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Returning champion Fortune unbeaten at Accelerade Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals; Returning champion Cox ejected



FARGO, N.D. - -Returning Cadet double champion Tyrell Fortune of Oregon remained unbeaten after the first day of action at the Accelerade Cadet National Greco-Roman Championships at the Fargodome Saturday. Cadets are wrestlers who are 15 and 16 years old.

Fortune is returning at 215 pounds, where he was a Cadet Nationals double champion last year, winning both freestyle and Greco-Roman titles. He hopes to join an exclusive group of wrestlers who have won four Cadet National gold medals, the most possible during the two years of eligibility.

Fortune won his first three matches handily. He opened with a pair of pins, stopping Dan McSweeney of Illinois 6-0, 1:05, then pinning Barry Reece of Delaware 8-0, 0:37. His third round victory was an 8-0, 6-0 technical fall over Kenneth Altarac of New York.

Tyler Cox of Wyoming, who won the Cadet Greco-Roman title a year ago at 91 pounds, was ejected in the fourth round and is disqualified from the rest of the Greco-Roman competition.

Cox had a 3-0 record entering his bout against Isaac Romero of Washington. In the match, Romero won in two perios, 8-0, 6-0. Cox was penalized for a flagrant misconduct at the end of the match procedure and was ejected. All flagrant misconducts have an automatic review, and the decision of the officials to eject Cox was upheld.

Cox was on a roll prior to the Romero match, winning his first three bouts by fall. He pinned Anthony Cavallaro of New York in 20 seconds, pinned Wyatt Ray of Utah in the third period, 2-1, 0-7, 0:45, then pinned Alan Callahan of Kansas in 1:04.

Four Cadet National Greco-Roman runners-up from last year remain unbeaten after the first day.

Two of the Cadet runners-up are at the same weight class, 98 pounds. David Taylor of Ohio, who was second at 91 pounds last year, won his first four matches convincingly, scoring an opening round decision, then three technical falls. Wade Adams of Minnesota, a Cadet runner-up last year at 84 pounds, won his four opening matches all by fall. Adams scored first-period falls over Zak Moore of Georgia, Eric Crowe of Louisiana and Josh Whitt of Ohio, then a second period pin over Al Quenga of California. Taylor and Adams are in the same pool and are projected to meet prior to the finals if they continue to advance.

The other returning runners-up were also unbeaten, Travis Rutt of Minnesota at 152 pounds and Tico Paca of California at 160 pounds.

Rutt opened with two technical falls and a second period pin. Rutt was second last year at 130 pounds.

Paca started with two technical falls and a first-period pin. He was a runner-up at 160 pounds a year ago.

Rutt is one of six wrestlers who entered the Greco-Roman tournament with a chance to win the Cadet Triple Crown, which is given to any wrestler who wins the USA Wrestling Cadet National titles in folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle during the same year. The first leg of the Cadet Triple Crown, the Cadet Folkstyle Nationals, was held in Iowa in April.

Only three of these athletes remain unbeaten Rutt, plus Nate Moore of Iowa at 119 pounds and Dallas Bailey of Oklahoma at 140 pounds. Rutt had a 3-0 record and Moore had a 4-0 record.

The three Triple Crown possibilities who suffered one loss on Sunday were Sharky Slyter of Kansas at 91 pounds, Joshua Wiseman of Minnesota at 130 pounds and Andrew Springer of Illinois at 275 pounds. Slyter and Wiseman each have one loss but are still alive in the tournament while Springer dropped two matches and was eliminated from the competition.

The most loaded weight class in the tournament is 98 pounds, which had two runners-up, (Adams and Taylor) and a total of seven wrestlers who have been All-Americans on the Cadet or FILA Cadet levels.

Also in this division is Cody Tyler of Missouri, a FILA Cadet Greco-Roman champion this year at 92.5 pounds. Tyler won his first four matches. Also unbeaten was Cadet All-Americans BJ Futrell of Illinois and Kenny Sanders of Washington. Two All-Americans from last year were beaten twice in this division and eliminated: Paul Hancock of Michigan and Cody Libengood of Ohio.

Along with Hancock and Libengood, there were seven All-Americans from last year who lost twice and were eliminated on the first day. Returning All-Americans who were knocked out of the tournament were Daniel Osterman of Michigan (105), Kendrick Sanders of Florida (130), Zac Cibula of Wisconsin (145), Oney Snyder of Ohio (215) and Matthew Fairbrother of Utah (275).

Another strong weight class is 119 pounds. Four past Cadet or FILA Cadet All-Americans are unbeaten: Moore, plus Lilashawn Coleman of Illinois, Jeremy Sandoval of Texas and Brian Stephens of Ohio. Jaes Jones of Utah, who was third at the Junior Nationals last year at 98 pounds, is competing as a Cadet here this year. Jones is 4-1 in the tournament, having lost his fifth-round match to Drew Partain of Oklahoma, 0-4, 2-4, 4-1

Ryan Mango of Missouri, the younger brother of 2006 University World Greco-Roman champion Spenser Mango, was 3-0 in the first day of wrestling and has advance into the roundrobin in his pool at 84 pounds.

The second day of the Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman continues on Sunday, along with the first day of action in the Junior National Greco-Roman Championships.

-- wrapup written by Gary Abbott



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