USA Wrestling Illinois wins Junior...

Illinois wins Junior Greco-Roman Duals, Oklahoma second, Minnesota third, all with 4-1 record in finals pool

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | June 17, 2021, 8:12 p.m. (ET)

Illinois team poses with championship trophy after winning 2021 Junior Greco-Roman National DualsIllinois, the 2021 Junior National Greco-Roman Duals champion. Photo by John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com

Coming into the 2021 Junior National Greco-Roman Duals, Illinois had won three straight team titles, including the most recent one held in 2019. With the COVID-19 pandemic cancelling last year’s event, it would be a different group of wrestlers tasked with trying to make it four in a row for Illinois.

Although it wasn’t easy, and the team needed some help from another team, it was Illinois Junior Greco-Roman which had the championship trophy to pose early Thursday evening.

The six teams in the Gold/Silver pool each wrestled each other, with all of the teams getting five duals. After five rounds of action, Illinois Junior Greco-Roman, Minnesota Blue and host Oklahoma Outlaws Blue all finished with identical 4-1 records.

In short, the tiebreaker goes like this. The team with the least classification points is third, and that was Minnesota. Then, the head to head win by Illinois over Oklahoma gave Illinois the championship trophy.

The craziness all started when the Oklahoma Outlaws Blue opened with a huge 34-29 win over Minnesota Blue in the second round. The dual meet started at 160 pounds, and the teams kept trading the lead. At 132 pounds, Minnesota’s Koy Buesgens scored an 18-7 technical fall over Jordan Cullors, after trailing 7-0 in the start of the match. That win made the dual meet tied at 25-25.

Oklahoma stars Carter Young (138) and Jordan Williams (145) followed with a pair of dominant technical falls to clinch the win for the host team. Young stopped Chase Deblaere 10-0 quickly, then Williams also earned a rapid 11-0 win over Kyle Boeke. Even though Cael Swenson of Minnesota won the final bout by technical fall, Oklahoma had the big win.

Next, Minnesota Blue rallied to secure a 31-31 victory over Illinois Junior Greco-Roman, based upon criteria of having won eight matches to Illinois’ seven bouts. This match was even closer than the battle between Oklahoma and Minnesota.

The dual meet started at 170 pounds, and the match was tied at 8-8 after the 220 bout, at 12-12 after the 100-pound bout and at 21-21 after the 126 pound bout. Illinois was in the lead after Nasir Bailey won a 15-12 match over Derrick Cardinal at 132. Minnesota won three of the last four matches to close tie it at 31-31, with victories from Chase DeBlaere (138), Tommy Curran (145) and Landon Johnson (160). Johnson’s 13-6 win over Aaron Cramer was the eighth Minnesota victory and broke the tie.

Oklahoma Outlaws Blue only needed to beat Illinois Junior Greco-Roman in the final round to claim the team trophy, but it was not meant to be.

The match started at 195 pounds, and the lead changed a few times. Illinois won four straight matches in the middle of the dual meet to get their momentum rolling, with Benjamin Aranda (113), Kannon Webster (120), Vincent Robinson (126) and Nasir Bailey (132) getting wins, with a pin by Aranda and a technical fall by Webster.

Oklahoma’s dynamic Carter Young dispatched Kole Brower in a 10-0 technical fall at 138 pounds. At 145, Tommy Curran edged one of Oklahoma’s top stars, Jordan Williams, by a 3-1 margin to keep their edge. A technical fall by Braden Stauffenberg of Illinois at 152 was followed by a stunning pin by John Wiley of Oklahoma at 160 pounds.

A turning point came at 170 pounds in a wild battle between Illinois Bradley Gillum and Oklahoma’s Jaxon Randall. Randall hit a five-point throw for a 6-1 lead in the first period, but Gillum battled back to tie it at 6-6. Gillum was given a four-point move, but on challenge, it was changed to one point for a 7-6 lead. A Randall takedown with 40 seconds to go gave him an 8-7 lead. But with three seconds on the clock, a Gillum takedown resulted in a 9-8 victory, clinching the dual meet for Illinois.

Rounding out the top six teams from Gold/Silver Pool was fourth-place Team Georgia with a 2-3 record, fifth-place California with a 1-4 record and sixth-plance Team Wisconsin with an 0-5 record.

