Junior Men's Freestyle finals set at USMC Nationals

By Mike Willis, USA Wrestling | July 15, 2019, 9 p.m. (ET)

Ridge Lovett of Idaho is one of four wrestlers still in contention for a Triple Crown. Photo by John Sachs.

Tomorrow’s Junior men’s freestyle finals are must-see wrestling. So was the semifinal round that occurred this evening in the Fargo Dome.

At 100 pounds we will see Daniel Sheen of Illinois and Brandon O’Brien of Iowa. Sheen has earned four technical falls and only surrendered one point in the tournament. O’Brien won Folkstyle Nationals earlier this year and is still in contention for a Triple Crown title.

Minnesota’s Blake West and California’s Andre Gonzales will tangle in the 106 pound finals. West, who teched his way through the tournament, is another wrestler still capable of winning a Triple Crown. Gonzalez is ranked fifth in Flowrestling’s rankings, one spot above sixth-ranked West.

113 pounds will feature Nico Provo of Connecticut and Drake Ayala of Iowa. Provo has outscored his opponents 50-2 thus far through the tournament. Connecticut has only had one Junior freestyle champion, Ross Spencer in 2010. Provo’s opponent Ayala is another wrestler still gunning for a Triple Crown. He won a gritty 7-7 match over Jeremiah Reno in the semifinals.

2018 16U champion Jakason Burks of Nebraska will challenge for a Junior title at 120 pounds. He will face Anthony Molton of Illinois. Molton is another wrestler who has teched his way through the tournament. He finished seventh in Junior freestyle last year.

Angelo Rini of Ohio and Ethen Miller of Missouri will clash in the 126 pounds finals. Rini prevented an all-Missouri final by defeating Missouri’s Wyatt Henson in the semifinals. Rini was trailing with 15 seconds left in the match before locking up a gut wrench for six, straight turns to win 23-10. Miller, who is ranked No. 18 by Flowrestling, upset No. 13 Brayden Littell of Oklahoma and No. 12 Anthony Levine of California earlier in the tournament.

Ohio’s Michael Burnett ended Colorado’s Mosha Schwart’s Triple Crown bid by defeating him 6-4 in the 132 pound semifinals. Burnett is a 2018 16U All-American. Colorado’s Dominic Serrano teched his way through the other side of the bracket. Serrano is a 2018 16U National champion.

At 138 pounds, Nebraska’s Ridge Lovett is another wrestler still eligible for the Triple Crown. He was a Junior runner-up in 2018. In the finals he will face Missouri’s Josh Saunders. Saunders was a 2018 Cadet World Team member and also represented Team USA at the Junior World Championships. Saunders has teched his way through the tournament.

Victor Voinovich of Ohio and Anthony Echemendia of Arizona will square off in the 145 pound finals. Voinovich took out Folkstyle National Champion, Martin Wilkie of Montana, 10-0, in the round-of-16. Voinovich is ranked No. 2 by Flowrestling. Echemendia, on the other hand , came into the tournament unranked. He teched his way into the semifinals where he defeated Chance McLane of Montana, 10-2.

California’s Jace Luchau defeated returning Junior National champion Keegan O’Toole of Wisconsin, 12-7, in the 152 pound semifinals. Luchau was leading 8-6 and iced the match with a four-point blast double taking O’Toole to his back. He will face John Martin Best of West Virginia. Best is West Virginia’s first Junior Freestyle finalist since 2004.

The 160 pounds final will be Cade DeVos of Iowa vs. Padraic Gallagher of Ohio. DeVos was a Junior double All-American in 2018. Gallagher is ranked No. 2 in the country.

Two wrestlers headed to the Big Ten will wrestle in the 170 pound finals. Patrick Kennedy of Minnesota, who has verbally committed to Iowa, will wrestle Gerrit Nijenhuis of Pennsylvania, who has verbally committed to Purdue. Kennedy is ranked No. 1 in the country, while Nijenhuis is ranked No. 3.

182 pounds is arguably the deepest weight class in the tournament, and it will feature one of the premier finals matches. Cadet World bronze medalist Abe Assad of Illinois will wrestle No.1 ranked wrestler in the country Dustin Plott of Oklahoma. Plott was a Junior runner-up last year. Both plan to wrestle at powerhouse schools, with Assad committed to Iowa and Plott committed to Oklahoma State.

195 pounds will feature two graduated seniors, Cole Urbas of Pennsylvania and Jonovan Smith of California. Urbas, who spent some time last year as the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the country, will attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. Urbas, Smith, a California state runner-up, is still undecided.

West Virginia’s second Junior finalist since 2004 was cemented this evening as Braxton Amos made the finals at 220 pounds. Amos has been untouchable this tournament, outscoring his opponents 54-0. He will face Dorian Crosby of Pennsylvania. Crosby threw Kansas’s Clay Lautt to his back for a fall in his semifinals match.

