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FLASH: U.S. wins Pan American Freestyle Juniors in Chile, led by four champions

SANTIAGO, Chile – The United States had four champions and two runners-up to dominate the competition in men’s freestyle at the Pan American Junior Championships on Sunday.

Team USA swept the upper four weight classes, getting gold medal efforts from Matthew Gray (Twin Lakes, Wis. (Bison WC) at 74 kg/163 lbs., Payne Hayden (Saint Joseph, Mich. (Massa Maniacs) at 84 kg/185 lbs., Danny Chaid (San Jose, Calif. (OTC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. and Caleb White (Neola, Iowa (North Country Outlaws) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

In the gold-medal finals, Gray defeated Jose Pinero of Venezuela, 8-0. Hayden stopped Cristian Sarco of Venezuela, 7-0. Both Chaid and White scored pins in the finals, with Chaid putting away Alex Thoms of Canada and White planting Oscar Marin of Venezuela.

The two U.S. silver medalists were Adrian Cordova (Colorado Springs, Colo./unattached) at 50 kg/110 lbs. and Lawson Ludwin (Blythe, Calif./FHSU) at 55 kg/121 lbs. Cordova had a 3-1 record in a roundrobin, while Ludwin lost his finals bout to Andry Davila of Venezuela.

The USA won the team title, followed by Venezuela in second and Canada in third.

“We brought a great group young wrestlers down here. They competed with heart and intensity. Most importantly, they wrestled as a team proud to represent the United States of America and they are bringing home a Pan American Championship,” said U.S. coach Sam Barber.

It was a good week for the USA at the Pan American Junior Championships, as the men’s freestyle and women’s freestyle teams won the team title, with the Greco-Roman team taking second.

At Santiago, Chile, July 14

Men’s Freestyle champions

50 kg/110 lbs. – Arnod Quiero (Mexico)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Andre Davila (Venezuela)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Wilfredo Rodriguez (Venezuela)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Hernan Guzman Ipuz (Colombia)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Matthew Gray (USA)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Payne Hayden (USA)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Danny Chaid (USA)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Caleb White (USA)

U.S. freestyle performances
50 kg/110 lbs. – Adrian Cordova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (unattached), 2nd
55 kg/121 lbs. – Lawson Ludwin, Blythe, Calif. (FHSU), 2nd
60 kg/132 lbs. – Cameron Perry, Ellijay, Ga. (Gilmer Bobcat Wrestling), 5th
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Kevin Coburn, Livermore, Calif. (Suples WC), 5th
74 kg/163 lbs. – Matthew Gray, Twin Lakes, Wis. (Bison WC), 1st
84 kg/185 lbs. – Payne Hayden, Saint Joseph, Mich. (Massa Maniacs), 1st
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Danny Chaid, San Jose, Calif. (OTC), 1st
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Caleb White, Neola, Iowa (North Country Outlaws), 1st
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