GOLD/SILVER POOL (Places 1-6)

1st Place - Illinois JR GR, 4-1 record
2nd Place - Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE, 4-1 record
3rd Place - Minnesota Blue, 4-1 record
4th Place - Team Georgia, 2-3 record
5th Place – California, 1-4 record
6th Place - Team Wisconsin, 0-5 record
Illinois JR GR defeated Team Wisconsin 53-14.
Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE defeated Team Georgia 57-9.
Minnesota Blue defeated California 49-15.
Illinois JR GR defeated California 43-23.
Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE defeated Minnesota Blue 34-29.
Team Georgia defeated Team Wisconsin 34-31.
Minnesota Blue defeated Illinois JR GR 31-31.
Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE defeated Team Wisconsin 37-32.
Team Georgia defeated California 33-32.
Illinois JR GR defeated Team Georgia 48-19.
Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE defeated California 47-24.
Minnesota Blue defeated Team Wisconsin 36-35.
Illinois JR GR defeated Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE 38-28.
Minnesota Blue defeated Team Georgia 53-11.
California defeated Team Wisconsin 43-26.

Champion Team against runner-up Team
Illinois Junior Greco-Roman 38, Oklahoma Outlaws Blue 28

195 Deanthony Parker (Illinois JR GR) over AJ Heeg (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 12-0
220 Jack Kitchingham (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Andrew Blackburn-Forst (Illinois JR GR) TF 13-3
285 Ryan Boersma (Illinois JR GR) over John Wiese (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) Dec 10-1
100 Treshaun Tecson (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Ethan Spacht (Illinois JR GR) Dec 7-3
106 Christian Forbes (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Nathan Knowlton (Illinois JR GR) TF 11-0
113 Benjamin Aranda (Illinois JR GR) over Guy Clevenger (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) Fall 3:57
120 Kannon Webster (Illinois JR GR) over Eli Griffin (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 17-7
126 Vincent Robinson (Illinois JR GR) over Rhett Peak (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) Dec 6-2
132 Nasir Bailey (Illinois JR GR) over Jordan Cullors (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) Dec 7-3
138 Carter Young (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Kole Brower (Illinois JR GR) TF 10-0
145 Tommy Curran (Illinois JR GR) over Jordan Williams (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) Dec 3-1
152 Braden Stauffenberg (Illinois JR GR) over Noah Smith (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 11-1
160 John Wiley (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Aaron Cramer (Illinois JR GR) Fall 1:42
170 Bradley Gillum (Illinois JR GR) over Jaxon Randall (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) Dec 9-8
182 Joseph Jens (Illinois JR GR) over Garrett Wells (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 11-1 4.0 1

Runner-up Team against Third-Place Team
Oklahoma Outlaws Blue 34, Minnesota Blue 29

160 John Wiley (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Landen Johnson (Minnesota Blue) TF 10-0
170 Antony Tuttle (Minnesota Blue) over Jaxon Randall (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 12-0
182 Garrett Wells (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Brian Ramos (Minnesota Blue) Dec 11-4
195 Quayin Short (Minnesota Blue) over AJ Heeg (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) Dec 5-3
220 Gavin Nelson (Minnesota Blue) over Jack Kitchingham (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 11-0
285 John Wiese (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Gavin Layton (Minnesota Blue) Dec 2-2
100 Treshaun Tecson (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Parker Lyden (Minnesota Blue) Fall 2:31
106 Christian Forbes (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Brandon Morvari (Minnesota Blue) Dec 14-10
113 Caleb Thoennes (Minnesota Blue) over Ab Stokes (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 10-0
120 Reid Nelson (Minnesota Blue) over Eli Griffin (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) Dec 15-11
126 Rhett Peak (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Easton Miller (Minnesota Blue) TF 10-0
132 Koy Buesgens (Minnesota Blue) over Jordan Cullors (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 18-7
138 Carter Young (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Chase DeBlaere (Minnesota Blue) TF 10-0
145 Jordan Williams (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) over Kyle Boeke (Minnesota Blue) TF 11-0
152 Cael Swensen (Minnesota Blue) over Noah Smith (Oklahoma Outlaws GR BLUE) TF 12-1

Third Place Team against Champion Team
Minnesota Blue 31, Illinois Junior Greco 31

