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Sunday's 16U men's freestyle semifinals sets up exciting Monday finals; Arizona's Larkin impresses with ranked wins

by Joe Wedra, Special to

Kyler Larkin of Arizona in the U16 Freestyle semifinals. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

FARGO, N.D. — After a full day of wrestling at the FargoDome, the finals pairings are officially set for the 16U men’s freestyle nationals.

Both Team Pennsylvania and Team Minnesota have four wrestlers in Monday’s finals. The top five teams in the standings after Sunday are Pennsylvania with 139 points, Minnesota with 104 points, Ohio with 84 points, Wisconsin with 81 points and California with 78 points.

Arizona’s Kyler Larkin (126) stole the show in the afternoon, posting two wins over notable ranked opponents to earn a chance to win a title.

Sunday’s wrestling featured both quarterfinal and semifinal action, setting the stage for what should be an entertaining finals session. Headed into Sunday’s 16U action, there were 10 FloWrestling nationally-ranked wrestlers still battling for titles at the event. Now, just four remain in contention to win championships at their respective weights.

A pair of ranked wrestlers were knocked off quickly in the session at the lighter weights, staying true to the unpredictability of the later rounds. First, it was North Carolina’s Jax Forrest (113) — the state’s only semifinalist — who defeated #15 Jack Consiglio of Pennsylvania. Consiglio, one of the bracket’s standout names, battled a back-and-forth match with Forrest but ultimately dropped a wild 17-14 bout. Not long after, Arizona’s Larkin knocked off another ranked athlete, #19 Kamdyn Williams of Pennsylvania.

The highlight of perhaps the entire tournament thus far occurred in the 126-pound semifinals, when Larkin notched his second ranked victory in a row, knocking off Pennsylvania’s #5 Mason Gibson to punch his ticket to the finals. Larkin worked a takedown to a leg lace in the second period, locking it up and gaining the attention of the entire arena. He finished off the match with a dominant 13-2 win.

The semifinals session ultimately also began with fireworks, as Ohio’s Javaan Yarbrough turned heads with an impressive 10-0 win over Griffin Rial (Colorado), a Folkstyle Nationals champion. Yarbrough has not surrendered a point in this entire tournament — outscoring competition 36-0 — and will face Wisconsin’s Haakon Peterson in tomorrow’s finals.

At 106, Anthony Knox of New Jersey stopped #7 Isaiah Quintero’s run through the tournament with an impressive semifinal match, a 13-2 win to punch his ticket to the finals. He’ll be a part of one of tomorrow’s highly-anticipated finals bouts, wrestling Pennsylvania’s Sam Herring for the Fargo title.

Tomorrow’s 120-pound final is also set to be an intriguing bout, as #2 Aden Valencia (California) will battle Arizona’s Adrian Meza, who ended Sunday with a head-turning 4-3 win over #12 Kael Lauridsen of Nebraska. Valencia nearly missed the finals — he fought off of his back in the first period of his semifinal bout before cruising to an 11-2 win over Colorado’s Jacob Myers.

Another weight that will be watched closely tomorrow is 170, where #5 Gabriel Arnold (Georgia) headlines the finals series. He has outscored his competition 64-2 this weekend. Matching up against Arnold will be California’s Cody Merrill.

Be sure to keep an eye on the 182-pound finals, where there are a pair of Ohio wrestlers battling for the title — Camden McDanel and Luke Vanadia.

Four wrestlers are still in contention to win the USA Wrestling 16U Triple Crown (winners of USA Wrestling Folkstyle, Greco-Roman and Freestyle championships): Mack Mauger (94), Pierson Manville (145), Koy Hopke (220) and Will Sather (285).

Tomorrow’s 16U Freestyle finals are set to be packed with great action, beginning at 1:30 p.m. CST. Every match can be streamed live on FloWrestling.

16U finals matchups

88 pounds

Javaan Yarbrough (Ohio) vs. Haakon Peterson (Wisconsin)

94 pounds

#14 Mack Mauger (Idaho) vs. Cadell Lee (Virginia)

100 pounds

Seth Mendoza (Illinois) vs. Christian Castillo (Arizona)

106 pounds

Anthony Knox (New Jersey) vs. Sam Herring (Pennsylvania)

113 pounds

Leo DeLuca (New Jersey) vs. Brock Mantanona (California)

120 pounds

Adrian Meza (Arizona) vs. #2 Aden Valencia (California)

126 pounds

Kyler Larkin (Arizona) vs. Landon Robideau (Minnesota)

132 pounds

Christopher Coates (Missouri) vs. Zach Hanson (Minnesota)

138 pounds

Tyler Kasak (Pennsylvania) vs. Joel Adams (Nebraska)

