USA Wrestling Junior World medalis...

Junior World medalists Hall, Fix among stars for UWW Junior World Team Trials in Lincoln, Neb., June 9

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | June 05, 2017, 2:17 p.m. (ET)

Mark Hall hits an attack on Alex Marinelli in the 74 kg finals at the 2017 UWW Junior Nationals in Las Vegas. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

Many of the nation’s best college underclassmen and high school stars will assemble in Lincoln for the 2017 UWW Junior World Team Trials on Friday, June 9. At stake are eight spots on the U.S. Junior World Team, which will compete at the UWW Junior World Championships in Tampere, Finland, August 1-6.

In recent years, the United States has been very successful at the UWW Junior World Championships, which features the best 17-20 year old wrestlers in the World. In 2016, the United States placed fifth as a team, with three medalists including two Junior World champions. In 2015, Team USA was fourth, with four medalists, including one Junior World champion. In 2014, the USA was a strong second in the Junior World standings, with six individual medalists.

The winners from the 2017 UWW Junior Nationals in the World Championships weight classes, held in Las Vegas in April, will advance directly best-of-three Championship Series in Lincoln, where he will meet the winner of the Challenge Tournament held in the morning session.

All three of the returning UWW Junior World medalists are eligible to return this year, including Junior World champions Spencer Lee at 50 kg and Mark Hall at 74 kg, as well as Junior World bronze medalist Daton Fix at 55 kg.

Lee is perhaps the greatest age-group freestyle wrestler in USA Wrestling history, winning a World gold medal three straight years. He was a 2014 Cadet World champion (ages 15-17), and then followed up with Junior World gold medals in 2015 and 2016, something nobody else has done.

This high school phenom from Pennsylvania was injured this year, is recovering from surgery, and is not expected to be ready for the UWW Junior World Team Trials.

Hall, however, did compete in the UWW Junior Nationals and powered to the 74 kg national title again, dominating Alex Marinelli 10-0 in the finals. Hall was named Outstanding Wrestler after winning six times by technical fall, with just one match going into the second period. Hall was a NCAA champion as a true freshman for Penn State this year and was a Cadet World champion in 2014.

Fix, who completed an undefeated high school career in Oklahoma this winter, was also a champion at the 2017 UWW Junior Nationals in April, dominating the 55 kg weight class. He won four matches by technical fall, including a 10-0 win over Paul Bianchi of Bison WC in the finals, and did not allow a single point on him. Fix, an Oklahoma State recruit, was a Cadet World bronze medal in 2014.

Another age-group World champion won the UWW Junior Nationals title, as two-time Cadet World champion Gable Steveson of Minnesota beat 2014 Cadet World silver medalist Jordan Wood of Lehigh in the 120 kg finals, 9-2. All of his other bouts were 10-0 technical falls. He has announced a commitment to wrestle for the University of Minnesota.

At 84 kg, two-time Junior World Team member and NCAA All-American Zahid Valencia of Arizona State cemented his third UWW Junior Nationals crown with a 10-0 win over 2016 Junior World Team member Nick Reenan of Wolfpack WC. Valencia won all six of his contested bouts by 10-0 scores.

Minnesota’s Mitchell McKee secured his second-consecutive UWW Junior Nationals title at 60 kg/132 lbs. with a gutsy finals performance against Cadet World silver medalist Vitali Arujau. Trailing on the scoreboard late, McKee scored a four-point move with under 10 seconds to go in the bout to upend Arujau, 13-10. McKee was second in the 2016 UWW Junior World Team Trials.

Northwestern’s Ryan Deakin emerged on top of a talented 66 kg/145.5 lbs. pack at the UWW Junior Nationals in Las Vegas. Deakin came from behind to defeat two-time Cadet World champion Yianni Diakomihalis in the semifinals before stopping a red hot Kanen Storr of Iowa State in the championship match, 8-6.

Oklahoma State wrestler Andrew Marsden of the Cowboy WC won the UWW Junior Nationals title at 96 kg, winning a wild 11-10 finals bout over Nathan Traxler of the Stanford-California RTC.

High school star Malik Heinselman of Olympian WC in Colorado was the UWW Nationals champion at 50 kg, beating Illinois star Dack Punke in the finals, 4-0. Heinselman was a Cadet Triple Crown winner in Fargo a few years ago and competed on the 2016 U.S. Cadet World Team.

There were three weight classes contested at the UWW Junior Nationals which are not World Championship weight classes. The national champions at those weight classes were Luke Pletcher of Ohio State at 63 kg, Griffin Parriott of Purdue’s Boilermaker WC at 70 kg and Jacob Covaciu of Wisconsin at 79 kg.

