Kerkvliet and Howard punch tickets to second-consecutive Cadet Worlds

By Taylor Miller, USA Wrestling | June 03, 2018, 2:58 p.m. (ET)

Photo: Robert Howard against Julian Tagg in the Cadet freestyle finals. Photo by Sam Janicki.

AKRON, Ohio – Team USA’s Cadet World Team is completed after the Cadet Freestyle Trials wrapped up on Sunday afternoon with 10 talented, young athletes punching their tickets to the 2018 Cadet World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, July 2-8.

Highlighting the 2018 squad are returning World Team members Daniel Kerkvliet at 110 kg and Robert Howard at 55 kg.

Kerkvliet will head to Croatia to defend his World title from 2017. In Akron, he went unscored on, winning three shut out technical falls to advance to the finals. There, Kerkvliet continued his dominance with two quick wins over Hunter Catka.

In May, Kerkvliet won a spot on the Junior World Team and will also represent the U.S. at Junior Worlds in Slovakia in September.

Howard, who was the 54 kg representative in Greece at last year’s Worlds, took on fellow 2017 Cadet World Team member Julian Tagg in the best-of-three finals. A New Jersey native, Howard won the first match with a decisive 10-1 win. In the second match, Howard nearly shut out Tagg with a 4-1 decision.

En route to his second berth on the Cadet World Team, Howard navigated his way through a tough 55 kg bracket and was recognized at the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.

At 80 kg, Abe Assad won the freestyle bracket just two days after securing a spot on the Cadet Greco World Team. The last wrestler to win spots on the Cadet Freestyle and Greco teams was Will Lewan in 2017. Assad and Lewan are training partners at Izzy Style Wrestling.

In his finals series, Assad forced it to a third bout after dropping the first bout 6-0 and tying up the series with a 7-7 win on criteria. In the rubber match, Assad pulled away from Ramirez with a 10-0 technical fall.

Two other weights had finals that went to three matches, including 65 kg and 71 kg.

Similar to Assad, Carson Manville rallied from a first-round loss in the 65 kg finals to earn the chance to represent the United States at Worlds. He is not the first Manville to make it to the World stage, his older brother, Mason, was a 2012 Cadet Freestyle World champion and wrestled for the U.S. in Greco at the 2017 World Championships in Paris.

After getting stuck in the opening bout, Manville, a four-time Cadet Pan American champion, downed Fidel Mayora with 4-2 decision before wrapping up the series with a first-period fall.

At 71 kg, Cadet freestyle Fargo champion Alex Facundo won his first match in the series with Joshua Otto, winning an 8-0 match. Otto answered back in the second with a 3-3 criteria win, but it was not enough to discourage Facundo as he sealed his first spot on a World Team with a 6-0 shutout.

Five other wrestlers made their first World Teams, winning their spots in two matches, including Chance Lamer at 45 kg, Richard Figueroa at 48 kg, Matt Ramos at 51 kg, Joshua Saunders at 60 kg and AJ Ferrari at 92 kg.

Saunders and Ferrari are 2017 Fargo champs in Cadet freestyle, while Lamer won a Cadet Greco title last summer.

Figueroa keep his family Cadet World appearance streak alive as his sister, Gracie, is a three-time Cadet World Team member (2015-17) and a 2017 Junior World Team member. In 2016, she won a Cadet World bronze.

The Cadet World Championships are set for July 2-8 in Zagreb, Croatia.

2018 UWW CADET AND U23 WORLD TEAM TRIALS
at Akron, Ohio, June 1-3

Cadet freestyle final results

45 kg
1st - Chance Lamer (Orange Crush WC) def. Maxximus Martinez (Sunkist Kids Monster Garage), two matches to none
Bout one – Lamer dec. Martinez, 3-1
Bout two – Lamer dec. Martinez, 5-1

3rd - Stevo Poulin (Journeymen Wrestling Club) VPO1 Alex Almeyda (NYCRTC/EDGE), 6-2
5th - Jordan Williams (Threestyle Wrestling) VFA Casey Swiderski (BTWC), 2:17
7th - Eli Griffin (Threestyle Wrestling) VIN Drake Ayala (Sebolt Wrestling Academy)

48 kg
1st - Richard Figueroa II (Sunkist Kids Monster Garage) def. Kyle Rowan (Wrestling Factory of Cleveland), two matches to none
Bout one – Figueroa TF Rowan, 10-0
Bout two – Figueroa pin Rowan, 3:19

3rd - Sheldon Seymour (xcalibur) VPO Jacob Mann (USWA), 5-0
5th - Cole Skinner (USA-Ohio Wrestling) VSU Tommy Curran (Hurricane WC), 11-0
7th - Kase Mauger (Delchev Trained Academy) VSU Joe Scheeran (Journeymen Wrestling Club), 10-0

51 kg
1st - Matthew Ramos (Colt Wrestling) def. Anthony Ferrari (Best Trained Texas), two matches to none
Bout one – Ramos dec. Ferrari, 6-5
Bout two – Ramos dec. Ferrari, 6-1

3rd - Greg Diakomihalis (FLWC) VPO1 Cooper Flynn (McDonogh School), 8-1
5th - Carter Young (Team BIG) VFO Cullan Schriever (Sebolt Wrestling Academy)
7th - Tristan Lujan (Sons Of Thunder Academy) VPO1 Ryan Miller (Blairstown Wrestling Club), 4-1

55 kg
1st - Robert Howard (Titan Mercury/Bitetto Trained) def. Julian Tagg (USA-Ohio), two matches to none
Bout one – Howard dec. Tagg, 10-1
Bout two – Howard dec. Tagg, 4-1

3rd - Trevor Mastrogiovanni (Blairstown Wrestling Club) VSU Ryan Crookham (Lost Boys Wrestling Club), 10-0
5th - Teague Travis (Eierman Elite) VFA Dominick Serrano (Northern Colorado Wrestling Club), 3:57
7th - Maximo Renteria (Dethrone) VPO1 Dylan Ragusin (Izzy Style), 10-7

60 kg
1st - Joshua Saunders (Titan Mercury WC) def. Frankie Tal-shahar (SWAT), two matches to none
Bout one – Saunders win by forfeit over Tal-shahar
Bout two – Saunders dec. Tal-shahar, 8-3

3rd - Beau Bartlett (Sunkist Kids) VPO Ryan Franco (Darkhorse), 8-0
5th - Keegan O`toole (Askren Wrestling Academy) VSU Marckis Branford (LVWC), 11-0
7th - Joshua Edmond (Detroit Catholic Central) VFO Wyatt Henson (Sunkist Kids)

65 kg
1st - Carson Manville (Banditos) def. Fidel Mayora (Izzy Style), two matches to one
Bout one – Mayora pin Manville, 1:35
Bout two – Manville dec. Mayora, 4-2
Bout three – Manville pin Mayora, 1:22

3rd - Kevon Davenport (Detroit Catholic Central) VPO1 Bryce Andonian (The Wrestling Factory of Cleveland), 12-5
5th - Cade Devos (Iron Rams) VPO1 Luke Surber (Tuttle Wrestling), 10-7
7th – Victor Voinovich (Seasons) VSU Ed Scott (Young Guns), 10-0

71 kg
1st – Alex Facundo (Team Donahue) def. Joshua Otto (Askren Wrestling Academy), two matches to one
Bout one – Facundo dec. Otto, 8-0
Bout two – Otto dec. Facundo, 3-3
Bout three – Facundo dec. Otto, 6-0

3rd - Jace Luchau (Sons Of Thunder Academy) VSU Padraic Gallagher (The Wrestling Factory of Cleveland), 12-0
5th - Sonny Santiago (Sunkist Kids Monster Garage) VSU Lance Runyon (Iron Rams), 10-0
7th – Aaron Gandara (Wrestling Prep) VSU Donnell Washington (Portage High School), 10-0

80 kg
1st – Abe Assad (Izzy Style) def. Julian Ramirez (Blairstown WC), two matches to one
Bout one – Ramirez dec. Assad, 6-0
Bout two – Assad dec. Ramirez, 7-7
Bout three – Assad TF Ramirez, 10-0

3rd - Carter Starocci (Bad Karma) VPO1 David Key (Compound), 3-2
5th - Zach Glazier (Minnesota) VPO1 Ethan Hatcher (Seasons), 9-4
7th – Jacob Logan (GPS Wrestling) VPO1 Patrick Kennedy (Minnesota), 8-4

92 kg
1st - AJ Ferrari (Best Trained Texas) def. Konner Doucet (Oklahoma), two matches to none
Bout one – Ferrari TF Doucet, 10-0
Bout two – Ferrari dec. Doucet, 10-1

3rd - Braxton Amos (Team Miron) VPO1 Peter Christensen (Izzy Style), 6-4
5th - Jacob Cardenas (Rednose) VFA Niccolo Colucci (St. Peter's Prep), 0:36
7th – Wyatt Hendrickson (Team Kansas) VPO1 Gabe Christenson (Iron Rams), 11-10

110 kg
1st - Daniel Kerkvliet (Titan Mercury/Pinnacle) def. Hunter Catka (LAB Trained), two matches to none
Bout one – Kervliet TF Catka, 10-0
Bout two – Kervliet TF Catka, 10-0

3rd - Luke Luffman (IRTC) VSU1 Hayden Copass (Unattached), 12-1
5th - Joshua Heindselman (Oklahoma) VSU1 Isaac Righter (MSJ Titans), 13-3
7th – Andy Garcia (La Gente WC) VSU William Taylor (Unattached), 10-0