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|Richmond, Fortune repeat as champions at Western Junior Regionals in Greco-Roman|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Two wrestlers were able to repeat from last year as champions at the Western Junior Regional Greco-Roman Championships at the Las Vegas Convention Center on April 4.
Claiming gold-medals at this prestigious event for the second straight year were Norman Richmond of Oregon at 135 pounds and Tyrell Fortune of Oregon at 215 pounds.
Richmond defeated Jason Chamberlain of Utah in the championship finals, 3-2, 6-1.
Fortune stopped Minnesota's Patrick Mahon of Minnesota in the finals match, 1-1, 1-1, 7-0. Fortune was a Cadet Nationals double champion last year in Fargo, N.D., winning the freestyle and Greco-Roman titles there.
In a hard-fought three-period match, 2006 Junior Nationals champion Eric Grajales of Florida edged 2006 Cadet Nationals champion Dylan Carew of Iowa for the title at 125 pounds. The match was very competitive, going the full three periods. Carew won the first period, 5-5, but Grajales came back to win the next two periods, 4-2, 4-2. Grajales was named Outstanding Wrestler for his victory.
Grajales, a sophomore at national power Brandon High School, was also a 2006 FILA Junior National Greco-Roman champion and was named Junior Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year last season.
The tournament featured a number of other nationally-ranked stars within USA Wrestling's age-group programs,
David Taylor of Ohio, a Cadet National double champion last year, won the 105-pound title after handily defeating Jerry Huff of Colorado by technical fall in the finals, 6-0, 7-0.
Nikko Triggas of California, a Junior Nationals champions last year in Greco-Roman, captured the 112-pound title with a 7-0, 9-1 technical fall over Sam Bauer of Washington. He was a runner-up at last year's Western Junior Regionals.
Reiland Geiger of Oregon, a 2006 Cadet Nationals double champion, won the title at 189 pounds, stopping Kyle Bergstedt of California, 4-0, 5-2.
It was a great night for wrestlers from the state of Washington, which claimed five individual titles.
Champions from Washington included Billy Richardson at 98 pounds, Eric Jones at 140 pounds, Trevor Hall at 152 pounds, Eric Starks at 160 pounds and Reid Chivers of Washington at 171 pounds.
Jones scored a pin in the finals, putting away Lance Gallegos of Colorado in the third period in 41 seconds. Richardson and Hall had technical falls in the finals. Richardson stopped Brock Banta of Idaho, 7-0, 8-10, 6-0. Hall beat Noah Hatton of Washington, 8-1, 6-0.
Chivers, who was seventh in the Cadet Nationals last summer in Greco-Roman, defeated 2006 Cadet Nationals champion Grant Gambrall of Iowa in the finals, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1.
Add in Oregon, whose champions included Richardson, Fortune and Geiger and it was a great night for the Pacific Northwest, with a total of eight of the champions here.
Other individual champions were Kade Moss of Utah at 112 pounds, Nathan Vorel of Arizona at 130 pounds, Jake Salazar of Utah at 145 pounds and Eric Thompson of Iowa at 285 pounds.