Jones Nagel Mclay Repeat as champions at the Asics Vaughn Junior National Greco Roman Championship
Three wrestlers claimed titles for the second straight year at the Asics/Vaughan Junior National Greco-Roman Championships, held at the Fargodome in Fargo, N.D., July 25. Winning their second straight Junior Greco-Roman titles were Cam Jones of Sandy, Utah at 123 pounds, Matt Nagel of Frazee, Minn. at 143 pounds and Josh McLay, Hastings, Minn at 165 pounds. Jones was powerful from the top position, scoring a number of turns in a 9-2 decision over Clint Wolfley of Blackfoot, Idaho. Wolfley was third in the 1999 Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman. It was the third straight summer that Jones has won a USA Wrestling national Greco-Roman crown, as he also won a Junior National title in 1999 and a Cadet National title in 1998. Jones is eligible to return in 2001 as a senior to attempt to win a third straight title. Nagel scored an impressive 10-0 technical fall over Josh Yetzer of Mansfield, Ohio in 1:50. It was the third straight year he has won a USA Wrestling national Greco-Roman title, after claiming a 1999 Junior National Greco-Roman title, and a 1998 Cadet National Greco-Roman crown. Nagel is a local athlete, as Frazee, Minn. is only a few miles away from Fargo. McLay won his second straight Junior Greco-Roman title with a solid 5-0 decision over Luke Larwin of Bend, Ore. It was McLay's third straight year in the Junior National finals, as he was also second in the 1998 Junior Nationals. Two other 1999 Junior National champions were defeated in the finals through impressive performances by their opponents. At 132 pounds, Harry Lester of Akron, Ohio strung three explosive throws in a row to defeat 1999 Junior National champion Mark Jayne of Elyria, Ohio by 11-0 in just 47 seconds. Based on his performance, Lester was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament. Lester was a 1999 Cadet World freestyle champion and a 1999 Cadet National Greco-Roman champion. Willy Holst of Prescott, Wis. used a variety of throws to score an impressive 11-1 technical fall over 1999 Junior National champion Sterling Oglesby of Wyoming in 2:32 at 98 pounds. Holst was third in the 1999 Cadet Nationals in both styles. At 105.5 pounds, Eric Stevenson of Newberg, Ore. used a throw from the clinch position to pin Darryl Spackman of Sandy, Utah at the 3:07 mark. The match was tied at 0-0 at the beginning of the second period, and in just seven seconds, Stevenson tossed Spackman quickly for the win. Spackman was a 1999 Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman champion. Stevenson was seventh in the 1999 Cadet Nationals. In one of the most spirited bouts of the evening, Joe Espinoza of Stockton, Calif. beat Shawn Bunch of Leavenworth, Kan., 9-4 at 114.5 pounds. The key was a five-point throw by Espinoza in the second period. Espinosa was fourth in the 1999 Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman. Bunch was third in the 1999 Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman and fifth in freestyle. The 154-pound final was won by surprising Kenneth Cook of Fremont, Calif., who dominated the entire match in an 11-0 technical fall over talented Jason Woodall of Dupont, Pa. in 2:17. Woodall was sixth in the 1999 Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman. Cook was a Cadet Greco-Roman All-American in 1998. The final at 178 pounds was determined by criteria in overtime, as Jordan Holm of Northfield, Minn. won by referee's decision over Drew Hageman of Newburg, Ore., 1-1. The deciding factor was passivity calls, as Hageman was penalized three times, while Holm was penalized only two times. Holm was fifth in the 1999 Junior Nationals in Greco-Roman, while Hageman placed sixth in the 1999 Junior Nationals. The final at 191.5 pounds was closely contested, as Paul Velekei of Coplay, Pa. scored a come-from-behind 5-4 decision over Luke Kolo of Vesper, Wis. Kolo scored the first three points of the match, but Velekei scored the next five points to win the bout. Winning a silver medal was an amazing achievement for Kolo, who was competing in his first competitive Greco-Roman tournament. At 220 pounds, Mike Faust of Baltimore, Md. broke a 2-2 tie with a three-point throw in overtime, to score a 5-2 decision at 7:01 over Jordan Everett of Corona, Calif. Scoring the first five points of the bout, Jeremiah Beltran of Olathe, Kan. contolled the bout for a 5-3 victory over Cain Velasquez of Yuma, Ariz. at 275 pounds. Beltran was fifth in the 1999 Junior Nationals in both styles. The Most Falls Award went to Matt Hasbrook of Indiana, who scored 5 falls in 5:36 at heavyweight.