Adam Coon turns in superb performance to win Junior World Team Trials in both styles

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | May 30, 2014, 6:43 p.m. (ET)

Adam Coon went 4-0 in capturing freestyle and Greco-Roman titles at the Junior World Team Trials on Friday afternoon in Madison, Wis. John Sachs photo. 

MADISON, Wis. – Adam Coon was going to make sure history didn’t repeat itself.

Second at the 2013 Junior World Team Trials in freestyle and Greco-Roman, a determined Coon stormed back in dramatic fashion to make the 2014 U.S. Junior World Team in both styles of international wrestling. 

Coon won four straight matches, two over Brooks Black in freestyle and two over 2013 Junior World bronze medalist Sam Stoll in Greco-Roman, to earn a pair of championships on Friday afternoon at the Alliant Energy Center.

Coon punctuated his dominant day at the Junior World Team Trials by countering a throw attempt to pin Stoll in his final match at heavyweight. Coon rallied late to tie the bout 4-4 before recording his fall in the closing seconds. 

Coon, an NCAA qualifier as a freshman for Michigan, won a University Nationals freestyle title five days ago in Akron, Ohio. He is past Cadet World champion for the U.S.

“It feels pretty good – I got a lot of mat time in, but I’m tired,” Coon said, flashing a smile. “It all goes back to the practice room and the training that I do. The workouts we do, they prepared me for this.” 

Coon said there is a reason he is still competing in both styles. He made Cadet World Teams in both styles in 2011, winning a gold medal in freestyle.

“I can’t choose which style I like better, so I figured I might as well do both,” Coon said. “And figure out which style I’m better at.” 

The champions crowned in freestyle and Greco-Roman on Friday in Madison advance to the FILA Junior World Championships, set for Aug. 5-10 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Kyle Snyder will have an opportunity to win his second straight Junior World title after sweeping his freestyle finals series over Nathan Rotert at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. 

“I’m happy to make another World Team and represent the United States again,” Snyder said. “Obviously, I wish I could’ve competed a little better. I’m looking forward to having an opportunity to win another gold medal.”

17-year-old phenom Aaron Pico continues to shine after sweeping Penn State standout Zain Retherford in two straight matches in the freestyle finals at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Pico won 3-0 and 5-1 over Retherford, an All-American for the Nittany Lions in 2014. 

Pico and Retherford have both won Cadet World titles for the United States.

“I got the job done, and I’m back on the World Team,” Pico said. “It was a tough battle and I got the W. I need to score more and it’s unacceptable to wrestle like that. I have a lot of work to do. Now I need to go to Junior Worlds and win that.” 

Cornell All-American Gabe Dean was dominant in rolling past FILA Junior Nationals champion Ricky Robertson in the freestyle finals at 84 kg/185 lbs. Dean finished the series with a convincing 12-1 technical fall in the second bout.

Anthony Valencia looked superb in posting back-to-back 10-0 technical falls over Isaiah Martinez in the freestyle finals at 74 kg/163 lbs. 

Talented young Iowa wrestler Thomas Gilman took two straight matches from top Ohio State prospect Nathan Tomasello in the freestyle finals at 55 kg/121 lbs. Gilman trailed 1-0 late in the second bout before scoring on a double-leg takedown en route to a 3-2 win.

Gilman beat Tomasello for the second straight year in the finals of this event. 

“It’s a little different this year,” Gilman said. “Last year, it felt like a big accomplishment to make the team. This year it is an accomplishment, but I didn’t win a medal last year, and that’s what this is all about. It’s not about winning this tournament. It’s about going overseas and competing and bringing home hardware. I’m using this as a stepping stone leading into my training for the World Championships. That’s the main goal.”

Joseph McKenna rolled to a pair of technical fall wins over Jack Hathaway in the freestyle finals at 60 kg/132 lbs. 

Kevin Beazley punched his ticket to Croatia by storming past Roy Nash in two straight Greco-Roman wins at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Beazley made his second straight Junior World Team.

The renowned Harvey Twisters club crowned a champion at 50 kg/110 lbs. with Jabari Moody earning a pair of technical falls over Kirk Johansen in freestyle. 

Josiah Seaton scored a first-period fall in the second match to sweep Kyndall Rutz in the Greco-Roman finals at 50 kg/110 lbs.

Cyclone Wrestling Club wrestler Dante Rodriguez made the Junior World Team at 60 kg/132 lbs after sweeping Travis Rice in the Greco finals.

