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Fargo Day 2 preview (7/18): 16U Women’s finals, 16U Men wrestle semifinals and Junior Men open action

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Sydney Perry of Illinois, a 16U women’s finalist, stacks up an opponent on Saturday. Photo by Ryan Cummings/Matfocus.

Day two of the USMC Junior/16U Nationals has three different tournaments all going on at once, all in the same style- freestyle. We see two men’s divisions (16U and Junior) and a women’s division (16U).

WHAT FINISHES: 16U Women freestyle champions and All-Americans are determined

Sunday marks the finals of the 16U Women’s Freestyle tournament, which will award the first national champion stop sign trophies of the 2020 Fargo experience. The women competed through the semifinal round on Saturday, and not only have the finalists have been set, but all of the medal matches are determined.

16U Women’s Freestyle Finals pairings

94 - Valarie Solorio (Florida) vs, Gabriella Gomez (Illinois)

100 - Mikayla Garcia (California) vs. Makenize Smith (Indiana)

106 - Kiely Tabaldo (California) vs. Paige Morales (California)

112 - Zao Estrada (South Carolina) vs. Cecilia Williams (Michigan)

117 - Cadence Diduch (Illinois) vs. Valerie Hamilton (Illinois)

122 - Shelby Moore (Washington) vs. Julianna Morris (Connecticut)

127 - Taydem Khamjoi (California) vs. Skylar Little Soldier (Minnesota)

132 - Sydney Perry (Illinois) vs. Cassia Zammit (Ohio)

138 - Lydia Roope (Michigan) vs. Alessandra Elliott (New York)

144 - Nebi Tsarni (Maryland0 vs. Amarisa Manuel (Michigan)

152 - Jasmine Robinson (Texas) vs. Genesis Gilmore (Tennessee)

164 - Ella Pagel (Minnesota) vs. Ali Haiser (Missouri)

180 - Sabrina Nauss (Michigan) vs. Kiara Ganey (Illinois)

200 - Catherine Dutton (Missouri) vs. Mariyah Brumley (Missouri)

California leads the team race, but Illinois has the most finalists with five.

WHAT CONTINUES: 16U Men’s Freestyle powers through the semifinals and consolation semifinals

The bulk of the 16U Men’s Freestyle Nationals is held on Sunday, as both the finalist pairings and the All-American wrestlers will be determined.

At this point, the top four states in terms of athletes who remain on the championship side of the bracket are: Pennsylvania with 18, followed by Minnesota with 13 and Ohio with 11.

There are 10 wrestlers who are nationally ranked by FloWrestling and remain on the championship side of the bracket. There are also 10 wrestlers who remain alive for the Triple Crown, after winning Folkstyle Nationals in April, and moving into day two of the Freestyle Nationals without a loss:

WHAT STARTS: Junior Men’s Freestyle gets rolling with preliminary action

The Junior men’s freestyle event is getting started on Sunday, with a preliminary entry of 1,602 athletes, easily the largest field of the six tournaments here in Fargo and also the largest Junior freestyle national tournament of all time. With no Junior Nationals in 2000, there are just two finalists from the 2019 Junior freestyle event in this year’s field, 2019 Junior Nationals champion Drake Ayala (113, now at 126) and runner-up Nico Provo of Connecticut (113, now at 126).

However, if you go back to the 2019 16U Nationals in freestyle, a ton of the finalists are enrolled as Juniors this year. The eight 16U champions from 2019 moving up to Juniors include Braeden Davis of Michigan (88, now at 113), Jore Volk of Minnesota (100, now at 126), Jordan Williams of Oklahoma (120, now at 145), Nic Bouzakis of Pennsylvania (126, now at 132), Thomas Stewart of Maryland (160, now at 182), Bennett Berge of Minnesota (182, now at 182), Seth Shumate of Ohio (195, now at 195) and Kolby Franklin of Pennsyvlania (220, now at 195).

There are 10 of the 2019 16U runners-up in the Junior field tomorrow: Alan Koehler of Minnesota (88, now at 113), Dillon Campbell of Ohio (94, now at 120), Caden Horwath of Michigan (100, now at 113), Mitchel Neiner of Washington (106, now at 120), Gabe Whisenhunt of Oregon (113, now at 126), Zeke Selzer of Indiana, (120, now at 132), Ramon Ramos of Arizona (126, now at 138), Antrell Taylor of Nebraska (132, now at 160), Manuel Rojas of Michigan (152, now at 170) and Rylan Rogers of Washington (170, now at 195).

This is the second leg of the Junior Triple Crown, which we will monitor starting tomorrow.

FloWrestling's JD Rader wrote and exceptional preview of this tournament, listing the top contenders in each weight. Rader noted that there were nine ranked wrestlers at 113 pounds: #4 Braeden Davis, MI, #6 (106) Gylon Sims, IL, #10 Caleb Thoennes, MN, #11 Ben Aranda, IL, #13 Alan Koehler, MN, #13 (120) Caden Horwath, MI, #19 Kyison Garcia, UT, #20 (106) Ashton Jackson, IN and #20 Davian Guanajuato, AZ. Check it out before tomorrow's first whistle.

FloWrestling: The Complete & Total 2021 Junior Freestyle Preview And Predictions Article

The competition starts one hour earlier than in the original schedule, now getting started at 8:00 a.m. That first session will be entirely for Junior men’s freestyle. The women’s 16U finals follows at 1:30 p.m.. The third session has both 16U and Junior men’s freestyle, which gets rolling at 4:30 p.m.


In 2019, Illinois was the Junior Nationals champion in men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman. In freestyle, Ohio was the runner-up, with Iowa, Missouri and Pennsylvania rounding out the top five. More recently, at the 2021 Junior National Duals in Tulsa, Okla, Team Iowa was the freestyle champion, defeating Oklahoma in the finals, 40-23. Minnesota was third, followed by Illinois and Wisconsin in the top five.


8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. - Junior Men's Freestyle: Session I - Preliminaries and Consolations

1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. - 16U Women Freestyle: Session IV - Finals, Medal Matches & Awards

4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. - Junior Men's Freestyle: Session II – Preliminaries and Consolations

4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. -16U Freestyle: Session IV – Semifinals and consolations