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USA men’s freestyle sweeps gold medals at U20 Pan Am Championships

by Taylor Gregorio, USA Wrestling

OAXTEPEC, Mexico – The U.S. men’s freestyle team swept all 10 gold medals in the final day of the U20 Pan American Championships in Oaxtepec, Mexico, on Sunday.

Team USA went 32-0 against the field for a perfect 250 team points. In second place in the team race was Canada, followed by third-place Mexico.

Leading the team were international veterans two-time Cadet World bronze medalist Alex Facundo (74 kg) and 2021 Junior World Team member Nic Bouzakis (61 kg). Facundo went 3-0 on the day with two technical falls and a pin in the finals, while Bouzakis collected four wins, three of which were 10-0 shut outs.

The other eight U.S. representatives—Andre Gonzales (57 kg), Vince Cornella (65 kg), Mitchell Mesenbrink (70 kg), Luca Augustine (79 kg), Sam Fisher (86 kg), Jaxon Smith (92 kg), Ben Kueter (97 kg) and Nicholas Feldman (125 kg)—topped the podium in their international debuts.

At 79 kg, Augustine impressed, going 4-0 with four shutout technical falls, which earned him the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award in his international debut. Cornella, Smith and Kueter also did not surrender a single point throughout the tournament.

Over the weekend, Team USA tallied 28 medals, including 19 golds, five silver and four bronze.


July 8-10 | Oaxtepec, Mexico

U.S. men’s freestyle results
57 kg: Andre Gonzales – GOLD
WIN Jaime Perez Castellanos (Guatemala), 10-0
WIN Hernan Almendra (Argentina), 10-0
WIN Enrique Herrera Huacre (Peru), 8-2

61 kg: Nic Bouzakis – GOLD
WIN William Betancourt (Puerto Rico), 10-0
WIN Jeremy Peralta Gonzalez (Ecuador), injury default
WIN Gavin Eldridge (Canada), 10-0
WIN William Betancourt (Puerto Rico), 10-0

65 kg: Vince Cornella – GOLD
WIN Jose Benites Vasquez (Peru), 10-0
WIN Dom Martins Ferreira (Brazil), 10-0
WIN Erick Barroso Bautista (Mexico), fall

70 kg: Mitchell Mesenbrink – GOLD
WIN Jhon Zambrano Encalada (Ecuador), 12-2
WIN Cesar Escamilla Menchaca (Mexico), 10-0
WIN William Oyola (Argentina), 10-0

74 kg: Alex Facundo – GOLD
WIN Manuel Brown (Panama), 12-0
WIN Amaan Gulacha (Canada), 13-0
WIN Alexander Cusinga Gomez (Peru), fall

79 kg: Luca Augustine - GOLD
WIN Guilherme Barros de Arruda Porto (Brazil), 10-0
WIN Miguel Lavielle Ramirez (Mexico), 10-0
WIN Juan Cardozo Ibata (Colombia), 10-0
WIN Connor Church (Canada), 11-0

86 kg: Sam Fisher – GOLD
WIN Cesar Ubico Estrada (Guatemala), 9-3
WIN Aiden Stevenson (Canada), fall
WIN Jhon Sanchez Solis (Ecuador), 10-0

92 kg: Jaxon Smith – GOLD
WIN Karanpreet Gill (Canada), 10-0
WIN Juan Iturriza Ruiz (Mexico), fall

97 kg: Ben Kueter – GOLD
WIN Samuel Pereira (Canada), 10-0
WIN Jean Paul Nazareno (Ecuador), 10-0
WIN Adrian Zapata Jacobo (Mexico), fall

125 kg: Nicholas Feldman – GOLD
WIN Gabriel de Sousa Silva (Brazil), 11-0
WIN Jhoan Ocoro Palomino (Colombia), 10-0
WIN Roger Li (Canada), 12-6
WIN Luis de la Rosa Arteaga (Mexico), 10-0