Photos by Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine and John Sachs, Tech-Fall.com
Another tournament on the men’s side is in the books in Fargo, but the outcome didn’t change. After winning both Cadet and Junior championships in men’s freestyle, Illinois continued showing their dominance, lapping the field on the way to a Cadet Greco crown. With an astounding 20 All-Americans, the Land of Lincoln earned 89 points, far outdistancing runner-up Minnesota who had 48. Despite the impressive display of force, Illinois’ tournament ended on a slightly sour note as just two of their seven finalists took home a stop sign Friday afternoon.
The two champions for Illinois were a pair of grapplers making return trips to the Fargo stage. Dylan Ragusin (106) became a double champion with a 4-3 win over teammate Matthew Ramos before Abe Assad (170) took one more step up the podium after a runner-up finish in freestyle.
Competitors that had fallen in the freestyle finals were out for vengeance early and often on Friday, winning five Greco crowns. In addition to Assad, Chance Lamer (Oregon, 88), Carter Young (Oklahoma, 94), Kevon Davenport (Michigan, 138), and Michael Weber (Montana, 145) refused to go home without stop signs.
After Ragusin’s double title, he was joined in that club by Carson Manville (Minnesota, 132), Carter Starocci (Pennsylvania, 160), Ashton Sharp (Missouri, 195), and Braxton Amos (West Virginia, 220). Amos became the 15th wrestler in the history of the event to win four titles as a Cadet on his way to earning Outstanding Wrestler honors.
Phillip Moomey (Nebraska, 120) and Eli Pokorney (Indiana, 285) bounced back from third place finishes in freestyle to claim victory in Greco.
Yussief Lillie (Washington) knocked off 2016 Cadet world team member Andrew Chambal (Michigan) to win the championship at 100 pounds.
Hunter Lewis (Wisconsin) got back from a double silver medal winning performance the Cadet Pan American Championships to claim the title at 113.
Reece Witcraft (Oklahoma, 126) continued to thrive in Greco, needing just 2:01 to see off Ryan Ripplinger (North Dakota), 15-4.
McKay Foy (Utah, 152) needed even less time, racing past Aaron Gandara (Arizona), who was trying to win a triple crown, with a fall in 1:49.
Jonathan Fagen (Idaho, 182) carried the disappointment of his two freestyle losses, he finished fourth, all the way to a Greco stop sign, beating Grant Parrish (Minnesota), 14-8.