Sinclair, Knox, Forrest score big wins in exciting boys 10-bout card at Who’s Number One
by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
KENOSHA, Wis. – The boys closed out 2023 FloWrestling’s Who’s Number One is a big way, in front of a sold-out crowd at the UW-Parkside De Simone Arena.
The boys competed in folkstyle, which is the style used by men in college, while earlier in the day, the girls wrestled freestyle, which is the women’s college style. The boys used the new NCAA rules, which have not been used yet in college competition (including the three-point takedown and a new three-point near fall).
In the boys Main Event, in the battle of Wisconsin, taking over No. 1 was U17 World Team member Aeoden Sinclair, after beating two-time Junior Nationals champion Connor Mirasola, 5-1 at 195 pounds.
There were no takedowns in the first period. Mirasola went down in the second period and Sinclair rode him for the entire period. In the third period, Sinclair went down and Mirasola cut him for a 1-0 lead. Sinclair scored a huge takedown to make it 4-0. Mirasola got an escape to close it to 4-1. Add in 2:39 in riding time and Sinclair, a Missouri commit, beat Penn State commit Mirasola.
In the boys Co-Main Event, in a battle of New Jersey stars, No. 1 Anthony Knox used a late takedown and back points to defeat No. 2 Leo DeLuca, 9-3 at 120 pounds. DeLuca scored the opening takedown for a 3-0 lead. Knox scored an escape to make it 3-1 in the first period. Knox was down in the second period and secured an escape to make it 3-2 to close out the second period. DeLuca chose neutral in the third period. Knox scored a duck under takedown and put DeLuca on his back holding for four back points late in the bout for the win.
In easily the wildest match of the card, 2022 U17 World silver medalist and 2023 Junior Nationals champion Jax Forrest of Pennsylvania scored a throw by takedown in sudden victory overtime for an 18-15 win over 2023 U17 World Greco-Roman champion Jordyn Raney of Kentucky at 126 pounds.
An opening takedown for Raney gave him a 3-0 lead. Forrest scored a reversal to make it 3-2, then Rainey escaped to make it 5-4. Forrest added a slick takedown for a 5-4 lead. Add a two-point near fall for Forrest made it 7-4, and Raney escaped 7-5. A Forrest takedown made it 10-5, with a Raney escape for a 10-6 score to close out the 16-point first period.
Forrest opened the second period with a reversal to lead 12-7. Raney added a quick takedown to close it to 12-10. Raney took bottom in the third period and got an escape to make it 12-11. Forrest scored a takedown on the edge for a 15-11 lead. Raney escaped to make it 15-12. Raney spun behind to tie it at 15-15 where it ended in regulation. It was finished when Forrest got behind Raney in sudden victory.
Iowa commit Angelo Ferrari of Texas kept his No. 1 spot at 170 pounds, with a 5-1 win over No. 2 Ty Eise of Colorado. There were no takedowns in the first period. Eise took down in the second, and scored an escape to lead 1-0. Ferrari scored a takedown on the edge to lead 3-1 then rode him out the rest of the period. Ferrari chose down in the third and escaped for a 4-1 edge. Eise could not score from the feet, and Ferrari added a riding time point for the 5-1 win.
In a battle of Pennsylvania stars, No. 2 Pierson Manville used an escape and riding time to stop No. 1 Kollin Rath, 2-0. There were no takedowns in the first period. Rath chose down for the second period, and Manville was able to ride Rath for the entire period. Manville chose down in the third, and got an escape quickly to lead 1-0. Manville, an Arizona State commit, had 1:42 in riding time for his second point. It was a rematch of the 2023 Pennsylvania state finals, won by Rath.
2022 U17 World champion Joe Sealey of Pennsylvania took over No. 1 at 160 pounds, with a 4-2 victory over 2021 16U Nationals champion William Henckel of New Jersey. Sealey opened the scoring with a takedown and Henckel escaped quickly to make it 3-1 at then end of one period. Sealey took down in the second and escaped quickly for a 4-1 lead which held for the rest of the period. Henckel got an escape quickly in the third period to make it 4-2, but there was no more scoring. Henckel beat Sealey in their last meeting at the U20 World Team Trials.
