Photo of Tyler Kasak celebrating his victory in the deciding match at U17 Freestyle World Team Trials. Photo by Tony Rotundo/WrestlersAreWarriors
SOUTH POINT ARENA, Nev–Tonight’s finals completed the U17 Men’s Freestyle World Team Trials, and saw nine wrestlers who will be making their first World championship appearance in Rome, Italy July 25-31.
Athletes who placed top eight in both styles put themselves in the running to be chosen for the U17 Pan-Am team; athletes who won both styles have first criteria. The selection process can be found here.
The two final bouts shared three of USA’s World medalists in the field - Bo Bassett of Pennsylvania, Luke Lilledahl of Xtreme Training, and Nathanael Jesuroga from Sebolt Wrestling Academy.
The 51 kg finals series featured World champion Bo Bassett (Pennsylvania) and World silver medalist Luke Lilledahl (Xtreme Training). Lilledahl defeated Bassett two-to-none in the finals series. The Missouri native kept the pressure on in the first final bout by taking advantage of Bassett’s shots and spinning behind to secure the win, 6-1. In the second bout, Lilledahl left no room for mistakes and shut out the World champion, 10-0, to become USA’s 51 kg World Team member and this tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
U17 World bronze medalist, Nathanael Jesuroga of Iowa wrestled Fargo double All-American Jax Forrest of Pennsylvania in the best-of-three series. 55 kg was one of three weights to go three matches. Jesuroga took the first bout with a 12-2 technical-superiority. Forrest came back refocused in the second bout and put up 11 points and defeated Jesuroga, 11-10. The third bout was one of many to come down to the last second and the last takedown. With the match tied 2-2 and Jesuroga down by criteria, he shot in and drove the single up to a finish that would end with the challenge block being thrown by Jesuroga’s corner. The final score ended 4-4 with Forrest earning his spot on the World Team.
Three U17 Greco-Roman national champions made it to the freestyle finals including Christian Castillo (Thorobred WC), Greco-Roman Outstanding Wrestler Joel Adams (The Best Wrestler), and Koy Hopke (Pinnacle WC)
Arizona’s Christian Castillo also earned runner-up in Fargo last summer for 16U, and at this event in 2021, he placed seventh. He wrestled Illinois’s Seth Mendoza (Region Wrestling Academy) in the 48 kg finals bout. In the first bout of the best-two-of-three series ended on criteria with Castillo winning, 4-4. Castillo gave himself more breathing room in the second bout and defeated Mendoza 5-2 to be America’s representative in both freestyle and Greco-Roman at the World championships.
At 65 kg, we saw a rematch from the 138-pound 16U Fargo finals where Joel Adams from Nebraska bested Tyler Kasak from Pennsylvania, 7-6, in a match that came down to the last seven seconds. Adams made the freestyle finals after winning Outstanding Wrestler in the Greco-Roman division. In another close match, Adams won bout one, 4-3. Match two also went the full six minutes, but this time Kasak did not let Adams put any points on the board, as Kasak won the second bout 7-0. In the deciding third match, Kasak scored a tight 6-4 decision to make the World Team.
Koy Hopke finished third in both styles at last year's event, but that doesn’t make him any stranger to being a finalist. In addition to making the Greco-Roman World team earlier this week, Hopke is Wisconsin’s 16U Triple Crown winner along with a heavy list of Kids regional and national titles. In the 110 kg finals match, Hopke wrestled Carter Neves from Ohio. In two high scoring technical falls, Hopke won the first match 14-4 and the second match 20-9.
The 92 kg World team spot was the third finals to wrestle all three matches. Camden McDanel (OH) and Max McEnelly (Waconia WC) put up a combined total of 61 points across all three matches. McDanel walked away with a 12-12 victory in bout one. The wrestlers dialed back on giving up the double-digit points in the second bout even with both continually attacking. McEnelly won the match 5-3 to extend the 92 kg series to a third match.
