Fargo Day 3 preview (7/15): 16U men’s freestyle finals; Junior men’s freestyle wrestle semifinals

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | July 14, 2019, 11:33 p.m. (ET)
A wild scramble in the Leonard Pinto (PA) vs. Tate Picklo (OK) battle at 170 pounds. Pinto emerged with a 10-0 technical fall and has advanced to the finals. Photo by Travis Le, Matfocus.com

The focus on Monday is entirely on men’s freestyle, with the 16U Nationals finals set for 2:00 p.m. and the Junior Freestyle Nationals powering through the semifinals on Monday evening, setting the gold-medal matches for Tuesday. For those who are fans of men’s freestyle, there will be a ton of great matches, and some upsets just waiting to happen. You will want to keep tuned in to FloWrestling all day.

WHAT’S NEW: There are no new tournaments starting Monday.

WHAT FINISHES: The 16U freestyle finals feature two eligible for the Triple Crown

The 16U men’s freestyle nationals finals is set, with returning champions Jordan Williams of Oklahoma (120) and Hayden Copass of Illinois (285) in the mix. As both were also 2019 USA Wrestling Folkstyle National champions, they are also still in the hunt for the coveted Junior Triple Crown for this year.

The 16U men’s freestyle finals pairings are:
88 - Alan Koehler (MN) vs Braeden Davis (MI)
94 - Dillon Campbell (OH) vs Cael Hughes (OK)
100 - Jore Volk (MN) vs Caden Horwath (MI)
106 - Mitchell Neiner (WA) vs Evan Tallmadge (NJ)
113 - Wilfried Tanefeu (ND) vs Gabe Whisenhunt (OR)
120 - Zeke Seltzer (IN) vs Jordan Williams (OK)
126 - Nic Bouzakis (FL) vs Ramon Ramos (AZ)
132 - Daniel Cardenas (CO) vs Antrell Taylor (NE)
138 - Nicholas Vafiadis (VA) vs John Wiley (OK)
145 - Dean Hamiti Jr (IL) vs Matthew Singleton (GA)
152 - Manuel Rojas (MI) vs Stoney Buell (MI)
160 - Mac Stout (PA) vs Thomas Stewart (MD)
170 - Leonard Pinto (PA) vs Rylan Rogers (WA)
182 - Michael Tal-Shahar (FL) vs Bennett Berge (MN)
195 - Evan Bates (IN) vs Seth Shumate (OH)
220 - Kolby Franklin (PA) vs Dustin Swanson (PA)
285 - Hayden Copass (IL) vs Griffin Liddle (IA)

The team race has more clarity, as Pennsylvania took the lead after putting four in the finals and eight more in the medal matches, giving the Keystone State 12 All-Americans. Ohio has two in the finals after a disasterous semifinal round, but eight other All-Americans. Minnesota has three finalists and nine other All-Americans. Pennsylvania is guaranteed at least one champion, as both 220 pound finalists are from the Keystone State, Kolby Franklin and Dustin Swanson.

WHAT CONTINUES: Junior Freestyle Nationals gets down to the nitty gritty

If the first day of men’s freestyle was a tasty appetizer, then Monday’s two sessions of Junior freestyle action is the full meal. On the championship side, two of the most intense rounds of Junior freestyle will be showcased, with the quarterfinals set for the 9:00 a.m. morning session and the semifinals on the schedule for the evening session at 5:00 p.m. Both of these rounds will showcase athletes expected to go on to college success and, for some, a future at the highest levels.

Six remain alive for the Junior Triple Crown, having won the Folkstyle Nationals in Iowa in April, then making it to the quarterfinals in Junior freestyle. They are Brandon O’Byle of Iowa (100), Blake West of Minnesota (106), Drake Ayala of Iowa (113), Moshe Schwartz of Colorado (132), Ridge Lovett of Idaho (138) and Rocky Elam of Missouri (182).

Although it is still early to be counting team points officially, teams that are lined up to do well include:
• Illinois – 14 in quarterfinals, 32 in consolations
• Ohio – 11 in quarterfinals, 29 in consolations
• Pennsylvania – 11 in quarterfinals, 26 in consolations
• California – 9 in quarterfinals, 26 in consolations

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Junior Men's Freestyle: Session III – Quarterfinals & Consolations
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.. - 16U Freestyle: Session VI - Finals, Medal Matches & Awards
5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. - Junior Men's Freestyle: Session IV –- Semifinals, Consolations and Consolation Semifinals