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USA men's freestyle puts four in today's Cadet World Championships semifinals

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | Sept. 09, 2017, 8:34 a.m. (ET)

Photo: Kurt McHenry looks to repeat as Cadet World champion. Photo by Richard Immel.

ATHENS, Greece – The U.S. Cadet men’s freestyle team put together a stellar morning session at the 2017 Cadet World Championships in Athens, Greece, sending four wrestlers to the semifinals and two others to the bronze-medal match.

Kurt McHenry, Jacori Teemer, Aaron Brooks and Daniel Kerkvliet remain on the championship side of their respective brackets, while Cole Skinner and Gavin Hoffman battled back in the repechage to wrestle for third.

2016 Cadet World champion McHenry looks to repeat as best in the World, advancing to the semifinals at 46 kg/101 lbs.

McHenry recorded tech falls in his first two matches against 2017 Pan American bronze medalist Fotis Papadopoulis of Canada, 10-0, and Taiyrbek Zhumashbek Uulu of Kyrgyzstan, 18-8.

In the quarters, he had a close call with 2016 Cadet World fifth-place finisher Adem Uzun of Turkey. With McHenry leading 4-0 in the final 30 seconds, Uzun scored on a takedown and nearly picked up exposure as the buzzer sounded.

McHenry’s 4-2 win puts him against 2016 Cadet World bronze medalist Magomed Abdurakhmanov of Russia. It’s a rematch of the 2016 World semis at 42 kg, where McHenry took the win, 11-0.

World Team Trials runner-up Brooks had an impressive morning at 76 kg/167 lbs., earning two wins by technical falls and a solid semifinal decision.  

In his first match, he was pace was unreal and he zoomed to a 12-2 win over Lasha Bairamovi of Georgia with his deadly takedown-to-lace combo.

Brooks faced 2017 Cadet European bronze medalist Alex Hoerner of Germany, who he shut out with an 11-0 win just six seconds into the second period to move onto the quarterfinals.

He put himself in the semifinals after a 9-3 battle against Ukraine’s Alexsander Vyshniak. Tonight, he’s got Meysam Zaree from Iran.

2016 Cadet freestyle national champ Teemer was off to a hot start at 63 kg/139 lbs., pinning 2016 Cadet World bronze winner Giorgi Elbakidze of Georgia in 3:53. Teemer led 9-4 at the time of the pin.

Against Ahmet Sali Yigit of Turkey in the second round, Teemer led 2-2 on criteria at the break. He powered through to start the second, extending his lead to 10-2. Shortly after, the Turk scored on a step out, where Teemer went down with an injury. Yigit began a comeback bid, which Teemer stopped short for an eventual 12-10 win.

In the quarterfinals, Teemer grinded out a 5-3 win over 2017 Cadet Asian gold medalist Ikhtiyor Normurodov of Uzbekistan to move on to tonight’s 63 kg semifinals, where he will take on 2016 Cadet Asian champion Kenshin Ito of Japan.

Kerkvliet spent less than three minutes on the mat in his morning session, claiming two fast tech falls to secure a bid to the 100 kg/220 lbs. semifinals.

Kerkvliet knocked off 2017 Cadet European bronze medalist Radu Lefter of Moldova, 10-0, with three takedowns and two turns, before dominating Filip Jires of Czech Republic, 10-0, in 1:36 in the quarters.

Awaiting the American in the semifinals is 2017 Cadet Asian silver medalist Zyamuhammed Saparov of Turkmenistan, who also notched a pair of 10-0 wins.

Skinner, who was pulled back into the repechage by Alihassan Amirli of Azerbaijan, advanced to the bronze-medal bout at 42 kg/92 lbs. after a solid 4-2 win over Kudaibergen Murat of Kazakshtan in his only repechage match of the morning.

Tonight, he will wrestle Kasei Tanabe of Japan, who moved onto yesterday’s semifinals before falling to Amirli.