Alejandro Sancho swept Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer in the Greco finals at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Richard Carlson recorded a pair of falls to sweep Nick Corba in the Greco finals at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Arthur Carmona dropped the first bout before coming back to defeat Ibrahim Bunduka in the best-of-3 finals series at 55 kg/121 lbs. 

Jon Jay Chavez earned the final spot on the Junior World Team by downing Barrett Stanghill in the Greco finals at 74 kg/163 lbs.

U.S. Junior World Team Trials

May 30, Madison, Wis. 


50 kg/110 lbs.

Josiah Seaton (Bonner Springs HS) def. Kyndall Rutz (USOTS), 2 matches to 0

Seaton dec. Rutz, 8-5

Seaton pinned Rutz, 2:15 

55 kg/121 lbs.

Arthur Carmona (USOEC) def. Ibrahim Bunduka (Patriot Elite WC), 2 matches to 1

Bunduka dec. Carmona, 4-3

Carmona dec. Bunduka, 3-2

Carmona tech. fall over Bunduka, 8-0

60 kg/132 lbs.

Dante Rodriguez (Cyclone WC) def. Travis Rice (USOTS), 2 matches to 0

Rodriguez dec. Rice, 3-0

Rodriguez dec. Rice, 6-5 

66 kg/145.5 lbs.

Alejandro Sancho (NYAC) def. Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer (Buffalo Grapplers), 2 matches to 0

Sancho dec. Rodriguez-Spencer, 9-2

Sancho dec. Rodriguez-Spencer, 5-1

74 kg/163 lbs.

Jon Jay Chavez (Suples WC) def. Barrett Stanghill (NYAC), 2 matches to 1

Stanghill dec. Chavez, 1-1

Chavez dec. Stanghill, 8-0

Chavez won by injury default over Stanghill 

84 kg/185 lbs.

Richard Carlson (Minnesota Storm) def. Nick Corba (NEORTC), 2 matches to 0

Carlson pinned Corba, 1:36

Carlson pinned Corba, 1:41

96 kg/211.5 lbs.

Kevin Beazley (Virginia Beach RTC) def. Roy Nash (Ruiz Combat Grappling), 2 matches to 0

Beazley tech. fall over Nash, 13-2

Beazley pinned Nash, 0:48 

120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Adam Coon (Cliff Keen WC) def. Sam Stoll (Minnesota Storm), 2 matches to 0

Coon dec. Stoll, 5-0

Coon pinned Stoll, 5:47


50 kg/110 lbs.

Jabari Moody (Harvey Twisters) def. Kirk Johansen (Izzy Style Wrestling), 2 matches to 0

Moody tech. fall over Johansen, 12-2

Moody tech. fall over Johansen, 13-2

55 kg/121 lbs.

Thomas Gilman (Hawkeye WC) def. Nathan Tomasello (Ohio RTC), 2 matches to 0

Gilman dec. Tomasello, 8-4

Gilman dec. Tomasello, 3-2 

60 kg/132 lbs.

Joseph McKenna (Lehigh Valley AC) def. Jack Hathaway (NWRTC), 2 matches to 0

McKenna tech. fall over Hathaway, 10-0

McKenna tech. fall over Hathaway, 13-2

66 kg/145.5 lbs.

Aaron Pico (Titan Mercury WC) def. Zain Retherford (Nittany Lion WC), 2 matches to 0

Pico dec. Retherford, 3-0

Pico dec. Retherford, 5-1 

74 kg/163 lbs.

Anthony Valencia (Team Tribe Wrestling) def. Isaiah Martinez (Titan Mercury WC), 2 matches to 0

Valencia tech. fall over Martinez, 10-0

Valencia tech. fall over Martinez, 10-0

84 kg/185 lbs.

Gabe Dean (Titan Mercury WC) def. Ricky Robertson (Wisconsin Wrestling), 2 matches to 0

Dean dec. Robertson, 4-0

Dean tech. fall over Robertson, 12-1 

96 kg/211.5 lbs.

Kyle Snyder (Sunkist Kids) def. Nathan Rotert (Northern Plains RTC), 2 matches to 0

Snyder tech. fall over Rotert, 13-2

Snyder dec. Rotert, 5-0

120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Adam Coon (Cliff Keen WC) def. Brooks Black (Titan Mercury WC), 2 matches to 0

Coon tech. fall over Black, 11-1

Coon pinned Black, 3:12