Greco-Roman USA wins four medals on day one of Pan American Junior Games


Dominic Damon photo by Jim Thrall.

CALI, Colombia – The United States got off to a strong wrestling start at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games, collecting four Greco-Roman medals on the first day of competition in Cali, Colombia.

The performance was highlighted with a silver medal and three bronzes.

Competing at 87 kg, world junior team member Kodiak Stephens advanced to the gold medal game, thanks to an excellent performance in the morning session, where he took shutout wins over Brahamys Fuentes. Mosquera of Ecuador, 8-0, and Pedro Bello Soto of Mexico, 4-0. In the final, Stephens fell over Cuban Yan Algudin Fernandez, 8-0, to finish with the silver.

The bronzes came from Phillip Moomey (60 kg), Dominic Damon (67 kg) and Eli Pannell (130 kg).

Moomey, a former member of the World Cadet Team, won the first medal for Team United States with a 6-2 victory over Uvaldo Camacho Diaz of Mexico.

Damon, a two-time world squad member in the age bracket, rebounded from a semi-final loss to win bronze with a dominant 8-0 victory over host nation’s Nilson Sinisterra Angulo, Colombia.

Heavyweight Eli Pannell wrapped up the medal crop for the United States, which won by a first-half pin over Venezuela’s Jami Grueso Nunez.

2021 World Junior Team member Matthew Singleton took fifth place at 77 kg, edged out by Venezuelan Daniel Bello Vegas, 3-1, in the bronze fight.

At 97 kg, Cameron Dubose lost his first game, eliminating him from the tournament.

The fight continues tomorrow with women’s freestyle. The three United States representatives Aliyah Yates, Viktorya Torres and Kylie Welker will take the mat on Friday. Fans can watch live on the PanAm Sports Channel, starting at 10 a.m.ET.

JUNIOR PAN AMERICAN GAMES 2021
Cali, Colombia | 1-4 December 2021

Greco-Roman American results

60 kg: Phillip Moomey (Kearney, Neb./Spartan Combat RTC) – BRONZE
LOSS Jonaiker Martinez (Venezuela), 6-1
WIN Uvaldo Camacho Diaz (Mexico), 6-2

67 kg: Dominic Damon (Seattle, Washington / NMU) – BRONZE
WIN Piero Cruces (Peru), 4-0
LOSS Yonat Veliz Martinez (Cuba), 8-0
WIN Nilson Sinisterra Angulo (Colombia), 8-0

77 kg: Matthew Singleton (College Park, GA / Woodward Academy) – FIFTH
LOSS Alain Moreno (Cuba), 7-2
LOSS Daniel Bello Vegas (Venezuela), 3-1

87 kg: Kodiak Stephens (Arnold, CA / Beaver Dam RTC) – SILVER
WIN Brahamys Fuentes Mosquera (Ecuador), 8-0
WIN Pedro Bello Soto (Mexico), 4-0
LOSS Yan Algudin Fernandez (Cuba), 8-0

97 kg: Cameron Dubose (Yelm, Wash./Team Tornado) – did not participate
LOSS Liober Betancourt Hechevarria (Cuba), forfeit

130 kg: Eli Pannell (Fulton, Ill./Burg Training Center) – BRONZE
VICTORY Marcos Barbosa da Silva (Brazil), 9-1
LOSS Jeisser Sampson Sanchez (Cuba), 8-0
WIN Jami Grueso Nunez (Venezuela), fall


Robert J. King