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Fargo Day 3 preview (7/18): 16U men’s freestyle finals; Junior men’s freestyle wrestle semifinals

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Mack Mauger of Idaho (94) is one of four 16U wrestlers still in the hunt for a Triple Crown. Photo by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.


The focus on Monday is entirely on men’s freestyle, with the 16U Nationals finals set for 2:00 p.m. and the Junior Freestyle Nationals powering through the semifinals on Monday evening, setting the gold-medal matches for Tuesday.


For those who are fans of men’s freestyle, there will be a ton of great matches, and some upsets just waiting to happen. You will want to keep tuned in to FloWrestling all day. With this being the largest Fargo ever, it will be a wild ride when the money-matches are held in the later rounds.

WHAT’S NEW: There are no new tournaments starting today.

WHAT FINISHES: The 16U freestyle finals feature four eligible for the Triple Crown


The 16U men’s freestyle nationals finals is set, with four wrestlers are still in contention to win the USA Wrestling 16U Triple Crown: Mack Mauger (94), Pierson Manville (145), Koy Hopke (220) and Will Sather (285).The Triple Crown goes to wrestlers who win folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman national titles the same year. The last U16 Nationals in 2019 had no Triple Crown winners.


The 16U men’s freestyle finals pairings are:

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

94 - Mack Mauger (Idaho) vs. Cadell Lee (Virginia)

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

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

113 - Leo Deluca (New Jersey) vs. Brock Mantanona (California)

120 - Adrian Meza (Arizona) vs. Aden Valencia (California)

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

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

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

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

152 - Zack Ryder (New York) vs. KJ Evans (Oklahoma)

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

170 - Cody Merrill (California)vs. Gabriel Arnold (Georgia)

182 - Camden Mcdanel (Ohio) vs. Luke Vanadia (Ohio)

195 - Max Mcenelly (Minnesota) vs. Sonny Sasso (Pennsylvania)

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

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


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. What gives Pennsylvania so much confidence going in the final day is that there are 17 Keystone State wrestlers still in the consolation rounds, while Wisconsin is next with eight in the consolations, and Minnesota and Ohio still have seven alive on the backside. It will be hard to pick up ground on Pennsylvania, unless it truly tanks in the remaining wrestlebacks.

WHAT CONTINUES: Junior Freestyle Nationals gets down to showtime


While the first day of wrestling at the largest Junior Freestyle Nationals was a bit light on upsets, we can expect a bunch of them on day two. With 93 ranked wrestlers from the FloWrestling national rankings littered throughout the brackets, many should face each other during Monday’s competition.


On the championship side, two of the most intense rounds of Junior freestyle will be showcased. The 1/8 Championship round and the quarterfinals should be held in the 9:00 a.m. session, setting up an amazing semifinals during the 5:00 p.m. session. The tournament still has a lot of matches to go, so the exact timing of these rounds are not entirely clear, but if you are watching the stream, keep it on all day.


If you want to dig in deeper, check out this feature by Andrew Spey of FloWrestling
Must Watch Fargo Junior R16 Matches


There are seven who remain alive for the Junior Triple Crown, having won the Folkstyle Nationals in Iowa in April, then going undefeated on the first day of the Freestyle Nationals. They are Sergio Lemley of Indiana (126), Greyson Clark of Wisconsin (132), Jager Eisch of Wisconsin (138), Adam Thebeau of Illinois (160), Tate Naaktgeboren of Iowa (170), Jared Simma of Kansas (182), and Ben Kueter of Iowa (195). The odds of there being more than one Triple Crown winner when Greco-Roman concludes on Friday is pretty slim. Only seven different wrestlers have won nine Junior Triple Crowns since the award was first given in 2007. There were no Triple Crown winners in the last Junior Nationals back in 2019, and only one year (2014) was there two Triple Crown winners the same year, Randon Miranda of California and Danny Vega of Arizona.

MONDAY SCHEDULE

9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Junior Men's Freestyle: Session III – 1/8 Championships, Quarterfinals & Consolations

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

5:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. - Junior Men's Freestyle: Session IV –- Semifinals, Consolations and Consolation Semifinals
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