Kyler Larkin of Arizona raised his USA Wrestling National Champion stop-sign trophy. He was later named Outstanding Wrestler. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.
What we saw: Day Three from Fargo 2021 was certainly eventful. The day’s action showcased quite a few memorable matches that came down to the wire and even a few upsets amongst the top seeds at certain weights, most notably Nic Bouzakis at 132 in the Junior division.
Despite some shocking upsets from some of the Keystone State’s top talent in both the 16U and Junior divisions, Team Pennsylvania came away with its third straight team title at the U16 Men’s Freestyle National Championships. The effort was assisted by four finalists, all of whom fell in the finals. It is the first time since 2016 that PA didn’t muster a 16U national champ in men’s freestyle. That said, the Keystone State had 21 total All-Americans (finalists included). Still, Pennsylvania’s margin of victory was 84 points.
The top five team finishes were Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, and Wisconsin in fifth. The point margin from the second (Minnesota) to the fifth team (Wisconsin) was only 22 points.
Similarly, there was parity amongst the finalists. In total, the 34 finalists hailed from 19 different states, and the eventual 17 national champions came from 12 different states. Of the champions, New Jersey led the way (3), followed by Minnesota, Ohio, and Arizona (2 each). Eight other states had one champ : Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Nebraska, New York, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Also of note, Mack Mauger (Idaho/94 pounds) and Koy Hopke (Wisconsin/220 pounds) both looked strong in their paths to their respective titles. Both remain eligible to win the coveted USA Wrestling Triple Crown after winning the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals earlier this year.
Kyler Larkin of Arizona was voted the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Below are the final results from the 16U Men’s Freestyle Finals.
88: Javaan Yarbrough (Ohio) VPO1 Haakon Peterson (Wisconsin), 10-4
94: Mack Mauger (Idaho) VPO1 Cadell Lee (Virginia), 8-3
100: Seth Mendoza (Illinois) VPO Christian Castillo (Arizona), 7-0
106: Anthony Knox (New Jersey) VSU1 Sam Herring (Pennsylvania), 18-6 3:32
113: Leo Deluca (New Jersey) VSU Brock Mantanona (California), 10-0 1:02
120: Adrian Meza (Arizona) VPO Aden Valencia (California), 3-0
126: Kyler Larkin (Arizona) VPO1 Landon Robideau (Minnesota), 3-1 (OW)
132: Zach Hanson (Minnesota) VPO1 Christopher Coates (Missouri), 2-1
138: Joel Adams (Nebraska) VPO1 Tyler Kasak (Pennsylvania), 7-6
145: William Henckel (Connecticut) VPO1 Pierson Manville (Pennsylvania), 4-2
152: Zack Ryder (New York) VPO1 Kj Evans (Oklahoma), 10-9
160: Louie Cerchio (New Jersey) VPO1 Daschle Lamer (Oregon), 8-4
170: Gabriel Arnold (Georgia) VPO1 Cody Merrill (California), 3-1
182: Camden McDanel (Ohio) VPO1 Luke Vanadia (Ohio), 9-6
195: Max Mcenelly (Minnesota) VPO1 Sonny Sasso (Pennsylvania), 11-8
220: Koy Hopke (Wisconsin) VSU Jacob Walker (Iowa), 10-0 1:28
285: Navarro Schunke (South Dakota) VSU Will Sather (Minnesota), 11-0 3:49
Now Some of TOM’s Takeaways:
Javaan Yarbrough was Unstoppable: Remarkably, Yarbrough, a soon-to-be sophomore, was able to earn himself a podium finish (5th at 106)at the Ohio state tournament as a freshman, despite weighing just 88 pounds and wrestling in Ohio no less. Not surprisingly, when allowed to wrestle at his more natural weight, Javaan dominated. Yarbrough’s path to the finals included two wins by fall and two 10-0 zero technical falls. In the finals, the only match requiring Yarbrough to wrestle into the second period, the Ohioan won convincingly, 10-4.
New Jersey, Stand Up: As mentioned, the Garden State led the way with three U16 Men’s Freestyle Fargo National Champions. Ironically, FloWrestling put out a tweet on July 12 expressing that New Jersey isn’t known for freestyle success. Well, Anthony Knox (106), Leo Deluca (113), and Louie Cerchio (160) did their very best to change that notion.
Anthony Knox: 7-0, Outscored Opponents 75-11, Six tech falls, four matches without giving up a point, National Champ.
Leo Deluca: 6-0, Outscored Opponents 62-2, four tech falls, five matches without giving up a point, National Champ.
