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Nate Moore on a mission to become a double Cadet National champion

FARGO, N.D. - Nate Moore has a theory about placing second in a wrestling tournament.

"Taking second sucks," Moore said.

The junior-to-be at Iowa City West High School placed second in the Iowa state high school tournament as a freshman and sophomore. He placed second at the Cadet Nationals in freestyle last year.

Those near-misses have lit a fire under Moore and the stocky, no-nonsense wrestler is on a mission to change his luck.

The 16-year-old Moore won the Cadet National title in folkstyle and the FILA Cadet National title in freestyle this year. And he's already struck gold once in Fargo, capturing the 119-pound Greco-Roman championship on Monday in the Accelerade Cadet Nationals.

His quest to win the Cadet National freestyle championship began with six straight wins at 119 pounds on Wednesday at the FargoDome.

"This is a new tournament," Moore said. "I just need to stay focused and beat everybody who steps in there against me."

Included in Moore's string of wins Wednesday was a methodical, workmanlike 4-1, 4-2 win over Pennsylvania's Dylan Alton, who placed third at Cadet Nationals this week in Greco-Roman. In that third-round match, Moore scored on an early ankle-pick maneuver and then followed with a tilt to build a quick 3-0 lead.

"I knew he was pretty good," Moore said. "I just take it one match at a time and don't look ahead. I treat every match like it's the finals. You have to or you will get beat."

Moore followed by pulling out a hard-fought 1-0, 2-0 win over Ohio state champion Collin Palmer, who won the prestigious Beast of the East Tournament this year. Neither wrestler scored in the pair of two-minute periods, but Moore won both coin flips and capitalized on his opportunities with the leg clinch. Moore scored both times he started with Palmer's right leg to win the fourth-round bout.

The Ohio delegation filed a protest over a call in the first period, but the decision of the match officials was upheld.

The Cadet 119 class in freestyle also includes Moore's Iowa teammate, Matt McDonough, whom Moore beat in the Cadet Nationals final on Monday. Oregon's Steven Quesada, second in Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman at 112, has bumped up to 119 for freestyle.

Moore is part of a talented Iowa team that swept the Greco-Roman national team titles in Cadets and Juniors this week.

"We've got quite a bit of momentum going right now," Moore said. "It's been a lot of fun so far."

Moore lost in overtime in last year's Cadet National freestyle finals at 112.

"That's a pretty big motivator for me," he said. "I don't want something like that to happen again."
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