| U.S. Junior World Team member Mark Hall at the 2016 U.S. Olympic
Team Trials. Photo: Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com.
MACON, France – The first four U.S. athletes have weighed in and received their draws for the men’s freestyle competition at the 2016 Junior World Championships.
Starting off the men’s freestyle tournament for the U.S. on Saturday are Spencer Lee (Murraysville, Pa./Young Guns), Seth Gross (Rosemount, Minn./Jackrabbit WC), Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn./Minnesota Storm) and Kollin Moore (Burbank, Ohio/Ohio RTC/Titan Mercury WC).
“You’ve got to be ready for the first match right off the bat,” said U.S. freestyle coach Brandon Slay. “Fortunately, everybody is healthy. We’re not coming here with a lot of injuries, and I was just really pleased that all our guys did a great job making weight today. I know they’re excited and ready to go.”
2015 Junior World champion Lee is back to defend his title at 50 kg/110 lbs. He will open against 2016 Cadet European silver medalist Engin Cetin of Turkey. Lee was a Cadet World champion in 2014 and is a three-time Pennsylvania high school state champion heading into his senior season.
Coming off a stellar first college season for South Dakota State, Gross is slated to face 2013 Cadet World champion Selim Kozan of Turkey in the first round at 60 kg/132 lbs. Gross was a NCAA qualifier and Big 12 runner-up for the Jackrabbits last year and was a member of the 2012 U.S. Cadet World Team.
Hall returns for his second Junior World Championships run, and will start his tournament at 74 kg/163 lbs. against 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion Yajuro Yamasaki of Japan. Hall was a 2014 Cadet World champion and finished in ninth place at the Junior Worlds last year. He will wrestle as a freshman for Penn State this fall.
Emerging youngster Moore takes the mat against Emil Ashyraliev of Kyrgyzstan in his first match at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. He is expected to compete for a starting spot at Ohio State this fall as a redshirt freshman.
“Ultimately, we can talk about medals and all that, but our big thing with the guys is to focus on wrestling six minutes, giving full effort. If they give full effort and they execute, and they just focus on excellence, doing the right thing…then the winning and all that is going to take care of itself,” said Slay.
The men’s freestyle competition will begin tomorrow in France at 4 a.m. (ET) with the qualification rounds and repechage followed by the medal matches at 12 p.m. (ET).
Flowrestling is providing a live stream of the Junior World Championships at flowrestling.org. Viewers must purchase a FloPro membership to watch the competition live.
For complete brackets and match-by-match results visit unitedworldwrestling.org.
2016 JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aug. 30 – Sept. 4 in Macon, France
U.S. men’s freestyle draws for Saturday
50 kg/110 lbs. – Spencer Lee, Murraysville, Pa. (Young Guns)
Vs. Engin Cetin (Turkey), 2016 Cadet European silver medalist, 2014 Cadet European bronze medalist
60 kg/132 lbs. – Seth Gross, Rosemount, Minn. (Jackrabbit WC)
Vs. Selim Kozan (Turkey), 2013 Cadet World champion, 2012 Cadet World bronze medalist, 2016 Junior European silver medalist, 2015 Junior European silver medalist
74 kg/163 lbs. – Mark Hall, Apple Valley, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
Vs. Yajuro Yamasaki (Japan), 2014 Youth Olympic Games champion, 2013 Cadet World bronze medalist
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Kollin Moore, Burbank, Ohio (Ohio RTC/Titan Mercury WC)
Vs. Emil Ashyraliev (Kyrgyzstan)