Tagg pins Bravo-Young in the finals, named Outstanding Wrestler at UWW Junior Freestyle Nationals

By JD Rader, USA Wrestling | April 27, 2019, 10:53 p.m. (ET)
Gabe Tagg celebrates his finals win. Photo by Tony Rotundo.

LAS VEGAS
– After two days and a whole lot of matches in the South Point Arena, 10 UWW Junior-aged wrestlers (born 1999-2002) are coming home with UWW Junior Freestyle Nationals titles and have earned an automatic berth to the best-of-three wrestle-off against the challenge tournament champion in Akron, Ohio, May 31 – June 2. 

Malik Heinselman took the first step to securing his second Junior World team by earning a spot in the best-of-the-three finals at World Team Trials. Outside of a tough 12-9 round of 16 match with Kyle Biscoglia, Heinselman ran through the 57 kg bracket, outscoring his opponents 46-1. The Ohio State freshman is now a two-time UWW Junior National champion, winning in his first in 2017.

Gabe Tagg put together a performance at 61 kg that earned him Outstanding Wrestler. Tagg tech falled his way to semifinals where he pinned Penn State All-American Roman Bravo-Young. Trailing 4-2 in the second period, Tagg used a duck under to put Bravo-Young on his back and then turned him again before securing the fall. 

At 65 kg, Yahya Thomas was able to reverse last year’s UWW Junior Freestyle Nationals quarterfinal result when he beat Andrew Alirez 4-0 in the finals. Thomas got to the finals by beating 2018 Cadet and Junior World Team member Joshua Saunders in the semifinals.

In a battle of Big Ten redshirts at 70 kg, Sam Sasso defeated Brayton Lee. Sasso used an outside carry to secure a takedown before locking up four straight leg laces to win 10-0.

Iowa State freshman David Carr won a tough 74 kg bracket. Carr had to go through Iowa freshman Nelson Brands, EAP wrestler and Illinois commit DJ Shannon, and Fargo champion and Illinois freshman Danny Braunagel. 

Aaron Brooks proved why he was the number one seed at 79 kg. The Penn State commit outscored his opponents 63-3. 

NC State’s Trent Hidlay earned his spot to the World Team Trials finals at 86 kg by beating 2017 Cadet World bronze medalist Gavin Hoffman in the semifinals and then Fargo All-American and Illinois wrestler Zachary Braunagel.

Northwestern’s Lucas Davison used a big four-point crotch lift in the first period to defeat Oklahoma’s Jakob Woodley. The 2018 Fargo champion tech falled his way to the finals at 92 kg.

Unseeded Sam Schuyler and sixth seeded Tanner Sloan put on a show in the 97 kg finals. Trailing on criteria, Schuyler used a feet-to-back double leg for four points with just eight seconds left to win. Sloan’s corner challenged the call, but lost. Sloan earned a push out in the final seconds, making the final score 17-13.

Anthony Cassioppi put together one of the most dominating performances of the tournament at 125 kg. The Iowa wrestler went unscored upon and beat Penn State’s Seth Nevills 13-0 in the finals. 

2019 UWW FREESTYLE NATIONALS
At the South Point Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev., April 26-27


Final results

57 kg
1st - Malik Heinselman (Ohio State-Unattached) TF Sam Latona (TMWC/ SERTC), 10-0
3rd - Rayvon Foley (TMWC) df. Chris Cannon J (Blairstown WC), 4:26
5th - Trevor Mastrogiovanni (Blairstown WC) TF Wyatt Henson (Sunkist Kids WC), 10-0
7th - Justin Cardani (IRTC) dec. Eric Barnett (Aviators), 14-14

61 kg
1st - Gabriel Tagg (Elite Accelerator Program) df. Roman Bravo-Young (Nittany Lion WC), fall 4:15
3rd - Jevon Parrish (Nebraska) dec. Jaime Hernandez (Tar Heel WC), 6-4
5th - Pat Glory (NJRTC) df. Jarrett Trombley (Wolfpack Wrestling Club), win by forfeit
7th - Teague Travis (Missouri) dec. Chance Rich (Bakersfield RTC), 23-16

