CBC’s Cevion Severado went from Junior World alternate to the Junior World Championships final in Tampere, Finland.
A junior this year at CBC, Severado became the first American to reach the Greco-Roman Junior World finals since 2000 when he earned a spot in the 50-kilogram gold medal bout.
He ended up taking second place. Junior Asian champion Poya Dad Marz, of Iran, scored a 6-0 decision over Severado.
Severado wrestled at 112 pounds in the big meet at Tampere, Finland.
The Junior World Championship is a yearly event that brings together the best wrestlers from each category (Greco-Roman, freestyle and women’s).
Severado, of Cottleville, was glad to be there and compete. Elijah Varona was too hurt to compete, Severado got the call. Verona, two-time Florida 3A state champion at South Dade High School, will compete this winter as a freshman at Missouri.
“I wasn’t on the team originally,” Severado said. “I started hearing rumors that he was injury defaulting. I was like well, I might be getting a call. Then I got the call. I hope he recovers and does well. I wanted to make up for it. I want to get him a medal.”
Severado made the most of his opportunity.
“I always knew I was the same level as these guys,” Severado said. “I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to come to Finland and perform and show I could do. I’ve very proud. I’ve shocked myself a little bit in wrestling but I knew I could be at this level.”
Severado outscored his opposition 24-4 on his way to reaching the finals at 50 kilograms.
Opening his tournament, Severado broke open a tie match at the break against Israel’s Maksym Vysotskyi with a pair of takedowns, one of which was challenged and upheld, to move on 6-1.
His quarterfinal opponent would be Poland’s Dominick Dudzinski. Early in the match, it seemed Severado may have picked up an injury as he suddenly limped away from the center, calling for injury time to look at the same leg on which he wears a significant brace. Whatever happened must have been a short-term problem because once he returned, he found a body lock, trapping Dudzinski’s arm in the process, and levering him onto his back for four. Though he couldn’t use that trapped arm for further exposures, it wouldn’t matter as Severado found another lock he liked, sending the Polish wrestler to his back once again for another four to end the match 8-0.
His semifinal victory came over Japan’s Kensuke Shimizu, who knocked off returning world champion Vladislav Melnikov of Russia by technical fall in the quarterfinals.
That he had worked his way into the semifinals was a surprise to many, but Severado refused to settle. After falling behind 1-0 to Shimizu after the first period, Cevion used double overhooks to gain a 2-1 lead, then countered a pair of arm throw attempts from Shimizu for takedowns to lead 6-1. When Severado caught his Japanese opponent going for a desperation head-pinch, it was 8-1 and the match was largely over. Two late takedowns for Shimizu as Severado played it safe made the final score 8-5 as the man who wasn’t even supposed to be the American representative marched into the Junior World finals.
That set up Severado’s meeting with Iran’s Poya Soula Dad Marz for the gold medal.
“I can’t believe it. It’s amazing,” Severado said about reaching the finals. “It’s a different feeling from any other thing. It’s the highest level I can be at right now. It feels great.”
The USA tea had not had a finalist at the Junior World Championships in Greco-Roman since 2000 when Joe Privitere won a silver medal at 69 kilograms in 2000. Garrett Lowney was the last American to win a Junior world title, accomplishing the feat in 1999 at 97 kilograms.
“To hear I was the first in finals since 2000, it’s pretty amazing,” Severado said. “I knew I’d be here and I wanted to fit in.”
Wearing red, Severado took the mat first, turning to watch his opponent Marz, the Junior Asian champion, arrive. The magic that seemed to surround Severado throughout the day left him on the big stage, however.
That was largely due to the Iranian doing a masterful job of controlling the ties and moving Severado around the mat. A step-out, takedown, and passivity point put Cevion in a 4-0 hole at the break and one more takedown in the final frame made the final tally 6-0. Severado’s silver medal performance was as impressive as it was stunning. That it ended on a sour note may only serve to further motivate the young man going forward.
While he ended just short, Severado gave credit to CBC coach Cornell Robinson for him having the opportunity to get that far.
“Honestly, I think it’s my coach,” Severado said about Robinson. “I have one of the best coaches in the United States. Because of him, I was able to compete. I’m lucky to have him. Coach Robinson always told me I had this potential. He told me I have to show it to the rest of the world.”
It’s been a good year for Severado.
Earlier this summer, Severado won first place in the MOUSAW Greco State Tournament and the Freestyle State Tournament.
Severado finished second when Jeremiah Reno, of Liberty, won by an 8-2 decision over Severado. Reno finished with a spotless 44-0 record while Severado wound up 44-4.
As a freshman last winter, Severado went 49-5 for the Cadets. He recorded eight pins. He had 16 wins by technical fall and he scored nine wins by major decision. He won the Class 4 state championship at 106 pounds. He also wrestled at 106 as a freshman. He finished fifth. His season record was 39-9.