The 2016 Asics/Vaughan Cadet/Junior National Championships begin Saturday, July 16th in Fargo, North Dakota. There will be wrestlers competing in the FargoDome for eight consecutive days, beginning with Cadet women’s freestyle and culminating on the 23rd of July with the Junior men’s freestyle final session. In between, thousands of wrestlers from across the country will battle for the coveted stop sign, awarded to those who place in the top eight at a USA Wrestling championship. The full schedule of events can be found here. Check back with TOM for previews, results and analysis all week long.
Day six in Fargo saw the finals and placement matches set in Cadet freestyle and the Junior freestyle tournament progress to the round of 16. As usual there were fantastic matches, upsets and controversy, but most of all there was wall-to-wall wrestling!
Cohlton Schultz Gets His Revenge
Schultz (CO) and Tyler Curd (MO) took care of business in the quarter-finals to setup the match we all wanted to see in the Cadet semi-finals at 220. Curd, who is receiving national attention for a fantastic move he pulled off yesterday, upset Schultz on his way to the Cadet Greco title earlier this week. However, the rematch showed you don’t want to make Schultz mad. After Curd tried for a big throw early, Schultz countered and rolled up three gut wrenches for a big early lead. Curd scored a reversal off of the third gut so the score was 8-1, but Schultz wasn’t done yet, securing a takedown and another gut to end it in under two minutes, 12-1.
Brody Teske Storms Back to Gain the Final
Teske (IA) trailed 7-0 after the first period against Josh Saunders of Missouri. At that point, it seemed far more likely that Saunders would secure the tech than that Teske would make a comeback. Even after Teske got a step-out point to get on the board, most had to think it was a moral victory only. No one told Brody, though, and his takedown moments later nearly led to a leg-lace that could have gotten him right back into the match. He couldn’t quite turn Saunders so he still trailed 7-3 with two minutes remaining. Another step-out and a takedown cut the lead to a single point with 1:15 to go and Teske had all the momentum, but Saunders had criteria with the only 4-point move. Criteria was unnecessary as Teske scored another takedown with 30 seconds left and tacked on another step-out as Saunders tried in vain to score at the end. Brody Teske advanced to the finals by the score of 9-7.
Can Anyone Stop Nick Raimo?
Raimo (NJ) wasn’t on the mat long on Thursday as he dominated again with a 31 second fall in the quarters and a 10-0 tech in the semi-final. He remains on track to be a double Cadet champion for the second consecutive year. He will face a man with a familiar name to wrestling fans in the final. Jaden Abas (CA), whose father Gerry and Uncle Stephen combined for six NCAA finals appearances at Fresno State, will be looking to end Raimo’s run when the two face off in the Cadet freestyle national finals tomorrow afternoon.
Kaden Gfeller Injury Defaults
Oklahoma State commit Gfeller (OK), who was one of several big names in the Junior 138 pound bracket, tweeted that he popped his hip flexor out during warm-ups and would be unable to compete on Thursday. He defaulted to Harold Mauler (MO) and TOM’s 4th-ranked 132-pounder will be focusing on getting healthy for his senior season instead of taking home a stop sign on Saturday.
Nick Freeman and Tyler Eischens Go Wild
In a week such as this one with so many tremendous matches going on, it is impossible to name one match of the tournament, but the battle between Freeman (MI) and Eischens (MN) has to be on the short list. In a rematch of the Cadet Greco semi-final between the two just three days ago, they combined for 32 points. The 16-16 score in itself was amazing, but the ending was even better as Freeman, trailing by four with under 10 seconds remaining, hit a beauty of an inside trip to tie the score and swing criteria to his side. However, as time expired, Eischens was awarded a one-point reverse that would have won him the match 17-16. That call was controversially reversed on a challenge as it was ruled time had expired. Freeman survived, 16-16. The match may have taken a lot out of the two young men as Eischens, after a win, fell 10-10 on the back and will wrestle for seventh. Freeman dropped his semi-final, but rallied to reach the third place bout.