Okay, okay, okay — we get it, guys.
Brandon Kaylor (50 kg), Haydn Maley (96 kg), and Anthony Cassioppi (120 kg) put on blistering performances that led to gold medals while Tommy Brackett (84 kg) earned a nice silver, and Lenny Merkin (66 kg) and Dalton Young (60 kg) picked up bronze to lead the way for Team USA at the 2017 Junior Pan Am Championships in Lima, Peru. The action streamed live in the US on Trackwrestling.com.
Kaylor set the tone at the lowest weight class in the round-robin 50 kilogram bracket by going undefeated in his three matches on the day. A 6-4 win over Ferley Barrientos Castaneda (COL) seemed like it was going to build momentum, though he fell behind and never caught up against Erick Zaldumbide Torres (ECU) in a 9-1 defeat. It was just a hiccup. Dominating technical fall wins versus Alejandro Tineo Del Leon (DOM) and Edward Cortez Arcela (PER) represented the capital he needed in the round-robin, giving the Washingtonian wrestler the first major international gold of his young career.
Just as impressive were Maley and Cassioppi. In his first bout, Maley took Leo Santana Heredia (DOM) to his back for the fall and that got the ball rolling. The next victim was Douglas Rocha (BRA), where Haley scored another pin. And then in the 96 kilogram finals, it was a points blitz as Haley ran right over German Dav Zuniga Ordonez (HON) with a 9-0 tech. In the round-robin 120 kg bracket, Cassioppi was on fire. Falls against Ronny Marsel Ocon (PER), Jose Rodrigo Diaz Ponciano (GTM), and Rafael Heber Crystello Madei (BRA) along with a technical superiority win over Diego Almendras Rodriquez (CHL) not only provide Cassioppi with a Junior Pan Ams title and the Outstanding Wrestler award, but it’s also going to start making US Greco-Roman fans anticipating the future when/if he becomes a full-time Senior competitor.
Merkin switched the gears on right away with a tech in his opening bout versus David Kevi Brooks Bodden (HON) but wound up on the other end of the scoresheet when he was defeated 12-4 by Efren Jose Guagua Nazareno (ECU). But he bounced back for third with his second tech of the tournament, this one a 12-1 drubbing against Panamanian Jamir Nicholson Muril. Brackett was another competitor thrown in round-robin action. He dropped his first bout to eventual champ Carlos Espinoza Castro (PER) before securing a tech over Jhony Gonzalez Charry (COL). In the proceeding bout, Brackett was forced to keep steady and rely on his offense, which he did in a contentious 7-6 triumph over Gregory Reasco Angulo (ECU). Brackett, who took sixth at the US Senior Greco-Roman Open back in December, was pushed by Gino Avila Dilbert (HON) for a minute there, but still came out ahead 9-8 to sew up his first international medal.
Young’s only blemish was a criteria loss to tough Argentinan Agustin Al Destribats. The next best thing he could do was come back, dust himself off, and wrestle strong. He accomplished the mission when Destribats pulled him back into the repechage. With a bronze medal on the line, Young was lights out against Gerardo Oliva Montes (PER), dusting off an 8-0 technical fall.
We will have more on the Junior performance early next week, so stay tuned!
2017 Junior Greco-Roman Pan Am Championships — Lima, Peru
Team USA Results
50 kg: Brandon Kaylor (USA) — gold
WON Ferley Barrientos Castaneda (COL) 6-4
WON Alejandro Tineo Del Leon (DOM) 8-0, TF
LOSS Erick Zaldumbide Torres (ECU) 9-1
WON Edward Cortez Arcela (PER) 10-2, TF
55 kg: Gabriel Townsell (USA) — 5th
WON Ricardo Quinonez Rosado (ECU) 16-8
LOSS Maikol Josefa (DOM) 3-0
LOSS Andres Cortes Herrera (COL) 12-10
60 kg: Dalton Young (USA) — bronze
LOSS Agustin Destribats (ARG) 4-4
WON Gerardo Oliva Montes (PER) 8-0, TF
66 kg: Lenny Merkin (USA) — bronze
WON David Brooks Bodden (HON) 9-0, TF
LOSS Efren Guagua Nazareno (ECU) 12-4, TF
WON Jamir Nicholson Murillo (PAN) 12-1, TF
74 kg: Mason McDaniel (USA) — dnp
WON Andre Ramos Pinto (BRA) via fall
LOSS Nilton Soto Garcia (PER) 4-1
84 kg: Tommy Brackett (USA) — silver
LOSS Carlos Espinoza Castro (PER), 6-2
WON Jhony Gonzalez Charry (COL) 8-0, TF
WON Gregory Reasco Angulo (ECU) 7-6
WON Gino Avila Dilbert (HON) 9-8
96 kg: Haydn Maley (USA) — gold
WON Leo Santana Heredia (DOM) via fall
WON Douglas Rocha (Brazil) via fall
WON German Zuniga Ordonez (Honduras) 9-0, TF
120 kg: Anthony Cassioppi (USA) — gold
WON Rafer Crystello Madeira Filho (BRA) via fall
WON Ronny Medina Ocon (PER), Fall via fall
WON Jose Diaz Ponciano (GTM) 9-0, TF
WON Diego Almendras Rodriquez (CHL) via fall