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Alston Nutter, USA Wrestling
TALLINN, Estonia – With a stunning throw, Fennimore native Alston Nutter pinned Poland’s Kamil Czarnecki to claim a bronze medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at 63 kg/139 pounds Saturday at the 2019 Junior World Championships.
The Junior Worlds were held in Estonia, formerly part of the Soviet Union, a country in Northern Europe that borders Russia, the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland.
Nutter, who left Fennimore High School after his sophomore year in 2016 to pursue his dream of becoming an Olympic medalist, is about to begin his junior year at Northern Michigan University and his fourth year at the NMU–Olympic Training Site.
Czarnecki, who finished ninth in the 2017 European Championships, came out quickly, hitting an arm spin for a takedown, then turning Nutter twice with gut wrenches to jump out to a quick a 6–0 lead less than 30 seconds into the match.
But Nutter kept his composure and was able to capitalize on an opening, throwing Czarnecki and finishing off the fall in 1:15 of the first period.
It was typical of the kind of wrestling Nutter brought to this event, which was high energy action with plenty of risk taking.
Although two points away from losing by a technical fall, Nutter was able to strike quickly and create the opportunity to win.
“You know, I went for that move,” Nutter told USA wrestling in a YouTube interview following the bronze medal match. “He went to his back. I saw it. I capitalized on it and got the headlock position and that ended it right there.”
On Friday, Nutter scored a 3:48 pin of Zaur Nuriyev of Azerbaijan in his opening round of the 22-man, 63kg bracket.
It was a wide-open match which featured numerous throws and points on the board. Nutter led 13–7 at the break, with a big four-point throw early and a number of other scoring moves.
In the second period, the score moved up to 14–9, as both athletes scored. When Nuriyev tried a throw, Nutter blocked it, landed on top and secured the pin.
“I started the day out with a great recovery from my weight cut. The first match was a battle. I felt my opponent break later in the match and capitalized on it,” Nutter told News 3 Now.
In the quarterfinals, Nutter beat Assaukhat Mukhamadiyev of Kazakhstan, 5–2, later in the Friday morning session.
Nutter opened the scoring with a two-point throw and after both athletes forced stepouts, he led 3–2 at the break. In the second period, Nutter forced a stepout to lead 4–2. In the closing seconds, Mukhamadiyev tried a throw which was waved off by the officials. Kazakhstan challenged the call and was denied, giving Nutter one more point and the victory.
“The second match was also a grind,” added Nutter. “I had to be very stingy with my points and battled in the tie. I was able to come out on top”
Nutter suffered his only defeat of the tournament to 2015 Cadet World silver medalist Abu Muslim Aptievitch Amaev of Russia, in a 9–0 technical fall in the semifinals Friday night.
“My last match was not how I planned. It’s time to make some adjustments and go get that bronze medal,” said Nutter.
Amaev went on to win the gold medal with a 5–3 decision over Leri Abuladze of Georgia.
Nutter won a WIAA Division 3 individual state championship as a freshman in 2015 and finished as an individual state runner-up as a sophomore in 2016. He also led the Golden Eagles to the D3 team state championship in 2016, the first in school history. Nutter finished his high school career with 96 wins.
He also competed at the 2018 Junior World Championships and was a member of the 2018 U.S. Junior World Team.