#GrecoMonday: Repeat Fargo champion Chayse LaJoie has a bright future in Greco-Roman

By Mike Willis, USA Wrestling | July 22, 2019, 3:38 p.m. (ET)

Photo by Austin Bernard, OWrestle.com.

Chayse LaJoie of Michigan was one of three wrestlers to win back-to-back Junior Greco-Roman titles at the USMC/USAW 16U and Junior Nationals last week in Fargo, N.D. In 2018, LaJoie earned the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler honors after defeating 2017 Junior World silver medalist Cevion Severado in the finals, 7-6.

While he didn’t earn the Outstanding Wrestler award this year, (that would go to Billy Sullivan who outscored his opponents 70-0 at 113 pounds,) LaJoie had an outstanding tournament nonetheless. He earned five technical falls and a pin in seven matches, outscoring his competition 80-11.

On his way to his repeat title, LaJoie said he did not feel a lot of pressure.

“This year I was seeded No. 1. I felt good. I just tried to open up and have fun. I tried to be normal, as if I hadn’t won it all last year. I just tried to treat every match the same,” he said.

His most impressive wins came in the last two matches he wrestled. In the semifinals, while up 8-4, LaJoie pinned Jakason Burks with an arm throw. Burks was a 2018 Cadet Greco-Roman World Team member, a 2018 Cadet Fargo men’s freestyle champion and finished runner-up this year at Fargo in the Junior men’s freestyle tournament. Burks went on to finish third in Greco-Roman.

In the finals, LaJoie squared off with Anthony Molton. LaJoie was looking to become a repeat Greco-Roman champion, and Molton was looking to double up after already winning the Junior men’s freestyle title earlier in the week. While this bout was highly anticipated, LaJoie dominated the match.

In the first period he earned a four-point arm throw, a two-point arm throw, a step-out point and a reversal off a Molton takedown. This gave him an 8-2 advantage going into the second period. He finished the match quickly in the second period, ducking a Molton headlock attempt and throwing him for four points to secure the 12-2 victory.

LaJoie finished third in Junior Fargo men’s freestyle this year as well, avenging the only loss he took in the tournament in the consolation semifinals. While LaJoie is excellent in both styles, he considers himself a Greco-Roman wrestler.

“I’m very passionate about Greco. I do like other wrestling, but I feel like I have a very bright future in this,” LaJoie said.

Watch LaJoie's post-finals interview below.