All Star field expected at ASICS Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals in Fargo N D July 18 24Every year, the nation's best young wrestlers come together for the world's largest wrestling competition, the ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals and the Cadet Nationals at the FargoDome in Fargo, N.D.
This competition produces great stories of champions, many who go on to glory in college wrestling, and ultimately at the World and Olympic levels. This marks the 40th anniversary of the Junior Nationals event, which was first held in 1971 in Iowa City, Iowa.
This year's tournament is scheduled for July 18-24 and is expected to feature outstanding wrestlers in every weight class.
The ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals features high school wrestlers in grades 9-12. This year, the Junior division could be one of the strongest in many years, featuring numerous talented athletes who are proven winners. There is competition for both boys and girls at this age level.
A historic event at last year's ASICS Junior Nationals was the crowning of the first Triple Crown winner on the Junior level, Jade Rauser of Montana at 105 pounds. To win a Triple Crown, an athlete must win USA Wrestling national titles in folkstyle, Greco-Roman and freestyle during the same year. Rauser is eligible to return this year, but can not win another Triple Crown, because he did not win the 2010 USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals in Iowa in April.
Eligible to return this year is a Junior Nationals double champion, winner of the Greco-Roman and freestyle titles last year in Fargo, Ryak Finch of Arizona at 112 pounds.
Along with Rauser and Finch, the other returning Junior Greco-Roman champions include Joey Moita of California (98), RaVuaghan Perkins of Nebraska (140), Andrew Campolattano of New Jersey (189) and Niko Bogojevic of Wisconsin (285).
There are 13 returning Junior Greco-Roman runners-up: Ruben Navejas of Washington (98), Chris Bostic of Arizona (105), Val Rauser of Montana (112), Jerry Huff of Colorado (119), Patrick Myers of Pennsylvania (125), Joseph Locksmith of Florida (135), Dylan Ness of Minnesota (140), Kory DeBerry of Arizona (145), Ronnie Balfour of Oklahoma (160), Tyler Beckwith of New York (171), Tyler Lehman of Minnesota (189), Trevor Rupp of Idaho (215) and Donovan Green of Florida (285).
Along with Rauser and Finch, the other returning Junior Freestyle champions are Ruben Navejas of Washington (98), Ty Mitch of Ohio (119), Josh Dziewa of Pennsylvania (135), Andrew Alton of Pennsylvania (140), Dylan Alton of Pennsylvania (145) and Derek Garcia of Washington (152)
There are 11 returning Junior Freestyle runners-up: Maxwell Soria of New York (98), Jack Hathaway of Iowa (105), Val Rauser of Montana (112), Nico Megaludis of Pennsylvania (119), Devin Carter of Virginia (125), Nick Dardanes of Illinois (130), Josh Kindig of Pennsylvania (140), Joseph Cozart of Florida (152), Robert Kokesh of South Dakota (160), Lee Munster of Illinois (171) and Max Huntley of New Jersey (189).
USA Wrestling has official state team standings in all the divisions held in Fargo. For the first time, there will be an overall team champion for the event, which combines the team scores for each state in all five divisions.
Last year, the Wells Fargo Insurance Services Cup champion in Junior freestyle was Pennsylvania, followed by Minnesota, Illinois, California and Missouri. In Junior Greco-Roman, capturing the Wells Fargo Insurance Services Cup was Illinois, with Florida, Minnesota, California and Arizona in the top five.
Another strong indication of the strength of the state teams are the results from the 2010 Junior National Duals, held in June in Oklahoma City, Okla. In Greco-Roman, Wisconsin won the Junior Duals, snapping Illinois' three year winning streak after beating Illinois in the gold-medal dual. Minnesota was third, Florida was fourth and Michigan was fifth. In freestyle, Illinois was the Junior National Duals champion, defeating Iowa in the championship finals. Ohio was third, Wisconsin was fourth and Minnesota was fifth.
