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|Four wrestlers stay on course to win Triple Crown after reaching Junior Nationals Greco-Roman finals|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Oliver Pierce of Texas advanced to the Junior Nationals Greco-Roman finals at 152 pounds. John Sachs photo.
FARGO, N.D. – Nkosi Moody lost a match, but he can still win a title.
Knocked off on the first day of the Junior Nationals Greco-Roman competition, Moody bounced back to win his pool on Tuesday morning and advance to the finals at 106 pounds.
The standout from Illinois advances to face teammate Tommy Pawelski in the finals. Moody beat Pawelski in the Junior Nationals freestyle finals last year to complete the Triple Crown. Moody is seeking to become the first wrestler to win two Junior Triple Crowns.
Moody won a Junior Nationals Folkstyle crown earlier this year. The third leg of the Triple Crown, the Junior Nationals freestyle tournament, is set for later this week.
Moody won his first three matches on Monday before falling to Bill Prochniewski of Wisconsin at 106 pounds. Prochniewski won 2-0, 0-2, 3-3.
Moody received the help he needed when Prochniewski suffered his second loss of the tournament after falling to California’s Joe Cisneros. Moody then beat Cisneros in three periods to win his pool on Tuesday and advance to the finals.
Moody’s brother, Jabari, advanced to the Greco finals at 100 pounds.
The finals are set for 2:15 p.m. Tuesday at the Fargo Dome.
Three other wrestlers remain on track to win USA Wrestling Triple Crowns.
Texas’ Oliver Pierce (152 pounds), Iowa’s Alex Meyer (170) and Michigan’s Adam Coon (285) also have reached the Junior Greco finals. Pierce, Meyer and Coon won Junior Nationals Folkstyle titles earlier this year.
Coon, a top NCAA Division I college prospect in wrestling and football, won a Junior Nationals title last year in Greco and won a FILA Cadet World title in freestyle.
Meyer, a University of Iowa recruit, placed second in the Junior Nationals Greco event last year. Meyer will face Iowa teammate Justin Koethe in the finals.
Returning Junior Nationals Greco champion Geordan Speiller of Florida advanced to the finals at 160.
Returning champion Isaiah Varona of Florida dropped a three-period battle to Kevon Powell of Illinois at 120. Powell, an Illinois state high school champion, advanced to the Junior Greco finals.
Varona and Speiller made the U.S. Junior World Team this year.
FILA Cadet World Team member Hayden Tuma of Idaho advanced to the Junior Greco finals at 138.
Day 5 of the Cadet and Junior Nationals is set for Wednesday in Fargo. The Junior women’s duals and Cadet Nationals freestyle competitions are both scheduled to kick off at 9:30 a.m.
Jabari Moody (Illinois) vs. J.J. McClelland (Wisconsin)
Nkosi Moody (Illinois) vs. Tommy Pawelski (Illinois)
Javier Vieyra (Kansas) vs. Jarred Oftedahl (Minnesota)
Josh Newberg (Washington) vs. Kevon Powell (Illinois)
Cory Clark (Iowa) vs. Joel Shump (Illinois)
Zane Richards (Illinois) vs. Tyson Dippery (Pennsylvania)
Hayden Tuma (Idaho) vs. Mitch Bengtson (Minnesota)
Grant LaMont (Utah) vs. Ryan Blees (North Dakota)
Oliver Pierce (Texas) vs. T.J. Fox (Ohio)
Geordan Speiller (Florida) vs. Matt Gray (Wisconsin)
Alex Meyer (Iowa) vs. Justin Koethe (Iowa)
Sam Brooks (Illinois) vs. Kevin Beazley (Michigan)
Alen Turcinhodzic (Pennsylvania) vs. Ryan Solomon (Pennsylvania)
Daniel Chaid (California) vs. Kyle Snyder (Maryland)
Adam Coon (Michigan) vs. Josh Marchok (Illinois)