Louie Cerchio: 6-0, Outscored Opponents 53-7, three tech falls, three matches without giving up a point, National Champ.
As a team, New Jersey took fourth overall and had nine All-Americans. This isn’t a bad showing for a state that “isn’t known for its freestyle success.”
Team Arizona Shocked Some People: As a team, Arizona finished seventh overall. More impressively, Arizona’s accounted for two Fargo National Champions in Adrian Meza (120) and Kyler Larkin (126). In Larkin’s case, his resume in Fargo allowed him to earn Outstanding Wrestler honors for the Men’s 16U Freestyle tournament. Half of Arizona’s four All-Americans were able to win it all.
Arizona grapplers also proved to be “bracket busters” on multiple occasions as well. Meza took out a pair of Top-15 recruits in Kael Lauridsen (Nebraska) and Aden Valencia (California) en route to his crown. As for Larkin, he teched one of the biggest names at the event in TOM’s No. 1 in the Class of 2024, Mason Gibson of Pennsylvania. Larkin’s upset win sent the Fargo crowd into hysterics.
Watch Meza vs. Lauridsen here.
Watch Meza vs. Valencia here.
Watch Larkin vs. Gibson here.
16U FREESTYLE NATIONALS (Full All-American Honors Results)
At Fargo, N.D.
1st Javaan Yarbrough (Ohio) dec. Haakon Peterson (Wisconsin), 10-4
3rd Aydan Thomas (Texas) dec. Griffin Rial (Colorado), 5-4
5th Revin Dickman (Indiana) dec. Kole Davidheiser (Pennsylvania), 8-4
7th Nathan Rioux (Indiana) dec. Lawson Eller (Minnesota), 5-0
1st Mack Mauger (Idaho) dec. Cadell Lee (Virginia), 8-3
3rd Moses Mendoza (California) dec. Tyler Garvin (Maryland), 9-4
5th Michael Olson (Minnesota) pin Devon Harrison (Missouri), 2:50
7th Tyler Harper (Iowa) pin Liam Neitzel (Wisconsin), 3:27
1st Seth Mendoza (Illinois) VPO Christian Castillo (Arizona), 7-0
3rd Gage Singleton (Oregon) VSU1 Dedrick Navarro (Idaho), 12-2 3:42
5th Layne Kleimann (Utah) VSU1 Blake Beissel (Minnesota), 13-2 2:33
7th Dru Ayala (Iowa) dec. Carson Walsh (New Jersey), 6-6
1st Anthony Knox (New Jersey) dec. Sam Herring (Pennsylvania), 18-6 3:32
3rd Isaiah Quintero (California) dec. Marcus Blaze (Ohio), 9-0
5th Jameson Garcia (Illinois) dec. Jackson Blum (Michigan), 9-2
7th Nathan Desmond (Pennsylvania) dec. Ethan Rivera (Florida), 6-2
1st Leo Deluca (New Jersey) tech. fall Brock Mantanona (California), 10-0 1:02
3rd Vincent Kilkeary (Pennsylvania) dec. Jax Forrest (North Carolina), 9-6
5th Draegen Orine (Missouri) dec. Jack Consiglio (Pennsylvania), 9-6
7th Drew Gorman (Georgia) dec. Nick Treaster (Kansas), 8-0
1st Adrian Meza (Arizona) dec.Aden Valencia (California), 3-0
3rd Tyler Wells (Minnesota) dec. Kael Lauridsen (Nebraska), 5-1
5th Maddox Shaw (Pennsylvania) inj. dft Jacob Myers (Colorado), 0:00
7th Dalton Perry (Pennsylvania) dec. Gauge Botero (Pennsylvania), 8-3
1st Kyler Larkin (Arizona) dec. Landon Robideau (Minnesota), 3-1
3rd Mason Gibson (Pennsylvania) pin Kamdyn Williams (Pennsylvania), 1:03
5th Dmitri Alarcon (Colorado) pin Vince Bouzakis (Pennsylvania), 4:00
7th Clayton Giddens (Oklahoma) dec. Nathan Taylor (New Jersey), 4-1
1st Zach Hanson (Minnesota) dec. Christopher Coates (Missouri), 2-1
3rd Brock Herman (Ohio) tech. fall Cross Wasilewski (New Jersey), 10-0 0:17
5th Jason Mara (Idaho) dec. Travis Grace (California), 8-4
