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Iowa impresses with 40-23 final win over Oklahoma Outlaws Red to win Junior National Freestyle Duals

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Iowa poses with the trophy after winning Junior National Freestyle Duals2021 Junior National Freestyle Duals champion Iowa. Photo by John Sachs,

TULSA, Okla. – Iowa’s Junior men’s freestyle team looked strong over both days of the 2021 Junior Freestyle National Duals, but may have saved its best wrestling for the championship finals.

After dropping the first two bouts, Iowa won 10 of the final 13 matches, including some very close battles, to defeat returning champion Oklahoma Outlaws Red, 40-23.

The finals dual meet began at 138, where Carter Young of Oklahoma secured a controlled 4-1 decision over Joel Jesuroga of Iowa. Young scored a first-period takedown to lead 2-1 at the break, then added two second period step-outs after leg attacks to secure the win.

Jordan Williams of Oklahoma continued the strong Oklahoma start with a tight 8-6 win over Iowa’s Caleb Rathjen in a match of skilled stars at 145. The first period ended 4-4, with both wrestlers getting two two-point moves. Williams scored the next two takedowns, on a slick duck under, then on a scramble after a shot to lead 8-4. Rathjen scored a late takedown to close it to 8-6, but Williams evaded any late attacks.

Iowa ran off a streak of six consecutive victories to take over the match.

Iowa’s first win came at 152, as Jack Gaukel defeated Angelo Ferrari, 10-5. Gaukel had the edge throughout, based upon a pair of four-point takedowns, one in the first period and one in the second period. Down 10-2, Ferrari scored second-period stepout and takedown to close the margin a bit.

Iowa won a key battle at 160, when Aiden Riggins scored a takedown with one second left to defeat John Wiley, 7-4. Wiley led 2-0 at the break, but gave up two Riggins takedowns to trail 4-2. Wiley scored a go-behind takedown with 24 second left to tie it at 4-4, with criteria. Riggins winning takedown made it 6-4, and was challenged and denied, giving him the extra point at the end. The dual meet was tied at 8-8 after the first four bouts.

Gabe McGeough of Iowa jumped to a 9-0 lead over Jaxon Randall of Oklahoma, but squeaked out a 10-9 win to put Iowa back in the team lead. McGeough had three takedowns and three stepouts for his nine point lead, but Randall changed everything with a five-point back arch to make it 9-5. After a caution and one against Randall, making it 10-5, Randall scored two takedowns to make it 10-0 with 20 seconds left. McGeogh closed out the win with defense.

Griffin Gammel of Iowa made his 182 bout end quickly, getting a takedown and four trapped-arm gut wrenches for a 10-0 technical fall over Samuel Schmidt at 182 pounds. Iowa’ run continued at 195, when Wyatt Voelker scored the first two takedowns for a 4-2 win over AJ Heeg. A four-point Heeg takedown was challenged and changed to two points, a key factor in the win.

The Iowa freight train continued at 220, with a second period 10-0 technical fall win by Ben Kueter of Iowa over Emmanuel Skillings, with three takedowns and two turns. Iowa led 22-10 at that time.

Oklahoma stopped the bleeding with a close victory at 285 pounds, when Harley Andrews held on for a 12-9 victory over Bradley Hill. Andrews won the position battle early, jumping to a 12-3 lead with a number of counter offense takedowns. Hill got busy late with three takedowns, but not enough to close the gap.

Oklahoma was hoping to turn it around in the light weights, but Iowa had different plans.

Dru Ayala of Iowa came out with a four-point single leg trip takedown, and went on to secure a 10-0 technical fall over Treshaun Tecson at 100. Ayala had a pair of two-point takedowns and two stepouts. Oklahoma came back with a win at 106, as Christian Forbes kept up the pressure throughout on the way to a convincing 14-5 decision over Carson Doolittle to keep their hopes alive.

The Iowa team victory was clinched at 113 pounds when Nathanael Jesuroga poured on the offense in a 14-2 technical fall over Guy Clevenger. Jesuroga scored the first four takedowns, and, while leading 10-2, hit a four-point takedown to close out the win and give his team the victory.

Iowa also won two of the last three matches, showing its balance throughout the lineup. Eli Griffin of Oklahoma showed his skills and pride in a 12-0 technical fall over Chad Bellis at 120, getting a four-point throw, a two-point takedown and three ankle lace turns.

Iowa finished with a pair of technical falls. Drake Ayala of Iowa, one of the top recruits in the nation, secured a 13-2 technical fall over Jayce Caviness at 126, while Ryder Block jumped to an 8-0 lead before beating Jordan Cullors, 15-4.

To reach the finals bout, Oklahoma and Iowa had to each win a four-team Gold/Silver pool, which had two pool champions and two pool runners-up.

Iowa won the Gold/Silver Pool A with a 3-0 record. Iowa, the champion of Friday’s preliminary Pool C, had to beat preliminary Pool B champion Illinois Junior Freestyle in the deciding match, by a 41-23 margin. Iowa won the first three matches from Ryder Black (132), Joel Jesuroga (138) and Caleb Rathjen (145), then dominated with wins in six of the final eight bouts of the dual. Eight of Iowa’s 10 wins were by technical fall.

Oklahoma Outlaws Blue won the Gold/Silver Pool B with a 3-0 record. Oklahoma Outlaws Blue, the champion of Friday’s preliminary Pool D had to beat preliminary Pool A champion Minnesota Blue, in the deciding match, by a 38-27 margin. The dual meet was close most of the way, with Minnesota going on a three-match run in the middle of the dual. Oklahoma closed it out strong, winning five of the last six matches, with wins from Harley Andrews (285), Treschaun Tecson (100), Christian Forbes (106), Eli Griffin (120) and Jayce Caviness (126).

Third place went to Minnesota Blue, a 37-27 winner over Illinois Junior Freestyle. Taking fifth was Team Wisconsin, which put away Ohio Red, 53-16. California finished in seventh, with a 38-31 win over Team New Jersey.

At Tulsa, Okla.


1st Place - Iowa
2nd Place - Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red
3rd Place - Minnesota Blue
4th Place - Illinois JR FS
5th Place - Team Wisconsin
6th Place - Ohio Red
7th Place - California
8th Place - Team New Jersey

1st Place – Iowa 40, Oklahoma Outlaws Red 23
138 - Carter Young (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) over Joel Jesuroga (Iowa) Dec 4-1
145 - Jordan Williams (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) over Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) Dec 8-7
152 - Jack Gaukel (Iowa) over Angelo Ferrari (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) Dec 10-5
160 - Aiden Riggins (Iowa) over John Wiley (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) Dec 7-4
170 - Gabe Mcgeough (Iowa) over Jaxon Randall (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) Dec 10-9
182 - Griffin Gammell (Iowa) over Samuel Schmidt (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) TF 10-0
195 - Wyatt Voelker (Iowa) over AJ Heeg (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) Dec 4-2
220 - Ben Kueter (Iowa) over Emmanuel Skillings (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) TF 10-0
285 - Harley Andrews (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) over Bradley Hill (Iowa) Dec 12-9
100 - Dru Ayala (Iowa) over Treshaun Tecson (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) TF 10-0
106 Christian Forbes (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) over Carson Doolittle (Iowa) Dec 14-5
113 - Nathanael Jesuroga (Iowa) over Guy Clevenger (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) TF 14-2
120 - Eli Griffin (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) over Chad Bellis (Iowa) TF 12-0
126 - Drake Ayala (Iowa) over Jayce Caviness (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) TF 13-2
132 - Ryder Block (Iowa) over Jordan Cullors (Oklahoma Outlaws FS Red) TF 15-4

3rd place - Minnesota Blue 37, Illinois Junior Freestyle 27
138 Chase DeBlaere (Minnesota Blue) over Christopher Moore (Illinois JR FS) TF 10-0
145 Kole Brower (Illinois JR FS) over Cole Becker (Minnesota Blue) Dec 6-3
152 Cael Swensen (Minnesota Blue) by forfeit
160 Braden Stauffenberg (Illinois JR FS) over Landen Johnson (Minnesota Blue) TF 13-2
170 Bradley Gillum (Illinois JR FS) by forfeit
182 Bennett Berge (Minnesota Blue) over Deanthony Parker (Illinois JR FS) TF 12-1
195 Quayin Short (Minnesota Blue) over Nathan Wemstrom (Illinois JR FS) Dec 10-5
220 Gavin Nelson (Minnesota Blue) over Andrew Blackburn-Forst (Illinois JR FS) Dec 12-10
285 Ryan Boersma (Illinois JR FS) over Gavin Layton (Minnesota Blue) Dec 8-4
100 Ethan Spacht (Illinois JR FS) over Parker Lyden (Minnesota Blue) Dec 23-15
106 Brandon Morvari (Minnesota Blue) over Nathan Knowlton (Illinois JR FS) Dec 9-0
113 Caleb Thoennes (Minnesota Blue) over Benjamin Aranda (Illinois JR FS) TF 10-0
120 Kannon Webster (Illinois JR FS) over Reid Nelson (Minnesota Blue) TF 10-0
126 Jore Volk (Minnesota Blue) over William Baysingar (Illinois JR FS) Dec 8-4
132 Derrick Cardinal (Minnesota Blue) over Nain Vazquez (Illinois JR FS) TF 13-2

5th place - Team Wisconsin Ohio 53, Ohio Red 16
138 Blaine Brenner (Team Wisconsin) over Zack Mattin (Ohio Red) Fall 3:55
145 Matthew Bianchi (Team Wisconsin) over Kael Voinovich (Ohio Red) TF 10-0
152 Drake Hayward (Team Wisconsin) over Victor Voinovich (Ohio Red) Fall 0:48
160 Braeden Scoles (Team Wisconsin) over Alex Garee (Ohio Red) Fall 2:42
170 Jared Stricker (Team Wisconsin) by forfeit
182 Devin Wasley (Team Wisconsin) over Cole Hivnor (Ohio Red) Dec 10-8
195 Dylan Fishback (Ohio Red) over John Gunderson (Team Wisconsin) TF 10-0
220 Carter Grewe (Team Wisconsin) over Logan Shephard (Ohio Red) Dec 5-4
285 Ben Kawczynski (Team Wisconsin) over Aidan Fockler (Ohio Red) TF 14-4
100 Javaan Yarbrough (Ohio Red) over Brendan Burke (Team Wisconsin) TF 14-3
106 Kellen Kelly (Team Wisconsin) over Brett Stanley (Ohio Red) TF 10-0
113 Ian Radintz (Team Wisconsin) over Codie Cuerbo (Ohio Red) Fall 4:39
120 Shane Corrigan (Team Wisconsin) over Marlon Yarbrough (Ohio Red) TF 12-1
126 Brennen Cernus (Ohio Red) over Brayden Sonnentag (Team Wisconsin) Fall 1:00
132 Hayden Halter (Team Wisconsin) over Ismael Ayoub (Ohio Red) Fall 1:02

7th place - California 38, Team New Jersey 31
138 Johnny Lopez (California) over Ethan Fernandez (Team New Jersey) Dec 10-9
145 Nicco Ruiz (California) over Ty Whalen (Team New Jersey) Dec 13-7
152 Oscar Aranda (California) over Richard Grungo (Team New Jersey) TF 10-0
160 Hunter Gandy (Team New Jersey) over Manuel (M.J.) Gaitan (California) Fall 0:37
170 Michael Dellagatta (Team New Jersey) over Timothy McDonnell (California) TF 12-2
182 Cade Creighton (California) by forfeit
195 Aaron Ayzerov (Team New Jersey) over Braden Pease (California) Fall 0:22
220 Bradley Moore II (California) by forfeit
285 Max Acciardi (Team New Jersey) over Daniel Herrera (California) Fall 5:57
100 Liam Clark (Team New Jersey) by forfeit
106 Ray Ray Harris (California) over Aidan Carmody (Team New Jersey) TF 10-0
113 Jeffrey Jacome (Team New Jersey) over Jeremy Oani (California) TF 16-6
120 Joey Cruz (California) over Conor Collins (Team New Jersey) TF 10-0
126 Andre Gonzales (California) by forfeit
132 Maxximus Martinez (California) over Kelly Dunnigan (Team New Jersey) Dec 11-4

