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|Hutchison, Grajales, Jones, Robbins, Winn among champions crowned at Junior Greco-Roman Nationals|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
FARGO, N.D. - Want the best storyline from the Greco-Roman wrestling competition on Tuesday afternoon during the ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals?
Take your pick.
You had Alaska's Eli Hutchison winning the title at 135 pounds to join his sister Michaela, who won the Junior women's freestyle event earlier in the day, as the first brother-sister combination to win titles at this event.
You had Idaho's Shawn Jones (125) and Florida's Jesse Robbins (171) repeating as Junior National champions.
You had the team from Iowa crowning three individual champions to capture the team championship a day after the Iowa Cadets won the team title in Greco-Roman.
You had double Cadet National champion Deron Winn of Missouri moving up to the Junior level and winning a title at 189.
And you had 112-pounder Eric Grajales of Florida, who won arguably the toughest weight class en route to being named both National Junior Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year and Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
Two of the four returning Junior Greco-Roman champions did not repeat. Oregon's Marty Eng, who won this event at 105 last year, was pinned by Grajales earlier in the day. Eng ended up fourth at 112. Grajales avenged a loss to Eng by fall earlier this year in Las Vegas. California's Boris Navachkov, who won last year at 98, placed third this year at 112.
Grajales, who won the FILA Junior World Team Trials earlier this year, overcame a determined charge by Donte Butler of Missouri in the finals. Butler, third in Junior Nationals in 2005, grabbed a 3-0 lead but Grajales came right back. The first period ended in a 5-5 tie, but Grajales won by virtue of scoring with a three-point throw. Grajales then won 10-2 in the second period, capping the win with a spectacular five-pointer.
Grajales won Cadet Nationals in 2004 and 2005.
Hutchison, second in this event last year, beat past Cadet National champion Austin Enoch of Oregon 4-1, 9-0 in the finals. His sister won the women's title at 119.
Jones repeated as champion with an 8-4, 3-2 win over two-time state high school champion Kelly Kubec of Washington.
Robbins repeated by pulling out a gritty 1-2, 1-1, 1-1 decision over Idaho's Kirk Smith, who placed second at Junior Nationals in freestyle last year.
Iowa's team championship was bolstered by the titles won by Jeff Rau (130), Esai Dominguez (140) and Robert Kellogg (152).
Rau, a Nebraska-Omaha recruit, trailed 2-0 against Idaho's Josh Strait with time running out late in the first period before hitting a two-point gut-wrench with one second left. He won the period by virtue of scoring last. Rau rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the second period with a three-point turn and a point for a near fall to win the match. Strait also was second in this event last year.
Dominguez joins his older brother Zac as a Junior National champion. Their brother Eli was a Junior All-American in Greco-Roman wrestling. Esai Dominguez used excellent par terre defense to down Jon Drendel of Illinois 1-1, 2-1. Esai Dominguez was fifth at Junior Nationals in 2005.
Kellogg swept Arizona's Kyle Deberry 3-0, 6-2 in the finals. Deberry was sixth in Junior Nationals last year.
Winn dropped the first period of Ohio's John Weakley 6-0 after being hit with a lateral drop. But Winn rebounded to win the final two periods 3-1, 2-1 over the powerful and taller Weakley, who was third in Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman last year.
Iowa State recruit Jon Reader looked impressive in winning the title at 160. Michigan's Reader, third in this event last year, beat Utah's Talon Knox 5-0, 0-3, 1-1 in the finals. Knox was third in the 2006 FILA Junior Nationals.
The list of Greco-Roman champions also included Nathan Furches of Kansas (98), Justin Forrest of Missouri (112), Nikko Triggas of California (119), Trevor Hall of Washington (145), Patrick Mahan of Minnesota (215) and Kenny Lester of Florida (275).
Furches won Junior Nationals after placing second at Cadet Nationals in 2004 and 2005. Furches downed hometown boy Brian Reisenauer of Fargo 5-0, 4-1 in the finals. Reisenauer was fourth in FILA Cadet Nationals in 2005.
Forrest beat Fred Santaite of New Jersey 6-0, 5-1 in the title bout. Triggas, a 2005 Cadet National champion, beat past Cadet National runner-up Larry Perez of Kansas 0-8, 7-0, 5-4 in the finals. Hall, third in this event in 2005, moved up two spots by downing Colorado's Kevin LeValley 1-1, 1-1 in the finals.
Mahan won the all-Minnesota final at 215, downing Brent Eidenschink 1-1, 1-1 in the title bout. Eidenschink was third at Junior Nationals in 2005. The big boy title belonged to Lester, who stacked and pinned Bryant Deinhardt of New York late in the first period.