FARGO, N.D. -- Every year, the nation's best young wrestlers come together for the world's largest wrestling competition, the ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Cadet Nationals at the Fargo Dome 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 43nd anniversary of the Junior Nationals event, which was first held in 1971 in Iowa City, Iowa.
The tournament is scheduled for July 13-20 and is expected to feature outstanding wrestlers in every weight class.
USA Wrestling has official state association team standings in all the divisions held in Fargo, adding to the tradition of state wrestling pride exhibited at this event.
The ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals features high school wrestlers in grades 9-12. Every year, the Junior division features talented athletes who are proven winners, as well as many top young stars who are making names for themselves.
Since the program was created in 2007, there have only been four athletes to win the coveted USA Wrestling Triple Crown on the Junior level, by claiming folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman Junior National titles in the same year.
In 2012, Adam Coon of Michigan won the Triple Crown at 285 pounds, and he is eligible to go for another Junior Triple Crown this year after winning the 2013 USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals at 285 pounds.
2012 Junior National freestyle champions who are eligible to return are Coon along with Tanner Rohweder of Iowa (100), Paul Mascarenas of New Mexico (106), Tommy Thorn of Minnesota (113), Nathan Tomasello of Ohio (120), Zain Retherford of Pennsylvania (132), Bryce Brill of Illinois (138), Anthony Collica of Ohio (145), Josh Llopez of Maryland (152), Isaiah Martinez of California (160) and J'Den Cox of Missouri (220).
2012 Junior freestyle runners-up who can return include Carlos Fuentz of Illinois (100), Nkosi Moody of Illinois (106), Adrian Cordova of Colorado (113), Zac Hall of Michigan (120), Joseph McKenna of New Jersey (126), Austin Eads of Missouri (145), Nick Wanzek of Minnesota (160), Glenn Climmons of Georgia (182), Broc Berge of Minnesota (195) and Donte Winfield of Indiana (285).
2012 Junior National Greco-Roman champions who are eligible to compete in Fargo are Coon plus Jabari Moody of Illinois (100), Nkosi Moody of Illinois (106), Jared Oftendahl of Minnesota (113), Hayden Tuma of Idaho (138), Grant LaMont of Utah (145), Oliver Pierce of Texas (152), Ryan Solomon of Pennsylvania (195) and Kyle Snyder of Maryland (220).
Runners-up in the 2012 Junior Greco-Roman Nationals who can return are J.J. McClelland of Wisconsin (100), Tommy Pawelski of Illinois (106), Josh Newberg of Washington (120), Joel Shump of Illinois (126), Tyson Dippery of Pennsylvania (132), Mitch Bengtson of Minnesota (138), Ryan Blees of North Dakota (145) and Alen Turcinhodzic of Pennsylvania (195).
Many of last year's Cadet National champions are expected to move up into the Junior ranks this year and challenge for titles and All-American honors.
Last year, Illinois was the team champion in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. Following Illinois in the freestyle standings were Iowa and Minnesota. Behind Illinois in Greco-Roman last year were Iowa and Pennsylvania.
Another indication of the strength of the state teams are the results from the 2013 Junior National Duals, held this June in Oklahoma City, Okla. Illinois was the team champion in both styles at the Junior Duals this year. Illinois defeated Michigan Blue in the freestyle finals, followed by Oklahoma Red, California and Iowa Blue. In Greco-Roman, Illinois defeated Michigan Blue in the finals, followed by California, Utah and Washington.
The women's Junior freestyle division, now in its 12th year, has grown in size and quality every season, and promises to be very competitive again this year.
New York's Alexis Porter won the Junior National women's title and the Cadet National women's title at 139 last year and is eligible to return.
Also able to return is Katie Germain of Fla., who was the 2012 Junior National women's Outstanding Wrestler in the women's division of the championships at 130.
Other 2012 Junior National women's champions eligible to return are Amy Hou of Georgia (97), Cody Pfau of Colorado (105), Megan Black of Iowa (112), Hope Steffensen of Alaska (117), Kayla Miracle of Indiana (121), Natalia Hinojo of Texas (148), and Kierra Boyce of Texas (198).
2012 Junior National women's runners-up eligible to return are Thai Ha Sloan of Hawaii (97), Haley Moreno of Texas (105), Hanna Grisewood of New York (112), Cassandra Herkelman of Iowa (117), Steffanie Hampton of Michigan (121), Jenna Elmlinger of Wyoming (125), Jasmine Mendoza of California (139), Desiree Harms of Washington (148), Kiaya Van Scoyoc of Washington (159) Kaitlyn Hill of Michigan (172) and Tiaira Scott of Illinois (198).
The Junior National team champion in women's freestyle was California, followed by Texas and Michigan.
