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|INSTANT CLASSIC: Ryan Mango outlasts Jesse Thielke in thrilling battle of young USA Wrestling stars at Folkstyle Nationals|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Kids, Cadet, Junior Folkstyle Special Section
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa - It seemed like about half the people in the UNI-Dome were crowded around Mat 2 late Saturday afternoon.
With double Cadet Nationals champion Ryan Mango of Missouri and USA Wrestling Triple Crown winner Jesse Thielke of Wisconsin about to square off in the Cadet 98-pound finals, nobody wanted to miss a second of this much-anticipated match.
The match definitely lived up to its billing with a number of wild scrambles and flurries before Mango held off Thielke 11-9 in the featured bout Saturday at the ASICS/USA Wrestling Folkstyle National Championships.
"I knew he had a real good front headlock," Mango said. "I knew if I could jump out in front early and come out after him aggressively, it would be tough for him to come back. He's a real tough kid - it was a good battle."
Champions were crowned in each weight class in Cadets, Juniors and Veterans on Saturday during Day 2 of the three-day competition. There are a record 2,145 wrestlers competing in the tournament. The event is set to conclude Sunday with the remaining champions to be crowned in the four Kids divisions of Bantam, Midget, Novice and Schoolboy.
The athletic Mango charged out aggressively in the finals, firing in on a blast double to score the first takedown. The action was fast and furious for most of the first two periods. Thielke scooted behind Mango to lead 3-2 before Mango hit a sweet Granby roll and shot across Thielke's back for a reversal to lead 4-3 after the first period.
Mango cut Thielke loose for an escape to start the second period and then countered a shot attempt and spun behind for a takedown to lead 6-4. Mango followed by winning two more scrambles that resulted in takedowns. He led 10-7 after a fast-paced, high-energy first two periods.
"I have good hips and I am real comfortable in those scrambles because of all the freestyle and Greco I wrestle," Mango said. "I've learned not to give anything up and to stay in good position."
The wrestlers started in the neutral position to start the third period. Both wrestlers were in deep on a number of shots, but nobody scored until Thielke gained a takedown in the closing seconds to draw within 10-9. He cut Mango, but ran out of time to have an opportunity to try and tie it with a takedown.
"I had to stay after it in the third period and keep shooting so I wouldn't get called for stalling," Mango said. "It was exciting with all the people around the mat watching. Those are my favorite types of matches. Win or lose, it's still fun being out there in a big match like that."
Mango, a Missouri state high school champion, beat Florida's Clark Class 13-6 in a battle of high-school state champions in the semifinal round. The explosive Mango grabbed control early, spinning behind Class for a pair of takedowns in the match's first minute.
Glass recently won a Florida state high school title as a seventh-grader. Glass has won a handful of USA Wrestling age-group national titles. Glass bounced back from the loss to Mango to place third on Saturday.
Mango's older brother, Spenser, is a World University champion and Junior World bronze medalist in Greco-Roman.
Omaha Burke state champion Alex Bridgeford capped an impressive tournament in Cadets at 125 with a 13-4 finals win over Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman champion Dylan Carew of Iowa.
There were no repeat winners in the Cadet class.
The Junior division was added this season at Folkstyle Nationals and was a huge success with 406 wrestlers competing in a very competitive class.
Among the Junior champions crowned on Saturday were past Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman champion Tyler Cox of Wyoming at 112 pounds and double Cadet Nationals All-American Trent Weatherman of Iowa at 145.
Minnesota's Travis Rutt won the Junior title at 160 after winning a national title in the Cadet folkstyle tournament here last year at 145. Rutt also was a Cadet Nationals champ in Greco-Roman in 2006.
Grant Gambrall of Iowa, a 2006 Cadet Nationals champion in Greco-Roman, won the Junior title in folkstyle at 171 on Saturday.
One of the best Junior finals matchups came at 152 when T.J. Moen edged Nick LeClere 4-2 in a battle of Iowa high school state champions.
Repeating as champions in the Veterans Division were Michael Kelly (A-168), Joey Chyma (A-287), Michael Cordes (D-188) and Mark Dulgarian (D-287).
Junior National Champions
98 - Steven Vanwychen of Unattached
105 - Brandon Goodwin of Team Scarecrow (KS)
112 - Tyler Cox of Camel Kids Wrestling (WY)
119 - Tyler Grask of Golden Eagles Wrestling Academ (IA)
125 - Cole Von Ohlen of Flat Earth (MN)
130 - James Berdan of Wisconsin Rapids (WI)
135 - Jeff Wood of Camel Kids Wrestling (WY)
140 - Cole Schmitt of Advance Wrestling (WI)
145 - Trent Weatherman of Ballard (IA)
152 - T. J. Moen of SAYDEL (IA)
160 - Travis Rutt of Minnesota Storm (MN)
171 - Grant Gambrall of ICW Trojan Wrestling Club (IA)
189 - Joe Budi of Kaukauna (WI)
215 - Tyler Manning of Westby (WI)
285 - Corey James of Warwick (NY)
Cadet National Champions
84 - Hayden Zillmer of Crosby Ironton Rangers (MN)
91 - Rossi Bruno of Brandon Wrestling Club (FL)
98 - Ryan Mango of Purler Wrestling (MO)
105 - T.J. Mitchell of TWC-Georgia (GA)
112 - Dylan Ness of Bloomington, Minnesota (MN)
119 - Jacob Gregerson of Sons of Thunder (IL)
125 - Alex Bridgeford of Burke Bulldogs (NE)
130 - Tanner Hiatt of Ballard (IA)
135 - Nick Moore of ICW Trojan Wrestling Club (IA)
140 - Brandon Garcia of Rocke Mat Backers (WI)
145 - Ryan Garringer of Overtime (IL)
152 - Shawn Thomas of Catoosa (OK)
160 - Brendan Eichmann of Hastings (MN)
171 - John Eblen of Team Central (MO)
189 - Chaz Brock of Crawfordsville Wrestling Club (IN)
215 - Carl Floor of Warwick (NY)
285 - Joe Arthur of Modesto (IN)
Veterans National Champions
A - 139 - Jerry Ingalls (Unattached)
A - 152 - Liston Brown of Gorilla Grappling (NY)
A - 168 - Michael Kelly of Gilbert Grappling (IL)
A - 215 - Eric Robinson (Unattached)
A - 287 - Joey Chyma (Cedar Hawk Wrestling Club, IA)
B - 152 - Kevin Bird (Unattached)
B - 168 - J.T. Petty (Northwestern WC, IA)
B - 188 - Kelly McGovern (Wizzer WC, IL)
B - 215 - Mike Farrell (Xtreme, MN)
B - 287 - Joe Spivak (IL)
C - 128 - Charles Knox of Team of Hard Knox (KS)
C - 139- Jon Silver of Westside Warriors (CA)
C - 152- Dexter Carpenter (Unattached)
C - 188 - Lee Fish of Oak Park River Forest (IL)
C - 215 - Dan Coon of WOW (MI)
C - 287 - Tim Stapleton (Unattached)
D - 152 - Mike Zorick (CA)
D - 168 - Randy Sulaver of One on One (MI)
D - 188 - Michael Cordes (Unattached)
D - 215 - Joe Reasbeck of Parana Pythons (WI)
D - 287 - Mark Dulgarian of Paola Wrestling Club (KS)