USA Wrestling Nation's elite cruis...

Nation's elite cruise through first day of Junior Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, N.D.

By Richard Immel, USA Wrestling | July 21, 2016, 8:46 p.m. (ET)

 Utah sensation Taylor LaMont in the running for back-to-back Junior
National titles in freestyle division. Photo: John Sachs,
FARGO, N.D. – Defending champions Taylor LaMont of Utah, Jason Holmes of Arizona and Brandon Courtney of Arizona all advanced to the round of 16 in dominant fashion on day one of the Junior Freestyle Nationals at the Fargodome.

Fresh off capturing his second Junior Greco-Roman Nationals title, Lamont continues to enforce his stranglehold on the 132-pound division. He won two matches by 10-0 technical fall during today’s competition.

LaMont has won four Fargo titles to this point, on top of appearing on three Cadet World Team’s before making his first Junior World Team in Greco-Roman this year. He finished in fifth place at the Cadet World Championships in Greco-Roman last summer and is a four-time Utah state champion.

Holmes won his only match of the day by 10-0 technical fall over Karsen Mosbrucker of North Dakota at 106 pounds. He finished in third place in Junior Greco-Roman and was a double All-American at the UWW Cadet Nationals held last month.

Courtney, an Arizona high school state champion, picked up two 10-0 victories to open his title defense at 120 pounds.

Returning to the Junior Nationals field as freestyle runners-up from one year ago are Jaret Lane of Pennsylvania (106), Liam Cronin of California (120), Drew Mattin of Ohio (120), Mitchell McKee of Minnesota (138), Evan Wick of California (160), Lucas Jeske of Minnesota (170) and Sam Shields-Colbray (220). All except Jeske have gone unscathed on their quest for Fargo redemption.

No Junior wrestlers are eligible to win the USA Wrestling Triple Crown. However, 11 of the Junior Greco-Roman champions are still in the mix to double up in Fargo.

Junior wrestlers who won the Greco-Roman competition earlier this week and have advanced to tomorrow’s championship rounds include LaMont, Lane, McKee, Shields-Colbray, Brendon Garcia of Colorado (100), Dalton Duffield of Oklahoma (120), Ryan Deakin of Colorado (145), Griffin Parriott of Minnesota (152), Anthony Mantanona of California (170), Haydn Maley of Oregon (195), and Brandon Metz of North Dakota (285).

Malik Heinselman of Colorado (100), Dylan D’Emilio of Ohio (113), Joe Lee of Indiana (152) and Jacob Raschka of Wisconsin (195) all won the Cadet Freestyle Nationals last year and are still in the championship mix in their first go at the Junior division.

Four age-group U.S. World Team members are entered in the field. LaMont and Arizona’s Quentin Hovis are members of the Junior World Team in Greco-Roman. Heinselman and Florida’s Max Wohlabaugh made the Cadet World Team, Heinselman in freestyle and Wohlabaugh in Greco-Roman. All four remain in contention for the stop sign.

There were 1,200 entries in the Junior Freestyle Nationals, an increase of 60 wrestlers from last year.

Action from the Fargodome will resume tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. (CT) with session three of the Junior freestyle competition. The Junior freestyle finals will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT).

All matches from the 2016 ASICS/Vaughan Cadet and Junior National Championships can be viewed live on with a FLO PRO account. Complete brackets, results and team scores can be found on