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|16 athletes still alive for Kids Triple Crown after Greco-Roman titles at ASICS Kids Nationals|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
GREEN BAY, Wis. - A total of 16 wrestlers remain alive in the quest for the coveted USA Wrestling Kids Triple Crown, after capturing the Greco-Roman title at the ASICS Kids National Freestyle and Greco-Roman Championships at the Brown County Arena, June 29.
The Triple Crown is awarded to any wrestler who wins USA Wrestling national titles in all three styles of wrestling in the same season: folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle.
The 2006 Kids National Folkstyle Championships were held in Cedar Falls, Iowa in April. The National Greco-Roman Championships held today are the second leg of the Triple Crown, with the freestyle division to be completed on Saturday.
Two wrestlers who were 2004 Triple Crown winners were champions in the Greco-Roman tournament, and coupled with their folkstyle title in Cedar Falls in April, remain alive in the quest for another Triple Crown. Looking to win another Triple Crown this year are Oliver Pierce of Texas at Novice 90 pounds and Glenn Climmons of Georgia at Novice 130 pounds.
Pierce won his weight class with a pin in the finals, stopping Nick Wanzek of Minnesota in the second period, 3-0, 1:46.
Climmons defeated Connor King of Colorado in a best of three series to take the Greco-Roman title. He won the first match 4-3, 7-1, then pinned King in the second match in 1:53 of the first period.
Midget wrestlers still alive in the hunt for the Triple Crown are Cole Verner of Wyoming (50), Brock Benitz of Wisconsin (55), James Rothwell of Colorado (65), Bo Nickal of Wyoming (75), Joey Mammolenti of Indiana (87) and Cody Rider of Wisconsin (112).
Novice wrestlers that are still eligible for the Triple Crown include Pierce and Climmons, plus Jered Cortez of Colorado (70), Brandon Kingsley of Minnesota (85), Ryan Cone of Wisconsin (112) and Joe Scanlan of Iowa (140+).
Four Schoolboy/girl wrestlers won the first two legs of the Triple Crown and remain in the quest for the honor after victories today: Jesse Thielke of Wisconsin (85), Dylan Ness of Minnesota (95), Joe Denova of Georgia (125) and Morgan McIntosh of California (145).
None of the 2005 Triple Crown winners will be able to repeat this year. Two of last year's winners, Mark Grey of New Jersey and Jason Luster of Georgia, entered today with a chance, after winning Kids Folkstyle Nationals titles in April. Both were defeated in the Greco-Roman tournament.
Grey was defeated in the finals in the Schoolboy 75-pound division by Kevin Norstrem of Florida, 5-0, 8-0. It was a rematch of the Greco-Roman finals last year in the Novice 70-pound weight class, won by Grey, 10-1. Grey had won the Folkstyle Nationals title earlier this year and was attempting to win a second straight Triple Crown.
Luster placed third at 125 pounds in the Schoolboy Division. Nick Moore of Iowa defeated Luster in the round-robin of their pool, 6-2, 1-2, 3-0. Moore went on to capture the gold medal, stopping 2006 Folkstyle National champion Jacob Gregorson of Illinois in the finals, 7-1, 7-0.
The Massa brothers from Michigan were both able to win titles this year. Logan Massa won the Midget 70-pound title, defeating Daniel Kelly of Iowa in the finals, 7-7, 7-1, 5-3. Taylor Massa was the Schoolboy 115-pound champion, stopping 2006 Folkstyle National champion Devin Peterson of Wisconsin in the finals, 8-1, 3-8, 6-1.
Two wrestlers who won Kids Triple Crowns last year, but didn't win Folkstyle Nationals this year, were able to capture a Greco-Roman national title today: Taylor Massa of Michigan at Schoolboy 115 and Donny Longendyke of Minnesota at Schoolboy 185.
One of the winners in the Greco-Roman division was 2006 Ultimate Dominator Michael Johnson of Illinois, who scored the most points this year during the Ultimate Challenge Series. Johnson was the Novice 100 pound Greco-Roman champion, defeating Bryce Chaney of Wisconsin in the finals, 2-1, 1-3, 2-1.
There were 11 wrestlers were repeat winners of a USA Wrestling Greco-Roman title, winning again this year after taking a title last year.
They include Midget wrestler Joey Mammolenti of Indiana (87), plus Novice wrestlers Dylan Lucas of Florida (60), Sam Brancale of Minnesota (65) and Zac Hall of Michigan (75), plus Schoolboy/girl wrestlers Earl Hall of Florida (70), Jesse Thielke of Wisconsin (85), Clark Glass of Florida (90), Dylan Ness of Minnesota (95), Taylor Massa of Michigan (115), Nick Moore of Iowa (125) and Donny Longendyke of Minnesota (185).
For Brancale, it was the third straight year he was a Kids National Greco-Roman champion.
In 2005, a total of nine athletes captured the Triple Crown. Since the award was created in 1997, there have been 78 Triple Crown awards given. The most in one year was the 12 awarded last year. The least was in 1997, when just two athletes won the coveted award.
The final leg of the Triple Crown, the ASICS Kids Freestyle National Championships, will be held on Friday and Saturday.
2006 ASICS KIDS GRECO-ROMAN NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
50 - Cole Verner (Wyoming)
55 - Brock Benitz (Wisconsin)
60 - Dante Rodriguez (Nebraska)
65 - James Rothwell (Colorado)
70 - Logan Massa (Michigan)
75 - Bo Nickal (New Mexico)
80 - Angus Arthur (Michigan)
87 - Joey Mammolenti (Indiana)
95 - Jared Langley (Kansas)
103 - Okalani Langi (California)
112 - Cody Rider (Wisconsin)
120+ - Lucas Stoutenour (Indiana)
120++ - Tashon Smallweod (California)
60 - Dylan Lucas (Florida)
65 - Sam Brancale (Minnesota)
70 - Jered Cortez (Colorado)
75 - Zac Hall (Michigan)
80 - Nick Mudlaff (Wisconsin)
85 - Brandon Kingsley (Minnesota)
90 - Oliver Pierce (Texas)
95 - Brandon McBride (Idaho)
100 - Michael Johnson, Jr. (Illinois)
105 - Michael Keilen (Wisconsin)
112 - Ryan Cone (Wisconsin)
120 - Austin Lobsinger (California)
130 - Glenn Climmons (Georgia)
140 - Mason Wright (Illinois)
140+ - Joe Scanlan (Iowa)
140++ - Justin Kennedy (Idaho)
70 - Earl Hall (Florida)
75 - Kevin Norstrem (Florida)
80 - Valyen Rauser (Montana)
85 - Jesse Thielke (Wisconsin)
90 - Clark Glass (Florida)
95 - Dylan Ness (Minnesota)
100 - Seth Thomas (Oregon)
105 - Casey Lanave (New York)
110 - Drew Lexvold (Minnesota)
115 - Taylor Massa (Michigan)
120 - Joe Denova (Georgia)
125 - Nick Moore (Iowa)
130 - Ronald Howard (Florida)
145 - Morgan McIntosh (California)
165 - Joe Raygor (Wisconsin)
185 - Donny Longendyke (Minnesota)
205 - Evan Knutson (Wisconsin)
225 - Casey Geilenfeldt (Wisconsin)
250 - Max Pelfrey (Michigan)