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Congratulations to U20 Freestyle World Team Members Nic Bouzakis & Jesse Mendez

+4 HS
Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture
June 5, 2023 at 6:31am

Both Buckeye wrestlers will represent the US at the world championship in August in Poland.

Mesenbrick, Berge & Bouzakis Earn Return Trips to U20 Worlds in Men's Freestyle

GENEVA, Ohio – The U20 U.S. World Team in men’s freestyle has been determined following a thrilling day of competition at Spire Academy just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, with three members of last year’s squad earning another crack at Worlds.

Returning U20 World silver medalists Mitchell Mesenbrink of Askren Wrestling Academy and Bennett Berge of Jackrabbit WC, plus two-time U20 World Team member Nic Bouzakis of X-Calibur Athletics WC, return to lead Team USA at the U20 World Championships in Warsaw, Poland, this August.

All three impressed in the best-of-three championship finals on Saturday evening. Mesenbrink tossed up a whopping 27 points across two lopsided wins in the 74 kg championship series against Iowa’s Hunter Garvin. Berge gave up the first takedown before reeling off 16-straight points to breeze past Brayden Thompson of Cowboy RTC in two bouts at 86 kg. Bouzakis looked the best of the bunch posting two 10-0 technical falls over four-time Oklahoma state champion Cael Hughes at 61 kg.

Perhaps the most anticipated championship series of the day came at 65 kg with 2022 U17 World silver medalist and U20 Nationals champion Tyler Kasak of M2 Training Center taking on two-time age-group World Team member Jesse Mendez of Titan Mercury WC. The first bout was decided by a single point, while the second was more concrete, both results favoring Mendez.
Bouzakis and Mendez are teammates at Ohio State University under head coach Tom Ryan. Mendez snagged the starting spot at 133 last year for the Buckeyes, earning NCAA All-America honors as a true freshman.

61 kg
Best-of-three championship series
Nic Bouzakis (X-Calibur Athletics WC) defeats Cael Hughes (Cowboy RTC), two matches to none
Bout 1 – Bouzakis tech. fall Hughes, 10-0
Bout 2 – Bouzakis tech. fall Hughes, 10-0

65 kg
Best-of-three championship series
Jesse Mendez (Titan Mercury WC) defeats Tyler Kasak (M2 Training Center), two matches to none
Bout 1 – Mendez dec. Kasak, 4-3
Bout 2 – Mendez dec. Kasak, 9-1

In the Men's U23 tournament, Carson Kharchla came up just short losing 0-2 in the finals to Oklahoma State's Dustin Plott.

Plott, Cardenas Capture Back-to-Back U23 Freestyle National Titles.

Dustin Plott of Cowboy RTC and Jacob Cardenas of Spartan Combat RTC saw victories for the second-straight year, qualifying for spots on the U23 World team.

At 79 kg, Plott swept Ohio State’s Carson Kharchla in the best of three series. In the first match, Plott was trailing 9-0 to Kharchla before he racked up 21 points, most of which came from a single leg lace series, to grasp a 21-10 technical fall. He fell behind in the second match as well but stormed back to earn the win by fall. Plott wrestles collegiately for Oklahoma State and is a two-time NCAA All-American.

79 kg
Best-of-three championship series
Dustin Plott (Cowboy RTC) defeats Carson Kharchla (Ohio), two matches to none
Bout 1 – Plott tech. fall Kharchla, 21-10
Bout 2 – Plott fall Kharchla, 4:15

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