Both wrestlers left it all on the mat in the final deciding match of the night. McEnelly and McDanel went back-and-forth with takedowns and exposures which kept the fans in the stands on the edge or even out of the seats. In an exchange that decided the World Team spot, McEnelly shot in on a double and ran. McDanel rolled them through out of bounds. After the challenge block was thrown, the final score was 15-14 with McEnelly claiming his spot on the U17 Freestyle World Team.
Also making the U17 Greco-Roman World Team is Toss Em Up Wrestling Academy’s Domenic Munaretto (45), Arizona’s Kyler Larkin (60), North Carolina’s Joseph Sealey (71), and KD Training Center’s Zack Ryder (80).
UWW U17 WORLD TEAM TRIALS
At Las Vegas, Nev. May 1, 2022
U17 Freestyle World Team Trials Champions
45 - Domenic Munaretto (Toss Em Up Wrestling Academy)
48 - Christian Castillo (Thorobred WC)
51 - Luke Lilledahl (Xtreme Training)
55 - Jax Forrest (PA)
60 - Kyler Larkin (AZ)
65 - Tyler Kasak (PA)
71 - Joseph Sealey (NC)
80 - Zack Ryder (KD Training Center)
92 - Max McEnelly (Waconia WC)
110 - Koy Hopke (Pinnacle WC)
51 - Luke Lilledahl of Xtreme Training
Championship series – Domenic Munaretto (Toss Em Up Wrestling Academy) over Haakon Peterson (Sebolt Wrestling Academy)
Bout 1 - Munaretto dec Peterson, 4-0
Bout 2 - Munaretto dec Munaretoo, 3-0
3rd Carter Pearson IA (Sebolt Wrestling Academy) dec. Davis Motyka PA (XCalibur Athletics), 12-6
5th Slater Hicks CA (Sunkist Kids/Monster Garage) dec. Dominic Deputy PA (Pennsylvania), 7-2
7th Hudson Loges NE (MWC Wrestling Academy) dec. Cole Welte NE (MWC Wrestling Academy), 8-0
Championship series – Christian Castillo (Thorobred WC) over Seth Mendoza (Region Wrestling Academy)
Bout 1 - Castillo dec Mendoza, 4-4
Bout 2 - Castillo dec Mendoza, 5-2
3rd Mack Mauger ID (Team Idaho Wrestling Club) dec. Dru Ayala IA (Sebolt Wrestling Academy), 6-4
5th Isaiah Cortez CA (California) dec. Jake Knight IA (Sebolt Wrestling Academy), 10-4
7th Tyler Dekraker VA (Integrity Wrestling Club) tech fall Gage Singleton OR (Roseburg Mat Club /Umpqua Valley Wrestling Associaction), 10-0 3:16
Championship series – Luke Lilledahl (Xtreme Training) over Bo Bassett (PA)
Bout 1 - Lilledahl dec Bassett, 6-1
Bout 2 - Lilledahl dec Bassett, 10-0
3rd Nathan Carrillo CA (Sunkist Kids/Monster Garage) dec. Edwin Sierra CA (Poway Wrestling), 5-2
5th Cooper Hilton PA (Pennsylvania) tech fall Kellen Wolbert WI (Askren Wrestling Academy), 11-0 3:06
7th Elijah Cortez CA (California) tech fall Isaiah Schaefer IN (Maurer Coughlin Wrestling Club), 10-0 2:20
Championship series – Jax Forrest (Pennsylvania) over Nathanael Jesuroga (Sebolt Wrestling Academy)
Bout 1 - Jesuroga tech Forrest, 12-2
Bout 2 - Forrest dec Jesuroga, 11-10
Bout 3 - Forrest dec Jesuroga, 4-4
3rd Benjamin Davino IL (St. Charles WC) tech fall Kale Petersen IA (Sebolt Wrestling Academy), 12-2 3:40
