Chase Horne of Georgia will face Wisconsin's Ben Kawczynski in the final 285-pound match. Photo by Tony Rotundo/WrestlersAreWarriors
FARGO, N.D. — Tuesday’s 2021 Junior Nationals men’s freestyle finals pairings are officially set after semifinal action wrapped up at the FargoDome on Monday. The session will feature 22 wrestlers ranked in FloWrestling’s national rankings. Illinois, Iowa and Michigan all have four wrestlers in the championship finals.
Illinois leads the team race with 112 points, with four in the finals and five in the consolations. Pennsylvania is 14 points behind with 98 points, but no finalists. However, Pennsylvania's nine in the consolations could help close the gap. Wisconsin has seven in the consolations and one finalist in third, with Iowa and Michigan not far behind.
In tomorrow’s lineup, four matches feature a battle of two top-ten wrestlers. The group is led by the 145-pound weight class, which looks set to be the premier match on the slate. #4 Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) will wrestle #3 Jordan Williams (Oklahoma) after both posted significant wins in Monday’s semifinals. Rathjen knocked off California’s #18 Nicco Ruiz in dominant fashion, a 10-0 tech fall in 3:18. Williams beat #9 Matthew Bianchi of Wisconsin in an exciting 14-9 back-and-forth affair.
At the 132-pound weight class, Illinois’ Nasir Bailey has made a surprising run to tomorrow’s finals after a significant semifinal upset. Bailey defeated Indiana’s #5 Zeke Seltzer, a convincing 8-5 decision. Bailey also defeated Pennsylvania standout Gregor McNeil in the tournament, setting up a highly-anticipated Tuesday finals bout with #13 Emilio Ysaguirre Jr. of Arizona. Ysaguirre has been one of the stories of the week, highlighted by his victory over No. 1 Nic Bouzakis of Pennsylvania.
Headlining the finals pairings tomorrow is the only top-ranked wrestler still in the championship field, Chase Horne (Georgia) at 285 pounds. Horne battled Oklahoma’s #3 Harley Andrews in the quarterfinals on Monday, winning a thrilling 13-10 match. In the finals, Horne will face Wisconsin’s Ben Kawczynski for the Fargo title.
Iowa’s #2 Drake Ayala, who won this event as a sophomore in 2019 at 113 pounds, is looking to capture his second Junior Nationals title on Tuesday. He was dominant yet again on Monday, knocking off Illinois’ #11 Vincent Robinson in the semifinals. He is outscoring his opponents 64-4 on the weekend. Ayala’s finals bout against #12 Sergio Lemley will be no easy task. Lemley, a Team Indiana representative, has seven wins in seven bouts here in the tournament already, including a win over #16 Jore Volk (Minnesota).
Lemley is one of two Junior wrestlers still eligible for the USA Wrestling Triple Crown honor, which is won by wrestlers who win USA Wrestling Folkstyle, Freestyle and Greco-Roman national titles in the same year. The other Triple Crown contender is 220-pounder #11 Ben Kueter of Iowa, who will battle Indiana's #3 (at 195) Christian Carroll in the finals.
Tuesday’s Junior Nationals men’s freestyle finals will take place starting at 1:00 p.m. CST. Each match can be watched live on FloWrestling.
100: Nate Smith (Indiana) vs. Zane Donley (Oklahoma)
106: Brandon Morvari (Minnesota) vs. Hunter Taylor (Missouri)
113: #4 (at 106) Braeden Davis (Michigan) vs. #11 Benjamin Aranda (Illinois)
120: #12 Kannon Webster (Illinois) vs. Yusief Lillie (Washington)
126: #2 Drake Ayala (Iowa) vs. #12 Sergio Lemley (Indiana)
132: #13 Emilio Ysaguirre Jr. (Arizona) vs. Nasir Bailey (Illinois)
138: #15 Tagen Jamison (Texas) vs. #7 Casey Swiderski (Michigan)
145: #4 Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) vs. #3 Jordan Williams (Oklahoma)
152: #3 Caleb Henson (Georgia) vs. Daniel Wask (New Jersey)
160: #9 Joshua Barr (Michigan) vs. #10 Aiden Riggins (Iowa)
170: #14 Brayden Thompson (Illinois) vs. #4 (at 182) Manny Rojas (Michigan)
182: #9 Thomas Stewart (Maryland) vs. #3 Brian Soldano (New Jersey)
195: #8 Dylan Fishback (Ohio) vs. #5 Seth Shumate (Ohio)
220: #11 Ben Kueter (Iowa) vs. #3 (at 195) Christian Carroll (Indiana)
285: #1 Chase Horne (Georgia) vs. Ben Kawczynski (Wisconsin)
Nate Smith (Indiana) dec. Treshaun Tecson (Oklahoma), 7-6
Zane Donley (Oklahoma) tech Hank Kriegler (Nebraska), 10-0 0:38
Brandon Morvari (Minnesota) dec. Wyatt Skebba (Wisconsin), 5-0
Hunter Taylor (Missouri) dec. Christian Forbes (Oklahoma), 5-2
Braeden Davis (Michigan) tech. Codie Cuerbo (Ohio), 12-2 3:53
Benjamin Aranda (Illinois) tech. Alan Koehler (Minnesota), 12-2 2:49
Kannon Webster (Illinois) tech Jett Strickenberger (Colorado), 13-2 3:45
Yusief Lillie (Washington) tech Grigor Cholakyan (California), 5-1
Drake Ayala (Iowa) tech Vincent Robinson (Illinois), 10-0 2:29
Sergio Lemley (Indiana) fall Jore Volk (Minnesota), 7-4 5:25
Emilio Ysaguirre, Jr. (Arizona) dec. Garrett Grice (Nebraska), 3-2
Nasir Bailey (Illinois) dec. Zeke Seltzer (Indiana), 8-5
Tagen Jamison (Texas) tech Kimo Leia (California), 13-2 4:22
Casey Swiderski (Michigan) dec Ty Whalen (New Jersey), 10-4
Caleb Rathjen (Iowa) tech Nicco Ruiz (California), 10-0 3:18
Jordan Williams (Oklahoma) dec. Matthew Bianchi (Wisconsin), 14-9
Caleb Henson (Georgia) dec. Cael Swensen (Minnesota), 6-3
Daniel Wask (New Jersey) dec. Erik Gibson (Pennsylvania), 12-8
Joshua Barr (Michigan) tech Braeden Scoles (Wisconsin), 13-2 5:05
Aiden Riggins (Iowa) tech Antrell Taylor (Nebraska), 19-6 3:03
Brayden Thompson (Illinois) dec. Luke Geog (Ohio), 4-2
Manuel Rojas (Michigan) tech Brody Baumann (Indiana), 15-5 5:41
Thomas Stewart (Maryland) dec Hayden Walters (Oregon), 4-1
Brian Soldano (New Jersey) tech Bennett Berge (Minnesota), 10-0 4:25
Dylan Fishback (Ohio) dec. Caden Rogers (Pennsylvania), 14-7
Seth Shumate (Ohio) dec. Kolby Franklin (Pennsylvania), 10-10 criteria
Ben Kueter (Iowa) tech Martin Cosgrove (New Jersey), 11-0 5:22
Christian Carroll (Indiana) tech Noah Pettigrew (Georgia), 10-0 2:04
Ben Kawczynski (Wisconsin) tech Jamikael Lytle (California), 13-2 4:44
Chase Horne (Georgia) tech Charles Crews iii (Pennsylvania), 11-0 3:20
CURRENT TEAM STANDINGS
1 - Illinois - 109
2 - Pennsylvania - 95
3 - Wisconsin - 93
4 - Iowa - 91
5 - Michigan - 86
6 - Indiana - 83
7 - Ohio - 77
8 - Minnesota - 70
9 (tied) - New Jersey and Oklahoma - 66