USA Wrestling Gross, Golston, Amos...

Gross, Golston, Amos, Heaton, Fleeger among big winners at Wisconsin RTC Underground 3

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Jan. 20, 2021, 10:46 p.m. (ET)

Ronna Heaton takes down Felicity Taylor in WRTC Underground 3. Photo by Stacy Schiesl.

The main event was a throwback match between retired stars, but it was the current young talents who truly put on a show at the Wisconsin RTC Underground 3 card in an undisclosed location on Wednesday night.

Four of the top performances came from athletes representing the host Wisconsin RTC, men’s freestyle wrestlers Seth Gross and Braxton Amos, along with women’s freestyle wrestlers Erin Golston and Ronna Heaton.

Gross, a past NCAA champion and current Olympic Trials qualifier, scored nine straight points for an exciting 9-8 comeback win over Rustam Ampar, a 2014 Yarygin Grand Prix champion for Russia at 139 pounds.

Ampar jumped to a 7-0 lead early in the second period, on three takedowns and a stepout. Gross got on the board on a reversal, then changed the pace of the match and breaking Ampar’s spirit. Gross tacked on four straight takedown to lead 9-7, with a last-second Ampar stepout making it a one-point win.

Golston, a three-time Junior World medalist and multiple-time Senior National Team member, pinned 2020 NCWWC national champion Pauline Granados of McKendree in 1:29 at 112 pounds. Golston scored a takedown, a four-point throw and a turn for an 8-0 lead. She finished it by taking Granados to her back and getting the fall on a cradle.

Amos, who is competing on the freestyle circuit this year before wrestling for Wisconsin next season, took apart veteran Senior freestyler CJ Brucki in a 14-3 technical fall in the first period. Amos scored three takedowns and four turns in a powerful performance for an athlete who was still in high school just a season ago.

Heaton, a past Cadet World champion had a slow start, but got her explosive offense going in the second period for a 12-1 technical fall win over 2019 WCWA national champion Felicity Taylor of McKendree. Trailing 1-0 at the break, Heaton scored three takedowns and three turns to finish off the bout.

The Main Event was a throwback bout between a pair of past wrestling stars, with Princeton assistant coach and past Indiana two-time NCAA champion Joe Dubuque taking on past Purdue All-American and Midwest RTC coach Chris Fleeger. With the score tied at 1-1, with points coming on shot clock violations, Fleeger was able to score on a two-point tilt with 10 seconds left for a 3-1 lead. A failed Dubuque challenge made it 4-1.

It was a diverse card with six women’s freestyle matches, six men’s freestyle bouts and a Greco-Roman battle.

In a battle of 2020 U23 National champions, David McFadden of the Pennsylvania RTC, a former Virginia Tech star, used a strong second period to defeat current Wisconsin wrestler Evan Wick, 7-4. Trailing 2-1 at the break, McFadden scored a four-point move on the edge early in the second period for a 5-2 lead and added two more points on a stepout and a failed challenge by Wick. A late Wick takedown tightened the final score to a two-point margin.

The featured Greco-Roman match saw two-time Olympian Ben Provisor dominated Wisconsin student-athlete Tyler Dow, a 2018 Junior World Team member in Greco-Roman, in an 8-0 technical fall at 185 pounds. Provisor, a native of Wisconsin, scored a takedown and three gut wrenches for the win in just 51 seconds.

2018 Senior Nationals runner-up Michaela Beck scored the only takedown of the match, in a 4-2 victory over two-time WCWA All-American Brenda Reyna of McKendree. Beck led 2-0 after a stepout and a penalty point, then scored a second-period spin behind takedown to lead 4-0. Reyna got a pushout and a point on a fleeing caution for her two late points.

Mia Palumbo of Illinois, the No. 2 ranked high school wrestler at 112 pounds, secured an 11-0 technical fall over Chloe Ayres of New Jersey, who is ranked No. 3 at 117 pounds. Palumbo led 7-0 at the break, and finished the match with a four-point takedown in the second period. It was the third time Palumbo has won a match on a wrestling card since the pandemic began.

