FLASH: U.S. wins four freestyle golds at Pan Am Juniors in Canada

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | June 29, 2014, 9:50 p.m. (ET)
Joshua Rodriguez of the United States receives the Outstanding Wrestler award in the freestyle division at the 2014 Junior Pan American Championships in Canada from Tournament Director Don Ryan and FILA Vice President Stan Dziedzic.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Canada - The United States won four gold medals at the Junior Pan American Championships in men’s freestyle on Sunday.

Individual champions for the United States included:
• Joshua Rodriguez of Guadelupe, Calif. at 60 kg/132 lbs.
• Jake Short of Inver Grove Heights, Minn. at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
• Ricky Robertson of Tinley Park, Ill. at 84 kg/185 lbs.
• Troy Hembury of Muncy, Pa. at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

All four of the U.S. freestyle champions were double champions for the weekend, after also winning Greco-Roman gold medals on Friday.

Rodriguez won three matches, a pin and two technical falls, and was named Outstanding Wrestler in freestyle. Rodriguez attends North Dakota State.

“Joshua Rodriguez did an outstanding job and was awarded the OW award. His takedown offense was dominating and his transitions to turns were top notch throughout the event,” said U.S. freestyle coach Damion Logan.

Short, who stars at Minnesota, also had a pin and two technical falls on the way to his title.

Robertson, who wrestles for Wisconsin, had four wins, with three technical falls and a pin.

Hembury, who competes for Columbia, pinned Angus Cowell of Canada in the finals in his only match.

Taking silver was U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete Garrett Ryan of Scottsdale, Ariz., who went 1-1 at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

The U.S. did not have entries at 55 kg and 74 kg, after the athletes expected to compete were injured or ill during the Greco-Roman tournament.

“Being without two competitors hurt us in the team race, but the guys wrestled hard. The USA went 5 for 5 in the evening session. Michael Beck beat the eventual champion in his last bout. The other four won their gold medal bouts. Developmentally, you can't ask for much more,” said Logan.

“Overall, Team USA wrestled well. Developmentally, it was a good tournament for the wrestlers. Guys made adjustments in matches and wrestled very composed. We are proud of these student-athletes. They represented their country well and they have bright futures ahead,” he said.

At Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, June 29

U.S. Men’s freestyle results

50 kg/110 lbs. – Michael Beck, Ellicott City, Md., 4th
WIN Obed Santiago Elel (Guatamala), 4-4
LOSS Oscar Remular Bulaqui (Canada) tech. fall 0-10
LOSS Oscar Eduardo Tigreros (Colombia), 9-13
WIN Samuel Edhinson Alva (Peru), 5-1

60 kg/132 lbs. – Joshua Rodriguez, Guadelupe, Calif., 1st
WIN Victor Alfonso Lopez (El Salvador), pin
WIN Marc Anthony Magano (Canada), tech fall 11-0
WIN Sixto Miguel Rodriguez (Peru), tech fall 10-0

66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Jake Short, Inver Grove Heights, Minn., 1st
WIN Hosseini Darian (Paraguay), tech fall 10-0
WIN Jevon Balfour (Canada), pin
WIN Erick Vioney Arana (Guatemala), tech. fall 10-0

84 kg/185 lbs. – Ricky Robertson, Tinley Park, Ill., 1st
WIN Ricardo Adrian Baez (Argentina), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Jhonatan Costa (Brazil), tech fall 10-0
WIN Josh Kim (Canada), tech fall 11-0
WIN Enrique Cuero Ortiz (Ecuador), pin

96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Troy Hembury, Muncy, Pa., 1st
WIN Angus Cowell (Canada), pin

120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Garrett Ryan, Scottsdale, Ariz., 2nd
WIN Lester Enriquez (Guatemala), tech. fall 12-1
LOSS Amar Dhesi (Canada), tech. fall 3-13