USA Wrestling Koelzer, Wittlake st...

Koelzer, Wittlake still in Triple Crown hunt after first day of Cadet Freestyle Nationals

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | July 20, 2016, 9:50 p.m. (ET)

 
 Jace Koelzer (Kansas) after winning Cadet Greco-Roman
Nationals on Monday. Photo: John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com.
FARGO, N.D. – Two wrestlers remain on course for the USA Wrestling Triple Crown as the day one of the Cadet Freestyle National Championships concluded at the Fargodome on Wednesday evening.

Jace Koelzer of Kansas (106) and Travis Wittlake of Oregon (170) advanced to the quarterfinals and are three wins away from securing the coveted Triple Crown award.

A 2016 Kansas state champion, Koelzer picked up three technical falls on his road to the quarters. Last year he placed fourth at the Cadet Nationals in freestyle and was runner-up in Greco-Roman.

One year ago Wittlake won the folkstyle and Greco-Roman legs of the Triple Crown before falling short in freestyle, finishing in third place. The two-time Oregon state champion can capture his fifth USA Wrestling Triple Crown if he keeps the winning trend intact. He is a member of the U.S. Cadet World Team in freestyle.

Fellow Cadet World Team member Cohlton Schultz of Colorado is looking to bounce back from a third place finish in Greco-Roman earlier in the week and pick up his first Fargo freestyle title. Schultz won the Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman last year before winding up in second place in freestyle. Schultz will wrestle at the UWW Cadet Worlds in Greco-Roman this September.

Four defending champions are still in the mix to go back-to-back at the Cadet Freestyle Nationals this week. Jordan Decatur of Ohio (120), Nick Raimo of New Jersey (126), Sam Sasso of Pennsylvania (138) and Ryan Karoly of New Jersey (182) all advanced to tomorrow’s quarterfinals. Both Raimo and Karoly won Greco-Roman championships on Monday.

In addition to Koelzer, Wittlake, Raimo and Karoly, 2016 Cadet Greco-Roman champions punching their ticket to the quarterfinal round include Sam Latona of Alabama (88), Dylan Ragusin of Illinois (94), Ridge Lovett of Idaho (100), Jordan Hamdan of Michigan (113), Theorius Robison of Colorado (120), Mason Phillips of Washington (132), Will Lewan of Illinois (138), Aaron Brooks of Maryland (160), Braxton Amos of Ohio (195), Tyler Curd of Missouri (220) and Spencer Trenary of Iowa (285).

Dawon Andrews of Arizona and James Rogers of Washington are the only two Cadet Greco-Roman champions not in the hunt for a double title this week. Andrews fell to Brian Meyer of New Jersey, 10-6, in the Round of 32 at 145 lbs., while Rogers did not enter the freestyle competition.

Action from the Fargodome will resume tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. (CT) with session three of the Cadet freestyle tournament and the opening round of Junior freestyle. The Cadet freestyle finals will be held on Friday at 2 p.m. (CT).

All matches from the 2016 ASICS/Vaughan Cadet and Junior National Championships can be viewed live on Flowrestling.com with a FLO PRO account. Complete brackets, results and team scores can be found on Trackwrestling.com.