These champions must select one of the eight World Championship weight classes and will be placed in the Challenge Tournament at their new weight class. In the pre-registration so far, Parriott has registered for 66 kg and Covaciu has entered at 84 kg.

The top eight placewinners from both the 2017 UWW Junior Nationals, as well as the 2016 UWW Junior Nationals, who meet age group qualifications, can enter the UWW Junior World Team Trials in Lincoln.

There are numerous other achievements that will allow athletes who did not place in the 2016 or 2017 UWW Junior Nationals to enter the field in Lincoln. Past Junior or Cadet World Team members can enter. A top six placer from the 2016 Junior Nationals in Fargo can enter. A top four placer at the 2016 UWW Junior World Team Trials can wrestle. Anybody who was an All-American at the 2016 University Nationals is also able to compete. Also add in any All-American from the 2017 USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals, or an All-American from the 2017 U.S. Senior Open.

There are also some college achievements that place athletes in the field for the UWW Junior World Team Trials. They include any All-American from the 2016 or 2017 NCAA Div. I Championships. Finalists from the 2017 NCAA Div. II and NCAA Div. III nationals can enter, as can champions from the 2017 NAIA Nationals and the 2017 NJCAA Nationals. Others who were injured can petition the National Coaching Staff for entry as wildcards.

As of Monday morning, some prominent athletes who did not either compete in the 2017 UWW Junior Nationals or didn’t place in the top eight have already registered. Included in this group are Austin Gomez at 60 kg, Austin O’Connor and Jared Verkleeren at 66 kg, Zander Wick at 74 kg, Owen Webster at 84 kg, Andrew Davison and Jacob Warner at 96 kg and Yousef Hamida at 120 kg. This list will get larger as the week progresses.

On-line registration for the UWW Junior Nationals remains open through 10:00 p.m. Central time on Tuesday, June 6th through Flowrestling. Athletes must meet the qualifying standards to enter. Click here to register online 

On-site registration is also permitted at this event for those who meet qualifying standards and did not register online. Those who register onsite will not qualify for the pre-registration entry discount.

The UWW Junior World Team Trials will be broadcast live on Flowrestling.

April 28-29, South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

50 kg/110 lbs.
1st – Malik Heinselman (Olympian WC) dec. Dack Punke (Unattached), 4-0
3rd – Jason Holmes (Thorobred) tech. fall Brendon Garcia (Steel City Elite)
5th – Brandon Kaylor (Team Aggression) forfeit Riley Weir (Team BIG)
7th – Hunter Lucas (Terrapin WC) forfeit Nick Onea (Crimson Wave WC)

55 kg/121 lbs.
1st – Daton Fix (Titan Mercury WC) tech. fall Paul Bianchi (Bison WC), 10-0
3rd – Drew Mattin (Burnett Training) tech. fall Alex Thomsen (SWIFT), 12-2
5th – Dylan D’Emilio (Burnett Training) forfeit Brandon Courtney (Sunkist Kids)
7th – Andrew Alirez (TNWC) tech. fall McGwire Midkiff (SWIFT), 10-0

60 kg/132 lbs.
1st – Mitchell McKee (Minnesota Storm) dec. Vitali Arujau (Finger Lakes), 13-10
3rd – Montorie Bridges (Wyoming RTC) dec. Tariq Wilson (Wolfpack WC), 13-6
5th – Nick Farro (Lehigh) dec. Jacob Silzer (IRTC) 10-10
7th – Paul Glynn (Iowa) dec. Jackson Henson (Sunkist Kids), 8-5

63 kg/138 lbs.
1st – Luke Pletcher (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Sam Turner (Wyoming RTC), 8-6
3rd – Kaden Gfeller (Team BIG) dec. Ben Freeman (Michigan RTC), 9-4
5th – Nick Lee (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Dylan Thurston (IRTC), 12-9
7th – Alex Hrisopoulos (Michigan State) tech. fall Brandon Kier (Stanford-California RTC), 12-0

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
1st – Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) dec. Kanen Storr (C-RTC), 8-6
3rd – Yianni Diakomihalis (Finger Lakes) dec. Dominick Demas (Columbus WC), 10-0
5th – Patricio Lugo (Edinboro RTC) tech. fall Ben Hornickle (Wyoming RTC), 12-2
7th – Cole Martin (Wisconsin) tech. fall Keegan Shaw (Iowa), 10-0

