Cassioppi and Guida go back-to-back at Junior Freestyle Nationals and two still alive in the hunt for Triple Crown

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | July 17, 2018, 5:56 p.m. (ET)
Anthony Cassioppi turns Nash Hutmacher in the Junior Freestyle finals, and received the OW award. Photo by Jim Thrall,

FARGO, N.D. – An exciting Junior freestyle finals show ended with Anthony Cassioppi of Illinois capturing his second-straight Junior freestyle national title with a first-period pin over two-time Cadet national champion Nash Hutmacher of South Dakota.

The win marked Cassioppi’s third overall Junior Fargo national title as he also claimed a 2017 Junior Greco-Roman title last summer. The Iowa commit was named the Outstanding Wrestler for his efforts as he eased his way through the bracket with three falls and three tech falls. 

A 2017 Triple Crown winner, Cassioppi looks to write his name in the history books as tomorrow he starts the final leg of his 2018 Triple Crown journey. The only wrestler in history to win two Junior-level Triple Crowns was 2018 Senior Greco-Roman World Team member Adam Coon.

In order to be eligible to go for the Triple Crown, Cassioppi had to win the Folkstyle National championships in April, which he did, defeating Hutmacher, 3-1.

“At Folkstyle Nationals, I was dinged up and I hadn’t had a lot of training going into there, but today I just got on my offense,” Cassioppi said. “I was able to do that because I was feeling good -- feeling in better shape. [For the Triple Crown], I’m just going to take it one match at a time. Go out there and maintain good position and just wrestle hard.”

Also seeking a 2018 Junior Triple Crown is Jack Jessen, who, after six trips to the Fargo finals, won his first Junior freestyle title on Tuesday afternoon.

Jessen, also an Illinois native, defeated 2017 Junior All-American Joel Shapiro of Iowa in the 182-pound finals with a dominant 11-0 technical fall.

“I was just going out and showing to the country that I’m not going to go out to college and just sit around. No, I’m going to keep wrestling,” Jessen said. “I wanted to show them that I could still come out and do this. It’d be unreal to get that Triple Crown and that would really put a good cap on my senior year.”

Joining Cassioppi in winning back-to-back Junior National titles was Wil Guida of New Jersey, who won the championship at 106 pounds, taking out 2017 Junior Greco-Roman national champion Anthony King of Illinois in a decisive 11-3 win.
“I kind of approached this tournament a little different last year,” Guida said. “I was looking to be an All-American. Once I won the quarters, I got on a roll and really knew that I could be a national champion last year. This year I was really aiming to be No. 1, so I think I made a statement on beating King.”

Two wrestlers, who have represented the United States on the World stage, won Fargo titles on Tuesday.

At 132 pounds, it was a battle of Cadet World Team members as 2017 World freestyler Jordan Decatur of Ohio took on 2017 Greco-Roman World Team member Ridge Lovett of Idaho in the finals.

The two went back and forth throughout the entire bout, but it was Decatur who prevailed with a 13-8 decision to win his first Junior freestyle national title and third Fargo championship overall. Decatur, an Ohio State commit, won Cadet freestyle in 2015 and 2016.

Another Cadet World Team member won gold as 2018 Cadet Greco World Teamer Luke Luffman of Illinois won a tight match with Illinois teammate Jace Punke, 4-2, at 220 pounds.

Luffman competed for the crown just a week after finishing seventh at the Cadet World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.

In addition to Jessen at 182, six other wrestlers won Junior freestyle titles with technical falls on Tuesday.

At 100 pounds, Joseph Fischer of Pennsylvania wrapped up a fast 10-0 tech fall over 2017 Cadet Greco-Roman All-American Ronan Schuelke of Illinois.

New Jersey native Michael Colaiocco took out 2017 Cadet Greco national champion Reece Witcraft in a 10-0 shutout at 126 pounds.

This week marked Colaiocco’s third Fargo All-American finish in Junior freestyle and his first national title.

Points were flying from both sides within the opening seconds of the 145-pound final, but it was Virginia Tech commit Bryce Andonian of Ohio who separated himself and snagged a 12-2 tech fall against 2017 Fargo All-American Logan Meek of Oregon.

