USA Wrestling World champs Diaokom...

World champs Diaokomihalis and Steveson repeat, Bravo-Young breaks through at UWW Cadet Freestyle Nationals

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | June 05, 2016, 4:35 p.m. (ET)

 Roman Bravo-Young (Arizona) in the freestyle finals of the 2016
UWW Cadet Nationals in Akron, Ohio. Photo: Sam Janicki.
VIDEO: UWW Cadet Nationals Champion Interviews

AKRON, Ohio – Arizona sensation Roman Bravo-Young capped off a stellar performance at the 2016 UWW Cadet Nationals with two decisive wins over 2015 Cadet Freestyle Nationals champion Jordan Decatur in the 54 kg/119 lbs. championship series on Sunday.

After several close attempts, Bravo-Young, a two-time Arizona high school state champion, secured a berth on his first U.S. Cadet World Team. He opened the finals with a 13-2 technical fall of Decatur and iced the series with an 8-2 win over the Ohio standout.

“Just using my counter defense. I knew he was going to get to my legs a lot. He’s quick. I just had to use my counter offense. I knew if I got on top I could turn him too,” said Bravo-Young.

Bravo-Young has won four Cadet National championships in Fargo, N.D. the past two seasons, two in Greco-Roman and two in freestyle. In addition, he snagged a USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals crown in March. He was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

“I’ve been training for it,” he continued. “I lost this past year and it’s a horrible feeling. I just really wanted it bad this year. This means everything. Better than Fargo. I can’t wait to represent the USA.”

Champions in every weight class except 125 kg/275.5 lbs. qualified for the U.S. Cadet Men’s Freestyle World Team that will compete at the Cadet World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia, Sept. 13-18.

A pair of reigning Cadet World champions claimed the top spot in Akron and secured a return trip to the Cadet Worlds.

Four-time New York high school state champion Yianni Diakomihalis downed two-time Cadet Freestyle Nationals All-American Jamie Hernandez by scores of 9-0 and 10-0 in the best-of-three championship series at 63 kg/138 lbs.

Diakomihalis booked his second-straight trip to the Cadet World Championships with seven wins, five of which came by technical fall. The defending Cadet World champion outscored his opponents by a combined 69-0 tally this weekend.

“I really worked on getting more physical and more tricky, not just shooting straight shots, because guys are going to know what I do now. I didn’t tech everybody, so clearly there’s things I need to work on. When I get to the World’s any mistake will be taken advantage of, so when I get there I want to be perfect,” said Diakomihalis.

Also boasting the title of Cadet World champion, Gable Steveson will have the opportunity to return to the international pinnacle.

The two-time Minnesota high school state champion was tested in his 100 kg/220 lbs. championship series against two-time Cadet Nationals All-American Noah Adams of West Virginia. Steveson was unable to get his traditional offense going on Adams in match one, but he was able to squeak out a 2-1 decision. Round two was all Steveson as he dominated to the tune of an 11-0 technical fall.

“I didn’t wrestle well. The second match I came out more ready. Just keep getting better and working with good guys, my brother. He pushes me to be a better guy, just like in the second match. World champ 2016,” said Steveson.

Three-time New York high school state champion Vitali Arujau triumphed over Sammy Sasso in a battle of 2015 Cadet Freestyle Nationals champions at 58 kg/127 lbs. Arujau controlled both matches, 6-3 and 8-3.

Both Diakomihalis and Arujau are committed to wrestle at the next level in their home state of New York at Cornell University.

Colorado high school state champion Malik Heinselman made his second-straight Cadet World team in freestyle after securing two technical fall wins over Eric Faught of Iowa in the 46 kg/101 lbs. finals. Heinselman was a double champion at the Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D. last summer.

Returning Cadet World Team member Dylan D’Emilio did not fare as well in his repeat bid as did his 2015 World Championship teammates. D’Emilio, a 2015 Cadet Freestyle Nationals champion, was stifled by Minnesota’s Aaron Cashman in the championship series at 50 kg/110 lbs., 4-2 and 1-0.

Illinois high school state champion Jacob Warner became the only wrestler to qualify for the Cadet World Team in both international styles by topping Pennsylvania’s Michael Beard, 12-4 and 11-3, in the 85 kg/187 lbs. finals. Warner was the Outstanding Wrestler in Friday’s Greco-Roman competition.

Other wrestlers earning a coveted stop sign and securing U.S. Cadet World Team berths were Kurt McHenry (42 kg/92.5 lbs.), David Carr (69 kg/152 lbs.) and Travis Wittlake (76 kg/167.5 lbs.).

Tony Cassioppi backed up his Greco-Roman victory from two days ago with another dominant win in Akron, this time in freestyle. He defeated Kayne Hutchison of Kansas, 12-2, in the 125 kg/275.5 lbs. finals.

Wrestlers eligible to compete in the UWW Cadet age group were born from 1999 to 2001.

