LaJoie, Lovett and Punke repeat as Junior Greco-Roman champions, three other wrestlers double up on Junior titles

By Mike Willis, USA Wrestling | July 19, 2019, 5:28 p.m. (ET)

Chayse LaJoie was one of three repeat Junior Greco-Roman Champions. Photo by Austin Bernard. 

 FARGO N.D.- After seven days of wrestling, the 2019 USMC 16U/Junior Nationals has concluded. The final round that wrapped up the tournament was the Junior Freestyle finals. Three wrestlers repeated as Greco-Roman Champions, and three wrestlers earned Junior titles in both Greco-Roman and freestyle.

Andre Gonzalez of California was the first wrestler to double up as a Greco-Roman and freestyle champion. He defeated Ryan Rowland of Florida. 5-2. The match winning move for Gonzales was a beautiful four-point head pinch in the beginning of the second period.

120 pounds featured one of the premier bouts of the afternoon. 2018 Junior Champion, Chayse LaJoie of Michigan and Junior freestyle champion Anthony Molton of Illinois. LaJoie became the first 2018 Greco-Roman champion to repeat. He dominated the first period, carrying an 8-2 lead into the break. He put an exclamation mark on his win with a big four-point throw in the beginning of the second period to take the victory, 12-2.

Washington’s Haiden Drury was a 16U  champion last year, and earned a Junior title this year, defeating Colorado’s Mosha Schwartz 4-3. Trailing 3-1 late, Drury earned a takedown to take the lead on criteria, which ended up being the difference in the match.

Idaho’s Ridge Lovett repeated as a Junior Greco-Roman champion, earning an impressive 10-0 technical fall over California’s Cade Lucio in the 138 pound finals. Lovett finished the match in the first period with a two-point throw, two turns, and a four-point throw. This marks his tenth All-American honors.

Arizona’s Anthony Achemedia was the next wrestler to earn double titles. He teched his 145 pound finals opponent, Edward Scott of Pennsylvania 10-0. Achemendia did not surrender a point in the Greco-Roman tournament.

Illinois’ Luke Luffman was the final wrestler to double up. Luffman, a 2018, Cadet World Team member, cruised to a 10-0 victory in the finals over Iowa’s Spencer Trenary.

At 152 pounds Nebraska’s James Burks denied Minnesota’s Cael Carlson a second Greco-Roman Junior title. Burks, a 2018 Cadet World Team member, dominated the match for an 11-0 victory, ending it with a four-point throw on the edge of the mat.

Illinois’ Jace Punke became a back-to-back Junior Greco-Roman champion at 220 pounds. He received a medical forfeit victory over West Virginia’s Braxton Amos.

Billy Sullivan of Nevada won his Junior Greco-Roman title in electrifying fashion over Pennsylvania’s Sheldon Seymour. From par terre, Sullivan executed two big four point-throws. He would tack on a takedown for the 11-0 victory. Sullivan earned the Outstanding Wrestler after outscoring his opponents 70-0.

At 100 pounds, Iowa’s Brandon O’Brien reversed the results of the Junior freestyle finals, and defeated Illinois’ Daniels Sheen, 8-5. Trailing 3-0 at the break, O’Brien was able to get to his offense in the second period, earning two takedowns and two turns.

Camden Russell of Nebraska earned a title at 132 pounds with a 7-4 win over Minnesota’s Cael Swensen. Russell trailed 3-0 at the break. Swensen was put down and Russell earned a turn on a gut wrench to take a 3-3 lead on criteria. He solidified the win with a four-point throw.

After finishing runner-up in freestyle, Iowa’s Cade DeVoss claimed the 160 pound title in Greco-Roman. He won a controlled 5-1 decision over Ryan Cody of Florida.

In another controlled bout, Pennsylvania’s Angel Garcia defeated Iowa’s Lance Runyon, 5-0. Garcia scored two takedowns and a step-out, and Runyon was unable to crack Garcia’s defense. Garcia is the first Fargo champion at any level from Beat the Streets Philadelphia.

Christopher Foca of New Jersey wrapped up the 182 pound match in a hurry. He defeated Jacob Anderson of Alaska, 10-0. Foca earned a takedown, two turns, and a four point move to take the win in a little over a minute.

After earning two Greco-Roman champions in Cadet yesterday, Georgia added a Junior champion as well when Vincent Baker won the 220 pound title. Baker defeated California’s Artem Loginov in dominant fashion, 13-2.

Illinois finished in first in the team race with 67 points, followed by Ohio with 52 and Missouri with 45.


1st - Brandon O'Brien (Iowa) dec. Daniel Sheen (Illinois), 8-5

3rd - Kaleb Casey (Wisconsin) dec. Christan Forbes (Oklahoma), 15-11

5th - Michael Longo (Connecticut) tech. fall Carson Nishida (Illinois), 11-1 4:28

7th - Cael Keck (Missouri) dec. Robert Gardner (Pennsylvania), 11-8



1st - Andre Gonzales (California) dec. Ryan Rowland (Florida), 5-2

3rd - Jeremy Bockert (Alaska) tech fall Chad Bellis (Illinois), 17-6 5:54

5th - Caleb- Coyle (Nebraska) dec.  Quade Smith (Utah), 9-2

7th - Kenny Sailas (Colorado) tech. fall Steven Foster (Pennsylvania), 11-0 1:55



1st - Billy Sullivan (Nevada) tech fall Sheldon Seymour (Pennsylvania), 12-0 2:02

