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|FILA Cadet champions crowned, world team set|
By Bryan Baumgartner USA Wrestling
AKRON, Ohio - Aaron Pico continued his dominance in the second day of the FILA Cadet Freestyle National Championships on Sunday.
After winning every one of his matches by technical fall, Pico (California) dominated Tyler Berger of Oregon in the finals at 63 kg winning again by technical fall 10-0. Pico was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for his dominating performance.
“In the beginning I kind of felt a little tired, the first three or four matches, but once I warmed up and settled down a little bit and my last matches felt great,” Pico said. “It was a great tournament overall, it was tough.”
Austin Gomez of Illinois scored a takedown against Brent Jones of Minnesota with little time remaining to take the title at the 39-42kg weight class. Jones scored in the final minute to even the score at 7-7 but Gomez responded with a clutch shot and takedown to secure the 9-7 victory.
At 46kg Devin Brown of Pennsylvania put together a dominant championship bout against Michigan’s Ian Parker. Brown scored early and often to win by technical fall 13-3 and earn him a spot on the World Team.
“I pretty much dominated everybody. My semifinals match didn’t go as well as I wanted it to but for my finals match I knew I just had to go out there and wrestle my best,” Brown said. “Next I need to go to the World’s and dominate there.”
Brown’s high school teammate and training partner Spencer Lee won the championship at 50kg, defeating Daton Fix of Oklahoma by technical fall 13-2. Lee, who is in eighth grade, competed at the Cadet level for the first time and dominated his bracket, winning all of his matches by technical fall or pin. Lee and Brown are both from Saegertown, Pennsylvania.
“We push each other. We run in the morning and it’s always a race,” Lee said of Brown. “We’re both so competitive and having him as a partner is just the best thing I could have.”
Stevan Micic of Indiana beat Kaid Brock of Oklahoma in 54kg finals by technical fall 10-0. Both Micic and Brock were dominant throughout their respective brackets on the way to the finals but Micic proved to be too much for Brock in the final bout. The 58kg finals saw another win by technical fall as Sean Fausz of Kentucky pulled off an 11-1 victory.
Jon Jay Chavez claimed his second championship of the weekend at 69kg. Chavez (Idaho) blew out each of his opponents on his way to the finals but found himself in a struggle with Nick Reenan of Texas in the championship bout. Chavez, the 2013 FILA Cadet Greco-Roman champion, would hang on for the 7-4 decision over Reenan and collect the FILA Cadet Freestyle title.
Bo Nickal won a dramatic final bout against Mark Hall of Minnesota to claim the 76kg championship. Nickal said he was disappointed in the way he performed in the Greco-Roman tournament earlier in the weekend and would not settle for anything but a win in the Freestyle tournament. The final bout went back and forth before Nickal prevailed with an 8-6 decision and a spot on the World Team.
“Last year at this tournament I ended up taking second in both Greco and Freestyle, I was so close to making the team,” Nickal said. “Nobody really picked me to win and I felt that I was a lot better and deserved to get picked and nobody even picked me for the finals. That fired me up a little bit and gave me a little bit more motivation to go out there and compete my best.”
Fresh off his win in the FILA Cadet Greco-Roman Championships on Friday, Angus Arthur of Michigan collected the Freestyle title in dominating fashion. Arthur breezed through the bracket before defeating Robert Steveson of Minnesota in the finals by technical fall 12-2.
It was a rematch of the Greco-Roman finals at 85-100kg as Roy Nash and Lance Benick found themselves wrestling for a championship for the second time this weekend. Nash prevailed over Benick in the Greco-Roman tournament but Benick got his revenge, narrowly beating Nash in a 16-15 decision to win the Freestyle title. Down by one late in the match, Benick scored a takedown in the waning seconds to pull out the victory and earn a spot on the world team.
Two huge throws highlighted the 125kg finals as Adam Lemke-Bell won by fall in 2:03 over Nicholas Nader of Ohio. Lemke-Bell (Illinois) surprised even himself with the strength behind his throws, but it was enough to get him the win in the highly competitive tournament.
“It was exhilarating. The one on the edge I really didn’t want to give anything up so it was kind of a last ditch effort,” Lemke-Bell said of one of his big throws. “I don’t normally get throws that well but this time it worked out.”
All of the winners qualify to wrestle in the Cadet World Championships in Serbia on August 20-25.
For a complete list of results please visit trackwrestling.com.
FILA Cadet Finals Results
39-42 KG: Austin Gomez (Illinois) over Brent Jones (Minnesota) Dec 9-7
46 KG: Devin Brown (Pennsylvania) over Ian Parker (Michigan) TF 13-3
50 KG: Spencer Lee (Pennsylvania) over Daton Fix (Oklahoma) TF 13-2
54 KG: Stevan Micic (Indiana) over Kaid Brock (Oklahoma) TF 10-0
58 KG: Sean Fausz (Kentucky) over Nick Lee (Indiana) TF 11-1
63 KG: Aaron Pico (California) over Tyler Berger (Oregon) TF 10-0
69 KG: Jon Jay Chavez (Idaho) over Nick Reenan (Texas) Dec 7-4
76 KG: Bo Nickal (Texas) over Mark Hall (Minnesota) Dec 8-6
85 KG: Angus Arthur (Michigan) over Robert Steveson (Minnesota) TF 12-2
100 KG: Lance Benick (Minnesota) over Roy Nash (Utah) Dec 16-15
125 KG: Adam Lemke-Bell (Illinois) over Nicholas Nader (Ohio) Fall 2:03