70 kg/154 lbs.
1st – Griffin Parriott (Boilermaker RTC) dec. Joe Lee (Maurer Coughlin WC), 9-0
3rd – Austin Kraisser (Campbell) dec. Mike Dangelo (Princeton WC), 12-9
5th – Philip Conigliaro (Unattached) forfeit David Carr (Titan Mercury WC)
7th – Ryder Punke (IRTC) dec. Luke Weber (Nebraska WTC), 6-6

74 kg/163 lbs.
1st – Mark Hall (Nittany Lion WC) tech. fall Alex Marinelli (Iowa), 10-0
3rd – Evan Wick (Wisconsin) dec. Hayden Hidlay (Wolfpack WC), 6-5
5th – David McFadden (SERTC-VT) tech. fall Jake Allar (Minnesota Storm), 12-2
7th – Taleb Rahmani (Pittsburgh WC) dec. Carver James (IRTC), 5-3

79 kg/174 lbs.
1st – Jacob Covaciu (Wisconsin) dec. Kaleb Young (Iowa), 6-5
3rd – AJ Pedro (Pedro’s WC) dec. Joseph Grello (Scarlet Knights WC), 6-0
5th – Joshua Ugalde (Terrapin WC) forfeit Ahmed Alford (Navy-Marine Corps RTC)
7th – Riley Demoss (Princeton WC) forfeit Spencer Carey (Navy-Marine Corps RTC)

84 kg/185 lbs.
1st – Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) tech. fall Nick Reenan (Wolfpack WC), 10-0
3rd – Max Dean (New York AC) dec. Jaron Smith (Terrapin WC), 14-10
5th – Taylor Venz (Nebraska WTC) dec. Keegan Moore (Titan Mercury WC), 8-1
7th – Jelani Embree (Beat the Streets Detroit) dec. Andrew Price (Lehigh), 8-5

96 kg/211 lbs.
1st – Andrew Marsden (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Nathan Traxler (Stanford-California RTC), 11-10
3rd – Samuel Colbray (C-RTC) dec. Kevin Snyder (Titan Mercury WC), 10-1
5th – Chase Singletary (Blairstown WC) forfeit Joshua Roetman (Navy-Marine Corps RTC)
7th – Ben Darmstadt (New York AC) dec. Brady Wetter (Wisconsin), 5-4

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
1st – Gable Steveson (Minnesota Storm) dec. Jordan Wood (Lehigh), 9-2
3rd – Shawn Streck (Boilermaker RTC) tech. fall Brandon Metz (Unattached), 11-1
5th – Rylee Streifel (Minnesota Storm) forfeit Anthony Cassioppi (Hononegah WC)
7th – Brian Barnes (McMinnville) forfeit Christian Rebottaro (Michigan State)

Entries who did not place at UWW Junior Nationals, as of 10:00 a.m. on Monday
Note, this list will increase with late pre-registrants and with on-site registrants

50 kg
Cody Phippen, Legacy Wrestling Club
Cevion Severado, Xtreme Regional Training Center

60 kg
Austin Gomez, gomez wrestling academy

66 kg
Brady Berge, Pinnacle
Nikolas Chavez, Technical Edge Wrestling
Jarrett Jacques, Missouri Wrestling Federation
Brayton Lee, Red Cobra Wrestling Academy
Alexander Lloyd, Minnesota Storm
Brock Mauller, Missouri Wrestling Foundation
Austin O`Connor, Izzy Style
Yahya Thomas, Chicago RTC
Jarod Verkleeren, Young Guns

74 kg
Cornell Robinson, Xtreme Regional Training Center
Zander Wick, University of Wisconsin

84 kg
Cameron Caffey, Carbondale Wrestling Club
Canten Marriott, Missouri Wrestling Foundation
Kevin Parker, Princeton Wrestling Club
Josh Ramirez, Gator Wrestling Club
Owen Webster, Minnesota Storm

96 kg
Andrew Davison, Chesterton Wrestling Club
Evan Hansen, Viking Wrestling Club
Jackson Striggow, Michigan RTC
Jacob Warner, OPRFS/WN

120 kg
Youssif Hemida, Terrapin Wrestling Club
Carter Isley, Panther Wrestling Club RTC
Christian Lance, Tiger Wrestling Club

At Irving, Texas

50 kg/110 lbs. - Spencer Lee (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Mosha Schwartz (SOT), 2 matches to none
Bout 1 - Lee tech. fall Schwartz, 10-0
Bout 2 - Lee tech. fall Schwartz, 10-0

55 kg/121.25 lbs. – Daton Fix (Team BIG) dec. Austin Gomez (Gomez Wrestling Academy), 2 matches to 0
Match 1 – Fix tech. fall Gomez, 10-0
Match 2 - Fix tech. fall Gomez, 10-0

