Six Triple Crown hopefuls are still alive at USMC Junior Nationals

By Mike Willis, USA Wrestling | July 14, 2019, 9:41 p.m. (ET)

Dustin Plott is one of two 2018 Junior Freestyle runner-ups still in contention for a title. Photo by Austin Bernard.

Nine of the 15 2019 USAW Junior Folkstyle National champions are participating in the USMC Junior Nationals. Six of the nine are still in contention for the prestigious Triple Crown, which is given for winning national titles in folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman in the same year.

The six wrestlers still pursing the Triple Crown have looked dominant on the first day of Junior freestyle action. At 100 pounds, Iowa’s Brandon O’Brien earned a 12-1 technical fall in his only match of the day to move into the quarterfinals. Blake West of Minnesota cruised in the 106 pound bracket with three 10-0 technical falls. Likewise, Iowa’s Drake Ayala earned 11-0, 10-0 and 10-0 technical falls on his way to the quarterfinals at 113 pounds. Ayala is a 2017 16U National champion.

Colorado’s Mosha Schwartz continued his quest for the Triple Crown at 132 pounds with three technical falls and a pin. At 138 pounds, Ridge Lovett of Idaho earned two technical falls and a 9-4 decision. Lovett was a Junior runner-up in 2018. The final wrestler still eligible for the Triple Crown is Missouri’s Rocky Elam at 182 pounds. Elam earned two technical falls and a 7-0 decision.

The most surprising result of the day was 2018 Junior Freestyle runner-up Nash Hutmacher of South Dakota losing by fall to Ashton Brecht of Oregon in the opening round at 285 pounds. Hutmacher, a 2019 Folkstyle National champion, was in on a double leg before Brecht launched him to his back with a lateral drop to earn the pin.

The other two Folkstyle Nationals champions to fall today were Montana’s Martin Wilkie at 145 pounds and Minnesota’s Nicholas Novak. Wilkie lost in the round of 16 to Ohio’s Victor Voinovich 10-0, and Novak was defeated by Pennsylvania’s Jacob Blair in the opening round, 12-2.

Another big upset was Hawaii’s Coby Ravida pinning Ronan Schuelke of Illinois in the round of 64. Ravida was a 2018 Junior Nationals runner-up.

The fourth and final 2018 Junior runner-up in the tournament, Dustin Plott is still alive in the loaded 182 pound bracket. Plott earned three technical falls on the day.

Another noteworthy result was two-time Pennsylvania state champion Samuel Hillegas defeating 2018 16U champion Joshua Edmond in the round of 64, 11-9.

Still alive in the brackets, and gunning for back-to-back Junior freestyle titles, are Illinois’s Luke Luffman at 285 pounds and Wisconsin’s Keegan O’Toole at 152 pounds.

Freestyle Quarterfinal pairings

100
Daniel Sheen (Illinois) vs. Noah Savageau (North Dakota)
Nathan Vasquez (California) vs. Cael Keck (Missouri)
Ty Daugherty (Ohio) vs. Samuel Hayes (Illinois)
Hunter Sloan (Pennsylvania) vs. Brandon O'Brien (Iowa)

106
Eli Griffin (Oklahoma) vs. Jeremy Bockert (Alaska)
Andre Gonzales (California) vs. Kelly Dunnigan (New Jersey)
Blake West (Minnesota) vs. Caleb- Coyle (Nebraska)
Kenny Sailas (Colorado) vs. Colin Noel (Ohio)

113
Nico Provo (Connecticut) vs. Joziah Fry (Rhode Island)
Aedyn Concepcion (Alaska) vs. Jett Strickenberger (Colorado)
Drake Ayala (Iowa) vs. Yusief Lillie (Washington)
Jeremiah Reno (Missouri) vs. Sheldon Seymour (Pennsylvania)

120
Chance Lamer (Oregon) vs. Joseph Thompson (Minnesota)
Jakason Burks (Nebraska) vs. Jackson Cockrell (Oklahoma)
Destin Summers (Idaho) vs. Alex Almeyda (New Jersey)
Anthony Molton (Illinois) vs. Dustin Norris (Ohio)

126
Kyle Burwick (North Dakota) vs. Angelo Rini (Ohio)
Nick Masters (Georgia) vs. Wyatt Henson (Missouri)
Jayden Gomez (California) vs. Cameron Johnson (Illinois)
Brayden Littell (Indiana) vs. Ethen Miller (Missouri)

132
Trey Crawford (Missouri) vs. Mosha Schwartz (Colorado)
Michael Burnett (Ohio) vs. Cael Happel (Iowa)
Domenic Zaccone (Illinois) vs. Drew Roberts (Washington)
Nathaniel Pulliam (Missouri) vs. Dominick Serrano (Colorado)

138
Joshua Saunders (Missouri) vs. Caleb Henson (Georgia)
Lachlan Mcneil (Pennsylvania) vs. Ryder Ramsey (Oklahoma)
Samuel Hillegas (Pennsylvania) vs. Noah Villarreal (Illinois)
Caden Mccrary (Georgia) vs. Ridge Lovett (Idaho)

145
Chase Warden (Texas) vs. Anthony Echemendia (Arizona)
Chance Mclane (Montana) vs. Beau Ohlson (Oregon)
Joseph Zargo (New Jersey) vs. Vincent Zerban (Illinois)
Joshua Ogunsanya (Illinois) vs. Victor Voinovich (Ohio)

152
Keegan O'toole (Wisconsin) vs. Chase Saldate (California)
Jace Luchau (California) vs. Cael Carlson (Minnesota)
Kaden Reetz (Wisconsin) vs. John martin Best (West Virginia)
Daniel Manibog (Texas) vs. Donald Cates (North Carolina)

160
Cade Devos (Iowa) vs. Luke Surber (Oklahoma)
Baylor Fernandes (Illinois) vs. Dajun Johnson (Wisconsin)
Cael Valencia (California) vs. Padraic Gallagher (Ohio)
Aurelius Dunbar (Pennsylvania) vs. David Rubio (Oregon)

170
Trent Munoz (California) vs. Gerrit Nijenhuis (Pennsylvania)
Gavin Kane (Georgia) vs. Alex Cramer (Illinois)
Angel Garcia (Pennsylvania) vs. Patrick Kennedy (Minnesota)
Nevan Snodgrass (Ohio) vs. Connor O’Neill (New Jersey)

182
Abe Assad (Illinois) vs. John Poznanski (New Jersey)
Jake Evans (Ohio) vs. Luke Stout (Pennsylvania)
Parker Keckeisen (Wisconsin) vs. Rocky Elam (Missouri)
Christopher Foca (New Jersey) vs. Dustin Plott (Oklahoma)

195
Matthew Cover (Ohio) vs. Cole Urbas (Pennsylvania)
Isaac Trumble (Nebraska) vs. Austin Walley (Pennsylvania)
Matthew Kaylor (North Dakota) vs. Ethan Hatcher (Ohio)
Jonovan Smith (California) vs. Santos Cantu (Oregon)

220
Braxton Amos (West Virginia) vs. Cody Fisher (Iowa)
Daniel Striggow (Minnesota) vs. Konner Doucet (Oklahoma)
Guillermo Escobedo (California) vs. Dorian Crosby (Pennsylvania)
Gabe Christenson (Iowa) vs. Cade Lautt (Kansas)

285
Luke Luffman (Illinois) vs. Braxton Mikesell (Washington)
Joshua Heindselman (Oklahoma) vs. Garrett Kappes (Maryland)
Aydin Guttridge (Illinois) vs. Spencer Trenary (Iowa)
John Wiese (Oklahoma) vs. Roberto Pena (Illinois)