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Finals set for 16U National Championships; Pennsylvania remains on top in team standings

by Savannah Asmann, USA Wrestling

Blue Stiffler of Georgia in the 128-pound semifinals

Photo: Georgia's Blue Stiffler in a semifinal match against Pennsylvania's Mason Wagner at 138 pounds. (Trey Rego/

FARGO, N.D.—The finals are set following the semifinal morning session of the 2023 USMC 16U National Championships. Medal matches will take place during the next session of action that begins at 3 p.m. central time.
At 88 pounds, Ohio’s Brandon Bickerton got past Illinois’ Niko Odiotti in a tight 4-3 decision. Bickerton will match up against New Jersey’s Edward George in the finals. George closed out a 4-2 decision against 2022 14U National Champion Hudson Chittum of Tennessee.
The finalists at 94 pounds are Minnesota’s Turner Ross and Michigan’s Jarrett Smith. Ross defeated Oklahoma’s Cason Craft in a close 6-4 decision. He sees Smith in the finals, as he was able to get past Pennsylvania’s Emilio Albanese in a 4-2 decision match.
Illinois’ Caleb Noble, a Triple Crown eligible athlete, defeated New Jersey’s Cameron Sontz in a tight 8-7 decision contest at 100 pounds. Noble meets Tennessee’s Shamus Regan in the finals after Regan shutout Indiana’s Case Bell 3-0 in the semifinals.
The 106-pound weight class sees Ohio’s Grey Burnett match up against Illinois’ Bruno Cassioppi in the finals. Burnett ensured himself a higher spot on the podium with a 10-0 technical fall over Illinois’ Rocco Cassioppi. Illinois has their second finalist in Bruno Cassioppi as he pinned Michigan’s Wyatt Lees in the semifinal match.
At 113 pounds, Colorado’s Isaiah Harrison will face Pennsylvania’s Landon Sidun in the finals. Sidun reached the finals after defeating Tennessee’s Joseph Uhorchuk by 10-0 technical fall 65 seconds into the bout.
There will be a finals match against two returning champions at 120 pounds between returning 100-pound champion in 2022 Michael Romero of California and returning 106-pound champion in 2022 Jayden Raney of Kentucky. Romero picked up a big 9-3 decision in the semifinals over Ohio’s Karson Brown to make his way back to the final match. Raney earned the semifinals victory with a 17-6 technical fall against Virginia’s Evan Sanati to reach the finals for the second-straight year.
The final matchup at 126 pounds features California’s Leo Maestas versus Iowa’s Timothy Koester. Koester is in the finals following a 12-8 decision over 2022 14U National Champion Travis Cardenas of Arizona.
At 132 pounds, New Jersey’s Jayden James and Nevada’s Manuel Saldate meet in the finals. James picked up an 8-0 decision over Arizona’s Dean Anderson in his semifinal match. Saldate earned the win via 10-0 technical fall, besting California’s Joshua Requena in the semifinals. Nevada has not had a champion in the 16U men's freestyle division since 2000 as Saldate aims for the title.
The matchup at 138 pounds will feature Georgia’s Blue Stiffler and Missouri’s David Gleason. Stiffler reached the finals with a 2-0 decision over Pennsylvania’s Mason Wagner. He will match up against Gleason, who earned a decisive 6-1 victory over Pennsylvania’s Arment Waltenbaugh.
At 145 pounds, Wisconsin’s Daniel Heiser becomes his state’s first finalist this year after besting Iowa’s Nolan Fellers to ensure a higher podium position. Heiser is set to face Pennsylvania’s Melvin Miller in the finals. Miller makes the trip to the finals following a 10-3 decision against New York’s Jason Kwaak in the semifinal contest.
The final match at 152 pounds sees Iowa’s Kyler Knaack face Ohio’s Grayson Woodcock. Knaack, a Triple Crown eligible competitor, pulled out a close 5-4 decision over Pennsylvania’s Nicholas Singer. Woodcock edged out Oklahoma’s Joseph Jeter in the semifinals, collecting the 11-9 decision.
At 160 pounds, Tennessee’s Maximus Norman meets Illinois’ Aaron Stewart in the final bout. Norman pinned Minnesota’s Bradley Rodriguez-Little at 1:58 in the semifinal matchup, taking Rodriguez-Little out of the running for the Triple Crown award. Stewart was commanding in his 8-3 victory against Maryland’s Emmitt Sherlock, becoming Illinois’ third finalist in the 16U division.
The finals pairing at 170 pounds will feature California’s Adrien Reyes and Pennsylvania’s Hunter Snyder. Reyes reached the finals with a 12-1 technical fall against Michigan’s Gavin Craner. He will meet Snyder in the finals, as Snyder edged out Ohio’s Carson Thomas in a 10-6 decision.
In the final match at 182 pounds, Georgia’s first finalist Ryder Wilder earned a 10-0 technical fall victory over Rhode Island’s Preston Marchesseault. Wilder is set to face New York’s lone finalist of the tournament in Elijah Diakomihalis as he bested Ohio’s Aiden Peterson by 11-1 technical fall.
The lone returning champion that reached the finals was Iowa’s Dreshaun Ross at 195 pounds. Ross made his way back to the finals with a 10-0 technical fall in 48 seconds. Ross navigated the bracket with three-straight first period technical falls. Ross matches up against Pennsylvania’s Jake Conroy in the finals.
The 220-pound final is set as Ohio’s Alex Taylor meets Florida’s Michael Mocco. Taylor picked up an 8-0 victory over Illinois’ Kai Calcutt during the semifinal session. Mocco, Florida’s first finalist of the tournament, brought down Pennsylvania’s Dean Bechtold with a 10-0 first period technical fall.
Georgia’s Jacob Levy makes his way back into the finals at 285 pounds following a 43 second technical fall against Kansas’ Brayden Hill. Iowa’s Cooper Martinson pinned Kansas’ Milan Colvin, taking him out of Triple Crown eligibility.
As the medal matches begin in the next session, Pennsylvania is currently leading the team race with 161 points and sends four athletes into the finals. Illinois is second in the team race with 142 points, Iowa is close behind with 141 points, Ohio is fourth with 127 points and California rounds out the top five with 102 points. States that have four athletes in the finals are Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa.
The next session in the Fargo Dome features the medal matches beginning at 3 p.m. Enjoy the action by following along at
Finals Pairings

88 – Brandon Bickerton (Ohio) vs. Edward George (New Jersey)
94 – Turner Ross (Minnesota) vs. Jarrett Smith (Michigan)
100 – Shamus Regan (Tennessee) vs. Caleb Noble (Illinois)
106 – Grey Burnett (Ohio) vs. Bruno Cassioppi (Illinois)
113 – Isaiah Harrison (Colorado) vs. Landon Sidun (Pennsylvania)
120 – Michael Romero (California) vs. Jayden Raney (Kentucky)
126 – Leo Maestas (California) vs. Timothy Koester (Iowa)
132 – Jayden James (New Jersey) vs. Manuel Saldate (Nevada)
138 – Blue Stiffler (Georgia) vs. David Gleason (Missouri)
145 – Daniel Heiser (Wisconsin) vs. Melvin Miller (Pennsylvania)
152 – Kyler Knaack (Iowa) vs. Grayson Woodcock (Ohio)
160 – Maximus Norman (Tennessee) vs. Aaron Stewart (Illinois)
170 – Adrien Reyes (California) vs. Hunter Snyder (Pennsylvania)
182 – Ryder Wilder (Georgia) vs. Elijah Diakomihalis (New York)
195 – Dreshaun Ross (Iowa) vs. Jake Conroy (Pennsylvania)
220 – Alex Taylor (Ohio) vs. Michael Mocco (Florida)
285 – Jacob Levy (Georgia) vs. Cooper Martinson (Iowa)
Semifinal Results

88 pounds
Brandon Bickerton (Ohio) dec. Niko Odiotti (Illinois), 4-3
Edward George (New Jersey) dec. Hudson Chittum (Tennessee), 4-2
94 pounds
Turner Ross (Minnesota) dec. Cason Craft (Oklahoma), 6-4
Jarrett Smith (Michigan) dec. Emilio Albanese (Pennsylvania), 4-2
100 pounds
Shamus Regan (Tennessee) dec. Case Bell (Indiana), 3-0
Caleb Noble (Illinois) dec. Cameron Sontz (New Jersey), 8-7
106 pounds
Grey Burnett (Ohio) tech. fall Rocco Cassioppi (Illinois), 10-0 2:52
Bruno Cassioppi (Illinois) pin Wyatt Lees (Michigan), 4:00
113 pounds
Isaiah Harrison (Colorado) tech. fall Konner Larkin (Arizona), 12-0 3:22
Landon Sidun (Pennsylvania) tech. fall Joseph Uhorchuk (Tennessee), 10-0 1:05
120 pounds
Michael Romero (California) dec. Karson Brown (Ohio), 9-3
Jayden Raney (Kentucky) tech. fall Evan Sanati (Virginia), 17-6 4:00
126 pounds
Leo Maestas (California) dec. Clinton Shepherd (Indiana), 14-12
Timothy Koester (Iowa) dec. Travis Cardenas (Arizona), 12-8
132 pounds
Jayden James (New Jersey) dec. Dean Anderson (Arizona), 8-0
Manuel Saldate (Nevada) tech. fall Joshua Requena (California), 10-0 2:33
138 pounds
Blue Stiffler (Georgia) dec. Mason Wagner (Pennsylvania), 2-0
David Gleason (Missouri) dec. Arment Waltenbaugh (Pennsylvania), 6-1
145 pounds
Daniel Heiser (Wisconsin) tech. fall Nolan Fellers (Iowa), 15-5 3:06
Melvin Miller (Pennsylvania) dec. Jason Kwaak (New York), 10-3
152 pounds
Kyler Knaack (Iowa) dec. Nicholas Singer (Pennsylvania), 5-4
Grayson Woodcock (Ohio) dec. Joseph Jeter (Oklahoma), 11-9
160 pounds
Maximus Norman (Tennessee) pin Bradley Rodriguez-little (Minnesota), 1:58
Aaron Stewart (Illinois) dec. Emmitt Sherlock (Maryland), 8-3
170 pounds
Adrien Reyes (California) tech. fall Gavin Craner (Michigan), 12-1 3:11
Hunter Snyder (Pennsylvania) dec. Carson Thomas (Ohio), 10-6
182 pounds
Ryder Wilder (Georgia) tech. fall Preston Marchesseault (Rhode Island), 10-0 3:17
Elijah Diakomihalis (New York) tech. fall Aiden Peterson (Ohio), 11-1 3:19
195 pounds
Dreshaun Ross (Iowa) tech. fall David Calkins (California), 10-0 0:48
Jake Conroy (Pennsylvania) DQ Denarii Mickel (Iowa)
220 pounds
Alex Taylor (Ohio) dec. Kai Calcutt (Illinois), 8-0
Michael Mocco (Florida) tech. fall Dean Bechtold (Pennsylvania), 10-0 1:14
285 pounds
Jacob Levy (Georgia) tech. fall Brayden Hill (Kansas), 11-0 0:43
Cooper Martinson (Iowa) pin Milan Colvin (Kansas), 7-6 3:56
Top 10 Team Scores going into medal matches
1. Pennsylvania, 161 points
2. Illinois, 142 points
3. Iowa, 141 points
4. Ohio, 127 points
5. California, 102 points
6. New Jersey, 77 points
7. Minnesota, 67 points
8. Tennessee, 66 points
9. Georgia, 62 points
10. Wisconsin, 55 points