For complete brackets and results from the UWW Cadet and University Nationals visit

ASICS Men’s Freestyle UWW Cadet Nationals
June 4-5 in Akron, Ohio

Best-of-Three Championship Finals Results
42 kg/92.5 lbs.
Kurt McHenry (Virginia) tech. fall Jeremiah Reno (Missouri), 10-0
Jeremiah Reno (Missouri) dec. Kurt McHenry (Virginia), 13-5
Kurt McHenry (Virginia) tech. fall Jeremiah Reno (Missouri), 12-0
McHenry wins series 2-1

46 kg/101 lbs.
Malik Heinselman (Colorado) tech. fall Eric Faught (Iowa), 14-3
Malik Heinselman (Colorado) tech. fall Eric Faught (Iowa), 10-0
Heinselman wins series 2-0

50 kg/110 lbs.
Aaron Cashman (Minnesota) dec. Dylan D’Emilio (Ohio), 4-2
Aaron Cashman (Minnesota) dec. Dylan D’Emilio (Ohio), 1-0
Cashman wins series 2-0

54 kg/119 lbs.
Roman Bravo-Young (Arizona) tech. fall Jordan Decatur (Ohio), 13-2
Roman Bravo-Young (Arizona) dec. Jordan Decatur (Ohio), 8-2
Bravo-Young wins series 2-0

58 kg/127 lbs.
Vitali Arujau (New York) dec. Sammy Sasso (Pennsylvania), 6-3
Vitali Arujau (New York) dec. Sammy Sasso (Pennsylvania), 8-3
Arujau wins series 2-0

63 kg/138 lbs.
Yianni Diakomihalis (New York) dec. Jamie Hernandez (Illinois), 9-0
Yianni Diakomihalis (New York) tech. fall Jamie Hernandez (Illinois), 10-0
Diakomihalis wins series 2-0

69 kg/152 lbs.
David Carr (Ohio) dec. Joe Lee (Indiana), 9-5
David Carr (Ohio) dec. Joe Lee (Indiana), 4-1
Carr wins series 2-0

76 kg/167.5 lbs.
Travis Wittlake (Oregon) dec. Jack Jessen (Illinois), 6-2
Travis Wittlake (Oregon) tech. fall Jack Jessen (Illinois), 14-3
Wittlake wins series 2-0

85 kg/187 lbs.

Jacob Warner (Illinois) dec. Michael Beard (Pennsylvania), 12-4
Jacob Warner (Illinois) dec. Michael Beard (Pennsylvania), 11-3
Warner wins series 2-0

100 kg/220 lbs.
Gable Steveson (Minnesota) dec. Noah Adams (West Virginia), 2-1
Gable Steveson (Minnesota) tech. fall Noah Adams (West Virginia), 11-0
Steveson wins series 2-0

125 kg/275.5 lbs. *Non-World Team weight, one match wrestled
Tony Cassioppi (Illinois) tech. fall Kayne Hutchison (Kansas), 12-2

Placement Matches
42 kg/92.5 lbs.
3rd – Justin Bierdumpfel (New Jersey) dec. Dylan Ragusin (Illinois), 11-9
5th – Andrew Chambal (Michigan) dec. Caden McCrary (Georgia), 4-4
7th – Kase Mauger (Idaho) fall Blake Noonan (Michigan), 0:54

46 kg/101 lbs.
3rd – Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) dec. Lucas Byrd (Ohio), 8-6
5th – Ridge Lovett (Idaho) inj. def. Steele Dias (Nevada)
7th – Matthew Ramos (Illinois) dec. Sammy Alvarez (New Jersey), 12-6

50 kg/110 lbs.
3rd – Matthew Cardello (Ohio) dec. Colton Yapoujian (Colorado), 2-1
5th – Patrick McKee (Minnesota) dec. Joey Melendez (Illinois), 11-4
7th – Jesse Vasquez (California) dec. Ty Smith (Nevada), 10-6

54 kg/119 lbs.
3rd – Nick Raimo (New Jersey) dec. Real Woods (New Mexico), 8-5
5th – Jack Skudlarczyk (Texas) inj. def. Travis Ford-Melton (Illinois)
7th – Chase Zollmann (California) dec. Andrew Alirez (Colorado), 5-3

58 kg/127 lbs.
3rd – Max Murin (Pennsylvania) dec. Kyran Hagan (Missouri), 4-1
5th – Theorius Robison (Colorado) inj. def. Marco Regalbuto (Ohio)
7th – Keaton Geerts (Iowa) dec. Beau Bartlett (Pennsylvania), 11-5

63 kg/138 lbs.
3rd – Brayton Lee (Indiana) dec. Jaden Van Maanen (Wisconsin), 9-2
5th – Will Lewan (Illinois) tech. fall Jason Renteria (Illinois), 10-0
7th – Nikolas Chavez (Missouri) inj. def. Alec Hagan (Missouri)

69 kg/152 lbs.
3rd – Julian Ramirez (New Jersey) tech. fall Frankie Gissendanner (New York), 15-4
5th – Andrew Merola (New Jersey) tech. fall Trevell Timmons (Illinois), 10-0
7th – Tyler Dow (Wisconsin) tech. fall Robert Patrick (Pennsylvania), 12-2

76 kg/167.5 lbs.
3rd – Trent Hidlay (Pennsylvania) dec. Jake Allar (Minnesota), 14-5
5th – Clay Lautt (Kansas) tech. fall Jake Hendricks (Pennsylvania), 11-0
7th – Daniel Butler (Kansas) dec. Joshua Ramirez (Louisiana), 9-3

85 kg/187 lbs.
3rd – Jacob Raschka (Wisconsin) tech. fall Anthony Perrine (Ohio), 10-0
5th – Jake Boyd (Missouri) dec. Andrew Davison (Indiana), 6-3
7th – Jared Krattiger (Wisconsin) dec. John Borst (Virginia), 7-0

100 kg/220 lbs.
3rd – Cohlton Schultz (Colorado) dec. Brady Daniel (Maryland), 11-9
5th – Luke Luffman (Illinois) inj. def. Henry Willoughby (Texas)
7th – Jake Cook (New York) inj. def. Dakota Howard (Ohio)

125 kg/275.5 lbs.
3rd – Jon Spaulding (Ohio) dec. Brendan Furman (Pennsylvania), 7-0
5th – Ronald Tucker (Illinois) fall Keaton Kluever (Wisconsin), 2:27
7th – Matt Spaulding (Ohio) dec. Jack Carruth (Wisconsin), 3-1