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Carr, Parris win gold medals at Junior Worlds, USA finishes second in freestyle

David Carr after winning a gold medal at the Junior Worlds (Photo/Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling)

TALLINN, Estonia -- A day after falling just short of a gold medal at the Junior World Championships, the United States crowned a pair of world champions on Wednesday in Tallinn, Estonia.

David Carr (74 kilograms) and Mason Parris (125 kilograms) came through to win gold medals on the final day of freestyle competition at the Junior World Championships. In addition, three other Americans claimed medals in freestyle on Wednesday. Lucas Davison (92) earned a silver medal, while Gabriel Tagg (61 kilograms) and Trent Hidlay (86 kilograms) took home bronze medals. Vito Arujau (57 kilograms) won a silver in freestyle on Tuesday.

The United States finished in second place in the freestyle team standings, one point ahead of Iran. Russia captured the freestyle team title by 46 points.

Carr, who will be heading into his redshirt freshman season at Iowa State, held on to beat Jintaro Motoyama of Japan 5-4 in the finals at 74 kilograms. Motoyama scored first with a step out before Carr picked up a takedown to grab a 2-1 lead, which he took into the break.

Midway through the second period, Carr fired off a shot and secured a takedown to go up 4-1. The Japanese wrestler injured his leg trying to defend, which caused a break in the action. When action resumed, the two continued to battle without any scoring until the final five seconds. Motoyama scored a takedown on the edge of the mat with five seconds remaining, and then a couple seconds later added a step out, making the score 4-4, but giving Carr the lead on criteria. Japan challenged call, which was upheld, giving Carr the world title.

It marks the fourth straight year in which the Unites States has won a gold medal at 74 kilograms in freestyle at the Junior World Championships. Mark Hall won gold in 2016 and 2017, while Mekhi Lewis claimed gold in 2018.

David Carr after winning a gold medal at the Junior Worlds (Photo/Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling)

Parris, an NCAA qualifier as a true freshman for Michigan, capped off a dominant tournament at 125 kilograms with a fall in the finals over Iran's Amir Zare, a 2018 Cadet world champion. The first 30 seconds of the match saw the two wrestlers trade step outs, with Zare scoring the second one to take the criteria lead. A short time later, Parris took a shot and dumped Zare to his back and held him there for the fall. Prior to finals, Parris had three technical superiorities and outscored his opponents by a combined score of 33-2.

Davison, who wrestles for Northwestern, dropped a close match in the finals at 92 kilograms to Russia's Alan Bagaev, 5-4. Bagaev scored first off the activity clock. Davison took the lead on criteria late in the first period after scoring with a step out. He added to his lead in the second period after Bagaev was unable to score on the activity clock. However, moments after the activity clock expired, the Russian secured a takedown off a duckunder to go up 3-2 with one minute and twenty seconds left. Davison kept the pressure on and scored a step out with 50 seconds remaining to make the score 3-3. With 30 seconds remaining, Bagaev took a shot that resulted in a flurry, with the Russian getting two points and Davison getting one, which would close out the scoring.

It is the second time in three years that Northwestern wrestler has finished with a silver medal at the Junior World Championships. Ryan Deakin earned a world silver medal in 2017.

Tagg, who is entering his freshman year at North Carolina, earned the bronze medal at 61 kilograms with a 15-4 technical superiority over Goderdzi Dzebiashvili of Georgia. The Georgian jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two takedowns. But Tagg battled back to grab a 5-4 lead at the break on the strength of a step out and two takedowns of his own. In the second period, Tagg secured a takedown to go up 7-4 before locking up a leg lace and turning the Georgian three times. Tagg then closed out the technical superiority with a takedown.

Hidlay, who will be entering his redshirt freshman season at NC State, was impressive in shutting out Ivars Samusonoks of Latvia 9-0 to win bronze at 86 kilograms. Hidlay scored a takedown in the first period and led 1-0 at the break. He pulled away in the second period, scoring three more takedowns and a step out to win by nine. Hidlay's only loss in the tournament came in the semifinals to Russia's Alik Sebzukhov, 4-3.

Laurent to wrestle for bronze, 4 others eliminated

It was a tough day for the American women as only one wrestler, Jayden Laurent, remains alive for a medal. Laurent reached the semifinals at 68 kilograms before losing 11-1 to Meerim Zhumanazarova of Kyrgyzstan. She will wrestle for bronze on Thursday. Laurent opened with a 9-0 win over Gulsezim Bukhayeva of Kazakhstan before getting a fall in the quarterfinals over Thamires Martins Machado of Brazil.

Korinahe Bullock, competing at 76 kilograms, started her tournament with a 10-0 technical superiority over Soeun Kim (Korea). She then lost her next match by fall in the quarterfinals against Qian Jiang of China in the quarterfinals. Bullock was eliminated when Jiang lost in the semifinals.

Alleida Martinez (50 kilograms), Alex Hedrick (55 kilograms) and Michaela Beck (59 kilograms) all lost their first matches and did not earn a repechage match.

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