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Munaretto, Lilledahl, Sealey, McEnelly to semifinals, Ryder to bronze match at U17 Worlds

by Ellen Paddock, USA Wrestling

Luke Lilledahl at the U17 World Championships in Rome, Italy. Photo by United World Wrestling / Kadir Caliskan

ROME, Italy – Team USA continued to dominate on day two of men’s freestyle at the U17 World Championships in Rome after advancing four athletes to the semifinals on Saturday.

Domenic Munaretto at 45kg, Luke Lilledahl at 51 kg, Joseph Sealey at 71 kg and Max McEnelly at 92 kg punched their tickets to the semifinals, which begin at 11 a.m. ET. Zack Ryder wrestled back to the bronze match at 80 kg and Kyler Larkin awaits repechage at 60 kg. 

Today’s results add to Team USA’s lead in the team race. On Friday, four out of the five wrestlers representing the Stars and Stripes advanced to gold medal matches. Team USA sits at the top with 66 points, followed by Iran with 46 and Kazakhstan with 41.

2022 U17 Pan American champion in freestyle and Greco-Roman, Munaretto, only needed 40 seconds to defeat Ningappa Genannavar of India in the round of 16. He wrapped up the match with a leg lace series to win by technical fall. He followed up with another 10-0 sweep over 2022 U17 European bronze medalist Arman Harutyunyan of Armenia.

He wrestles 2022 U17 Asian silver medalist Amirmohammad Navazi of Iran for a shot at gold. Navazi has defeated 2022 U17 European bronze medalist Riccardo Bonanno of Italy, 6-0, and Azymberdi Ashyrgulyyev of Turkmenmistan,12-1, so far in Rome.

Lilledahl, who took silver at last year’s U17 World Championships, teched his way to the semifinals. He topped Ben Tarik of Morocco 12-1 and ended his match with Dimitar Biserkov of Bulgaria in the first period.

He will meet Nurdanat Aitanov of Kazakhstan in the semifinals, a 2022 U17 Asian champion, 2021 U17 World bronze and 2019 U15 Asian champion. Aitanov has yet to give up a point in Rome.

Sealey opened his World tournament with three technical falls over Bleonit Bytyci of Kosovo, Alisher Zholdasbay of Kazakhstan and Aslan Ozturk of Turkey. The wrestler from High Point, North Carolina meets 2021 U15 European bronze medalist Razmik Yepremyan of Armenia in the finals, who has two wins technical falls and one by decision on the day.

McEnelly rounds out Team USA’s semifinalist, also dominating the field with his teammates. The 2021 USMC U16 National champion scored technical falls over his two opponents, Sherzod Poyonov of Uzbekistan and Andriyan Valkanov of Bulgaria. Poyonov owns a bronze medal from the 2022 U17 Asian Championships.

McEnelly takes on Kamil Kuruglyev of Kazahstan for a shot at gold. Kuruglyev has one win by decision and one by technical superiority so far in Rome.

2021 USMC U16 National champion Zack Ryder defeated Slavi Stamenov of Bulgaria, who was ninth at the 2022 U17 Europeans, in round one of repechage at 80 kg. His two points were rewarded after Stamenov failed to score on the shot clock.

Fighting for a shot at bronze, Ryder went all out against Askhab Khajiyev of Kazakhstan, earning a technical fall.  Ryder was pulled into repechage when the opponent who defeated him Friday, Reza Soleimanian of Iran, advanced to the finals.

Larkin won his first bout to Armenia’s Vladimir Azaryan 5-2 before falling to Taiga Ogino of Japan, 2-1. If Ogino wins in the semifinals tonight and advances to the gold-medal match, Larkin will be pulled back into the tournament.

Semifinals start at 11 ET on Saturday with Munaretto, Lilledahl, Sealey and McEnelly. Christian Castillo at 48 kg, Jax Forrest at 55 kg, Tyler Kasak at 65 kg and Koy Hopke at 110 kg chase gold and Ryder bronze starting at noon ET.

Watch live on FloWrestling and follow along with live updates @USAWrestling on Twitter.


U17 World Championships

Rome, Italy | July 25-31


U.S. men’s freestyle results


45 kg: Domenic Munaretto (Barrington, Ill./Toss Em Up Wrestling Academy) - semifinals

WIN Ningappa Genannavar (India), 10-0

WIN Arman Harutyunyan (Armenia), 10-0

vs, Amirmohammad Navazi (Iran), 2022 U17 Asian silver 


48 kg: Christian Castillo (Glendale, Ariz./Thorobred Wrestling Club) – gold medal match

WIN Ozgur Caglayan (Turkey), 10-0

WIN Arshia Haddadi (Iran), 8-6

WIN Rassoul Galbouraev (France), 12-1

vs. Vasif Baghirov (Azerbaijan), 2022 U17 European champion


51kg: Luke Lilledahl (St. Charles, Mo./Xtreme Training) – semifinals

WIN Ben Tarik (Morocco), 12-1

WIN Dimitar Biserkov (Bulgaria), 10-0

vs. Nurdanat Aitanov (Kazakhstan), 2022 U17 Asian champion, 2021 U17 World bronze, 2019 U15 Asian champion


55 kg: Jax Forrest (Johnstown, Pa.) – gold medal match

WIN Takuto Osedo (Japan), 12-2

WIN Sandro Hungerbuehler (Switzerland), 10-0

WIN Zalkarbek Tabaldiev (Kyrgyzstan), 10-6

WIN Vaibhav Patil (India), 9-7

vs. Daryn Askerbek (Kazakhstan), silver at 2022 U17 Asian Championships


60 kg: Kyler Larkin (Gilbert, Ariz./Thorobred Wrestling Club) – awaiting repechage

WIN Vladimir Azaryan (Armenia), 5-2

LOSS Taiga Ogino (Japan), 2-1


65 kg: Tyler Kasak (Doylestown, Pa.) – gold medal match

WIN Akobir Rahimov (Uzbekistan), 7-6

WIN Bogdan Olinyk (Ukraine), fall

WIN Ankit (India), 10-3

vs. llyas Isayev (Azerbaijan), 2022 U17 European champion


71 kg: Joseph Sealey (High Point, N.C./Darkhorse Wrestling) – semifinals

WIN Bleonit Bytyci (Kosovo), no international credentials 10-0

WIN Alisher Zholdasbay (Kazakhstan), 12-1

WIN Aslan Ozturk (Turkey), 10-0

vs. Razmik Yepremyan (Armenia), fifth at 2022 U17 Europeans, bronze at 2021 U15 Europeans


80 kg: Zack Ryder (Westtown, N.Y. /KD Training Center) – bronze medal match

LOSS Reza Soleimanian (Iran), 10-0

WIN Slavi Stamenov (Bulgaria), 2-0

WIN Askhab Khajiyev (Kazakhstan), 10-0

vs. Abduloev Muhammadamin (Tajikistan), silver at 2022 U17 Asians


92 kg: Max McEnelly (Waconia, Minn./Waconia Wrestling Club) – semifinals

WIN Sherzod Poyonov (Uzbekistan), 11-1

WIN Andriyan Valkanov (Bulgaria), 11-0 

vs. Kamil Kuruglyev (Kazahstan), no international credentials


110 kg: Koy Hopke (Amery, Wis./Pinnacle Wrestling Club) – gold medal match

WIN Ramini Gulitashvili (Georgia), 14-3

WIN Mateusz Pudlowski (Poland), 11-2

WIN Khikmatullo Kurbonov (Uzbekistan), 12-2

vs. Levan Lagvilava (France), 2022 U17 European bronze. 2021 U17 European gold


Schedule (local time, six hours ahead of U.S. ET)


Saturday, July 30
5 p.m. – Semifinals (MFS 45, 51, 60, 71, 92kg)
6 p.m. – Finals (MFS 48, 55, 65, 80, 110kg)


Sunday, July 31

4:30 p.m. – Repechage (MFS 45, 51, 60, 71, 92kg)

6 p.m. – Finals (MFS 45, 51, 60, 71, 92kg)

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