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Team USA wins men’s freestyle U15 Pan American title, Cortez wins Outstanding Wrestler award

by Joe Wedra, USA Wrestling

Photo of Travis Grace (62kg) courtesy of Jenni Peterson.


OAXTEPEC, Mexico – The U.S. men’s freestyle team won nine individual gold medals, cruising to a team title at the 2021 U15 Pan American Championships. The team win finished up a great weekend of wrestling for the United States, which also won team championship titles in women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman.


The United States won the team race with 245 total points. Mexico came in second with 185 points, while Puerto Rico finished in third place with 89 points.


Isaiah Cortez (44kg) of Los Banos, Calif. won the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award. He went 4-0 on Saturday, with all of his wins coming via technical fall.


The nine U.S. athletes winning individual gold medals were:

• Ignacio Villasenor (38kg) of Longmont, Colo.

• Haakon Peterson (41kg) of Hollandale, Wisc.

• Isaiah Cortez (44kg) of Los Banos, Calif.

• Matthew Martino (48kg) of Eagle, Idaho

• Jackson Heslin (52kg) of Marlborough, Conn.

• Travis Grace (62kg) of San Martin, Calif.

• Emil Necula (68kg) of Marietta, Ga.

• Terrell McFarland (75kg) of Pottsville, Pa.

• De’Alcapon Veazy (85kg) of Fort Wayne, Ind.


Winning a silver medal at 57kg was Phoenix Contos of Toledo, Ohio.


The men’s freestyle team was coached by USA Wrestling National Developmental freestyle coach Kevin Jackson. He was joined by Gralan Early of Fort Wayne, Ind. and Salvador Gutierrez of Arvada, Colo.


“Our team brought energy and effort to every match,” said Jackson. “They were on attack the entire tournament. They battled one another for the prestigious Golden Boot/Outstanding Wrestler award. I congratulate our athletes, volunteer coaches, staff and parents on our results. They represented themselves, their families, USA Wrestling and our country with honor.”

U15 PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Oaxtepec, Mexico October 23


38 kg

Gold – Ignacio Villasenor (USA)

Silver – Felipe Alejandro Cisneros (Mexico)

Bronze – Luis Sanchez Fuentes (Mexico)


41 kg

Gold – Haakon Peterson (USA)

Silver – Gael Cazarez Ortiz (Mexico)

Bronze – Santiago Sanchez Arias (Colombia)


44 kg

Gold – Isaiah Cortez (USA)

Silver – Jeremy Santiago (Puerto Rico)

Bronze – Oscar Garcia Barbosa (Mexico)


48 kg

Gold – Matthew Martino (USA)

Silver – Cesar Renteria Diaz (Mexico)

Bronze – Duvan Garcia Muñoz (Colombia)

Bronze – Jhosue Martinez Nieto (Mexico)


52 kg

Gold – Jackson Heslin (USA)

Silver – David Martinez Gambino (Mexico)

Bronze – Derick Martinez (Puerto Rico)

Bronze – Pedro Toribio Torres (Peru)


57 kg

Gold – Rafael Garcia (Puerto Rico)

Silver – Phoenix Contos (USA)

Bronze – Ivan Olivera Montijo (Mexico)

Bronze – Gabriel Sanchez Zepeda (Mexico)


62 kg

Gold – Travis Grace (USA)

Silver – Alan Vera Gomez (Mexico)

Bronze – Jhon Chaverra Borja (Colombia)

Bronze – Yandro Soto (Puerto Rico)


68 kg

Gold – Emil Necula (USA)

Silver – Jorge Garcia (Mexico)

Bronze – Marcopolo Garcia Rodriguez (Mexico)

Bronze – Wilson dos Santos Soares (Braizl)


75kg

Gold – Terrell McFarland (USA)

Silver – Jusset Arebalo Torres (Colombia)

Bronze – Julian Isiordia Ramirez (Mexico)


85 kg

Gold – De’Alcapon Veazy (USA)

Silver – Gustavo Garcia Bocanegra (Mexico)

Bronze – Antonio Fernandes Alencastro Martins (Brazil)

U.S. men's freestyle bouts


38kg: Ignacio Villasenor, Longmont, Colo., gold medal

WIN Luis Sanchez Fuentes (Mexico)

WIN Douglas da Silva Dias da Cruz (Brazil)

WIN Felipe Cisneros (Mexico)


41kg: Haakon Peterson, Hollandale, Wisc., gold medal

WIN Santiago Sanchez Arias (Colombia)

WIN Gael Cazarez Ortiz (Mexico)


44kg: Isaiah Cortez, Los Banos, Calif., gold medal

WIN Emmanuel Montota Quiñones (Colombia)

WIN Oscar Garcia Barbosa (Mexico)

WIN Maik de Souza Almeida (Brazil)

WIN Jeremy Santiago (Puerto Rico)


48kg: Matthew Martino, Eagle, Idaho, gold medal

WIN Joao Amorim de Moura (Brazil)

WIN Duvan Garcia Muñoz (Colombia)

WIN Cesar Renteria Diaz (Mexico)


52kg: Jackson Heslin, Marlborough, Conn., gold medal

WIN Wenzo da Silva (Brazil)

WIN Pedro Toribio Torres (Peru)

WIN David Martinez Gambino (Mexico)


57kg: Phoenix Contos, Toledo, Ohio, silver medal

WIN Rodrigo Falcon Aguirre (Mexico)

WIN Johan Garcia Serrano (Mexico)

WIN Gabriel Sanchez Zepeda (Mexico)

LOSS Rafael Garcia (Puerto Rico)


62kg: Travis Grace, San Martin, Calif., gold medal

WIN Yandro Soto (Puerto Rico)

WIN Edwin Gomez Rodriguez (Colombia)

WIN Alan Vera Gomez (Mexico)


68kg: Emil Necula, Marietta, Ga., gold medal

WIN Adriano Garcia Puca (Peru)

WIN Wilson dos Santos Soares (Brazil)

WIN Jorge Garcia (Mexico)


75kg: Terrell McFarland, Pottsville, Pa., gold medal

WIN Ricardo Arroyo Herrera (Mexico)

WIN Angel Garcia Nuñez (Mexico)

WIN Julian Isiordia Ramirez (Mexico)

WIN Jusset Arebalo Torres (Colombia)


85kg: De’Alcapon Veazy, Fort Wayne, Ind., gold medal

WIN Fernando Solano Camara (Mexico)

WIN Antonio Fernandez Alencastro Martins (Brazil)

WIN Gustavo Garcia Bocanegra (Mexico)

Men’s freestyle final team standings


1. USA, 245

2. Mexico, 185

3. Puerto Rico, 89

4. Colombia, 83

5. Brazil, 78

6. Peru, 43

7. Chile, 10

8. Barbados, 8
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