16U Men’s Freestyle Preview: Returning champions Mendoza, Knox, DeLuca headline strong field

by Adam Engel, USA Wrestling

Anthony Knox (NJ) at the 2021 U16 Freestyle Nationals finals. Photo by Austin Bernard.

USA Wrestling will post one preview each day, starting on Friday, July 8, for the six national tournaments that will be held at the USMC Junior and 16U National Championships in Fargo.

We start the previews on Friday, with a weight-by-weight review of the boys 16U Freestyle Nationals.

88 pounds: An entirely different class of All-Americans will be awarded this year. The eight placewinners from last year’s 16U 88-pound freestyle bracket bumped up weights or jumped into the junior division. National champions, however, are not gone.

Caleb Noble of Wisconsin will make his Fargo debut after two Kids Triple Crowns (12U and 14U). Last month, he lost one match at the 16U National Duals in a field that included many fellow Fargo competitors like Cason Craft of Oklahoma. Craft finished fourth at the U15 Nationals. Colorado’s Daniel Goodwin, another U15 Nationals placewinner, finished eighth in Las Vegas. In that same tournament, Allen Woo of Illinois one-upped Goodwin with a fifth- place performance.

Beyond that are a plethora of formidable contenders with national duals excellence and regional awards. California’s Gavin Pongsai and Charles Esposito claimed regional championships in style. This is a deep group of youngsters that will be hunting for stop signs in Fargo.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: None
Others separated: Cason Craft of Oklahoma, Kaison Schreier of Missouri, Charles Esposito of New Jersey, Allen Woo of Illinois, Daniel Goodwin of Colorado, Caleb Noble of Wisconsin, Carter Kendrick and Judd Hansen of South Dakota, Gavin Pongsai of California and Jose Cordero of Tennessee.
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

94 pounds:
Wisconsin’s Haakon Peterson rolls into Fargo as the highest placing returner in this bracket. He finished runner-up at 88 pounds a year ago. Since then, he bagged a Cadet Pan-American gold in October at 41 kilograms. In April at the U17 Nationals, he bulked to 45 kilograms (99 pounds) and finished runner-up in the U17 Nationals. He is the most decorated wrestler of the bunch, but other serious contenders remain.

Nathan Rioux of Indiana and Kole Davidheiser of Pennsylvania are the two returning All-Americans at this weight. After low-podium finishes, the two look to improve from a year ago. Davidheiser lost once at the 16U National Duals in early June. Coincidentally, he lost by eight to Peterson.

Sean Willcox and Henry Aslikyan, U15 Nationals placewinners from California, will make their Fargo debut. Aslikyan finished runner-up in that tournament. Willcox, who trains with Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club, finished third at the U15 Nationals at 44 kilograms.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Haakon Peterson (WI, 2nd U16 FS 88), Kole Davidheiser (PA, 6th U16 FS 94), Nathan Rioux (IN, 7th U16 FS 94)
Others separated: Ayden Dodd of Ohio, Wyat Lees of Michigan, Dean Wainwright of Illinois, Saxton Scott and Rider Seguine of Idaho and Sean Willcox and Henry Aslikyan of California.
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

100 pounds:
Two Fargo All-Americans with head-to-head history headline this bracket. Indiana’s Revin Dickman and Lawson Eller of Minnesota finished fifth and eighth at 88 pounds in Fargo last year. The two battled in last year’s 16U National Duals and Dickman won 10-0, via tech fall. These two Midwesterners are a sample of the load of Midwest talent at this weight.

Iowa’s Carter Pearson cruised through the 16U National Duals with one loss and placed third at the U17 Nationals. the He trains with the renowned Sebolt Wrestling Academy and looks to add to the club’s success. Lincoln Sledzianowski, the Floridian who beat Pearson at the National Duals, enters Fargo a year removed from a 14U national championship. Sledzianowski carries a 24-match win streak into Fargo. He hasn’t lost since the U15 freestyle Nationals final in late April. Watch out for these hammers.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Revin Dickman (IN, 5th U16 FS 88), Lawson Eller (MN, 8th U16 FS 88)
Others separated: Emeric McBurney of Ohio, Carter Pearson of Iowa, Joel Friederichs of Minnesota, Lincoln Sledzianowski of Florida, Dominic Deputy and Keanu Dillard of Pennsylvania, Isaiah Harrison of Colorado, Boden Banta of Idaho, Tas Storer, Slater Hicks and Michael Romero of California, Ezekiel Witt of Kansas, Julian Rios of Massachusetts, Alex Rozas of Louisiana and Hudson Loges and Cole Welte of Nebraska.
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

106 pounds:

As the weights increase, so does the depth. This weight class includes five returning Fargo All-Americans and two returning champions. Oklahoma’s Zane Donley looks to add a U16 title at 106 after a championship in the Junior division last year. Seth Mendoza of Illinois seeks a repeat after a title at 100. Last year, Donley obliterated the field with a 100% bonus point rate. And yes, that was up a division. He outscored opponents 55-4. Last year, Mendoza throttled his competition and recorded four tech falls. He finished runner-up in the 2022 U17 freestyle Nationals. But the success doesn’t stop with Mendoza and Donley.

Moses Mendoza of California is the next highest placing All-American. He finished third at 94 in 2021 but makes the dozen pound jump. All-American Griffin Rial of Colorado will make the biggest bulk of the group — 18 pounds from 88. He’s a scoring machine and once scored 23 points in a National Duals bout.

Missouri’s Devon Harrison and Liam Neitzel of Wisconsin grabbed 2021 All-American honors at 94.

Aaron Seidel of Pennsylvania returns after finishing a win away from the podium in 2021. He excelled at the National Duals in early June with one loss and is an All-American contender. Beyond Seidel, Ryker Graff of Iowa, Oklahoma’s Zane Donley and Devin Bobzien of California are several All-American contenders to watch.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Griffin Rial (CO, 4th U16 FS 88), Moses Mendoza (CA 3rd U16 FS 94), Devon Harrison (MO, 6th U16 FS 94), Liam Neitzel (WI, 8th U16 FS 94), Seth Mendoza (IL, 1st U16 FS 100)
Others separated: Dunia Sibomana of New York, Rylan Seacrist of Ohio, Tyler Misenheimer of Oklahoma, Gus Cardinal and Gabriel Ramirez of Arizona, Ryker Graff, Jace Hedeman, Ryan Rider and Jake Knight of Iowa, Titan Friederichs of Minnesota, Liam Davis of Florida, Zaidyn Quinonez of Colorado, Kolter Burton of Idaho, Devin Bobzien and Isaiah Cortez of California, Kody Tanimoto of Texas, Kaiden Triche of Louisiana and Evan Sanati and Tyler Dekraker of Virginia.
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Aaron Seidel (No. 3 at 106), Seth Mendoza (No. 6 at 106), Isaiah Cortez (No. 10 at 106)

113 pounds:
New Jersey star Anthony Knox is back after a championship at 106. His No. 1 FloWrestling weight class ranking makes him one of the tournament’s most marked men. In 2021, he conquered one of the tournament’s deepest weight classes and collected six tech falls.
As the only returning All-American, there will be a new group of challengers for Knox.

A group of strong Californians could make it interesting. Nathan Carrillo beat his in-state teammate Edwin Sierra to place third at U17 Nationals in late April. Sierra found more success at the National Duals and lost once. Elijah Cortez, another Californian, placed seventh at the U17 Nationals after working his way through the backside.

Tennessee’s Cooper Hilton brings southern power to Fargo with a resume that includes a fifth place U17 Nationals finish. Similar to 106, this weight features plenty of young talent. Also look out for Connor Fiser of Iowa. He placed fifth last year at 106 in the junior division but will wrestle in 16U this year. 

