USA Wrestling Cassioppi named OW, ...

Cassioppi named OW, Young and Maley add Greco-Roman gold for U.S. at Junior Pan American Championships

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | June 09, 2017, 10:43 p.m. (ET)

Photo: The U.S. Greco-Roman team after taking first place at the 2017 Junior Pan American Championships in Lima, Peru. Photo by Richard Immel, USA Wrestling.

Video: U.S. Interviews from the Junior Pan American Championships

LIMA, Peru – The Junior Pan American Championships launched on Friday at Peru’s Villa Deportiva Nacional Videna with a trio of budding American stars securing gold medals in Greco-Roman action.

Stealing the show on Friday was 120 kg/264 lbs. champion Anthony Cassioppi (Roscoe, Ill) who went a perfect 4-0 on the day with three pins and a technical fall to boot. Speaking of boots, Cassioppi was awarded the Golden Boot as the outstanding wrestler of the event following his tremendous effort.

“I thought I wrestled pretty well,” Cassioppi said following his performance. “I stayed in good position, wrestled smart. I felt pretty explosive on my throws, you know, definitely feeling some improvement. You go into every tournament wanting to be the best. I’m just glad I was able to do that today.”

Cassioppi adds to a list littered with impressive credentials including a runner-up finish at the Junior World Team Trials, a USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals crown and several All-American honors at the USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior Nationals held in Fargo, N.D. He has committed to wrestle at Northwestern next year.

Junior World Team Trials runner-up Haydn Maley (Roseburg, Ore.) displayed similar dominance to Cassioppi on his way to the 96 kg/211 lbs. title. Maley secured two pins before dispatching of German Zuniga Ordonez of Honduras in the finals, 9-0.

“It’s definitely a whole different world than wrestling Greco in the United States because these guys train Greco year-round. It’s just another step in the road, something I can be proud of, and I can keep moving on and moving forward,” Maley said.

Maley was a four-time Oregon state champion and 2016 USA Wrestling Junior National champion in Greco-Roman. He plans to attend Stanford University next fall.

Rounding out the list of U.S. champions was 50 kg/110 lbs. dynamo Brandon Kaylor (Puyallup, Wash). Kaylor went 3-1 overall in the 50 kg five-athlete round-robin bracket. He tied with Colombia’s Ferley Barrientos Castaneda for best record in the bracket, but gained the edge on classification points. Kaylor defeated Barrientos Casteneda 6-4 in the opening round.

Also in a five-athlete round robin was Tennessee product Thomas Brackett (Eads, Tenn.) who battled to a silver-medal finish at 84 kg/185 lbs. Bracket, a 2016 Junior Greco-Roman Nationals champions, fell in the opening round to eventual champion Carlos Espinoza Castro of Peru, 6-2. He returned with three-consecutive victories, two of which came by a single point, to secure his place on the podium.

Junior World Team Trials champion Dalton Young (Nine Mile Falls, Wash.) and Princeton standout Leonard Merkin (Brooklyn, N.Y.) both dropped semifinal matches before fighting back for bronze medals. Young defeated Gerardo Oliva Montes of Peru 8-0 in the 60 kg/132 lbs. bronze-medal match. Merkin went 12-1 over Jamir Nicholson Murillo of Panama to clinch the 66 kg/145 lbs. bronze.

NCAA qualifier Gabriel Townsell (Chicago, Ill.) went 1-2 on the day en route to a fifth-place finish at 55 kg/121 lbs. The talented Stanford athlete dropped tight decisions to medalists Maikol Josefa of Dominican Republic, 3-0, and Andres Cortes Herrera of Colombia, 12-10.

SIU Edwardsville’s Mason McDaniel (Kirkland, Wash.) ran into an unfortunate set of circumstances after dropping his 74 kg/163 lbs. quarterfinal match to Nilton Soto Garcia of Peru, 4-1. Soto Garcia was injured while leading his semifinal bout with one minute remaining, therefore eliminating McDaniel from a chance to wrestle back to bronze.

The U.S. was awarded the team championships with six total medalists: three gold, one silver and two bronze. Host-nation Peru finished in second place, seven points behind the Americans. The Dominican Republic navigated to a third-place podium finish.

These eight individuals will be back in action on Sunday in the men’s freestyle competition.

The Junior Pan American Championships resume at 11 a.m. (ET) on Saturday with the women’s freestyle competition. Medal matches are schedule to commence at 6 p.m. (ET).

