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High School Wrestling

Looking Ahead to Final X 2029

Kilty, Macey

photo courtesy of Justin Hoch

The year is 2029 and Final X as we know it is still alive and kicking. The United States has established itself as a world wrestling power in both men’s and women’s freestyle and the Greco-Roman program has begun to emerge and produce world medals. Fans are excited to watch some of their favorite wrestlers take the mat and compete for a spot on the world team.

Here are some of the names you could be watching in Final X 10 years down the road:

Macey Kilty – WFS

Most fans already know the name Macey Kilty. The young women’s freestyle star had an incredible 2018 summer, claiming a world gold medal at the Cadet level and then bumping up to the Junior level, making the national team and coming away with a world silver medal with her finals loss coming to the defending Junior world champion. If that weren’t enough, Kilty finished as the runner-up at the Senior world team trials in Raleigh a month ago, narrowly missing out on a spot in this year’s Final X. Should she continue to wrestle through 2029, there’s no reason to believe Kilty will be anything less than a superstar.

Richie Figueroa – MFS

The kid they call Richie Figs absolutely burst onto the scene last year when tore through the bracket at FloNational before making the Cadet world team with a dominating performance in Akron. Figueroa parlayed that success into a World silver medal at the Cadet level. He’s had equal success on the folkstyle side of things, winning a pair of California state titles as well as a Super 32 championship. Figueroa is just a sophomore and is committed to Arizona State to wrestle for Zeke Jones who knows a thing or two about how to win a world championship as a lightweight.

Cevion Severado – GR

Severado is currently going the folkstyle route and wrestling in college for Missouri after winning a state championship there for Christian Brothers in 2018. On the Greco-Roman side, he’s even more accomplished. Severado is a 2018 Junior Pan-Am gold medalist and a 2017 Junior World silver medalist. He became the first American to reach the Junior world finals in Greco-Roman since 2000 and has shown that he’s not afraid to go big at any moment. Should there be a resurgence in Greco-Roman in the US, Severado could well be one of the wrestlers to lead the way.

Kennedy Blades – WFS

Perhaps the only thing that could stand in the way of the aforementioned Macey Kilty becoming a superstar is this girl, Kennedy Blades. Blades, just a rising sophomore, squared off with Kilty at FloWrestling’s Who’s #1 on the campus of Lehigh University last year and fell just short of victory, losing 6-5. Still, an impressive showing for the much younger of the two wrestlers. Blades is both a Fargo and Pan-Am champion and recently made her first Cadet world team at 73 kilograms. She’ll be one of the favorites at the Cadet world championships this summer and is just scratching the surface of her potential.

Robert Howard – MFS

Just last month, New Jersey’s Robbie Howard made his third Cadet world team. The list of American freestyle wrestlers to have completed that feat starts and stops with Robbie Howard. Not a bad thing to have on your resume. While Howard has yet to capture a medal at Cadet worlds, he will be favored to do so this time around and is a Youth Olympic Games gold medalist. The rising senior will also have plenty of resources at his disposal as he’s committed to wrestle for Penn State in college. If Howard’s success so far is any indicator, he could become a mainstay on the senior freestyle circuit in the future.

Cohlton Schultz –  GR

This one almost feels a bit like cheating. If you watched the World Team Trials, you know who Cohlton Schultz is because he’s already headed to Final X after taking out multiple-time world team member and 2016 Olympian Robby Smith in the finals in Raleigh. Did we mention that Schultz on just graduated high school? While he’s got a tall task ahead of him to unseat world silver medalist Adam Coon, Schultz has dominated on his way up the ladder. He’s a 2017 Cadet world champ in Greco and a 2018 Junior world bronze medalist. He’ll make the first of what will almost assuredly be many appearances in Final X this year and will then continue to Arizona State for his collegiate career. It’s hard to envision Schultz not making many world teams in the future.

Other Names to Watch

Emily Shilson – WFS

Alex Facundo – MFS

Kyle Haas – GR

Sterling Dias – WFS

Amit Elor – WFS

Robert Perez III – MFS/GR

Marc-Anthony Magowan – MFS

Carson Kharchla – MFS

Gracie Figueroa – WFS

AJ Ferrari – MFS

Braxton Amos – MFS/GR

Michaela Beck – WFS

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