Youth Olympians Shine in Pan American Freestyle as U.S. Crowns Five

By William May

FRISCO, Texas (February 27) – Anthony MONTERO CHIRINOS (VEN) upended a pair of world bronze medalists and Carlos IZQUIERDO MENDEZ (COL) made the world champion work hard for his gold medal as youth stepped forward Saturday at the Pan American wrestling championships.

The South American teens, both entries at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games and former Pan American cadet champions, shined through the glitter of the five gold medals being harvested by host Team USA at Dr. Pepper Arena.

Montero Chirinos kicked the day’s action off at 65kg with a sudden technical fall win over bronze medal bantam Yowlys BONNE RODRIGUEZ (CUB), wrestling up two weight categories before next week’s Pan American Olympic Games qualifying tourney in Frisco.

Bonne Rodriguez, a bronze medalist at the 2014 world meet, will return to 57kg next week for the qualifier, after being tripped up in last year’s world championships in Las Vegas and stumbling to 16th place overall.

YOG silver medalist Montero Chirinos then capped his surprising run with a back-arching bodylock-and-throw late in the 65kg final for four points and a 10-6 triumph over James GREEN (USA). Green won a bronze medal at 70kg at last year’s world championships in Las Vegas.

Izquierdo Mendez, meanwhile, briefly held the advantage on criteria over Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) after slipping behind the world and Olympic champion in the first period of the 74kg final.

Burroughs, however, opened up in the second period for the technical fall, including a lower level attack that ended up with a hoist to a helicopter spin and high-flying takedown out of bounds.

Burroughs’ 13-2 technical fall win over Izquierdo Mendez was his fourth of the day.

Along with Burroughs, four teammates – Sam HAZEWINKEL (57kg), London 2012 bronze medalist Coleman SCOTT (61kg), Frank MOLINARO (70kg) and former junior world champion Dominique BRADLEY (125kg) – also raked in gold medals.

Molinaro needed a late four-point takedown to defeat three-time Pan American champion Alejandro VALDES TOBIER (CUB) in the 70kg final while Bradley scored a step-out in the final minute of the 125kg final for a 2-1 victory in the day’s finale with Yudenny ALPAJON ESTEVEZ (CUB).

The five champions paced the U.S. to the team title with 75 points out of a possible 80 and with each entry taking home a piece of the tournament hardware

Cuba, which managed only one champion out the four wrestlers sent to the finals, finished second with 53 points, followed closely by Venezuela with two champions and 51 points.

Cuba’s lone gold medal was won by Livan LOPEZ AZCUY (CUB) at 86kg, but the world and Olympic medalist will return to 74kg for next week’s Olympic qualifier.

For complete results, go to and click on the button for “Arena” and then “Results”.


Freestyle, Championship Final Results

57kg – Sam HAZEWINKEL (USA) df. Darthe CAPELLAN (CAN), 7-5 

61kg – Coleman SCOTT (USA) df. Uber CUERO MUNOZ (COL), 8-4

65kg – Anthony MONTERO CHIRINOS (VEN) df. James GREEN (USA), 10-6

70kg – Frank MOLINARO (USA) df. Alejandro VALDES TOBIER (CUB), 4-2

74kg – Jordan BURROUGHS (USA) df. Carlos IZQUIERDO MENDEZ (COL) by TF, 12-2, 5:43

86kg – Livan LOPEZ AZCUY (CUB) df. Pool AMBROCIO GREIFO (PER), 5-0

97kg – Jose DIAZ ROBERTTI (VEN) df. Reineris SALAS PEREZ (CUB) by Forfeit, 0:00

125kg – Dominique BRADLEY (USA) df. Yudenny ALPAJON ESTEVEZ (CUB), 2-1


Final Team Rankings

1. United States, 75 points (5 gold medals, 1 silver, 2 bronze)

2. Cuba, 53 (1-3-2)

3. Venezuela, 51 (2-0-2)

4. Canada, 45 (0-1-4)

5. Colombia, 32 (0-2-1)

6. Mexico, 24 (0-0-2)