65 kg
1st - Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) dec. Andrew Alirez (Northern Colorado WC), 4-0
3rd - Real Woods (Stanford - California RTC) dec. Joshua Saunders (TMWC), 6-0
5th - Victor Voinovich (Seasons) dec. Peter Ogunsanya (West Point RTC), 3-2
7th - Keegan O`Toole (Askren Wrestling Academy) TF Jojo Aragona (NYAC/NJRTC), 15-4

70 kg
1st - Sam Sasso (Ohio State-Unattached) dec. Brayton Lee (Minnesota Storm), 10-0
3rd - Peyton Robb (Nebraska) df. Quincy Monday (NJRTC), 0:59
5th - Jacori Teemer (ASU Wrestling) dec. Anthony Artalona (Pennsylvania RTC), 2-2
7th - Kendall Coleman (Boilermaker RTC) dec. Jaden Van Maanen (Bison WC), 8-6

74 kg
1st - David Carr (Cyclone RTC) TF Danny Braunagel (IRTC), 12-1
3rd - Nelson Brands (U of Iowa) df. Julian Ramirez (Blairstown WC), 2:06
5th - Travis Wittlake (Cowboy RTC/TMWC) dec. DJ Shannon (Elite Accelerator Program), 10-4
7th - Philip Conigliaro (Unattached) TF Joshua Kim (Harvard), 12-1

79 kg
1st - Aaron Brooks (TMWC/EAP) dec. Shane Griffith (Stanford-California RTC), 10-0
3rd - Dustin Plott (Unattached) TF Parker Keckeisen (Askren Wrestling Academy), 10-0
5th - Tyler Dow (University of Wisconsin) df. Jake Allar (Minnesota Storm), fall 2:19
7th - Michael O`Malley (PRTC) dec. Jake Hendricks (Pennsylvania RTC), 4-3

86 kg
1st - Trent Hidlay (Wolfpack WC) dec. Zachary Braunagel (IRTC), 10-3
3rd - Abe Assad (Izzy Style) dec. Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State-Unattached), 3-0
5th - Victor Marcelli (Cavalier WC) dec. Thomas Penola (Boilermaker RTC), 10-0
7th - Peter Acciardi (Bulls WC) df. Kordell Norfleet (ASU Wrestling), win by forfeit

92 kg
1st - Lucas Davison (TMWC) dec. Jakob Woodley (Oklahoma), 6-3
3rd - Brandon Whitman (Tar Heel WC) dec. Joel Shapiro (Cyclone RTC), 4-2
5th - Dakota Howard (SERTC-VT) dec. Jacob Cardenas (Cordoba Rrained), 14-4
7th - Connor Corbin (U of Iowa) dec. Tyrell Gordon (Panther WC RTC), 6-2

97 kg
1st - Sam Schuyler (Bulls wrestling club) dec. Tanner Sloan (Jackrabbit WC), 17-13
3rd - Austin Harris (Cowboy RTC/TMWC) TF Aric Bohn (Southern Illinois), 10-0
5th - Kyle Lightner (NJRTC) df. Wyatt Hendrickson (Unattached), win by forfeit
7th - Antonio Andrade (Oklahoma) dec. Tyler Bagoly (Clarion RTC), 6-1

125 kg
1st - Anthony Cassioppi (U of Iowa) TF Seth Nevills (Unattached), 13-0
3rd - John Borst (SERTC-VT) dec. Austin Emerson (Nebraska), 4-2
5th - Jonathan Spaulding (Edinboro RTC) df. Kayne Hutchison (Air Force RTC), win by forfeit
7th - Zachary Knighton-Ward (Blue and Gold RTC) TF Joshua Heindselman (Oklahoma), 10-0