5th Drew Gorman GA (Teknique Wrestling) inj dft Kael Lauridsen NE (The Best Wrestler)
7th Mason Gibson PA (Pennsylvania) dec. Draegen Orine MO (Missouri), 8-4
Championship series – Kyler Larkin (Arizona) over Dalton Perry (PA)
Bout 1 - Larkin tech Perry, 10-0
Bout 2 - Larkin dec Perry, 9-2
3rd Landon Robideau MN (MN Elite Wrestling Club) dec. Tyson Charmoli MN (Pinnacle Wrestling Club), 6-0
5th Zan Fugitt MO (Missouri) dec. Tanner Frothinger ID (Team Idaho Wrestling Club), 9-3
7th Omar Ayoub OH (Beast Mode Wrestling) tech fall Derek Guanajuato AZ (Arizona), 13-2 2:36
Championship series – Tyler Kasak (PA) over Joel Adams (The Best Wrestler)
Bout 1 - Adams dec Kasak, 4-3
Bout 2 - Kasak dec Adams, 7-0
Bout 3 - Kasak dec Adams, 6-4
3rd Pierson Manville PA (Pennsylvania) dec. Zach Hanson MN (Pinnacle Wrestling Club), 3-1
5th Brock Herman OH (Seasons Freestyle Club) pin Laird Root CA (Poway High School Wrestling), 8-2 3:12
7th Vince Bouzakis PA (Pennsylvania) tech fall Jace Roller OK (Bixby Freestyle/Greco), 13-0 2:39
Championship series – Joseph Sealey (North Carolina) over Kj Evans (Oklahoma RTC)
Bout 1 - Sealey dec Evans, 9-2
Bout 2 - Sealey dec Evans, 15-7
3rd Ladarion Lockett OK (Cowboy Wrestling Club) pin Zane Licht WI (Askren Wrestling Academy), 10-5 4:00
5th Jasiah Queen NJ (New Jersey) inj dft Latrell Schafer GA (The Storm Wrestling Center), 0-0
7th Dylan Evans PA (Knights Wrestling Club) dec. David Mayora IL (Stampede Wrestling Club), 8-0
Championship series – Zack Ryder (KD Training Center) over Connor Mirasola (Askren Wrestling Academy)
Bout 1 - Ryder dec Mirasola, 8-0
Bout 2 - Ryder dec Mirasola, 4-1
3rd Aeoden Sinclair WI (Askren Wrestling Academy) dec. Daschle Lamer OR (Mat Sense Wrestling), 7-3
5th Jude Correa PA (X-Calibur Athletics Wrestling Club) no contest Luke Vanadia OH (Seasons Freestyle Club)
7th Cole Han-lindemyer MN (Pinnacle Wrestling Club) dec. De'alcapon Veazy IN (Legends of Gold), 5-5
Championship series – Max McEnelly (Waconia WC) over Camden McDanel (OH)
Bout 1 - McDanel dec McEnelly, 12-12
Bout 2 - McEnelly dec McDanel, 5-3
Bout 3 - McEnelly dec McDanel, 15-14
3rd Mccrae Hagarty IA (Waverly Area Wrestling Club) pin Sawyer Bartelt FL (Gladiator Wrestling), 4-2 1:40
5th Nathan Taylor CT (Team Tugman Wrestling Club) dec. Austin Johnson PA (Pennsylvania), 5-1
7th Cole Mirasola WI (Askren Wrestling Academy) tech fall Max Vanadia OH (Seasons Freestyle Club), 15-4 2:38
Championship series – Koy Hopke (Pinnacle WC) over Carter Neves (OH)
Bout 1 - Hopke tech Neves, 14-4
Bout 2 - Hopke tech Neves, 20-9
3rd Parker Ferrell VA (Virginia Elite Wrestling Club) tech fall Nicholas Sahakian CA (St. John Bosco High School Wrestling), 10-0 0:58
5th Jacob Walker IA (Iowa) pin Sampson Stillwell MO (Kobra Kai Training), 1:13
7th Samuel Murphy MO (McDonald County High School Wrestling) dec. Cameron Geuther IA (Big Game Wrestling Club), 9-4