USA Wrestling Fix, Smith power Okl...

Fix, Smith power Oklahoma to title in Junior Nationals freestyle tournament

By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling | July 25, 2015, 3:05 p.m. (ET)

Oklahoma’s Daton Fix powers to a Junior Nationals freestyle championship on Saturday in Fargo. John Sachs photo.

FARGO, N.D. – There was plenty of star power on display as the eight-day ASICS Junior and Cadet Nationals came to an exciting conclusion.

Utah’s Taylor LaMont turned in a huge win while Daton Fix and Joe Smith led Oklahoma to the team championship to highlight the Junior Nationals freestyle competition on Saturday at the Fargo Dome.

LaMont avenged a loss from the Junior Nationals Greco-Roman finals with a 15-5 technical fall over Minnesota’s Mitchell McKee in the Junior freestyle finals.

McKee fought gamely as he was bidding to win a USA Wrestling Triple Crown. McKee won USA Wrestling folkstyle and Greco-Roman titles at the Junior level this year.

McKee beat LaMont 4-2 in the Junior Nationals Greco-Roman finals on Tuesday and was a returning Junior Nationals freestyle champion.

LaMont, a three-time Cadet World Team member in Greco, led 10-5 on Saturday before gaining a pushout and a four-point move to earn the Junior freestyle title.

“I just had to stay on my offense,” LaMont said. “I’m so good when I’m on my offense. I have close matches when I don’t attack. I just had to keep attacking and stay aggressive.”

Smith came out quickly and recorded a 10-0 technical fall over Minnesota’s Lucas Jeske in the 160-pound finals. Smith becomes the fifth member of his family to win a Junior Nationals title.

Joe Smith will wrestle for his father, Oklahoma State coach John Smith, in college. Smith outscored his opponents 72-0 in the tournament and he was named Outstanding Wrestler.

“I have worked really hard and made a lot of improvements with my wrestling,” Joe Smith said. “I’ve spent a lot of time training in the Oklahoma State room and it’s opened my eyes and helped me improve. I’m ready to get into college and wrestle for Oklahoma State, and start working toward winning a national championship.”

Fix put on a dazzling display in a 10-0 technical fall over returning champion Jack Mueller of Texas in the 120 finals.

Fix, a two-time Cadet World Team member, won a Cadet Triple Crown here in 2013.

“Winning here means a lot,” Fix said. “I knew I had to come out strong in the finals and now I’m ready to go win a Cadet World title.”

Oklahoma put the finishing touches on the team title on Saturday. Ohio finished second and Illinois was third in the Junior freestyle competition. It was the first Junior Nationals team title for Oklahoma.

Ohio’s Austin Assad powered to a 13-2 win over Junior Folkstyle Nationals champion Navonte Demison of California in the 126-pound finals. Assad repeated as Junior Nationals freestyle champion.

2014 Cadet Triple Crown winner Beau Breske of Wisconsin rolled to a 10-0 technical fall over Xavier Montalvo of Illinois in the 170-pound finals. Breske placed second in the Junior Greco tournament here this week.

 “I stayed in good position and I opened up with my attacks,” Breske said. “I just kept wrestling hard and I knew good things would happen.”

Nick Reenan of Texas in the finals became a double champion in Fargo after defeating Virginia’s Dylan Wisman 10-6 in the Junior freestyle finals at 182 pounds. Reenan won a Cadet Triple Crown in 2013 and made the Cadet World Team in 2014.

Cadet World silver medalist Jordan Wood of Pennsylvania defeated Minnesota’s Rylee Streifel 10-0 in the finals at 220 pounds. Wood was second in the Junior Greco event here.

“It was good to come back and finish strong here in freestyle,” Wood said. “My goal is to be an Olympic and World champion.”

Louie Hayes of Illinois became a double Fargo champion after downing California’s Liam Cronin 10-0 in the Junior freestyle finals at 106 pounds.

“I don’t want to just go out there and score points, I want to dominate,” Hayes said. “I have been training hard and just getting better and better.”