Hoffman won two matches in the morning session to a chance to wrestle for a medal tonight. The American won by forfeit over Colombia’s Brayan Ortiz Valderrama, before rushing his way to a 10-0 tech fall against Bekzat Urkimbay of Kazakhstan.

Hoffman will face Sandeep Mann of India for a medal.

At 54 kg/119 lbs., Robert Howard will rely on a semifinal win from Iran’s Mehdi Eshghivasoukolaei to pull him back into the repechage. Eshghivasoukolaei defeated the American in the first round, 8-4

Julain Tagg was unable to qualify for the medal round at 50 kg/110 lbs., falling just shy in his second repechage match, 4-2, against 2017 Cadet Asian silver medalist Akbar Kurbanov of Kazakhstan.

Tagg blew past his first opponent, two-time African champion Mohamed Al Lakel of Algeria, with a 10-0 tech. He ends his first World Championships 2-2, finishing seventh in the world.

In addition to the USA’s semifinalists and two wrestlers going for bronze, American Will Lewan will compete in tonight for World gold at 69 kg/152 lbs.

The semifinals will begin at 5:30 p.m. local time (10:30 a.m. ET), with the medal matches from day-one men’s freestyle competition set for 6 p.m. (11 a.m. ET). Fans can find live streams and brackets on

U.S. men’s freestyle results
42 kg/92 lbs. – Cole Skinner, Middleton, Ohio (G2 World WA)
LOSS Alihasan Amirli (Azerbaijan), 11-0
WIN Kudaibergen Murat (Kazakhstan), 4-2

46 kg/101 lbs. – Kurt McHenry, Leesburg, Va. (Ranger WC)
WIN Fotis Papadopoulis (Canada), 10-0
WIN Taiyrbek Zhumashbek Uulu (Kyrgyzstan), 18-8
WIN Adem Uzun (Turkey), 4-2

50 kg/110 lbs. – Julian Tagg, Broadview Heights, Ohio (Seasons WC) – 7th
WIN Danila Shyrokan (Belarus), 10-3
LOSS Mahir Mammadzada (Azerbaijan), 9-8
WIN Mohamed Al Lakel (Algeria) 12-1
LOSS Akbar Kurbanov (Kazakhstan), 4-2

54 kg/119 lbs. – Robert Howard, Cranford, N.J. (Bitetto Trained)
Mehdi Eshghivasoukolaei (Iran), 8-4

58 kg/128 lbs. – Jordan Decatur, Akron, Ohio (Seasons WC) – 14th
LOSS Georgios Pilidis (Greece), 8-6

63 kg/138 lbs. – Jacori Teemer, Long Beach, N.Y. (Long Beach)
Giorgi Elbakidze (Georgia), fall 3:53
WIN Ahmet Sali Yigit (Turkey), 12-10
WIN Ikhtiyor Normurodov (Uzbekistan), 5-3

69 kg/152 lbs. – Will Lewan, Chicago, Ill. (Izzy Style)
WIN Vishal Kaliramana (India), 6-0
WIN Alinur Takirov (Kyrgyzstan), 6-0
WIN Soslanbek Budaev (Russia), 10-4
WIN Umur Aybey (Turkey), 6-2

76 kg/167 lbs. – Aaron Brooks, Hagerstown, Md. (Hagerstown)
Lasha Bairamovi (Georgia), 12-2
WIN Alex Hoerner (Germany), 11-0
WIN Filip Jires (Czech Republic), 10-0

85 kg/187 lbs. – Gavin Hoffman, Cogan Station, Pa. (Bison Legend WC)
WIN David Losonczi (Hungary), 10-2
LOSS Abbas Ali Foroutanrami (Iran), 9-3
WIN Brayan Ortiz Valderrama (Colombia), win by forfeit
WIN Bekzat Urkimbay (Kazakhstan), 10-0

100 kg/220 lbs. – Daniel Kerkvliet, Inver Grove Heights, Minn. (Pinnacle WC)
Radu Lefter (Moldova), 10-0
WIN Filip Jires (Czech Republic), 10-0