285 will feature an all Illinois matchup with Luke Luffman and Aydin Guttridge going at it. Luffman is a returning Junior National champion. Guttridge pinned or teched every opponent he faced.

The finals will take place tomorrow at 1 p.m CST. They will be streamed live on Flowrestling

Finals Pairings

100 - Daniel Sheen (Illinois) vs. Brandon O'Brien (Iowa)

106 - Andre Gonzales (California) vs. Blake West (Minnesota)

113 - Nico Provo (Connecticut) vs. Drake Ayala (Iowa)

120 - Jakason Burks (Nebraska) vs. Anthony Molton (Illinois)

126 - Angelo Rini (Ohio) vs. Ethen Miller (Missouri)

132 - Michael Burnett (Ohio) vs. Dominick Serrano (Colorado)

138 - Joshua Saunders (Missouri) vs. Ridge Lovett (Idaho)

145 - Anthony Echemendia (Arizona) vs. Victor Voinovich (Ohio)

152 - Jace Luchau (California) vs. John Martin Best (West Virginia)

160 - Cade Devos (Iowa) vs. Padraic Gallagher (Ohio)

170 - Gerrit Nijenhuis (Pennsylvania) vs. Patrick Kennedy (Minnesota)

182 - Abe Assad (Illinois) vs. Dustin Plott (Oklahoma)

195 - Cole Urbas (Pennsylvania) vs. Jonovan Smith (California)

220 - Braxton Amos (West Virginia) vs. Dorian Crosby (Pennsylvania)

285 - Luke Luffman (Illinois) vs. Aydin Guttridge (Illinois)


Semifinal results


Daniel Sheen (Illinois) tech fall Cael Keck (Missouri), 11-0, 1:25

Brandon O'Brien (Iowa) dec. Samuel Hayes (Illinois), 16-8


Andre Gonzales (California) dec. Eli Griffin (Oklahoma), 6-4

Blake West (Minnesota) tech. fall Kenny Sailas (Colorado), 11-0, 2:40


Nico Provo (Connecticut) dec. Aedyn Concepcion (Alaska), 10-2

Drake Ayala (Iowa) dec. Jeremiah Reno (Missouri), 7-7


Jakason Burks (Nebraska) tech. fall Joseph Thompson (Minnesota), 11-0, 3:39

Anthony Molton (Illinois) tech. fall Destin Summers (Idaho), 10-0, 1:41


Angelo Rini (Ohio) tech. fall Wyatt Henson (Missouri), 23-13, 6:00

Ethen Miller (Missouri) dec. Jayden Gomez (California), 7-1


Michael Burnett (Ohio) dec. Mosha Schwartz (Colorado), 6-4

Dominick Serrano (Colorado) tech. fall Domenic Zaccone (Illinois), 10-0, 2:03


Joshua Saunders (Missouri) tech fall Lachlan Mcneil (Pennsylvania), 12-2, 3:56

Ridge Lovett (Idaho) tech fall Samuel Hillegas (Pennsylvania), 12-2, 5:19


Anthony Echemendia (Arizona) dec. Chance Mclane (Montana), 10-2

Victor Voinovich (Ohio) dec. Joseph Zargo (New Jersey), 8-0


Jace Luchau (California) dec. Keegan O'toole (Wisconsin), 12-7

John Martin Best (West Virginia) dec. Daniel Manibog (Texas), 7-0


Cade Devos (Iowa) dec. Dajun Johnson (Wisconsin), 4-1

Padraic Gallagher (Ohio) tech. fall David Rubio (Oregon), 10-0, 1:52


Gerrit Nijenhuis (Pennsylvania) dec. Gavin Kane (Georgia), 9-6

Patrick Kennedy (Minnesota) dec. Nevan Snodgrass (Ohio), 9-5


Abe Assad (Illinois) tech. fall Luke Stout (Pennsylvania), 10-0, 1:48

Dustin Plott (Oklahoma) tech. fall Parker Keckeisen (Wisconsin), 16-6, 4:03


Cole Urbas (Pennsylvania) tech fall Isaac Trumble (Nebraska), 10-0 1:48

Jonovan Smith (California) dec. Ethan Hatcher (Ohio), 8-6


Braxton Amos (West Virginia) tech. fall Konner Doucet (Oklahoma), 10-0, 1:34

Dorian Crosby (Pennsylvania) pin Cade Lautt (Kansas), 2:29


Luke Luffman (Illinois) dec. Joshua Heindselman (Oklahoma), 3-3

Aydin Guttridge (Illinois) tech. fall Roberto Pena (Illinois), 10-0, 2:08