It’s never easy. But as the refrain goes, it’s not supposed to be.
Cohlton Schultz (100 kg, Colorado) picked up two wins via fall earlier in the day, but even in those matches the country’s most well-known high school prospect was tried and tested. So why should his semifinal battle with Seyedmojta Hosseini (IRI) have been any different?
Schultz persevered in a thrilling yet brutal match-up to clinch the United States’ first Cadet World finalist in 19 years and did so by the thinnest of margins. As could be expected, the two wrestlers dug in for hard pummeling right away, with Schultz edging ahead in terms of being able to assert pressure while trying to wedge in underhooks. Hosseini, this year’s Cadet European Championships winner, didn’t back down but rather, tried to assume command by finagling around for his own tie-ups. However, Schultz was able to hold position and engineer the first passivity warning. Soon after, Hosseini was dinged for a point and the American had himself a 1-0 lead.
The tension increased in the second period. Schultz wanted to stay physical in the exchanges and perhaps find a way to clamp on one of those front headlocks that worked so well for him earlier in the day. Hosseini worked with a little more urgency as he tried to fight for position, but any attempts to off-balance his foe were coming up empty. Eventually, Schultz was warned for passivity, a precarious situation to be sure, for a point the other way would have given Hosseini the lead on criteria. But Schultz stood his ground the rest of the way, carrying that one-point cushion into the finals.
“I was talking to Coach (Matt) Lindland this morning and making sure I was bringing my legs in and bringing my hips in close everywhere,” Schultz told Trackwrestling following the bout. “Because, my legs have a lot of power in them, so I was able to drive a lot. Once I got into good positions, I was able to keep everyone on defense for the most part.”
Schultz’s opponent in the finals will be Hungary’s Balint Vatzi. For those who recall the Go Greco Developmental Tour, Schultz defeated Vatzi in the finals of the Croatian Open this past June. “If I can get to the ties I want, if I can get to my underhooks, I can control the match,” said Schultz.
Two of Schultz’s teammates, Lucas Byrd (50 kg) and Ridge Lovett (54 kg) were waiting to see how the semifinals unfolded for their respective weight classes and unfortunately, neither was pulled backed in. Vladimir Zabeyvorota (RUS), who defeated Byrd in the quarterfinals, lost to Japan’s Ken Matsui. Beka Guruli (GEO) had squeaked by Lovett in the quarters, but couldn’t advance to the finals, as he fell to German Doev (RUS). Both Byrd and Lovett are eliminated from medal contention.
Schultz will be fighting it out for a World gold medal tomorrow evening (Athens time). But before that happens, five other Team USA Cadet Greco-Roman wrestlers will have the opportunity to join him as potential medalists. The brackets for the remaining weight classes have been released and the draws for the remaining American competitors can be found below.
2017 Cadet Greco-Roman World Championships — Athens, Greece
TEAM USA DAY 2 DRAWS
42 kg: Kase Mauger
vs. Yerassyl Mamyrbekov (KAZ)
46 kg: Dylan Ragusin
vs. Mohammadho Abolhassanidaro (IRI)
69 kg: Mason Reiniche
vs. Vladyslav Kravchenko (UKR)
76 kg: Jake Hendricks
vs. Istvan Takacs (HUN)
85 kg: Ashton Sharp
vs. Bagrati Iobidze (ISR)
100 kg final: Cohlton Schultz (USA) vs. Balint Vatzi (HUN)
Wrestling begins at 10:30am local time (3:30am EST) with repechage and medal rounds from today scheduled for 6:00pm (11:00am EST).
Live streaming available in the United States on Trackwrestling.com.