photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com
The 2019 UWW Cadet World Championships kicked off on Monday in Sofia, Bulgaria with boys freestyle action at 48, 55, 65. 80 and 110 kilograms.
The opening day offered a mixed bag for the five competing USA wrestlers as three remain alive for medals, though none reached the finals.
At 48 kilograms, New York’s Stevo Poulin made his Cadet world debut and looked strong in the process. Poulin rolled to 10-0 tech fall in his opening match over Nurdaulet Bazarbayev of Kazakhstan and then came from behind in his second match to grab an 8-7 victory over Harutyun Hovhannisyan of Armenia. In the semis, Poulin fell to Iran’s Rahman Amouzadkhalili 12-0 as the Iranian size and strength proved too much.
Poulin will wrestle for bronze tomorrow against either 2019 Cadet European champion Nikolozi Santeladze of Georgia or 2018 U15 Asian champion Yuto Nishiuchi of Japan.
New Jersey’s Robbie Howard, a Penn State commit, made his third appearance at Cadet Worlds. He started off with a pair of workmanlike 6-3 victories over Norik Harutyunyan of Armenia and Ruhan Rasim of Bulgaria. Howard jumped out to a 2-0 lead over semifinal opponent Mahdi Veisi of Iran before eventually falling 8-6. A last-ditch cement mixer nearly saw Howard pick up the fall, but Veisi was able to fight off his back.
Howard will square off with Riku Suganuma of Japan or Alin Ciorici of Moldova for bronze.
Up at 65 kilos, Minnesota native and Iowa Hawkeyes recruit Ryan Sokol went 1-1 in his first appearance on the world stage. Sokol started strongly with a 10-0 victory over Ionut Vintila of Moldova before falling to Georgia’s Davit Patsinashvili, 12-0. Patsinashvili then dropped a tough 7-7 semifinal on criteria to eliminate Sokol.
Clayton Ulrey, one of two Pennsylvania representatives competing on the day, went 2-1 and is still alive to medal on Tuesday at 80 kilograms. He began with 4-4 criteria win over Azerbaijan’s Farid Jabbarov before teching Bekzat Amangali of Kazakhstan, 12-0. Ulrey ran into a bit of a buzzsaw in the quarterfinals in the former of Russian 2018 U15 European gold medalist Urslan Bagaev. Bagaev, whose older brother Alan is a 2017 Cadet World gold medalist, advanced to the finals and pulled Ulrey back into tomorrow’s repechage round.
He’ll face either 2019 Cadet and Junior Oceania champion Artemios Trepca of Australia or 2019 Cadet European bronze medalist Rakhim Magamadov of France.
Lastly, fellow Pennsylvanian and Virginia Tech commit Hunter Catka fell to Turkey’s Adil Misirci, 7-4, at 110 kilograms. Misirci then lost in the second round, knocking Catka out.
Additionally, the other five members of Team USA received their first-round draws for Tuesday’s action. Those matchups are as follows:
45 kg: Marc-Anthony McGowan (Florida) vs. Suraj Annikeri (India)
51 kg: Richard Figueroa (California/Arizona State) vs. Ato Maruyama (Japan)
60 kg: Jesse Mendez (Indiana) vs. Osama Abdellattif (Egypt)
71 kg: Alex Facundo (Michigan) vs. Shokhrukh Juraev (Uzbekistan)
92 kg: Kyle Haas (Kansas) vs. Er Hurilebate (China)
Both Facundo and Figueroa return to the team for the second straight year, with Figueroa having won silver and Facundo bronze a year ago. McGowan, Mendez, and Haas are all making their first Cadet World team appearances.
Wrestling begins like on TrackWrestling at 3:30 a.m. ET with repechage matches.