60 kg/132 lbs. –Seth Gross (Jackrabbit WC) dec. Mitchell McKee (Minnesota Storm), 2 matches to 1
Match 1 – Gross dec. McKee, 8-5
Match 2 – McKee dec. Gross, 10-6
Match 3 – Gross dec. McKee, 16-12

66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Alec Pantaleo (Michigan – RTC) dec. Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton AWS), 2 matches to none
Bout 1 – Pantaleo dec. Kolodzik, 10-2
Bout 2 – Pantaleo dec. Kolodzik, 6-0

74 kg/163 lbs. –Mark Hall (Minnesota Storm) dec. Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion WC), 2 matches to 0
Match 1 – Hall tech. fall Nolf, 10-0
Match 2 – Hall dec. Nolf, 10-6

84 kg/185 lbs. – Zahid Valencia (Sunkist Kids) dec. Bo Nickal (Nittany Lion WC), 2 matches to 0
Match 1 – Valencia dec. Nickal, 8-2
Match 2 – Valencia dec. Nickal, 2-1

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Kollin Moore (Ohio RTC-Titan Mercury WC) dec. Jacob Seely (Northern Colorado RTC), 2 matches to none
Bout 1 – Moore tech. fall Seely, 11-1
Bout 2 – Moore dec. Seely, 9-7

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Jordan Wood (Lehigh Valley WC) dec. Rylee Streifel (Minnesota Storm), 2 matches to none
Bout 1 - Wood dec. Streifel, 5-0
Bout 2 – Wood tech. fall Streifel, 11-0

Challenge Tournament results

55 kg/121 lbs.
1st Place Match - Austin Gomez (gomez wrestling academy) won by tech fall over Austin Assad (Michigan - RTC) (TF 10-0)
3rd Place Match - Nick Piccininni (st.james) won by tech fall over Gavin Teasdale (Young Guns/OTC) (TF 12-2)

60 kg/132 lbs.
1st Place Match - Seth Gross (Jackrabbit Wrestling Club) won by tech fall over Nick Lee (MCWC/Miron) (TF 12-2)
3rd Place Match - Taylor Lamont (Champions Wrestling Club) won by decision over Joshua Terao (DCAC) (Dec 8-7)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
1st - Matthew Kolodzik (Princeton Amateur Wrestling So) won by tech fall over Jaydin Eierman (Missouri Wrestling Foundation) (TF 22-11)
3rd - Austin O`Connor (St Rita) won by tech fall over Tristen Moran (Titan Mercury Wrestling Club) (TF 10-0)

74 kg/163 lbs.
1st Place Match - Jason Nolf (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club) won by decision over Vincenzo Joseph (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club) (Dec 5-2)
3rd Place Match - Logan Massa (Michigan - RTC) won by decision over Jordan Kutler (Lehigh Valley Wrestling Club) (Dec 7-0)

84 kg/185 lbs.
1st Place Match - Bo Nickal (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club) won by tech fall over Bobby Steveson (Minnesota Storm) (TF 12-2)
3rd Place Match - Emery Parker (Illinois Regional Training Cen) won by tech fall over Hunter Ritter (Badger Wrestling Club) (TF 10-0)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
1st - Kollin Moore (Iowa State University) won by decision over Chase Singletary (Blair Wrestling Club) (Dec 13-10)
3rd - Malik McDonald (Wolfpack Wrestling RTC) won by decision over Andre Lee (Illinois Regional Training Cen) (Dec 5-4)

120 kg/265.5 lbs.
1st - Jordan Wood (Lehigh Valley Athletic Club) won by decision over Jake Gunning (Buffalo RTC) (Dec 5-4)
3rd - Joseph Goodhart (Drexel) won by decision over Youssif Hemida (Terrapin Wrestling Club) (Dec 4-3)

True Third for National Team
55 kg/121 lbs. - Nick Piccininni (St.James) won by decision over Austin Assad (Michigan - RTC) (Dec 11-7)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Logan Massa (Michigan - RTC) won by fall over Vincenzo Joseph (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club) (Fall 5:50)
84 kg/185 lbs - - Emery Parker (Illinois Regional Training Cen) won by tech fall over Bobby Steveson (Minnesota Storm) (TF 14-3)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Malik McDonald (Wolfpack Wrestling RTC) won by tech fall over Chase Singletary (Blair Wrestling Club) (TF 15-5)
120 kg/264.5 lbs.- Joseph Goodhart (Drexel) won by forfeit over Jake Gunning (Buffalo RTC) (FF)