Fortaleza, Brazil - In not only his first international appearance but his first time outside the United States, sophomore Kordell Norfleet won gold at the 2018 Junior Pan American Championships. Fellow Sun Devil Brandon Courtney, who redshirted his freshman season in 2017-18, earned a bronze medal in the day's competition. As nine Americans won gold in men's freestyle at the competition, the U.S. also earned the team title.
Norfleet used four tech falls vs. opponents from Colombia, Canada, Mexico, and Argentina, respectively to capture a gold medal, never surrendering a single point in the day's action.
"For me, personally, it's an opportunity to continue a tradition of excellence that has been passed down through USA Wrestling," said Norfleet. "Our senior men's team just won a world title for the first time in years so I'm just trying to keep that momentum going for our country."
Courtney won on three tech falls, dropping only one match across the entire day right before the evening's bronze medal match.
"I've always dreamt about wrestling while representing the United States so coming out here to represent the U.S. is a lot of fun," said Courtney.
Norfleet won a Pac-12 Championship at 184 lbs., was one of 16 true freshmen to compete at NCAA's, and was named Pac-12 Freshman/Newcomer of the Year in 2017-18 while Courtney looks to get into the Sun Devil lineup this season after redshirting his freshman season. In May, Courtney won the 57 kg title at UWW Junior World Team Trials in Rochester, Minn.