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Iowa Wrestling: Anthony Cassioppi and Jeremiah Moody win gold at Junior Pan-Am Championships

Hawkeyes and Team USA Win Gold in Brazil.

Taylor Miller - USA Wrestling

As reported by USA Wrestling, Jeremiah Moody and Anthony Cassioppi both won gold in Fortaleza, Brazil while kicking ass in the Junior Pan Am Championships. The overachieving Cassioppi actually took home a pair of shiny gold pieces. The freestyle team alone traveled back stateside with nine golds, but it was almost only eight, before Moody staged a comeback victory.

The spotlight match goes to Moody, a Hawkeye junior. He blitzed his way to the 74 kg championship round but soon found himself down 0-8 right out of the gate thanks to some smooth ankle-picks, high crotches and leg laces by Canada’s Ty Bridgwater. Moody was two points shy from being teched. With that gut punching revelation, he finally kicked it into gear and started chipping away at the lead. By the break, he sliced into it 3-8, but gave up a quick TD to start the 2nd period. It must have fueled him off, as he proceeded to rattle off 3 TD’s and scored the final nine points in route to a 12-10 victory.

Moody may have ended the match looking like a machine, but it wasn’t pretty. He didn’t set a few of his shots up well but showed true grit and determination to work through Bridgwater’s tough defense, and found a way to capitalize. Perhaps the biggest takeaway is his bottomless tank. With the Canadian sucking wind like a bagpipe, Moody was still rearin’ to go late in the match and ultimately that’s what sealed the W.

Three months in the room with Mark Perry is already paying dividends. He may not crack the starting lineup thanks to the presence of Alex Marinelli and Michael Kemerer, but there is an off chance he can successfully make the drop to 157lbs and square off against Kaleb Young. This is purely speculation on my part, but if he can, he may just have the edge over Young. Young is fundamentally superior, but he often faded late last year. That’s not the case with Moody. If he can keep the score close early-on, he can eventually wear down his opponents, but that’s the key, keeping it close early. Regardless, he’s an unbelievable asset in that room and one hell of a training partner. We’re lucky to have him. Congratulations Cpt. Moody. Here’s lookin’ at you!

You can find his championship winning comeback in all it’s Hawkeye Golden Glory right here.

The freshman, Anthony Cassioppi, continued his staggering summer and brought home two more gold medals at 125 kg to add to his ever growing collection of awesomeness. Before he decided to decimate the field in Brazil, he steamrolled the competition stateside. He pulled off the fabled Junior Triple Crown for the second consecutive year, winning national titles in all three wrestling disciplines: freestyle, folk style, and greco. He finds himself in elite company because there’s only been one other monster to do such a feat, and he goes by the name of Adam Coon.

In Brazil he went undefeated in both greco and free. For his accomplishments on the greco side he was recognized as the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler and was rewarded with the coveted Golden Boot. I don’t know what the hell the Golden Boot is, but it sounds awesome. I will dig further into this mystical award…

Well it’s been five days and 11 flights since I last wrote, and I arrived at an ancient temple in the heart of Peru. I’ve found an 80 year old iPhone with only one picture on it.

Raiders of the Lost Boot

Cassioppi was a 5 star recruit out of Illinois and saved himself pain and misery when he decomitted from Northwestern and decided to come to the good guys. He’s the heir apparent to replace heavyweight Sam Stoll, but he may find himself in the starting lineup sooner than later. Very little has come out of Iowa City since Stoll tried to recreate the shootout at the O.K. Corral that left him with a bullet lodged in his knee. The severity of the injury? We don’t know. The punishment? Again, we don’t know. Hell, we don’t even know what knee it was. Perhaps no news is good news and everything is being kept in-house. One would think if he was in a rough spot he’d have already been suspended or removed from the program. Luckily, neither has happened.

We’re hoping for a healthy Stoll to open the season, but if we’re SOL we have a great talent ready to step in and go to work. Seriously folks, this kid is the real deal. Being a true freshman he may not reach the heights we expect Stoll to be at by year’s end, but he’ll definitely be in contention to AA. When it’s all said and done I think he’ll be the best heavyweight we’ve had at Iowa since the hated Steve Mocco.

I’m already on the Cassioppi bandwagon. Congratulations and here’s lookin’ at you, kid!