the mistake of trying the Delgado Funk Roll in Freestyle. Zane did the veteran thing and whipped him to his back. The picture above shows the two of them going at it, and it shows Coach Medlin wearing my favorite hat. How'd he get that? The final score was close, as Ramos took the lead with about :30 left. But then Zane went back on the offense and got a quick takedown to secure the win.


    If my numbers are correct, the IRTC brought six wrestlers to the World Team Trials, and four of them will have matches at Final X. One of the other wrestlers didn't quite make it because he ran into his teammate in the semifinals.

    That is brilliant!

    Max Nowry will be a huge favorite to win his best-of-three matches against Brady Koontz of Ohio State at 55kg in Greco. These guys have a long history together that includes a 2-0 sweep by Nowry (3-0; 11-5) at the 2019 Final X.

    Kamal Bey will be wrestling the four seed from WTTs, as that fourth seed, Britton Holmes of Army (WCAP), upset the number one seed RaVaughn Perkins of NYAC. Bey will also be a solid favorite.

    Tanner Farmer will be the underdog against Cohlton Schultz, but as a late-comer to the sport, he keeps adding skills all the time, and he has a very positive attitude right now. The two met at Senior Nationals in 2020, with Schultz coming out the 4-3 winner. Schultz widened the gap to 5-0 in 2021, so it will be up to Tanner to make the adjustments.

    Zane Richards will be a favorite in his true third-place match against Jacob Camacho.


    My minnow-sized donations maybe buy a meal or two for the athletes while they're at an event. I do the best I can. Can you help? If so, here's the link. If not, maybe golf is your thing? You can take in the next IRTC Golf Outing, which is July 30th at Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet.


    Photo credits for IRTC Final X poster: "BuILLt Here" is from the University of ILLINOIS Athletic Department, Kamal Bey photo from, Tanner Farmer photo from, Zane Richards photo from, and Max Nowry photo from The remaining images are all screengrabs from videos at

  • #2
    If these guys are IRTC wrestlers then why are they listed as other teams (Army/WCAP)?


    • #3
      From the "About" link at the Army (WCAP) website:

      After joining the unit, they hone their skills with elite civilian and military coaches at America’s best facilities. Meanwhile, they keep current with Army requirements, attend military schools and stay competitive with their uniformed counterparts.

      GO IRTC!!!


      • #4
        Farmer was listed as NYAC also. Is it which club pays them the most? Sorry, I'm just curious about this and don't know. I have donated to the IRTC so I would like to know why the guys they are paying are listed as other teams.


        • #5

          Traveling overseas is expensive. Especially if you are going to do it two, three or four times each year. Getting the big-money donors from New York and the East coast (NYAC) and the West coast (Sunkist Kids) to help out must be quite the blessing. Last year, NASCAR driver Chase Elliot was sponsored by Hooters, NAPA, Chevrolet, Valvoline and Untuckit. Kevin Harvick had deals with "Busch, Ford, Jimmy John's and Mobil, among others." Was Elliot driving for NAPA or Chevy? Was Harvick driving for Busch or Ford or was he driving fast for Jimmy John's?

          Folks at the NYAC and Sunkist not only have big money donors and dollars to spend, but they have institutional knowledge about the coordination of overseas trips, passports, visas, currency, hotels, exchange rates, etc. Of course, as much as the ILLINI Regional Training Center has been training and competing overseas, Coach Medlin has developed quite a store of knowledge himself. Army (WCAP), of course, has the most experience with overseas travel. I don't know if it is still the same, but when I was active duty, my military ID was my passport to most countries. So, guys like Max Nowry and Kamal Bey have those advantages.

          Now, I know that you're trolling in a passive-aggressive way to cast a shadow on the glory of the IRTC, so I thought that the athlete you mentioned, Tanner Farmer, should have the last word: