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USA claims six gold, four silver to win team title in men’s freestyle at U17 Pan American Championships in Mexico

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

2023 Pan American U17 men's freestyle team champions: the United States of America
The 2023 U17 Pan American men’s freestyle team champions: the United States of America. Photo by Danny Struck.

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – Team USA won six gold medals and four silver medals to win the team title in men’s freestyle on the final day of the U17 Pan American Championships on Saturday.

Capturing gold medals for the USA were Henry Aslikyan of California (45 kg), Czar Quintanilla of Washington (51 kg), Elijah Cortez of California (55 kg), Vince Bouzakis of Pennsylvania (71 kg), Adam Waters of Pennsylvania (80 kg) and Nicholas Sahakian of California (110 kg).

The six U.S. champions were dominant, going a combined 18-0, with 17 of the victories being either pins or technical falls.

Aslikyan had three technical falls. Cortez had four technical falls and a pin. Bouzakis had three technical falls. Waters had three technical falls. Sahakian had two pins and a technical fall.

Quintanilla was the only U.S. champion who won a match by decision, an exciting 12-11 victory in the championship finals over Yandel Morales of Puerto Rico.

Capturing silver medals, with just one loss each, were Lincoln Sledzianowski of Pennsylvania (48 kg), Sam Herring of Pennsylvania (60 kg), Gabriel Bouyssou of Rhode Island (65 kg) and Aiden Cooley of Texas (92 kg).

The United States won the men’s freestyle title handily with 230 pts., a full 85 points ahead of runner-up Puerto Rico with 145 points. Host Mexico placed third with 135 points.

“This is a great group of wrestlers that bonded as a team and competed hard. They represented the United States with honor and sportsmanship. All wrestlers stepped up in leadership roles throughout the tournament," said U.S. coach Dave Bell.

The United States swept the three team championship trophies at the U17 Pan American Championships this week, taking first place in Greco-Roman on Thursday and women’s freestyle on Friday.

“Getting to stand for the national anthem as a spectator, coach or athlete, in another country, never gets old,” said Team Leader Danny Struck.

The same boys who competed in men’s freestyle on Saturday also wrestled in Greco-Roman on Thursday. The USA won a medal in every weight class in both of the boys tournaments.

Three U.S. boys wrestlers were double champions, winners in Greco-Roman on Thursday and freestyle on Saturday: Aslikyan, Bouzakis and Sahakian.

The other seven U.S. wrestlers were double medalists. That included Sledzianowski (Greco-Roman gold, freestyle silver), Quintanilla (Greco-Roman bronze, freestyle gold), Cortez (Greco-Roman silver, freestyle gold), Waters (Greco-Roman silver, freestyle gold), Herring (Greco-Roman bronze, freestyle silver), Bouyssou (Greco-Roman bronze, freestyle silver) and Cooley (Greco-Roman silver, freestyle silver).

U.S. referee Lewis Baker received a golden boot as the referee of the Pan American Championships.

At Mexico City, Mexico, June 24

Men’s Freestyle Medalists

45 kg:
Gold - Henry Aslikyan (USA)
Silver - Zakir Ibrahimkheil (Canada)
Bronze – Ronald Morales Garcia (Ecuador)
Bronze - Frederick Bachmann, Jr. (Puerto Rico)

48 kg:
Gold - Joseph Bachmann (Puerto Rico)
Silver - Lincoln Sledzianowski (USA)
Bronze - Victor Lopez Davila (Mexico)

51 kg:
Gold - Czar Quintanilla (USA)
Silver - Yandel Morales (Puerto Rico)
Bronze – Moises Peralta Gonzalez (Ecuador)
Bronze - Renzo Menor Arce (Peru)

55 kg:
Gold - Elijah Cortez (USA)
Silver - Derick Martinez Mateo (Puerto Rico)
Bronze - German Pezos Vasquez (Mexico)

60 kg:
Gold - Yandro Soto Rivera (Puerto Rico)
Silver - Sam Herring (USA)
Bronze – Cruz Lewis (Canada)
Bronze - Pedro Toribio Torres (Peru)

65 kg
Gold - Elvis Solis (Puerto Rico)
Silver - Gabriel Bouyssou (USA)
Bronze - Jose Arenas Cuadras (Mexico)

71 kg:
Gold - Vince Bouzakis (USA)
Silver - Alan Vera Gomez (Mexico)
Bronze - Victor Soto Rivera (Puerto Rico)
Bronze – Sixto Garcia Mina (Ecuador)

80 kg:
Gold - Adam Waters (USA)
Silver - Luis Figuereo Suero (Dominican Republic),
Bronze - Bryan Campos Flores (Peru)

