The largest wrestling tournament in the world, the ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet Nationals hosted by USA Wrestling, showed growth in all seven of the tournaments held in Fargo, N.D. from July 13-20.
The competition is hosted in the Fargodome, on the campus of North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D, an indoor football arena in which 23 wrestling mats were used for the competition.
In total, for the seven divisions held during the week, there were 4,152 entries, an increase of 182 entries from the previous year. There was an increase in entries in all seven tournaments.
The divisions included competition in the Junior division (high school students) in men's freestyle, women's freestyle and Greco-Roman, and in the Cadet division (ages 15-16) in in men's freestyle, women's freestyle and Greco-Roman. In addition, the Junior Women's National Dual Meet Championships was also hosted.
One of the reasons cited for the growth in all divisions were the new rules of international wrestling, which were more popular among the athletes and coaches and displayed an impressive increase in scoring and excitement from the previous rules used for the sport. In addition, the increase also shows the positive support from the entire wrestling community for the Keep Olympic Wrestling effort.
The event features teams from USA Wrestling's state associations, which hold qualifying events and organize their state teams' training and travel for the event. During the course of the week, there were competitors from 46 different states and from Puerto Rico entered in the event.
Every match on every mat from every tournament was webcast live to the world through a cooperative arrangement between USA Wrestling and Flowrestling.
Many of America's top wrestling heroes made appearances during the week, meeting with young wrestlers who are considered Olympic hopefuls of the future. Event sponsor ASICS hosted autograph sessions with Olympic champions Bruce Baumgartner, Dan Gable, Tom Brands, Cael Sanderson and Cael Sanderson. The Committee for the Preservation of Olympic Wrestling (CPOW) also had hero appearances from two-time Olympian Ali Bernard and Olympic champion Kendall Cross.
CPOW, as part of the effort to Keep Olympic Wrestling, organized the largest wrestling Harlem Shake, which featured athletes, coaches and wrestling leaders. A video of the wrestling Harlem Shake has become popular through social media channels.
History was made in the Junior division when Michigan heavyweight star Adam Coon became the first wrestler to win the coveted Junior Triple Crown for the second time. A Triple Crown is awarded to any wrestler who wins USA Wrestling national titles in freestyle, Greco-Roman and American folkstyle wrestling during the same year.
There were four Triple Crown winners on the Cadet level in 2013: Mark Hall of Colorado, Daton Fix of Oklahoma, Nick Reenan of Texas and Jacob Marnin of Iowa.
In the women's competition, two athletes were able to win gold medals in both the Cadet and Junior divisions, Teshya Alo of Hawaii and Maya Nelson of Colorado.
History was made in the Women's Junior Duals, as New York became only the third state to ever win the event, which has been held for more than a decade, joining previous winners California and Texas. The New York team dedicated its victory to the late Olympic Greco-Roman champion Jeff Blatnick, who served as the New York state chairperson for USA Wrestling until his untimely death in October 2012. All of the New York teams had an image of Blatnick on their wrestling singlet, with the message "Dream Big."
For complete coverage of the USA Wrestling ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals, which includes stories, features, results, videos, photos and more, visit:ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet Nationals Special Section