A pair of Huskers competed for Team USA at the Pan-Am Championships on Saturday and came away with dominant gold medal performances in Santiago, Chile.
Both slated to be backups this season, Antrell Taylor competed at 70kg while incoming freshman Camden McDanel was at 97kg. Taylor made it to the World Team Trials and US Open finals earlier this summer, nearly making the U20 World Team, while McDanel made the team and will compete for Team USA at U20 Worlds in August.
McDanel was about as dominant as you can get in collecting his gold medal. He won four matches, all by 10-0 tech. First, he beat Paraguay’s Alex Ortiz in one minute, 19 seconds. He then quickly dispatched of Peru’s Kleydder Vasquez (32 seconds) before beating Brazil’s Kyle Santana (25 seconds) in the semifinal.
In the final, McDanel again faced Ortiz, beating him this time via 10-0 tech in 23 seconds. All in all, McDanel outscored his opponents 40-0 and spent just 2:39 on the mat.
Congratulations to recent Teays Valley graduate Camden McDanel for winning the gold medal at 97 kilograms (around 214 pounds) at the Under-20 Pan-American Championships! Hat tip to Josh McDanel on the photo. pic.twitter.com/yJVZOqY3X7— Sporting Pumpkin (@sportingpumpkin) July 8, 2023
As for Taylor, he beat Paraguay’s Joao Maldonado 10-0 in 50 seconds in the quarters before dispatching of Mexico’s Cesar Escamilla 11-0 in 1:58 in the semis. In the final, Taylor had a tougher match but still downed Paraguay’s Julian George 11-1 via tech in 5:02.
Antrell Taylor WINS the U20 Pan-Am Championships‼️ Congratulations Antrell https://t.co/Hefljzqz8c— NE USA Wrestling (@NEUSAWrestling) July 8, 2023
It just goes to show the kind of depth that Nebraska has built when two of your backups just won age-level gold medals at Pan-Ams. Taylor will serve as Peyton Robb’s backup this year at 157 pounds — if Robb is ready for this season. McDanel will redshirt behind sophomore Silas Allred at 197 pounds.