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