Kennedy, Cassioppi Win U23 National Titles

GENEVA, Ohio – University of Iowa wrestlers Patrick Kennedy (74 kg) and Tony Cassioppi (125 kg) claimed U23 men’s freestyle national championships at the 2022 World Team Trials on Sunday at the Spire Institute.

Three more Hawkeyes – Abe Assad (86 kg), Brennan Swafford (79 kg) and Cobe Siebrecht (70 kg) — all earned All-America honors on the weekend.

Kennedy won his first five matches, outscoring his opponents, 61-12, to advance to the championship match. The Minnesota native swept the best of three series over West Virginia’s Peyton Hall, 8-3 and 5-0, to claim the title.

The Hawkeye sophomore went 7-0 on the weekend with three victories over All-Americans and two more over NCAA qualifiers. He outscored his opponents, 66-12, including a pin of Nebraska’s Peyton Robb.

Kennedy can stake claim to the U23 title, but will not get a chance to wrestle for the National team. USA Wrestling changed its qualifying process in 2022, meaning Iowa State’s David Carr, a Senior National Team and U23 eligible wrestler, is expected to take the spot.

Cassioppi rolled through the 125 kg field, going 7-0 and outscoring his opponents, 72-8. In the finals, the Hawkeye senior downed past Junior World silver medalist Zach Elam of Missouri, 11-4 and 13-2, to win his second straight U23 title.

Cassioppi earned a spot on the World Team with his title run where he will look to defend his title at the U23 World Championships from Oct. 17-23 in Spain.

Assad advanced to the semifinals and finished third at 86 kg. He won his first four matches, outscoring his opponents, 40-0, before falling in the semifinals to Oregon State’s Trey Munoz. He wrestled back to placed third with 8-5 and 3-1 victories.

Swafford won his way to the semifinals and went 7-1 on the weekend to place third overall at 79 kg. He came-from-behind in two victories and had three technical falls.

Siebrecht won eight of 10 matches to finish fourth at 70 kg with seven of his victories coming consecutively on the back side of the bracket.

U23 National Champions
57 kg – Anthony Noto (Lock Haven)
61 kg – Aaron Nagao (Minnesota)
65 kg – Cole Matthews (Pittsburgh)
70 kg – Yahya Thomas (Northwestern)
74 kg – Patrick Kennedy (Iowa)
79 kg – Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State)
86 kg – Trent Hidlay (NC State)
92 kg – Jacob Cardenas (Cornell)
97 kg – Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State)
125 kg – Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)