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USA claims nine gold medals to win U20 Pan American Championships title in men’s freestyle
by USA Wrestling
Photo: The U.S. men's freestyle team after finishing in first place at the 2023 U20 Pan-American Championships in Santiago, Chile. (Richard Immel, USA Wrestling)
🎥 U20 Pan-American Championships athlete and coach interviews
SANTIAGO, Chile – The United States closed out a dominant overall performance at the U20 Pan American Championships with an impressive men’s freestyle effort on Saturday. The U.S. men’s freestylers convincingly won the team title, claimed nine individual gold medals and a silver medal in the 10 weight classes.
Team USA had an amazing 34-1 record for the day, with 30 of the wins being either technical falls or pins.
Champions for Team USA were Luke Lilledahl (57 kg), Nick Bouzakis (61 kg), Kannon Webster (65 kg), Antrell Taylor (70 kg), Mitchell Mesenbrink (74 kg), Gabe Arnold (79 kg), Bennett Berge (86 kg), Jack Darrah (92 kg) and Camden McDanel (97 kg).
Lilledahl opened his finals match against scrappy Adrian De Jesus of Puerto Rico, with a pair of first-period takedowns to lead 4-0 at the break. In the second period, he added a second takedown and received a point when De Jesus, did not score on the shot clock.
Lilledahl, a 2022 U17 World champion and 2021 U17 World silver medalist, won his third career Pan American Championships title, to go along with 2021 U17 Pan American golds in both styles. He has committed to Penn State.
Bouzakis fell behind in his finals bout against Enrique Herrera Huacre of Peru, who hit a big four-point crotch lift to lead 4-0. Bouzakis scored the next 14 points to secure a 14-4 technical fall, with three takedowns and four gut wrenches. He scored four technical falls and a pin on the way to the title. Bouzakis was awarded the Golden Boot as the Outstanding Wrestler in the Tournament. He competes for Ohio State.
Webster was in total control in his 10-0 technical fall in the finals over Nathan Hunyady of Canada. He scored a spin behind takedown and a gut wrench to lead 4-0, then added a counter takedown and two gut wrenches to end the match. He won all three matches by technical fall. Webster, who finished high school this spring in Illinois, will attend the University of Illinois.
Taylor led 3-0 at the break over Julian George of Puerto Rico on three step outs, but opened it up in the second period with three takedowns and a gut wrench to secure an 11-1 technical fall. Taylor scored three technical falls in the tournament. He attends the University of Nebraska.
Mesenbrink blitzed his finals opponent, Amaan Gulacha of Canada, in a 10-0 technical fall. Mesenbrink scored three straight takedowns, then closed it out after the third takedown with a pair of trapped arm gut wrenches. Mesenbrink beat all three opponents by technical fall. Mesenbrink started his college career at California Baptist, but has transferred to Penn State.
In his finals match, Arnold only led 1-0 at the break against Connor Church of Canada. In the second period, he opened his offense, with two takedowns, two exposures and a step out to win, 11-0. Arnold scored technical falls in all three of his matches. Arnold attends the University of Iowa.
Berge fell behind in his finals against Steven Rodriguez Torreyes of Venezuela, 2-0, then took over the match. He scored a pair of takedowns, then threw Rodriguez to his back to secure a fall in 2:43. Berge had two technical falls and a pin. He competes for South Dakota State.
Darrah clinched the gold medal in the morning session, winning all four of his matches in a five-athlete round robin, securing two technical falls and two decisions. Darrah wrestles for Stanford.
McDanel made quick work with his finals opponent Alek Ortiz Roman of Puerto Rico, getting a takedown and two gut wrenches, then another takedown and one gut wrench, to score a 10-0 technical fall in just 23 seconds. McDanel won all four bouts by technical fall. He finished his high school career in Ohio this spring, and will attend the University of Nebraska.
Claiming a silver medal at 125 kg was Bradley Hill. His only loss came in a 4-4 criteria decision to Canada’s Karanveer Mahil, who went on to win the gold in the four-athlete round robin. Hill earned technical falls in his other two matches. He attends the University of Iowa.
The United States ran away with the team title with 245 points, 91 points ahead of runner-up Canada with 154 points. Puerto Rico placed third with 130 points.
Six of the U.S. U20 Pan American Championships team members will also represent the USA at the U20 World Championships this summer in Poland: Lilledahl, Bouzakis, Mesenbrink, Berge, Darrah and McDanel.
The United States dominated all three disciplines at the U20 Pan American Championships, winning the team title in each. The USA finished with 29 medals in the 30 weight classes, including 24 gold medals.
Archived matches from the tournament are available to the U.S. audience on FloWrestling.com. Complete brackets can be found at uww.org.
2023 U20 PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Santiago, Chile, June 6-8
Men’s Freestyle Medalists
Gold - Luke Lilledahl (USA)
Silver - Adrian De Jesus (Puerto Rico)
Bronze - Esteban Morales Mayancha (Ecuador)
Bronze - Treye Trotman (Canada)
Gold – Lilledahl dec. De Jesus, 7-0
Bronze – Morales Mayancha tech. fall Roger Dos Santos Ramalhete (Brazil), 10-0
Bronze - Trotman tech. fall Jesus Quintero Montilla (Venezuela)
Gold - Nicholas Bouzakis (USA)
Silver - Enrique Herrera Huacre (Peru)
Bronze - Joao da Silva Neto (Brazil)
Gold – Bouzakis tech. fall Herrera Huacre,
Bronze – da Silva Neto dec. Patrick Rodriguez Quinto (Ecuador), 3-3
Gold - Phillip Kannon Webster (USA)
Silver - Nathan Hunyady (Canada)
Bronze - Jose Benites Vasquez (Peru)
Bronze - Jacob Brunner (Puerto Rico)
Gold – Webster tech. fall Hunyady, 10-0
Bronze – Benites Vasquez tech. fall Esteban Alfaro Bravo (Chile), 11-0
Bronze – Brunner dec. Diego Peraza Aguilar (Mexico), 13-7
Gold - Antrell Taylor (USA)
Silver - Julian George (Puerto Rico)
Bronze - Cesar Escamilla Menchaca (Mexico)
Bronze - Nathan Rainville (Canada)
Gold – Taylor tech. fall George, 11-1
Bronze – Escamilla Menchaca tech. fall Joao Maldonado Romero (Paraguay), 10-0
Bronze – Rainville pin Gabriel Rodriguez Brito (Brazil), 1:13
Gold - Mitchell Mesenbrink (USA)
Silver - Amaan Ali Gulacha (Canada)
Bronze - Tanner Peake (Puerto Rico)
Bronze - Paulo Goncalves da Silva (Brazil)
Gold – Mesenbrink tech fall Gulacha, 10-0
Bronze – Peake tech fall Johan Torres Casallas (Colombia), 10-0
Bronze – Goncalves da Silva tech fall Yael Perez Ake (Mexico), 12-0
Gold - Gabriel Arnold (USA)
Silver - Connor Church (Canada)
Bronze - Juan Cardoza Ibata (Colombia)
Bronze - Kevin Olavarria Montilla (Puerto Rico)
Gold – Arnold pin Church, 6:00
Bronze – Cardoza Ibata tech. fall Isaac Tenorio Moaquera, 10-0
Bronze – Olavarra Montilla tech. fall Darfel Parada Camacaro, 10-0
Gold - Bennett Berge (USA)
Silver - Steven Rodriguez Torreyes (Venezuela)
Bronze - Max Magelhaes de Almeida (Brazil)
Bronze - Kweli Hernandez Maitre (Puerto Rico)
Gold – Berge pin Rodriguez Torreyes, 2:42
Bronze – Magelhaes de Almeida inj. dft Zaurbek Arsagov (Canada), 2:26
Bronze – Hernandez Matre tech fall Samir Cabreza Vacilio (Ecuador)
Gold - Jack Darrah (USA)
Silver - Samuel Pereira (Canada)
Bronze - Ricardo Gomez (Argentina)
Gold - Camden McDanel (USA)
Silver - Alek Ortiz Roman (Puerto Rico)
Bronze - Kyle Santana Oliveira (Brazil)
Gold – McDanel tech fall Ortiz Roman, 10-0
Bronze – Santana Oliveira dec. Juan Diaz Blanco (Venezuela), 9-7
Gold - Karanveer Singh Mahil (Canada)
Silver - BradleyHill (USA)
Bronze - Luis de La Rosa Arteaga (Mexico)
Note: Weight classes without medal matches were round robins.
Golden Boot (to Outstanding Wrestler): Nic Bouzakis (USA), 61 kg
U.S. Men’s Freestyle Results
57 kg – Luke Lilledahl (St. Charles, Mo./X-Calibur Athletics WC), Gold Medal
WIN Roger Dos Santos Ramalhete (Brazil), tech. fall, 11-0
WIN Jesus Quintero Montilla (Venezuela), tech. fall, 11-0
WIN Treye Trotman (Canada), 7-0
WIN Adrian De Jesus (Puerto Rico), 7-0
61 kg – Nic Bouzakis (Dallas, Pa./ X-Calibur Athletics WC), Gold Medal
WIN Blaynel Helou (Canada), fall, 0:41
WIN Eli Sebastian Kirk (Puerto Rico), tech. fall, 12-1
WIN Enrique Herrera Huacre (Peru), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Joao Da Silva Neto (Brazil), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Enrique Herrera Huacre (Peru), tech fall 14-4
65 kg – Kannon Webster (Washington, Ill./Super Soldiers WC), Gold Medal
WIN Esteban Alfaro Bravo (Chile), tech. fall, 11-0
WIN Jose Benites Vasquez (Peru), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Nathan Hunyday (Canada), tech. fall, 10-0
70 kg – Antrell Taylor (Omaha, Neb./MWC Wrestling Academy), Gold Medal
WIN Joao Maldonado Romero (Paraguay), tech. fall 10-0
WIN Cesar Escamilla Menchaca (Mexico), tech. fall, 11-0
WIN Julian George (Puerto Rico), tech. fall 11-1
74 kg – Mitchell Mesenbrink (Hartland, Wis./Askren Wrestling Academy), Gold Medal
WIN Johan Torres Casallas (Colombia), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Tanner Peake (Puerto Rico), fall, 0:59
WIN Amaan Gulacha (Canada), tech fall, 10-0
79 kg – Gabriel Arnold (Iowa City, Iowa/Sebolt Wrestling Academy), Gold Medal
WIN Darfel Parada Camacaro (Venezuela), tech. fall, 11-0
WIN Kevin Olavarria Montilla (Puerto Rico), tech. fall, 11-0
WIN Connor Church (Canada), pin 6:00
86 kg – Bennett Berge (Mantorville, Minn./Jackrabbit WC), Gold Medal
WIN Zaurbek Arsagov (Canada), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Max Franca Magalhaes De Almeida (Brazil), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Steven Rodriguez Torreyes (Venezuela), fall 2:43
92 kg – Jack Darrah (Washington, Mo./California RTC), Gold medal
WIN Brian Ruiz Marin (Venezuela), 7-1
WIN Ricardo Gomez (Argentina), tech. fall, 12-0
WIN Samuel Pereira (Canada), 8-3
WIN Angel Encinas Mundo (Mexico), tech. fall, 10-0
97 kg – Camden McDanel (Circleville, Ohio/Team Ohio), Gold medal
WIN Alek Ortiz Roman (Puerto Rico), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Kleydder Vasquez Quispe (Peru), tech. fall, 11-0
WIN Kyle Santana Oliveira (Brazil), tech. fall, 10-0
WIN Alek Ortiz Roman (Puerto Rico), tech fall 10-0
125 kg – Bradley Hill (Bettendorf, Iowa/Hawkeye WC), Silver medal
WIN Luis De La Rosa Arteaga (Mexico), tech. fall, 10-0
LOSS Karanveer Mahil (Canada), 4-4
WIN Wesley Barros Das Dores (Brazil), tech. fall 10-0
Men's Freestyle Team Standings
1 United States, 245
2 Canada, 154
3 Puerto Rico, 130
4 Brazil, 86
5 Mexico, 79
6 Ecuador, 69
7 Peru, 65
8 Venezuela, 64
9 Colombia, 33
10 Argentina, 31
11 Chile, 22
12 Guatemala, 10
12 Paraguay, 10
14 Honduras, 8
15 El Salvador, 6
16 Barbados, 4