Henry Pohlmeyer, a three-time NCAA qualifier at South Dakota State, dominated Joe Zargo of the Wisconsin RTC, in an 11-0 technical fall at 150. Pohlmeyer opened the scoring with a four-point move, then added takedowns and turns to end the match.

Kylie Welker of Wisconsin, No. 1 in the high school national rankings at 144 pounds, dominated her opponent for her second straight Underground event, with a 10-0 technical fall over Rose Cassioppi of Illinois, who is currently No.5 at 152 pounds. Welker scored the first takedown, then scored three straight turns on a unique leg lace with her leg threaded in to lead 8-0. Welker closed it out with a takedown.

In the first women’s bout, McKendree’s 2020 NCWWC All-American Payton Stroud opened up the offense in an 11-0 technical fall over Sophie Smith of Oklahoma City at 127 pounds. Stroud led 3-0 at the break, but added three takedowns, a turn and a penalty point to close it out.

Two-time NCAA Div. III national champion Ryan Epps from Augsburg scored three takedowns on the way to a 6-2 win over Ricky Robertson , a four-time NCAA qualifier for Wisconsin at 185 pounds.

An undercard of youth matches were held to start the evening. The Izzy Style club from Illinois won all five of their matches, facing opponents from Wisconsin. Izzy Style winners were Alan Woo (75), Max Cumbie (75), Devin Casey (87), Josh Vasquez (125) and Claudio Torres (135). The other two youth winners were from Team Nazar of Wisconsin, Jacob Herm (100) and Tristan Steldt (155).

Wednesday, January 20

Main Card results

185 - Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm) dec. Ricky Robertson (Wisconsin RTC), 6-2
127 - Payton Stroud (McKendree) tech. fall Sophie Smith (Oklahoma City), 11-0
148 - Kylie Welker (Team Nazar) tech. fall Rose Cassioppi (The Monster Barn), 10-0
150 - Henry Pohlmeyer tech. fall Joe Zargo (Wisconsin RTC), 11-0
137 - Michaela Beck (Sunkist Kids) dec. Brenda Reyna (McKendree), 4-2
185 – Greco-Roman: Ben Provisor (NYAC) tech fall Tyler Dow (Wisconsin RTC), 8-0
123 - Ronna Heaton (Sunkist/WRTC) tech. fall Felicity Taylor (McKendree), 12-1
174 - David McFadden (Pennsylvania RTC) dec. Evan Wick (TMWC/WRTC), 7-4
112 - Erin Golston (NYAC/WRTC) pin Pauline Granados (McKendree), 1:29
115 - Mia Palumbo (Illinois) tech. fall Chloe Ayres (NJRTC), 11-0
209 - Braxton Amos (Wisconsin RTC) tech. fall CJ Brucki (NJRTC), 14-3
139 - Seth Gross (Sunkist/WRTC) dec. Rustam Ampar (Russia), 9-8
150 - Chris Fleeger (Midwest RTC) dec. Joe Dubuque (NJRTC), 4-1

Youth Card results

125 - Josh Vasquez (Izzy Style) tech. fall Jimmy Mastney (Sarbacher WA), 10-0
87 - Devin Casey (Izzy Style) tech. fall Ethan Immel (Team Nazar), 12-2
155 - Tristan Steldt (Team Nazar) tech. fall Maddox Goebel (Sarbacher WA), 12-2
135 - Claudio Torres (Izzy Style) tech. fall Owen Seffrood (Sarbacher WA), 10-0
75 - Alan Woo (Izzy Style) tech. fall Camden Rugg (Team Nazar/Ringers), 13-2
100 - Jacob Herm (Team Nazar) tech. fall Roen Carey (Sarbacher WA), 12-1
75 - Max Cumbie (Izzy Style) tech. fall Evan Lesselyong (Team Nazar), 10-0