Under the guidance of wrestling legend and future Ohio State Athletics Hall of Famer Logan Stieber, three Buckeyes won gold medals at the 2022 U20 Pan American Championships, including sophomore Andre Gonzales and incoming freshmen Nic Bouzakis and Nick Feldman.
Gonzales competed in three matches at 57kg, defeating Jaime Perez Castellanos of Guatemala and Hernan Almendra to reach the championships match. In the final bout, Gonzales battled with Enrique Herrera Huacre, taking that match, 8-2, to win the first-place prize.
The Poway, Calif., native will be a sophomore at Ohio State this fall. Gonzales went 19-4 while unattached from the program in five events. He recorded two major decisions, two pins and six technical falls in those matches with Michigan State Open and Purple Raider Open titles. Before his time in Columbus, Gonzales was a California state champion in 2020 with a 40-1 record, a 2019 Freestyle national champion and an Ironman All-American.
Bouzakis won four matches at 61kg to take his gold medal at the Pan American Championships, including wins over Will Betancourt of Purdue (USA), Jeremy Peralta Gomez of Ecuador and Gavin Eldridge of Canada. Bouzakis earned a rematch with Betancourt in the finals after the Boilermakers wrestler worked his way through the wrestlebacks. Bouzakis handed Betancourt a 10-0 technical fall defeat in that match.
According to FloWrestling, Bouzakis is the No. 2 pound-for-pound wrestler in the class of 2022 behind Indiana wrestler Jesse Mendez, who also signed with Ohio State. For added measure, head coach Tom Ryan also signed Feldman — the No. 3 overall recruit in the class. With those signees — including Seth Shumate (197 lbs) and Gavin Brown (149 lbs) — the Buckeyes have what FloWrestling considers the best recruiting class of the modern wrestling era.
Like Bouzakis, Feldman won four matches to claim his gold medal at 125kg, defeating Gabriel De Sousa Silva of Brazil, Jhoan Ocoro Palomino of Columbia and Roger Rejie Li of Canada to reach the finals. In the championship bout, Feldman took down Luis De La Rosa Arteaga of Mexico 10-0 via technical fall.
Buckeye 2022 U20 Pan American Championship Results
57 kg – Andre Gonzalez, Gold medal match
GOLD – Andre Joseph GONZALES (USA) df. Enrique Armando HERRERA HUACRE (PER) by VPO1, 8-2
Semifinal – Andre Joseph GONZALES (USA) df. Hernan David ALMENDRA (ARG) by VSU, 10 – 0
Quarterfinal – Andre Joseph GONZALES (USA) df. Jaime Isaac PEREZ CASTELLANOS (GUA) by VSU, 10 – 0
61 kg – Nic Bouzakis, Gold medal match
GOLD – Nicholas Pierce BOUZAKIS (USA) df. William Angel BETANCOURT (PUR) by VSU, 10-0
Semifinal – Nicholas Pierce BOUZAKIS (USA) df. Gavin William James ELDRIDGE (CAN) by VSU, 10 – 0
Rnd 3 – Nicholas Pierce BOUZAKIS (USA) df. Jeremy Renzo PERALTA GONZALEZ (ECU) by VIN, 0 – 0
Rnd 1 – Nicholas Pierce BOUZAKIS (USA) df. William Angel BETANCOURT (PUR) by VSU, 10 – 0
125 kg – Nick Feldman, Gold
Round 4 – Nicholas David FELDMAN (USA) df. Luis Enrique DE LA ROSA ARTEAGA (MEX) by VSU, 10 – 0
Round 3 – Nicholas David FELDMAN (USA) df. Roger Rujie LI (CAN) by VPO1, 12 – 6
Round 2 – Nicholas David FELDMAN (USA) df. Jhoan Andres OCORO PALOMINO (COL) by VSU, 10 – 0
Round 1 – Nicholas David FELDMAN (USA) df. Gabriel DE SOUSA SILVA (BRA) by VSU, 11 – 0