by Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
FARGO, N.D. – Five wrestlers repeated as Greco-Roman national champions during the Accelerade Cadet National Greco-Roman Championship finals at the FargoDome on Monday night.
Winning Cadet National Greco-Roman titles for the second straight year were Hayden Zillmer of Minnesota (91), Jesse Thielke of Wisconsin (112), Dylan Ness of Minnesota (130), Andrew Campolattano of New Jersey (189) and Evan Craig of Pennsylvania (285).
Zillmer defeated Nicolas Clobes of Minnesota in two straight periods, 3-0, 3-0. In both periods, there were no takedowns. Zillmer defended from the bottom in the par terre, and also scored a gutwrench from the top in both periods.
Zillmer was a Triple Crown winner in 2007. He is not eligible this year, because he did not win at the Folkstyle Nationals in April in Iowa,
Thielke put on a throwing display in defeating Rossi Bruno of Florida in the finals, 5-2, 6-0. In the first period, he instantly ended the period with a five-point throw from the reverse lift position. In the second period, he tossed Bruno for three points and earned the technical fall by turning Bruno from the mat. Thielke was named Outstanding Wrestler for the tournament.
Ness dominated Zach Brunson of Oregon in the finals with a 6-0, 6-0 technical fall. Ness had a big throw from the reverse lift in the first period. In the second period, Ness hit a five-point throw on the edge of the mat to instantly end the period and the match.
Campolattano edged California’s Morgan McIntosh in three periods, 1-1, 0-4, 2-1. Campolattano won the first period by scoring the final point by defending from the bottom. McIntosh was able to take the second by turning Campolattano. In the deciding third period, Campolattano scored a takedown early on, and both wrestlers were able to defend from the bottom.
Craig pinned Austin Blythe of Iowa in the second period, 6-1, 0:18. In the first period, Craig threw Blythe to his back and was close to securing a pin. In the second period, Craig locked up a bodylock and pinned Blythe.
Craig’s win helped give the Wells Fargo Insurance Services Cup team title to Pennsylvania, which was tied with Minnesota at 54 points going into the final weight class. The win was worth one team point, and Pennsylvania won with 55 to Minnesota’s 54. Placing third was Illinois with 46 points.
Four wrestlers remain eligible for the coveted Cadet Triple Crown, winning the first two events with Cadet national titles in folkstyle and Greco-Roman. Included are Thielke and Ness, plus Drew Lexvold of Minnesota (125) and Taylor Massa of Michigan (140)
Lexvold won the national title by pinning Stephen Swiggett of Delaware in the first period in 1:45. Swiggett took an early lead, but Lexvold threw Swiggett twice in the period, dumping him to his back and holding him for a long time before pressing for the fall.
Massa defeated Joey Moorhouse of Illinois in the finals in two straight periods, 7-0, 3-0. Massa had two throws in securing the first-period technical fall, then controlled the second period for the win.
There have only been three Cadet Triple Crown winners ever. Previous winners were Zillmer in 2007, Zach Sanders of Minnesota in 2004 and Taylor Moore of Missouri in 2003.
2008 FILA Cadet national champion Mark Grey of New Jersey won the title at 98 pounds, defeating Tanner Moon of Alabama in the finals in two straight periods, 2-1, 4-2. Moon was attempting to become the first Alabama wrestler to win a Cadet national title.
At 84 pounds, Nick Roberts of Pennsylvania was dominant in a two-period victory over Dylon Thompson of Colorado by technical fall, 7-0, 6-0. Roberts controlled the entire match, opening up his offense quickly.
At 105 pounds, Cody Brewer of Missouri captured his first Cadet Nationals title, defeating Jacob Falk of Utah in the finals, 3-0, 4-0. Brewer was third at the Cadet Nationals in both styles last year. Brewer scored a takedown and a gutwrench in both periods.
Winning the 119-pound title was Aaron Runzo of Virginia, who defeated Daniel DeShazer of Kansas in three periods, 3-0, 0-4, 3-0. In both periods which Runzo won, DeShazer was penalized with two points and a caution for jumping the whistle from the bottom position.
Scoring a quick pin in the finals was Tanner Hyatt of Iowa, who hit a sweet headlock then finished off the fall over Bo Schlosser of Illinois in 40 seconds. Hyatt was fourth at the Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman last year.
Another winner by pin in the finals was Chase Nelson of Kansas, who put away Wally Figaro of Florida in the second period, 2-5, 0:25. Figaro hit a high amplitude throw from the reverse lift position in the first period. In the second period, from the top position, Nelson drove Figaro over to his back and secured the fall.
Mark Havers of Pennsylvania won the 152-pound title over Joey Chandler of Oregon, 1-1, 4-3. Havers won the first period by scoring the final point on defense. In the second period, trailing by a point, Havers turned Chandler for two exposure points as time ran out for the win.
Capturing the title at 160 pounds was Jahwon Akui of Illinois, who needed three periods to edge Preston Keiffer of New Jersey, 2-1, 2-2, 2-2. After splitting the first two periods, the third period was decided on penalty calls. Keiffer received two points when Akui was cautioned from jumping the whistle. However, in the closing seconds, Akui received two points when Keiffer was cautioned for blocking Akui’s lift with his legs.
Florida’s Levi Clemens defeated Zach Agostino of New Jersey in the 171-pound finals, 2-1, 6-0. Clemens scored a hand-to-hand gutwrench late in the first period to win that period. He ended the match with a five-point throw from the reverse lift to end the match instantly.
The 215-pound champion was Michael Sojka of Illinois, who stopped Connor Medbery of Colorado in three periods, 2-1, 1-2, 1-1. The final period went to Sojka, who defended from the bottom to score the final point of the match.