92 kg:
Gold - Michaeljeet Singh Grewal (Canada)
Silver - Aiden Cooley (USA)
Bronze - Diego Guillen Ruiz (Mexico)

110 kg:
Gold - Nicholas Sahakian (USA)
WIN Jagroop Singh Dhinsa (Canada), pin 1:40
WIN Nicolas Santacruz Rabago (Mexico), pin 2:44

U.S. Men’s Freestyle Results

45 kg: Henry Aslikyan, Panorama City, Calif., gold medal
WIN Felipe Lopera Munoz (Colombia), tech fall 10-0, 1:07
WIN Frederick Bachmann, Jr. (Puerto Rico), tech fall 14-3, 4:00
WIN Zakir Ibrahimkheil (Canada), tech fall, 10-0, 1:34

48 kg: Lincoln Sledzianowski, Johnstown, Pa., silver medal
WIN Andre Huarcaya Lopez (Peru), tech fall, 10-0, 0:50
WIN Victor Lopez Davila (Mexico), pin 0:28
LOSS Joseph Bachmann (Puerto Rico), 7-6
WIN Wesley Heather (Canada), 10-0, 1:51

51 kg: Czar Quintanilla, Spokane, Wash., gold medal
WIN Renzo Menor Arce (Peru), tech fall, 10-0, 0:48
WIN Ricardo Pena Valencia (Mexico), pin, 1:43
WIN Yandel Morales (Puerto Rico), 12-11

55 kg: Elijah Cortez, Los Banos, Calif., gold medal
WIN German Pezos Vasquez (Mexico), tech fall 10-0, 1:32
WIN Peryvall Jesus Jibaja Zazzali (Peru), tech. fall 14-1, 3:4
WIN Cristian Sanchez Guerra (Dominican Republic), pin, 1:09
WIN Bryan Martinez Urbina (El Salvador), tech fall 10-0, 0:34
WIN Derick Martinez Mateo (Puerto Rico), tech fall 10-0, 1:04

60 kg: Sam Herring, Sidman, Pa., silver medal
WIN Bryan Herrera Macas (Ecuador), tech fall 10-0, 0:38
WIN Pedro Toribio Torres (Peru), tech fall, 10-0, 0:43
WIN Gabriel Sanchez Zepeda (Mexico), pin 0:49
LOSS Yandro Soto Rivera (Puerto Rico), 8-4

65 kg: Gabriel Bouyssou, Hope, R.I., silver medal
WIN Bagner Perez Belteton (Guatemala), pin 0:21
WIN Casey Harkley (Canada), pin 0:28
WIN Ramon Safadi Pincay (Ecuador), pin 1:37
WIN Jose Arenas Cuadras (Mexico), tech fall 10-0, 1:08
LOSS Elvis Solis (Puerto Rico), 8-6

71kg: Vince Bouzakis, Shavertown, Pa., gold medal
WIN Victor Soto Rivera (Puerto Rico), tech. fall 11-0, 1:52
WIN Lucas Bordeaux Rego Alvan (Brazil), tech fall 10-0, 0:34
WIN Alan Vera Gomez (Mexico), tech. fall 10-0, 0:34

80kg: Adam Waters, Stowe, Pa., gold medal
WIN Crithoper Perez Dominguez (Brazil), tech. fall 10-0, 0:47
WIN Axel Nava Guzman (Mexico), tech fall 12-2, 1:00
WIN Bryan Campos Flores (Peru), tech fall, 10-0, 0:36
WIN Luis Figuereo Suero (Dominican Republic), tech. fall 12-0, 0:54

92kg: Aiden Cooley, Allen, Texas, silver medal
WIN Kenyiro Gonzales Huaman (Peru), tech fall 10-0, 1:45
WIN Marciel Martinez Goncalves (Brazil), tech fall 10-0, 1:00
LOSS Michaeljeet Singh Grewal (Canada), tech fall 17-7, 2:40
WIN Diego Guillen Ruiz (Mexico), tech. fall, 14-3, 2:59

110kg: Nicholas Sahakian, Sherman Oaks, Calif., gold medal
WIN Nicolas Santacruz Rabago (Mexico), pin 2:44
WIN Miguel Diaz Diaz (Peru), tech fall 10-0, 0:42
WIN Jagroop Singh Dhinsa (Canada), pin 1:40

Team Standings
1. United States, 230 pts.
2. Puerto Rico, 145 pts.
3. Mexico, 135 pts.
4. Peru, 109 pts.
5. Canada, 108 pts.
6. Ecuador, 55 pts.
7. Brazil, 54 pts.
8. Guatemala, 40 pts.
9. Dominican Republic, 36 pts.
10. Colombia, 26 pts.
11. El Salvador, 12 pts.
12. Costa Rica, 8 pts.
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