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Seven still alive for Triple Crown; 82 ranked wrestlers still competing after day one of Junior Freestyle Nationals

by Joe Wedra, Special to

Erik Gibson of Pennsylvania, still unbeaten at Junior Nationals, tosses an opponent. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

FARGO, N.D. — Sunday afternoon continued the first day of the 50th Junior Nationals at the FargoDome, highlighted by many of the top athletes in the men's freestyle tournament making their way into the Round of 16. Team Ohio leads the way with the most wrestlers still in the championship bracket with 21.

Seven wrestlers are still wrestling to win the prestigious USA Wrestling Triple Crown (earned by wrestlers who win USA Wrestling Folkstyle, Greco-Roman and Freestyle national championships): Indiana’s Segio Lemley (126), Wisconsin’s Greyson Clark (132), Wisconsin’s Jager Eisch (138). Illinois’ Adam Thebeau (160), Iowa’s Tate Naaktgeboren (170), Kansas’ Jared Simma (182) and Iowa’s Ben Kueter (195).

In total, 82 FloWrestling nationally-ranked wrestlers are still competing for a Fargo title. Among them, nine are ranked within the top three of their weight class. With this much talent currently throughout the brackets, fans can be sure to see top-notch wrestling when action begins again on Monday.

The two top-ranked wrestlers in the field — Pennsylvania’s Nic Bouzakis (132) and Georgia’s Chase Horne (285), both cruised through their competition to earn spots in the Round of 16. Bouzakis will begin Monday with an intriguing matchup, wrestling Iowa’s #16 Ryder Block for a spot in the quarterfinals. Block has impressed early, posting a 4-0 record with four tech falls.

Second-ranked Cooper Flynn (120) and Drake Ayala (126) continued to win in Sunday’s second session to keep their title hopes alive. Flynn opens up Monday against Colorado’s Maxwell Black, while Ayala wrestles William Baysingar of Illinois.

Monday’s junior freestyle action begins at 9:00 a.m. CST. The session will include both the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals. The semifinals will take place tomorrow in the session beginning at 5 p.m. CST.

All of the tournament’s action can be watched live on FloWrestling.

Teams with most wrestlers still in championship bracket

1 - Ohio (21)

T2 - Illinois (20)

T2 - Pennsylvania (20)

T4 - Minnesota (15)

T4 - Wisconsin (15)

Junior folkstyle champions still eligible for Triple Crown

126 - Sergio Lemley (IN/Region Wrestling Academy)

132 - Greyson Clark (WI/Askren Wrestling Academy Lake Country)

138 - Jager Eisch (WI/Askren Wrestling Academy Lake Country)

160 - Adam Thebeau (IL/Greenfield Wrestling Academy)

170 - Tate Naaktgeboren (IA/Big Game Wrestling Club)

182 - Jared Simma (Kansas)

195 - Ben Kueter (IA/Sebolt Wrestling Academy)