Larry Early of Illinois scored a takedown and turn in the closing seconds to edge California’s Evan Wick 12-8 in a hard-fought battle at 152 pounds.

Early had knocked off returning Junior Nationals champion and Cadet World champion Mason Manville of Virginia earlier in the tournament.

“That kid’s good,” Early said of Wick. “I give all props to him. I just had to keep wrestling hard the whole match.”

Colorado’s Jacob Seely outlasted Oregon’s Sam Shields-Colbray 3-2 to win the title at 195 pounds. Shields-Colbray was second in Junior Greco tournament this week.

“I was seventh here last year and I’ve made a lot of improvements since then,” Seely said. “It’s a great feeling to come back here and get it done this year.”

Arizona’s Jason Holmes came out strong en route to a 14-3 win over Pennsylvania’s Jaret Lane in the 100-pound finals.

Lane won a Junior Nationals Greco-Roman title on Tuesday. Holmes was second in the Cadet Nationals freestyle tournament in 2014. He also made the 2014 U.S. Cadet World Team in Greco-Roman.

“Don’t stop wrestling and look to get more takedowns,” Holmes said of his strategy. “I’ve worked real hard and improved a lot since last year.”

Arizona’s Brandon Courtney held off Ohio’s Drew Mattin 11-9 in an entertaining match in the 113-pound finals.

Iowa’s Fredy Stroker topped Florida’s Patricio Lugo 4-3 in the 145-pound finals. Stroker had placed fourth, fourth and fifth in three previous trips to Fargo.

“It was good to cash in with all of the hard work,” Stroker said. “I came up short of my goals the past three years here. It was good to get up on that big stage for the first time and win my first-place stop sign.”

Oregon’s Osawaru Odighizuwa downed Ohio’s Kevin Vough 11-0 in the heavyweight finals. He won a Cadet Nationals freestyle title in 2014.

Odighizuwa has verbally committed to play football at UCLA. He has one year of high school left.

New Jersey’s Matthew Kolodzik scored on a pushout with four seconds left to defeat Oklahoma’s Keegan Moore 7-7 on criteria in the 138 finals.

There were 1,140 entries at this year’s Junior Nationals in freestyle, an increase of 76 wrestlers from last year.

The Junior Nationals freestyle finals wrapped up the massive eight-day extravaganza here in Fargo.

Junior and Cadet Nationals
July 19-26, Fargo Dome, Fargo, N.D.

Junior freestyle finals


100 pounds
Jason Holmes (Arizona) won by tech. fall over Jaret Lane (Pennsylvania), 14-3

106 pounds
Louie Hayes (Illinois) won by tech. fall over Liam Cronin (California), 10-0

113 pounds
Brandon Courtney (Arizona) dec. Drew Mattin (Ohio), 11-9

120 pounds
Daton Fix (Oklahoma) won by tech. fall over Jack Mueller (Texas), 10-0

126 pounds
Austin Assad (Ohio) won by tech. fall over Navonte Demison (California), 13-2

132 pounds
Taylor LaMont (Utah) won by tech. fall over Mitchell McKee (Minnesota), 15-5

138 pounds
Matthew Kolodzik (New Jersey) dec. Keegan Moore (Oklahoma), 7-7 criteria

145 pounds
Fredy Stroker (Iowa) dec. Patricio Lugo (Florida), 4-3

152 pounds
Larry Early (Illinois) dec. Evan Wick (California), 12-8

160 pounds
Joe Smith (Oklahoma) won by tech. fall over Lucas Jeske (Minnesota), 10-0

170 pounds
Beau Breske (Wisconsin) won by tech. fall over Xavier Montalvo (Illinois), 10-0

182 pounds
Nick Reenan (Texas) dec. Dylan Wisman (Virginia), 10-6

195 pounds
Jacob Seely (Colorado) dec. Sam Shields-Colbray (Oregon), 3-2

220 pounds
Jordan Wood (Pennsylvania) won by tech. fall over Rylee Streifel (Minnesota), 10-0

285 pounds
Osawaru Odighizuwa (Oregon) won by tech. fall over Kevin Vough (Ohio), 11-0