Robert Howard reached the semifinals before losing to Iran's Mahdi Veisi (Photo/Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling)
SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Stevo Poulin and Robert Howard reached the semifinals of the Cadet World Championships on Monday before falling to Iranians.
Poulin, the nation's No. 12 overall junior, was defeated in the semifinals at 48 kilograms by returning Cadet world champion Rahman Amouzadkhalili, 12-0. The Iranain used three takedowns and a step out to build a 7-0 lead at the break. In the second period, Amouzadkhalili scored with a step out before shooting a single leg and scoring four points to close out the technical superiority.
Earlier in the day Poulin edged Armenia's Harutyun Hovhannisyan, a Cadet European silver medalist, 8-7, in the quarterfinals. He opened his tournament with a 10-0 technical superiority over 2019 Cadet Asian silver medalist Nurdaulet Bazarbayev of Kazakhstan.
Howard, the nation's No. 11 senior and a Penn State commit, dropped his semifinal match at 55 kilograms to Iran's Mahdi Veisi, a two-time Cadet Asian bronze medalist, 8-6. Howard got on the scoreboard first with a takedown. Veisi responded with a takedown and added a step out to go up 3-2 at the break.
The Iranian went up 8-2 in the second period after scoring with a takedown, gut wrench and step out. Howard, though, made things interesting late. He scored a takedown with 45 seconds left, which made the score 8-4 in favor of Veisi. Then with eight seconds left in the match, Howard used a front headlock roll to score two points and put Veisi in danger, but the American would fall short.
Howard reached the semifinals with a pair of 6-3 victories first over Norik Harutyunyan Armenia and then Ruhan Rasim of Bulgaria in the quarterfinals. It's Howard's third straight year competing at the Cadet World Championships.
Poulin and Howard will wrestle for bronze medals on Tuesday, with the round scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. ET.
Clayton Ulrey will compete in repechage for a chance to wrestle for a bronze medal.
Ulrey, the nation's No. 60 senior, reached the quarterfinals at 80 kilograms before falling to Arslan Bagaev of Russia 10-0. He was pulled into repechage after Bagaev reached the finals. Ulrey notched wins over 2019 Cadet Asian bronze medalist Bekzat Amangali of Kazakhstan (4-4) and 2017 U15 European bronze medalist Farid Jabbarov of Azerbaijan (12-0).
Ryan Sokol and Hunter Catka were eliminated on the opening day.
Sokol, the nation's No. 10 junior and Iowa commit, dominated Moldova's Ionut Vintila 10-0 in his opening match at 65 kilograms. He then lost 12-0 in his next match to 2019 Cadet European Championships bronze winner and European Youth Olympic Festival bronze medalist Davit Patsinahsvili of Georgia. Sokol was eliminated from the tournament when Patsinahsvili lost in the semifinals.
Catka, a Virginia Tech commit, lost his first match at 110 kilograms to Turkey's Adil Misirci 7-4. His competition ended when Misirci dropped his next match.
Five more U.S. freestyle wrestlers will open their competition on Tuesday at the Cadet World Championships starting at 3:30 a.m. ET. Those wrestlers include Marc-Anthony McGowan (45 kilograms), Richard Figueroa (51 kilograms), Jesse Mendez (60 kilograms), Alex Facundo (71 kilograms) and Kyle Haas (92 kilograms).