Gold/Silver Pool A
Minnesota Blue 40, Team New Jersey 24
Oklahoma Outlaws Red 38, Ohio Red 28
Minnesota Blue 36, Ohio Red 33
Oklahoma Outlaws Red 38, Minnesota Blue 27
Ohio Red 45, Team New Jersey 24
Gold/Silver Pool B
Illinois Junior Freestyle 43, Team Wisconsin 22
Iowa 36, California 27
Illinois Junior Freestyle 41, California 27
Iowa 47, Team Wisconsin 17
Iowa 41, Illinois Junior Freestyle 23
Team Wisconsin 39, California 29

1st Place - Team Georgia Blue
2nd Place - Oklahoma Outlaws FS Blue
3rd Place - Team Kansas
4th Place - Team Missouri
5th Place - North Dakota Blue
6th Place - Tennessee
7th Place - Minnesota Red
8th Place - Michigan Blue
1st Place Match - Team Georgia Blue defeated Oklahoma Outlaws FS Blue 39-27.
3rd Place Match - Team Kansas defeated Team Missouri 37-26.
5th Place Match - North Dakota Blue defeated Tennessee 34-31.
7th Place Match - Minnesota Red defeated Michigan Blue 41-30.

Bronze/Copper Pool A
Oklahoma Outlaws Blue 48, Michigan Blue 21
Team Missouri 51, North Dakota Blue 15
Team Missouri 41, Michigan Blue 27
Oklahoma Outlaws Blue 47, North Dakota Blue 20
North Dakota Blue 36, Michigan Blue 35
Oklahoma Outlaws Blue 40, Team Missouri 25
Bronze/Copper Pool B
Team Georgia Blue 51, Tennessee 12
Team Kansas 35, Minnesota Red 34
Team Georgia Blue 48, Team Kansas 20
Tennessee 35, Minnesota Red 33
Team Georgia Blue 43, Minnesota Red 21
Team Kansas 42, Tennessee 20

RED/BLUE POOL (Places 17-24)
1st Place - Team Florida
2nd Place - Team Colorado
3rd Place - Texas A
4th Place - Pennsylvania
5th Place - Team Indiana
6th Place - Team Alabama
7th Place - Team Georgia Red
8th Place - California Blue
1st Place Match - Team Florida defeated Team Colorado 36-31.
3rd Place Match - Texas A defeated Pennsylvania 37-32.
5th Place Match - Team Indiana defeated Team Alabama 32-31.
7th Place Match - Team Georgia Red defeated California Blue 33-19.

Red/Blue Pool A
Team Colorado 55, California Blue 13
Pennsylvania 41, Team Indiana 27
Team Colorado 37, Team Indiana 31
Pennsylvania 50, California Blue 8
Team Colorado 40, Pennsylvania 27
Team Indiana 45, California Blue 21
Red/Blue Pool B
Team Florida 43, Team Alabama 21
Texas A 41, Team Georgia Red 30
Team Florida 57, Team Georgia Red 11
Texas A 34, Team Alabama 32
Team Florida 49, Texas A 20
Team Alabama 41, Team Georgia Red 22

GREEN/YELLOW POOL (Places 25-29)

1st Place - Nebraska
2nd Place - Arkansas
3rd Place - North Dakota Red
4th Place - Texas B
5th Place - Team South Carolina
Texas B 38, Team South Carolina 24
Nebraska 44, Arkansas 27
Nebraska 56, Team South Carolina 16
North Dakota Red 34, Texas B 17
Nebraska 47, North Dakota Red 27
Arkansas 44, Team South Carolina 28
Nebraska 44, Texas B 29
Arkansas 42, North Dakota Red 20
North Dakota Red 38, Team South Carolina 29
Arkansas 39, Texas B 27

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