3rd - Joseph Couch (Maryland) dec. Angelo Lozado (Colorado), 10-4

5th - Nathan Rubino (Nebraska) dec Christian Decatur-luker (North Carolina), 6-3

7th - Gary Steen (Pennsylvania) dec. Richard Treanor (North Carolina), 10-1



1st - Chayse La joie (Michigan) tech. fall Anthony Molton (Illinois), 12-2 3:37

3rd - Jakason Burks (Nebraska) tech fall Cooper Flynn (Tennessee), 10-0 2:34

5th - Chris Kim (Pennsylvania) dec. Grant Treaster (Kansas), 6-4

7th - Zach Keal (Kansas) pin Christian Cabuag (California), 2:40



1st - Camden Russell (Nebraska) dec. Cael Swensen (Minnesota), 8-4

3rd - Adam Allard (Iowa) dec. Nick Masters (Georgia), 11-11

5th - Brody Norman (Illinois) dec. Tj Long (Oklahoma), 5-3

7th - Theorius Robison (Colorado) pin Chase Randall (Washington), 2:40



1st - Haiden Drury (Washington) dec. Mosha Schwartz (Colorado), 4-3

3rd - Kellyn March (South Dakota) tech fall Caleb Gross (Wisconsin), 10-0 0:29

5th - Tarrell Wallace jr (Florida) dec. Ezekiel Hulet (Illinois), 12-4

7th -  Preston Martin (Kansas) dec. Khyler Brewer (Missouri), 10-8



1st - Ridge Lovett (Idaho) tech. fall Cade Lucio (California), 10-0 2:00

3rd - Caden Mccrary (Georgia) dec. Joshua Saunders (Missouri), 7-4

5th - Robby Vaughn (Washington) inj. dft Antonio Segura (Colorado)

7th - Bretli Reyna (Florida) tech. fall  Logan Hatch (Wisconsin), 13-1 5:37



1st - Anthony Echemendia (Arizona) tech fall Edward Scott (Pennsylvania), 10-0 1:20

3rd - Chandler Mooney (Minnesota) dec. Payne Carr (Kentucky), 16-10

5th - Luke Odom (Illinois) dec. Chance Mclane (Montana), 4-1

7th - Vincent Zerban (Illinois) tech fall Aaden Valdez (Colorado), 10-0 1:51



1st - James Burks (Nebraska) tech fall Cael Carlson (Minnesota), 11-0 1:59

3rd - Aaron Gandara (Arizona) dec. Kaden Reetz (Wisconsin), 14-9

5th - Grigol Khochiashvili (Pennsylvania) dec Kevin Contos ii (Ohio), 13-10

7th - Maxwell Kristoff (Illinois) pin Steven Villalobos (Florida), 0:55



1st - Cade Devos (Iowa) dec. Ryan Cody (Florida), 5-1

3rd - Adrian St.germain (Washington) pin Weston Milnes (Colorado), 1:43

5th - Cael Valencia (California) inj dft Jace Luchau (California)

7th - Wyatt Pfau (Colorado) inj dft Caleb Waddell (Georgia)



1st - Angel Garcia (Pennsylvania) dec. Lance Runyon (Iowa), 7-0

3rd - Nevan Snodgrass (Ohio) tech fall Nico Zavala (California), 15-4 4:10

5th - Caden Rogers (Pennsylvania) tech fall Dajun Johnson (Wisconsin), 10-0 0:35

7th - Greyden Penner (Missouri) dec. Jaden Bullock (Virginia), 10-6



1st - Christopher Foca (New Jersey) tech fall Jacob Anderson (Alaska), 10-0 0:42

3rd - Colton Hawks (Missouri) dec. Josh Labarbera (Illinois), 8-6

5th - Kalyn Jahn (Wisconsin) tech fall Jackson White (Missouri), 10-0 0:24

7th - Ashton Habeil (Florida) pin Trevor Swier (Illinois), 1:58



1st - Vincent Baker (Georgia) tech fall Artem Loginov (California), 13-2 4:19

3rd - Isaac Trumble (Nebraska) dec. Matthew Kaylor (North Dakota), 14-8

5th - Jonovan Smith (California) tech fall Denzel Mabry (California), 11-1 6:00

7th - Kasten Grape (Nebraska) inj dft. Matthew Cover (Ohio)



1st - Jace Punke (Illinois) inj dft. Braxton Amos (West Virginia)

3rd - Gabe Christenson (Iowa) tech fall Cade Lautt (Kansas), 11-1 2:02

5th - Cody Fisher (Iowa) pin Cabe Dickerson (Oklahoma), 5:57

7th - Jacob Christensen (California) tech fall Ramin Abraham (Illinois), 10-0 1:12



1st - Luke Luffman (Illinois) tech fall Spencer Trenary (Iowa), 10-0 3:40

3rd - Nash Hutmacher (South Dakota) inj dft Donovan King (Michigan)

5th - Alex Coleman (Ohio) pin Joey Slackman (New York), 0:40

7th - Ryan Johnson (Texas) inj. dft. Aydin Guttridge (Illinois)


Outstanding Wrestler – Billy Sullivan (Nevada), 113 pounds

Most Falls in Least Time – Preston Martin (Kansas), 132 pounds, 6 falls in 10:26


Team Standings

1. Illinois  67

2. Ohio  52

3. Missouri  45

4. Iowa  42          

5. Pennsylvania  39

6. California  36

7. Oklahoma 34          

8. Minnesota 30

9. Nebraska  19          

10. Wisconsin 18          

11. Colorado 17          

12. Georgia   16          

13. West Virginia  15          

14. New Jersey   14          

15. Idaho  12          

16. Connecticut  10          

17. (tie) Arizona, Michigan and Washington, 8

20. Alaska  7            

21. (tie) Kansas, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, 6          

25. (tie) Montana and Texas, 5     

27. Rhode Island 4            

28. (tie) New York and Tennessee  2

30. Utah 1