Sept. 4, 2016
MACON, France -- Junior Alec Pantaleo represented the University of Michigan wrestling team at the 2016 Junior World Championships, where he posted a 1-1 record in the 66kg/145.5-pound freestyle division on Sunday (Sept. 4) at the Le Spot Arena. It was just his fifth freestyle competition ever.
Pantaleo cruised through his opening match, pinning Georgia's Giorgi Sulava, the 2016 Junior European bronze medalist, in 1:03 after pancaking him to his back -- for first for four points before securing the fall moments later. Pantaleo set the early tone in the bout with a double-leg takedown in the first 10 seconds and led 6-1 at the time of the fall.
He also struck first in his subsequent bout against India's Vikas Vikas, the 2016 Junior Asian silver medalist, pushing Vikas to the edge for an early stepout. He gave up a takedown off an arm drag midway through the first period, got caught up in a gutwrench and sacrificed five sets of exposure points to end the bout, 12-1, by technical fall.
When Vikas lost in the semifinals, Pantaleo was officially eliminated from the competition.
"The first match, that's pretty much what I expected to do," said Pantaleo. "I've been working really hard. The second match, I just got a little frustrated. The kid kept really good pressure, and I just made a mistake. I knew my gut wrench defense wasn't all that great, and he just exposed my weakness."
Pantaleo is the third Wolverine wrestler to compete at Junior Worlds in three years, joining senior Adam Coon and sophomore/freshman Stevan Micic -- both world bronze medalists. Coon claimed double bronze in freestyle and Greco-Roman at the 2014 event, while Micic earned freestyle bronze last summer.
Communications Contact: Leah Howard