CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – One of the highlights of the King of the Mountain tournament this weekend is the innovative Challenge Duals set for Friday, Dec. 6, starting at 3:30 p.m.
Organizers of the event have invited top youth wrestling clubs from around the nation to participate in dual meets the night before the King of the Mountain Tournament. Now in its second year, this event has proven to be very competitive, and a ton of fun for the clubs involved.
“After a trial event last year, we were able to expand the number of teams in our Challenge Duals this year. We hope that bringing together some of the best youth teams in the country makes the King of the Mountain tournament more competitive and rewarding for everyone,” said USA Wrestling National Events Director Pete Isais.
The returning team champion is Legends of Gold, which is located in Beresford, S.D. Legends of Gold will have two strong teams in this year’s Challenge Duals.
The Legends of Gold Elite team will feature Folkstyle National champions Chance Lamer (64) and Kellyn March (72), as well as Preseason Nationals champion Collin Becker (110). Legends of Gold Silver team features Folkstyle Nationals champion Dash Lamer (64) and Luke Rasmussen (85), who was second in the Preseason Nationals.
“We come to the King of the Mountain (KOM) because we really enjoy the competition from the Western USA. We are excited to see some of the best teams in the country in the duals. We love that USA and KOM are marketing the tourney in a format that includes teams as it gives us a great chance for our team to bond. We also have the chance to visit the OTC and share the dream of Olympic wrestling with our young wrestlers,” said Terry Pack, head coach of Legends of Gold.
The King of the Mountain Challenge Duals is just that, a challenge to successful clubs to test themselves in dual meet action. The tournament is designed to showcase the best K-6th grade teams in the nation.
The Challenge Duals are organized by invitation, with nationally-ranked clubs on TrackWrestling’s Elite clubs list among those in the field. Based on current rankings on TrackWrestling, the No. 1, No. 2, No. 4, No. 12 and No. 13 teams have entered this year’s field.
Coming in with its No. 1 TrackWrestling ranking is Sons of Thunder Academy from Colorado, which will enter two strong teams in the tournament.
Some of the stars from the SOT Academy teams include Freestyle National champion and Greco-Roman runner-up Drew Eller (85), national freestyle and Greco-Roman runner-up Andrew Kramer (55) and a number of other USA Wrestling All-Americans including Zao Estrada (50), Avery Baller (50), Jeff Strickenburger (60), Angelo Lozado (64), Caydin Condit (64), Jackson Eller (68), Braeden Baller (72), Beau Ohlson (76), Ivan Morris (80) and Antonio Segura (80).
SCORE and P.O.W.A. represent some of the up and coming Colorado youth teams and are excited to wrestle in the duals as well. Nevada Elite is the new team on the block, and with a solid lineup from top to bottom are looking to take top spot in their first year at the duals. Rounding out the team lineup is the “In the Mix” Dual team representing wrestlers from Colorado, Utah, Wisconsin, South Dakota, and Nevada.
P.O.W.A. features a number of Colorado state champions on its roster, including Michael Atencio (72), Chris McKenna (76), Davion Chavez (64), Nico Fernandez (45) and Brady Hankin (68).
“We have an up and coming group of wrestlers that are making some great noise at tournaments. We are very excited to be competing with some of the best wrestlers around the nation. We will be sending several of our wrestlers to the King of the Mountain tournament whom already have an outstanding list of accomplishments,” said Adam Urenda, Head Coach for P.O.W.A.
SCORE features several state placewinners, including state champion Dawson Matney (71) and state runners-up Murphy Menke (65) and Jaron Mahler (85).
Team Nevada Elite is also loaded with talent, including All-Americans Luke VanOrden (55) and Brandon Corsaro (60), plus Regional champions Dias Sterling (50), Cannon Montoya (60) and Regional placers Billy Sullivan (68), William Zernich (72), David Kalayanprapruit (76), Jeremy Hoffman (92) and Dominic Hargrove (76).
You can follow the results of the King of the Mountain Challenge Duals at:
All of these teams will also compete on Saturday in the King of the Mountain Individual tournament, improving the field which features talented athletes in all age divisions.
For more information on the entire King of the Mountain event, visit the website at: