Hawkeye wrestlers Cassioppi, Moody win gold at Junior Pan-American Championships

Cody Goodwin
Hawk Central

A pair of Hawkeye wrestlers and one former Iowa prep competed in Fortaleza, Brazil, at the Junior Pan-American Championships this weekend. The trio combined to earn three medals — all gold — to help the U.S. to a sterling performance.

Here are quick some takeaways from the action:

Hononegah senior Anthony Cassioppi wins the 285-pound class of the IHSA Class 3A State Championship on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at the State Farm Center at the University of Illinois in Champaign.

Tony Cassioppi sweeps both greco and freestyle

Incoming Iowa heavyweight Tony Cassioppi continued his hot summer with a pair of gold medals in Brazil. It marked the second-straight year the Illinois native swept both the freestyle and greco competitions at the Junior Pan-American Championships.

On Friday, Cassioppi went 4-0 and won the Junior greco competition at 130 kilograms (286 pounds). He recorded three technical falls by a combined score of 26-0 to reach the finals, where he pinned Mexico’s Paul Baltazar Morales Bojorquez in 1:23.

Cassioppi followed that by winning the junior freestyle tournament at 125 kilos (275 pounds). He displayed much of the same domination in winning four matches again by a combined 31-5. Two of his four victories came by technical fall.

Here are some of Cassioppi’s highlights, courtesy of Trackwrestling:


Iowa’s Jeremiah Moody wins gold at 74 kilograms

Jeremiah Moody, a junior on the Iowa wrestling team, won a UWW Junior national championship back in April and came within a couple of victories from making the junior world team earlier this summer. On Sunday, the Wisconsin native joined Cassioppi as a Junior Pan-American gold medalist after winning the 74-kilo (163 pounds) tournament.

Moody was simply dominant in Brazil on Sunday. He secured a 10-0 technical fall over Ecuador's Juan Ignac Palma Francis in the quarterfinals, then pinned Peru's Marcos Rob Quesada Martine in 1:15 to reach the finals.

In his finals match against Canada's Ty Bridgwater, Moody actually trailed 8-0 in the first period and 10-3 early in the second. But he roared back with three takedowns and some exposure points to ultimately win 12-10.

Former South Winn star Felicity Taylor takes fifth

Felicity Taylor, a South Winneshiek grad, future McKendree wrestler and 2018 junior women's freestyle national champion, was also in action in Brazil. Taylor went 0-2 in the women’s freestyle tournament at 50 kilos (110 pounds).

Taylor lost to Colombia’s Greidy Abi Estupinan Perez, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. Because Perez ultimately made the finals, Taylor was pulled back into the wrestlebacks, but lost again to Brazil’s Evelyn Matos Santos in the third-place match.

Cody Goodwin covers wrestling and high school sports for the Des Moines Register. Follow him on Twitter at @codygoodwin.