7th Gabriel Bouyssou (Rhode Island) tech. fall Smokey Mcclure (Washington), 10-0 1:10
1st Joel Adams (Nebraska) dec. Tyler Kasak (Pennsylvania), 7-6
3rd Ethan Mojena (Florida) dec. Jaydon Robinson (Illinois), 2-1
5th August Hibler (New Jersey) dec. Nicholas Kunstek (Pennsylvania), 4-4
7th Alessio Perentin (New Jersey) dec. James Chance (Ohio), 7-7
1st William Henckel (Connecticut) dec. Pierson Manville (Pennsylvania), 4-2
3rd Dylan Evans (Pennsylvania) dec.Brett Back (Wisconsin), 6-0
5th Charlie Millard (Wisconsin) dec. Duncan Christensen (Virginia), 9-2
7th Isaias Jimenez (Arizona) dec. Latrell Schafer (Georgia), 6-2
1st Zack Ryder (New York) dec. Kj Evans (Oklahoma), 10-9
3rd Nicholas Fox (Iowa) tech. fall Dominic Bambinelli (Georgia), 11-0 2:32
5th Lars Michaelson (Washington) tech. fall Griffin Lundeen (Minnesota), 10-0 1:34
7th Silas Dailey (Wisconsin) dec. Zachary Eliszewski (Wisconsin), 4-1
1st Louie Cerchio (New Jersey) dec. Daschle Lamer (Oregon), 8-4
3rd Aeoden Sinclair (Wisconsin) pin Roman Garcia (Florida), 3:34
5th Talon Mccollom (Oklahoma) tech. fall Jed Wester (Minnesota), 12-0 1:43
7th Peyton Westpfahl (Missouri) dec. Tyler Secoy (Georgia), 4-2
1st Gabriel Arnold (Georgia) dec. Cody Merrill (California), 3-1
3rd Jared Schoppe (New Jersey) dec. Justin Rademacher (Oregon), 8-7
5th Brian Burburija (Florida) dec. Keegan Sell (Ohio), 8-2
7th Nathan Taylor (Connecticut) dec. Travis Stipetich (Pennsylvania), 6-1
1st Camden Mcdanel (Ohio) dec. Luke Vanadia (Ohio), 9-6
3rd Connor Mirasola (Wisconsin) inj. dft Cole Mirasola (Wisconsin), 0:00
5th Dominic Thebeau (Illinois) dec. De’alcapon Veazy (Indiana), 6-3
7th Tucker Hogan (Pennsylvania) tech fall Soren Herzog (Minnesota), 17-6 3:08
1st Max Mcenelly (Minnesota) dec. Sonny Sasso (Pennsylvania), 11-8
3rd Mccrae Hagarty (Iowa) pin Carter Neves (Ohio), 2:55
5th Sawyer Bartelt (Florida) tech. fall Adam Haselius (Michigan), 10-0 2:42
7th Max Agresti (Delaware) dec. William Clark (Indiana), 16-12
1st Koy Hopke (Wisconsin) tech fall Jacob Walker (Iowa), 10-0 1:28
3rd Parker Ferrell (Virginia) dec. Austin Johnson (Pennsylvania), 6-0
5th Zachary Evans (Pennsylvania) tech. fall Nicholas Sahakian (California), 10-0 2:24
7th Samuel Murphy (Missouri) dec. Max Vanadia (Ohio), 7-0
1st Navarro Schunke (South Dakota) tech. fall Will Sather (Minnesota), 11-0 3:49
3rd Spencer Lanosga (Louisiana) tech. fall Maddux Borcherding-Johnson (Iowa), 12-0 3:04
5th Aiden Compton (Pennsylvania) tech. fall Aidan Trujillo (Colorado), 12-1 3:11
7th Sebastian Lopez (Kansas) inj dft. Aidan Fockler (Ohio)
1 Pennsylvania 223
2 Minnesota 139
3 Ohio 122
4 New Jersey 120
5 Wisconsin 117
6 California 104
7 Arizona 75-
8 Iowa 72
9 Illinois 55
10 (tie) Florida and Oregon 47
12 (tie) Georgia, Idaho and Missouri 46
15 Virginia 42
16 Nebraska 37
17 Colorado 35
18 Oklahoma 34
19 Connecticut 30
20 (tie) New York and South Dakota 25
22 Indiana 23
23 (tie) Louisiana and Texas 15
25 Michigan 14
26 (tie) Maryland and North Carolina 12
28 Washington 11
29 Utah 9
30 Kansas 7
31 (tie) Delaware and Rhode Island 5
It’s should be interesting to see what Day Four has in store as the Junior Men’s Freestyle tournament concludes and the the Junior Women’s Freestyle tournament moves forward.