The women's freestyle division will be held at the end of the week this year, with the championship finals on the same day as the boys Junior freestyle finals. This tournament, in its 10th year, has grown in size and quality every season, and promises to be very competitive again this year.
There are seven returning women's Junior champions eligible this year: Emily Webster of Missouri (95), Hanna Martin of Oklahoma (116), Brieanna Delgado of South Carolina (124), Jenna Burkert of New York (132), Julia Salata of Michigan (146), Annelise DeAragon of Idaho (153) and Alisha Beach of Washington (190).
Women's Junior runners-up who can return to Fargo include Alex Gomez of California (102), Kayla Brendlinger of Pennsylvania (109), Natalie Rutt of Minnesota (116). Alli Ragan of Illinois (124), Audrey Morehouse of California (139), Brittany Goebel of Illinois (146), Karra Stratton of Texas (153), Jessica Smith of Ohio (165) and Rony Elor of California (220).
Last year's Wells Fargo Insurance Services Cup champion in Junior women's freestyle was Texas, followed by California, New York, Washington and Illinois.
The ASICS/Vaughan Cadet Nationals features the nation's best 15-16 year olds, competing in freestyle and Greco-Roman. Last year, there were three Cadet Triple Crown winners: Taylor Massa of Michigan, Jake Waste of Minnesota and Devin Peterson of Wisconsin. All three are too old to be Cadets again, but we may see them in the Junior Nationals field.
Returning Cadet Greco-Roman champions include Dylan Akers of Texas (84), Zane Richards of Illinois (125), Oliver Pierce of Texas (135) and Brooks Black of Pennsylvania (215).
Cadet Greco-Roman runners-up who are eligible to return are Darshawn Sharpe of Georgia (84), Sam Brancale of Minnesota (98), Ben Whitford of Illinois (112) and Sam Brooks of Illinois (160). Please note that Whitford competed for Michigan last year.
There are only three Cadet Freestyle champions eligible to return this year, Darshawn Sharpe of Georgia (84), Brad Perkins of Missouri (91) and Ben Whitford of Illinois (112)
In the hunt will be seven Cadet Freestyle runners-up who return, including Billy Rappo of Pennsylvania (84), Phillip Laux of Iowa (91), Jered Cortez of Ohio (98), Brandon Sorensen of Iowa (119), Jordan Rogers of Washington (152), Sam Brooks of Illinois (160) and Greg Kuhar of Ohio (285).
Winning the Cadet Greco-Roman Wells Fargo Insurance Services Cup last year was Wisconsin, followed by Minnesota, Illinois, Califronia and Michigan. The Cadet freestyle champion for the Wells Fargo Insurance Services Cup was Illinois, followed by Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa and Minnesota.
The Cadet National Duals were held in Rochester, Minn. this year, and host Minnesota won the team title in both Greco-Roman and freestyle. Placing second to Minnesota in freestyle was Illinois, followed by Pennsylvania, Iowa and Missouri in the top five. In Greco-Roman, Minnesota beat Pennsylvania in the finals, with Illinois in third, Wisconsin in fourth and Michigan in fifth.
The ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals and the Cadet Nationals brings together hundreds of wrestling volunteers, including referees, pairing officials, coaches, state leaders and tournament operation workers, all who provide the opportunity for more than 4,000 athletes to pursue their dreams.
Follow the action each day in Fargo on TheMat.com (www.themat.com).
TheMat.com will provide a live webcast for each of the five gold-medal finals, as well as additional bonus coverage during the week.
SCHEDULE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
ASICS/Vaughan Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals
- Monday, July 19th at 2:00 p.m.
ASICS/Vaughan Junior Greco-Roman Nationals
- Tuesday, July 20th at 3:00 p.m.
ASICS/Vaughan Cadet Freestyle Nationals
- Friday, July 23rd at 2:00 p.m.
ASICS/Vaughan Women's Junior Nationals
- Saturday, July 24th at 11:00 a.m.
ASICS/Vaughan Junior Freestyle Nationals
- Saturday, July 24th at 2:00 p.m.