At 113 pounds, a pair of No. 1 wrestlers agreed to compete against each other, as U17 World teammates Christian Castillo of Arizona (No. 1 at 113) faced Paul Kenny of New Jersey (No. 1 at 106). Castillo, a two-time U17 World Team member and World silver medalist in 2022, scored a takedown in sudden victory overtime to defeat 2023 U17 World champion Kenny, 4-1. There were no takedowns in the first period. Castillo was down in the second period, and was able to escape in 28 seconds for a 1-0 lead. Kenny got his escape quickly in the third to knot it at 1-1 and that held until the end of regulation. In sudden victory, Castillo used his speed to get behind for the winning takedown.
2023 U17 World Team member and Ohio State commit Ben Davino of Illinois retained his No. 1 spot with a 4-2 win over 2023 Junior Nationals champion Kyler Larkin of Arizona at 132 pounds. Davino scored a quick takedown for a 3-0 lead, and rode Larkin for 44 seconds before Larkin escaped to close it to 3-1. In the second period, Davino went down and escaped to extend to a 4-1 lead. Larkin toodk down in the third and escaped, closing it to 4-2. No more points were scored.
Two-time Junior Nationals champion Cody Merrill of California remained at No. 1 at 220 pounds, defeating 2023 U20 Greco-Roman World Team member Sawyer Bartelt of Florida, 14-3.
Merrill opened it up with a low single for a takedown and 3-0 lead. Bartelt escaped to make it 3-1. Merrill added a single leg takedown to extend to 6-1 to end the first period. Merrill took down in the second period and escaped to make it 7-1. Merrill secured a high single leg for a takedown and 10-1 lead. Bartelt escaped to make it 10-2 at the end of two periods. Bartelt took neutral in the third period. Merrill added a takedown for a 13-2 lead, with a late Bartelt escape. Merrill had 2:17 of riding time to make it 14-3.
2023 Junior Nationals runner-up Daniel Zepeda of California remained No. 1 with a pin in 6:27 over 2022 U17 World champion Bo Bassett of Pennsylvania at 138 pounds.
After a wild scramble, Zepeda scored the opening takedown for a 3-0 lead. Zepeda caught Bassett on his back for three points and a 6-0 lead. Bassett escaped and had a go-behind takedown to close it to 6-4 lead. Zepeda escaped to make it 7-4 at the end of the first period. In the second period, Bassett got a reversal to make it 7-6. Zepeda got a takedown to make it 8-6, then secured a takedown for an 11-6 lead. In the third period, Zepeda took down and Bassett cut him, 12-6. Zepeda scored a takedown and three-point nearfall late in the period and finished it off with a pin with 33 seconds left.
WHO’S NUMBER ONE
At Kenosha, Wis., September 2, 2023
170 lbs: #1 Angelo Ferrari, Texas dec. #2 Ty Eise, Colorado, 5-1
145 lbs: #2 Pierson Manville, Pennsylvania, vs. #1 Kollin Rath, Pennsylvania, 2-0
160 lbs: #1 William Henckel, New Jersey dec #2 Joe Sealey, Pennsylvania, 4-2
113 lbs: #1 Christian Castillo, Arizona dec. #1 (106) Paul Kenny, New Jersey, 4-1, SV
132 lbs: #1 Ben Davino, Illinois dec. #2 Kyler Larkin, Arizona, 4-2
126 lbs: #1 Jax Forrest, Pennsylvania vs #4 Jordyn Raney, Kentucky, 18-15
220 lbs: #1 Cody Merrill, California dec. #2 Sawyer Bartelt, Florida, 14-3
138 lbs: #1 Daniel Zepeda, California pin #2 Bo Bassett, Pennsylvania, 6:27
120 lbs: #1 Anthony Knox, New Jersey dec. #2 Leo DeLuca, New Jersey, 9-3
195 lbs: #2 Aeoden Sinclair, Wisconsin dec. #1 Connor Mirasola, Wisconsin, 5-1