Two matches later, Illinois signee Danny Braunagel won his first Fargo championship, knocking off 2017 Junior freestyle runner-up and 2016 Cadet freestyle champion Jared Franek of North Dakota with a 13-2 win.

The next bout was dominated by Carson Kharchla of Ohio, who shutout over 2018 UWW Junior national runner-up Dustin Plott from Oklahoma, 10-0 in 1:11.

Securing the final tech fall of the session was Northwestern commit Lucas Davison of Indiana, who was a Junior All-American in both styles last year. Davison defeated two-time Cadet All-American Peter Christensen of Illinois, 10-0.

The only other bonus-point finals win came at 120 pounds, where Wisconsin commit Eric Barnett recorded a first-period fall against Aden Reeves of Iowa in 1:32.

At 138 pounds, Keegan O’Toole of Wisconsin claimed the crown with an 11-6 decision over Gabriel Tagg of Ohio. Trailing 6-0 at the break, Tagg began a comeback bid, but it was not enough as O’Toole outlasted for the win.

Finals at 113 pounds and 152 pounds were decided on criteria.

At 113, 2016 Cadet freestyle national champion Cullan Schriever of Iowa was down by as many as seven points before storming back to take a 10-10 win on criteria over Jonathan Prata of California.

Scoring late to win the title at 152 pounds was University of Minnesota commit Brayton Lee of Indiana, who defeated Alexander Lloyd of Minnesota with a 3-3 decision.

Illinois easily defended its Junior Freestyle team title, with four champs, four runners-up and 95 points. Ohio was second with 62 points and Iowa in third with 61 points.

The USMC Cadet and Junior National Championships continue with Junior women’s freestyle action as well as the Cadet and Junior Greco-Roman tournaments live on

at Fargo, N.D., July 17

1st - Joseph Fischer (Pennsylvania) defeated Ronan Schuelke (Illinois), tech. 10-0
3rd - Eli Griffin (Oklahoma) defeated Guillermo Juarez (Illinois), tech. 12-1
5th - Christian Tanefeu (North Dakota) defeated Colin Noel (Ohio), tech. 10-0
7th - Trent Thompson (Connecticut) defeated Kael Brisker (Iowa), tech 15-4

1st - Wil Guida (New Jersey) defeated Anthony King (Illinois), dec. 11-3
3rd - Brenden Chaowanapibool (Washington) defeated Zachary Espalin (Arizona), dec. 12-6
5th - Riley Parker (Virginia) defeated Bryce Cockrell (Oklahoma), tech. 10-0
7th - Alexzander Cottey (Indiana) defeated Sawyer Nash (Illinois), fall 1:00

1st - Cullan Schriever (Iowa) defeated Jonathan Prata (California), dec. 10-10
3rd - Brendon Garcia (Colorado) defeated Dustin Norris (Ohio), tech. 14-4
5th - Dominic Chavez (Texas) defeated Joseph Thompson (Minnesota), tech. 12-1
7th - Justin Cardani (Illinois) defeated Timothy Levine (California), tech. 15-4

1st - Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) defeated Aden Reeves (Iowa), fall 1:32
3rd - Julian Tagg (Ohio) defeated Kyle Biscoglia (Iowa), dec. 7-5
5th - Corey Gamet (Michigan) defeated Trevor Mastrogiovanni (New Jersey), injury
7th - Anthony Molton (Illinois) defeated Dylan Ragusin (Illinois), tech 18-7

1st - Michael Colaiocco (New Jersey) defeated Reece Witcraft (Oklahoma), tech. 10-0
3rd - Patrick McKee (Minnesota) defeated Kyle Burwick (North Dakota), dec. 8-6
5th - Kai Orine (Missouri) defeated Kellyn March (South Dakota), tech. 12-1
7th - Earl Blake (Maryland) defeated Ryder Ramsey (Oklahoma), tech. 12-2