Minnesota win tie-breaker, eight wins to seven
170 Antony Tuttle (Minnesota Blue) over Bradley Gillum (Illinois JR GR) Dec 4-2
182 Joseph Jens (Illinois JR GR) over Brian Ramos (Minnesota Blue) TF 10-0
195 Tom Culp (Illinois JR GR) over Quayin Short (Minnesota Blue) Dec 10-4
220 Gavin Nelson (Minnesota Blue) over Andrew Blackburn-Forst (Illinois JR GR) TF 11-0
285 Ryan Boersma (Illinois JR GR) over Gavin Layton (Minnesota Blue) Dec 4-3
100 Parker Lyden (Minnesota Blue) over Ethan Spacht (Illinois JR GR) Dec 21-13
106 Brandon Morvari (Minnesota Blue) over Nathan Knowlton (Illinois JR GR) Dec 13-8
113 Caleb Thoennes (Minnesota Blue) over Carson Nishida (Illinois JR GR) Fall 2:22
120 Kannon Webster (Illinois JR GR) over Reid Nelson (Minnesota Blue) TF 11-1
126 William Baysingar (Illinois JR GR) over Easton Miller (Minnesota Blue) TF 10-0
132 Nasir Bailey (Illinois JR GR) over Derrick Cardinal (Minnesota Blue) Dec 15-12
138 Chase DeBlaere (Minnesota Blue) over Kole Brower (Illinois JR GR) Dec 18-12
145 Tommy Curran (Illinois JR GR) over Kyle Boeke (Minnesota Blue) TF 10-0
152 Cael Swensen (Minnesota Blue) over Braden Stauffenberg (Illinois JR GR) Dec 3-2
160 Landen Johnson (Minnesota Blue) over Aaron Cramer (Illinois JR GR) Dec 13-6

BRONZE/COPPER POOL (Places 7-12)
1st Place – Iowa, 5-0 record
2nd Place - Team Colorado, 4-1 record
3rd Place - Team Florida, 2-3 record
4th Place – Tennessee, 2-3 record
5th Place - Michigan Blue, 2-3 record
6th Place - Team Missouri, 0-5 record
Iowa defeated Michigan Blue 50-17.
Team Florida defeated Tennessee 39-25.
Team Colorado defeated Team Missouri 45-22.
Iowa defeated Team Missouri 36-28.
Team Colorado defeated Team Florida 38-26.
Tennessee defeated Michigan Blue 43-24.
Iowa defeated Team Colorado 37-30.
Michigan Blue defeated Team Florida 40-31.
Tennessee defeated Team Missouri 36-28.
Iowa defeated Tennessee 35-28.
Team Florida defeated Team Missouri 37-31.
Team Colorado defeated Michigan Blue 47-24.
Iowa defeated Team Florida 39-28.
Team Colorado defeated Tennessee 52-15.
Michigan Blue defeated Team Missouri 33-26.

RED/BLUE POOL (Places 13-18)
1st Place - Team Kansas, 5-0 record
2nd Place - Minnesota Red, 4-1 record
3rd Place - Oklahoma Outlaws GR RED, 3-2 record
4th Place – Pennsylvania, 2-3 record
5th Place - Team Alabama, 1-4 record
6th Place - Texas – B, 0-5
Minnesota Red defeated Texas - B 53-18.
Oklahoma Outlaws GR RED defeated Pennsylvania 36-34.
Team Kansas defeated Team Alabama 42-24.
Minnesota Red defeated Team Alabama 52-17.
Team Kansas defeated Pennsylvania 41-32.
Oklahoma Outlaws GR RED defeated Texas - B 64-6.
Team Kansas defeated Minnesota Red 39-29.
Pennsylvania defeated Texas - B 48-17.
Oklahoma Outlaws GR RED defeated Team Alabama 39-29.
Minnesota Red defeated Oklahoma Outlaws GR RED 35-31.
Pennsylvania defeated Team Alabama 40-30.
Team Kansas defeated Texas - B 49-12.
Minnesota Red defeated Pennsylvania 42-24.
Team Kansas defeated Oklahoma Outlaws GR RED 38-29.
Team Alabama defeated Texas - B 43-24.

YELLOW/GREEN POOL (Places 19-23)
1st Place - Texas – A, 4-0 record
2nd Place - Team Indiana, 3-1 record
3rd Place - North Dakota Blue, 2-2 record
4th Place – Nebraska, 1-3 record
5th Place - North Dakota Red, 0-4 record
North Dakota Blue defeated North Dakota Red 41-19.
Texas - A defeated Team Indiana 35-35.
Texas - A defeated Nebraska 50-23.
Team Indiana defeated North Dakota Red 43-17.
North Dakota Blue defeated Nebraska 39-30.
Texas - A defeated North Dakota Red 54-16.
Team Indiana defeated North Dakota Blue 37-33.
Nebraska defeated North Dakota Red 46-25.
Texas - A defeated North Dakota Blue 51-15.
Team Indiana defeated Nebraska 33-30.