A live stream, complete brackets and match-by-match results from the Junior Pan American Championships can be found on

June 9-11 at Lima, Peru

Final Results
50 kg/110 lbs.

Gold – Brandon Kaylor (United States)
Silver – Ferley Barrientos Castaneda (Colombia)
Bronze – Edward Cortez Arcela (Peru)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – Maikol Josefa (Dominican Republic)
Silver – Joao Benavides Rochabrun (Peru)
Bronze – Andres Cortes Herrera (Colombia)
Bronze – Erivan Constantino Rocha (Brazil)

60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold – Agustin Destribats (Argentina)
Silver – Samuel Agvilar (Mexico)
Bronze – Julian Horta Acevedo (Colombia)
Bronze – Dalton Young (United States)

66 kg/145 lbs.
Gold – Joilson De Brito Ramos Junior (Brazil)
Silver – Efren Guagua Nazareno (Ecuador)
Bronze – Leonard Merkin (United States)
Bronze – Elias Lucio (Argentina)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold – John Yeats (Canada)
Silver – William Moreno Chuc (Guatemala)
Bronze – Carlos Jose (Dominican Republic)
Bronze – Luis Barrios Rochez (Honduras)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold – Carlos Espinoza Castro (Peru)
Silver – Thomas Brackett (United States)
Bronze – Gregory Reasco Angulo (Ecuador)

96 kg/211 lbs.
Gold – Haydn Maley (United States)
Silver – German Zuniga Ordonez (Honduras)
Bronze – Douglas Rocha (Brazil)
Bronze – Bryan Cruz Palacios (Peru)

120 kg/264 lbs.
Gold – Anthony Cassioppi (United States)
Silver – Rafael Crystello Madeira Filho (Brazil)
Bronze – Jose Diaz Ponciano (Guatemala)

U.S. Greco-Roman Results
50 kg/110 lbs. – Brandon Kaylor, Puyallup, Wash. (Team Washington), Gold
WIN Ferley Barrientos Castaneda (Colombia), 6-4
WIN Alejandro Tineo Del Leon (Dominican Republic), 8-0
LOSS Erick Zaldumbide Torres (Ecuador), 9-1
WIN Edward Cortez Arcela (Peru), 10-2

55 kg/121 lbs. – Gabriel Townsell, Chicago, Ill. (Stanford-California RTC), 5th
WIN Ricardo Quinonez Rosado (Ecuador), 16-8
LOSS Maikol Josefa (Dominican Republic), 3-0
LOSS Andres Cortes Herrera (Colombia), 12-10

60 kg/132 lbs. – Dalton Young, Nine Mile Falls, Wash. (Team Washington), Bronze
LOSS Agustin Destribats (Argentina), 4-4
WIN Gerardo Oliva Montes (Peru), 8-0

66 kg/145 lbs. – Leonard Merkin, Brooklyn, N.Y. (Princeton WC), Bronze
WIN David Brooks Bodden (Honduras), 9-0
LOSS Efren Guagua Nazareno (Ecuador), 12-4
WIN Jamir Nicholson Murillo (Panama), 12-1

74 kg/163 lbs. – Mason McDaniel, Kirkland, Wash. (Southern Illinois Training Center)
WIN Andre Ramos Pinto (Brazil), Fall 1:25
LOSS Nilton Soto Garcia (Peru), 4-1

84 kg/185 lbs. – Thomas Brackett, Eads, Tenn. (West Tennessee Takedown Club), Silver
LOSS Carlos Espinoza Castro (Peru), 6-2
WIN Jhony Gonzalez Charry (Colombia), 8-0
WIN Gregory Reasco Angulo (Ecuador), 7-6
WIN Gino Avila Dilbert (Honduras), 9-8

96 kg/211 lbs. – Haydn Maley, Roseburg, Ore. (Roseburg Mat Club), Gold
WIN Leo Santana Heredia (Dominican Republic), Fall 1:58
WIN Douglas Rocha (Brazil), Fall 2:58
WIN German Zuniga Ordonez (Honduras), 9-0

120 kg/264 lbs. – Anthony Cassioppi, Roscoe, Ill. (Hononegah WC), Gold
WIN Rafer Crystello Madeira Filho (Brazil), Fall 3:27
WIN Ronny Medina Ocon (Peru), Fall 0:50
WIN Jose Diaz Ponciano (Guatemala), 9-0
WIN Diego Almendras Rodriquez (Chile), Fall 0:20