1st - Jordan Decatur (Ohio) defeated Ridge Lovett (Idaho), dec. 13-8
3rd - Beau Bartlett (Pennsylvania) defeated Connor Mcgonagle (Pennsylvania), injury
5th - Jackson Henson (Pennsylvania) defeated Dylan D’emilio (Ohio), dec. 9-6
7th - Jacob Dado (Illinois) defeated Malyke Hines (Florida), injury

1st - Keegan O'toole (Wisconsin) defeated Gabriel Tagg (Ohio), dec. 11-6
3rd - Jaden Abas (California) defeated Lucas Revano (New Jersey), tech. 11-0
5th - Edward Scott (Pennsylvania) defeated Jordan Crace (Ohio), injury
7th - Beau Ohlson (Oregon) defeated Nicholas Termini (Illinois), tech. 14-4

1st - Bryce Andonian (Ohio) defeated Logan Meek (Oregon), tech. 12-2
3rd - Michael Blockhus (Iowa) defeated Daniel Manibog (Texas), tech 19-8
5th - Drew Scharenbrock (Wisconsin) defeated Colton Yapoujian (Colorado), fall 5:21
7th - Cade Devos (Iowa) defeated Johnny Levett (Florida), tech. 12-1

1st - Brayton Lee (Indiana) defeated Alexander Lloyd (Minnesota), dec. 3-3
3rd - Connor Brady (Ohio) defeated Kendall Coleman (Illinois), dec. 4-0
5th - Jace Luchau (California) defeated Cameron Amine (Michigan), injury
7th - Daniel Mancini (Pennsylvania) defeated Tyler Eischens (Minnesota), dec. 9-8

1st - Danny Braunagel (Illinois) defeated Jared Franek (North Dakota), dec. 13-2
3rd - Nelson Brands (Iowa) defeated Robert Kanniard (New Jersey), tech. 11-0
5th - Tyler Dow (Wisconsin) deafeated Nevan Snodgrass (Ohio), fall 2:50
7th - Sean Harman (Oregon) defeated Jacob Stefanowicz (Pennsylvania), tech. 12-1

1st - Carson Kharchla (Ohio) defeated Dustin Plott (Oklahoma), tech. 10-0
3rd - Parker Keckeisen (Wisconsin) defeated Carter Starocci (Pennsylvania), dec. 9-6
5th - Travis Wittlake Jr. (Oregon) defeated Ben Sarasin (Iowa), tech. 10-0
7th - Christopher Foca (New Jersey) defeated Luca Pontone (Massachusetts), injury

1st - Jack Jessen (Illinois) defeated Joel Shapiro (Iowa), tech. 11-0
3rd - Zachary Braunagel (Illinois) defeated Tate Samuelson (Colorado), dec. 10-8
5th - Devin Winston (Missouri) defeated Jackson Turley (Virginia), fall 4:52
7th - Talon Borror (Oklahoma) defeated Victor Marcelli (Ohio), fall 2:25

1st - Lucas Davison (Indiana) defeated Peter Christensen (Illinois), tech. 10-0
3rd - Wyatt Hendrickson (Kansas) defeated Austin Cooley (Massachusetts), tech. 12-2
5th - Beau Yineman (Wisconsin) defeated Tyrell Gordon (Iowa), dec. 5-0
7th - Sergio Villalobos (Illinois) defeated Matthew Cover (Ohio), dec. 8-1

1st - Luke Luffman (Illinois) defeated Jace Punke (Illinois), dec. 4-2
3rd - Boone Mcdermott (Iowa) defeated Keaton Fogler (Illinois), tech. 11-0
5th - Joshua Heindselman (Oklahoma) defeated Cole Fibranz (Minnesota), dec. 8-2
7th - Garrett Kappes (Maryland) defeated Victor Jaquez Jr. (California), tech. 13-2

1st - Anthony Cassioppi (Illinois) defeated Nash Hutmacher (South Dakota), fall 1:14
3rd - Mason Parris (Indiana) defeated John Mcconkey (Iowa), tech. 10-0
5th - Austin Emerson (Michigan) defeated Aydin Guttridge (Illinois), dec. 2-1
7th - Spencer Trenary (Iowa) defeated Lee Herrington (Nebraska), dec. 8-6