145 pounds

William Henckel (Connecticut) vs. Pierson Manville (Pennsylvania)

152 pounds

#11 Zack Ryder (New York) vs. Kj Evans (Oklahoma)

160 pounds

Daschle Lamer (Oregon) vs. Louie Cerchio (New Jersey)

170 pounds

Cody Merrill (California) vs. #5 Gabriel Arnold (Georgia)

182 pounds

Camden McDanel (Ohio) vs. Luke Vanadia (Ohio)

195 pounds

Sonny Sasso (Pennsylvania) vs. Max McEnelly (Minnesota)

220 pounds

Koy Hopke (Wisconsin) vs. Jacob Walker (Iowa)

285 pounds

Will Sather (Minnesota) vs. Navarro Schunke (South Dakota)

16u semifinal results

88 pounds

Javaan Yarbrough (Ohio) tech. fall Griffin Rial (Colorado), 10-0 1:10

Haakon Peterson (Wisconsin) dec. Aydan Thomas (Texas), 2-1

94 pounds

Mack Mauger (Idaho) tech. fall Tyler Garvin (Maryland), 10-0 1:30

Cadell Lee (Virginia) pin Devon Harrison (Missouri), 2:38

100 pounds

Seth Mendoza (Illinois) tech fall Dedrick Navarro (Idaho), 14-4 3:05

Christian Castillo (Arizona) dec. Blake Beissel (Minnesota), 8-4

106 pounds

Anthony Knox (New Jersey) tech. fall Isaiah Quintero (California), 13-2 2:32

Sam Herring (Pennsylvania) tech. fall Jackson Blum (Michigan), 13-0 3:15

113 pounds

Leo Deluca (New Jersey) tech. fall Jax Forrest (North Carolina), 11-0 3:51

Brock Mantanona (California) tech. fall Vincent Kilkeary (Pennsylvania), 10-0 1:40

120 pounds

Adrian Meza (Arizona) dec. Kael Lauridsen (Nebraska), 4-3

Aden Valencia (California) dec. Jacob Myers (Colorado), 11-2

126 pounds

Kyler Larkin (Arizona) tech. fall Mason Gibson (Pennsylvania), 13-2 4:00

Landon Robideau (Minnesota) dec. Vince Bouzakis (Pennsylvania), 5-2

132 pounds

Christopher Coates (Missouri) dec. Travis Grace (California), 6-4

Zach Hanson (Minnesota) dec. Cross Wasilewski (New Jersey), 16-11

138 pounds

Tyler Kasak (Pennsylvania) dec. Jaydon Robinson (Illinois), 3-1

Joel Adams (Nebraska) dec. Nicholas Kunstek (Pennsylvania), 6-4

145 pounds

William Henckel (Connecticut) tech. fall Charlie Millard (Wisconsin), 10-0 2:17

Pierson Manville (Pennsylvania) dec. Brett Back (Wisconsin), 8-5

152 pounds

Zack Ryder (New York) dec. Nicholas Fox (Iowa), 5-0

KJ Evans (Oklahoma) tech. fall Griffin Lundeen (Minnesota), 10-0 1:36

160 pounds

Daschle Lamer (Oregon) tech fall Aeoden Sinclair (Wisconsin), 10-0 1:05

Louie Cerchio (New Jersey) tech fall Roman Garcia (Florida), 11-0 2:33

170 pounds

Cody Merrill (California) tech. fall Keegan Sell (Ohio), 13-2 3:54

Gabriel Arnold (Georgia) tech. fall Brian Burburija (Florida), 10-0 1:42

182 pounds

Camden Mcdanel (Ohio) dec. Connor Mirasola (Wisconsin), 6-2

Luke Vanadia (Ohio) dec. Cole Mirasola (Wisconsin), 7-6

195 pounds

Max Mcenelly (Minnesota) dec. Carter Neves (Ohio), 12-8

Sonny Sasso (Pennsylvania) dec. Mccrae Hagarty (Iowa), 13-6

220 pounds

Koy Hopke (Wisconsin) pin Parker Ferrell (Virginia), 1:56

Jacob Walker (Iowa) tech. fall Zachary Evans (Pennsylvania), 12-0 1:48

285 pounds

Will Sather (Minnesota) pin Spencer Lanosga (Louisiana), 2-2 0:46

Navarro Schunke (South Dakota) tech. fall Aidan Trujillo (Colorado), 10-0 1:05

Teams with most wrestlers in finals

T1 - Minnesota (4)

T1 - Pennsylvania (4)

T3 - Ohio (3)

T3 - California (3)

T3 - New Jersey (3)

T3 - Arizona (3)

Team Standings after semifinals

1 Pennsylvania 139

2 Minnesota 104

3 Ohio 84

4 Wisconsin 81

5 California 78