The Women's National Junior Duals will once again be held in Fargo. Only two teams have won this event in its history, California five times and Texas twice. Last year, California No. 1 and California No. 2 both advanced to the finals where they were declared co-champions after electing not to face each other. California No. 1 beat Washington 27-23 in the semifinals while California No. 2 defeated Hawaii 32-22.
The Cadet Nationals are for wrestlers who are 15 and 16 years old, some of the best young talents in the country.
Before last year, there had only been nine wrestlers to win a Cadet Triple Crown since the program began in 2003. That number jumped considerably when Wisconsin's Hunter Marko (94 pounds), California's Aaron Pico (132), Texas' Bo Nickal (160) and Minnesota's Lance Benick (195) completed Triple Crowns by winning Cadet Nationals freestyle titles last year. Marko and Benick are both eligible to return, but Benick competed in the Junior division at the 2013 Folkstyle Championships and Marko placed second there so neither will be eligible for a second Cadet Triple Crown. Taylor Massa of Michigan is the only wrestler to win two Cadet Triple Crowns.
2012 Double Champion Devin Schnupp of Pennsylvania is eligible to return this year. Schnupp won titles last year competing at 84 pounds.
Other 2012 Cadet National freestyle champions who are eligible to return along with Schnupp, Marko and Benick are Zahid Valencia of California (113) and Mark Hall of Michigan (152).
2012 Cadet National freestyle runners-up who are eligible to return are Michael Doetsch of Maryland (84), Kyle Bierdumpfel of New Jersey (100), Mason Manville of Minnesota (145), Landon Pelham of Michigan (195) and Kyle Childers of Oklahoma (220).
Joining Schnupp, Marko and Benick as 2012 Cadet National Greco-Roman champions who are eligible to return are Mitchell McKee of Minnesota (100), Vincent Turk of Illinois (120), Mason Manville of Minnesota (145) and Samuel Colbray of Oregon (182).
2012 Cadet National Greco-Roman runners-up who are eligible to return are Breandan Coughlin of Maryland (84), Jon Gabriel of Pennsylvania (94), Kyle Bierdumpfel of New Jersey (100), Drake Foster of Idaho (113), Brady O'Keefe of Nevada (132), Joey Gunther of Illinois (138) and Landon Pelham of Michigan (195).
The team champions in Cadet freestyle last year was Pennsylvania followed by Illinois in second and Michigan in third. Minnesota edged Illinois in a close race for the 2012 Cadet Greco-Roman team title while Pennsylvania finished third.
The 2013 Cadet National Duals were held in Daytona Beach, Fla. this June and showcased many of the stars expected in Fargo. Illinois won the Greco-Roman title, dominating Pennsylvania in the finals, followed by Utah, Georgia Red and New Jersey. Illinois and Pennsylvania met again in the Cadet National Freestyle Duals with Illinois coming out on top 43-31. Oklahoma Red came in third place followed by Indiana and Ohio Red to round out the top five.
Last year was the second year that there was a Cadet National tournament for girls in Fargo, a new opportunity for 15 and 16 year old girls to show their abilities on the national level.
2012 Cadet National women's freestyle champions who are eligible to return are Jessica DeHart of Oregon (101), Teshya Alo of Hawaii (124) and Ryan Gibbons of Washington (198).
2012 Cadet National women's freestyle runners-up who are eligible to return are Rebecca Forsyth of Virginia (95), Angelica Llanes of California (108), Maya Nelson of Colorado (124), Samantha Cushard of Michigan (154) and Azusenna Molina of California (172).
California won the 2012 Cadet National women's freestyle team title followed by Washington in second and Michigan in third.
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.
The ASICS High School All-American Teams for both boys and girls will be honored during the week in Fargo, and the ASICS Boys Wrestler of the Year and the ASICS Girls Wrestler of the Year will be announced.
For updated articles, features and results from Fargo, visit TheMat.com
All of the matches on all of the mats from the 2013 ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet Nationals will be rebroadcast live through a partnership between USA Wrestling and Flo Wrestling.
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SCHEDULE FOR CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS IN FARGO
Saturday, July 13 - Cadet Women Finals at 7:00 p.m. Central
Monday, July 15 - Cadet Greco-Roman Finals at 2:00 p.m. Central
Tuesday, July 16 - Junior Greco-Roman Finals at 2:15 p.m. Central
Tuesday, July 16 - Junior Women Finals at 5:45 p.m. Central
Wednesday, July 17 - Junior Women Duals Final Session: 3:30 p.m. Central
Friday, July 19 - Cadet Freestyle Finals: 2:00 p.m. Central
Saturday, July 20 - Junior Men's Freestyle Finals: 10:00 a.m. Central