Another Super 32 is in the books and it lived up to the hype in every way. For two days many of the best wrestlers in the country put it all on the line. There were upsets, classic encounters, and plenty of action that we won’t soon forget. Here are five quick things from a tournament that we could talk about for weeks.
Vitali Arujau Dominates at 132
After winning a Cadet world silver medal in September, the top ranked 132 in the nation, Vitali Arujau of Syosset, NY, flashed his dominance on his way to a Super 32 title. Starting in the round of 16, the Cornell commit defeated 18th ranked Kevon Davenport, 14-0, seventh-ranked Zach Donathan, 3-0, and Breydan Bailey, 12-4, to reach the finals. In the title bout, Arujau faced his toughest bout on paper facing third-ranked Mitch Moore from St. Paris Graham in Ohio. However, Arujau steadily built his lead to 6-1 after two periods. Even after a Moore takedown to cut the lead to 6-3 in the third, Arujau immediately responded with a takedown and two nearfall of his own on his way to an impressive 11-4 win.
Joey Silva Controls Desanto for 126 Crown
Sixth-ranked Joey Silva, out of Lake Highland Prep in Florida, continues to have a fantastic preseason. After taking out Real Woods for the Journeymen title, Silva marched into the Super 32 final, handling #18 Dan Moran, 11-6, in the quarters and taking down Isaiah Perez, 14-7, in the semi-finals along the way. Waiting for him with a belt on the line was the seventh-ranked 126 Austin Desanto of Exeter, PA. Desanto wore quality opponents down with his pace throughout the tournament, including in a contentious semi-final win over fifth-ranked 132 Jacori Teemer, but Silva remained in control throughout. A first-period takedown from Silva set the tone and Desanto could not get the pace of the match where he wanted it. Silva tacked on a couple of third-period takedowns to win it, 7-2.
Sammy Sasso Bounces Back in a Big Way
Sasso was not happy with his performance at Who’s Number One, where he lost to second-ranked Nick Lee, 8-3. If anything, that result only seemed to motivate the fifth-ranked junior from Nazareth, PA. After his first three wins, Sasso pinned 18th ranked Luke Kemerer in the round of 16, majored Nate Keim, 11-3, and then locked up an early cradle to pin Corey Shie in 1:31. In the final, Sasso put on an absolute clinic. After scrambling with Jakob Bergeland from Minnesota for much of the first period without any points on the board, Sasso scored a late takedown and tilt for a 4-0 lead. It was 6-0 after another two-point nearfall and a full period ride in the second before Sasso poured it on in the third to take the title, 15-1.
Bryce Rogers Takes Out Mantanona, Allar for the Belt
Lake Highland Prep (FL) had a great weekend, but none of their other wrestlers were more impressive than Rogers. After surviving a round of 16 battle with Michael Battista in sudden victory, Rogers got by Myles Wilson in the quarters, 4-3. At that point, few would have predicted that the 11th-ranked Rogers would be the man to come out on top in a final four that also featured eighth-ranked Anthony Mantanona (Palm Desert, CA), tenth-ranked Ethan Smith (Aberdeen, MD) and the third-ranked 160 Jake Allar (St. Michael-Albertville, MN). However, Rogers dismissed Mantanona in fine fashion in a 10-3 semi-final victory and used a late second-period takedown to take control of the final against Allar. Allar kept coming, but Rogers was always able to constantly find his way out of trouble. The final score was 7-3 as Rogers won his 2016 Super 32 championship belt.
So Many Great Matches, So Little Time
The Super 32 lived up to the hype as great wrestlers were meeting all over the building on Sunday. There were far too many fantastic match-ups and notable results to get to them all right now. However, there are a few more that need to be mentioned here. Fourth-ranked 170 Louie DePrez handled second-ranked 170 Nino Bonaccorsi to win the 182 title. Top-ranked 160 Brady Berge was down at 152 where he took care of fourth-ranked Quentin Hovis, 5-3, in a match that seemed more in control than the final score may indicate. 10th ranked Adam Busiello should rise up the rankings after his win at 113. It was his second straight Super 32 title and the sophomore remains on track to become the first ever four-time champion. Second-ranked Jared Verkleeren looked strong again as he took the crown at 145.