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Anthony Knox (NJ, 1st U16 FS 106)
Others separated: Isaiah Schaefer of Indiana, Johnny Green of Ohio, Isaiah Jones of Oklahoma, Timothy Koester of Iowa, Christian Fretwell of Florida, Cole Rogers of Montana, Jayden Raney of Kentucky, Deven Casey of Illinois, Derek Barrows and Cody Tanner of Colorado, Declan Koch and Kellen Wolbert of Wisconsin, Jaxton Packer and Koy Orr of Idaho, Elijah Cortez, Edwin Sierra and Nathan Carrillo of California, Ryan Meier of Massachusetts, Cameron Stinson Jr. of North Carolina and Cooper Hilton of Tennessee.
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Anthony Knox (No. 1 at 113), Edwin Sierra (No. 7 at 113), Jake Hockaday (No. 12 at 113), Elijah Cortez (No. 16 at 113), Cooper Hilton (No. 20 at 120)

120 pounds:
A returning Fargo champion with a 2021 Cadet World champion. Welcome to 120 at Fargo.
Pennsylvania’s Bo Bassett, who won a Cadet World gold medal last summer in Hungary and a runner-up finish in this year’s Cadet World Team Trials, makes his first Fargo appearance.

Despite his Fargo experience, the international success is enough to make him the favorite. But others will challenge in this loaded bracket.

It continues with New Jersey’s Leo DeLuca, last year’s champion at 113. He makes the jump a weight class to clash with several familiar opponents. In 2021, he ran through a deep bracket that featured several 2022 Cadet World Team members. Recently at the Junior National Duals in Oklahoma, he lost just once.
Pennsylvania’s Sam Herring, Bassett’s high school teammate, gained 14 pounds since last year’s tournament when he finished as runner-up. His long arms and speedy smooth duck unders make him a threat to find the finals again. Ohio’s Marcus Blaze is another high Fargo placer with a strong resume. He lost once at Junior National Duals, to star Iowa signee Nate Jesuroga.

Don’t count out Missouri’s Draegen Orine, Michigan’s Jackson Blum or Pennsylvania’s Gauge Botero, either. Each earned All-American honors last year albeit at three different weight classes. Botero is the only returning All-American at 120.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Leo DeLuca (NJ, 1st U16 FS 113), Draegen Orine (MO, 5th U16 FS 113), Sam Herring (PA, 2nd U16 FS 106), Marcus Blaze (OH, 4th U16 FS 106), Jackson Blum (MI, 6th U16 FS 106), Gauge Botero (PA, 8th U16 FS 120)
Others separated: Adam Butler of Ohio, Parker Lyden of Minnesota, Presley Johnson of Missouri, Mason Gutenberger of Montana, Trey Wagner, Bo Bassett and Eren Sement of Pennsylvania, Wyatt Medlin of Illinois, Nick Dardanes, Chris Lalonde and Thomas Verrette of Colorado, Jacob Herm of Wisconsin, Geronimo Rivera of Utah, Matthew Martino and Jake Castagneto of Idaho, Joshua Requena of California and Manuel Saldate of Nevada
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Draegen Orine (No. 4 at 113), Marcus Blaze (No. 9 at 120), Leo DeLuca (No. 10 at 120)

126 pounds:
This weight class only features one returning Fargo All-American — Landon Robideau of Minnesota. He finished runner-up at 126 in 2021 after a close 3-1 bout to Kyler Larkin of Arizona. In late April, Robideau finished third at the U17 Nationals.

Illinois’ Benjamin Davino, a contender at this weight, went undefeated at the 16U National Duals. In late April, he also placed third at the U17 Nationals. California always brings a strong contingent to Fargo and this weight is no different. Elias Navida found similar results at National Duals but missed the podium at the U17 Nationals. Still, he has proven at times that he can compete with the best. Fargo will be another test.

Look for Phoenix Contos of Ohio as well. He lost to Davino at the National Duals but has made improvements in his freestyle wrestling despite being a Fargo Greco-Roman All-American. On paper, this bracket feels more wide open than others.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Landon Robideau (MN, 2nd U16 FS 126)
Others separated: James Lindsay and Phoenix Contos of Ohio, Giosue Hickman and Dean Anderson of Arizona, Cale Seaton of Iowa, Zeno Moore of Florida, Jake Zaltsman of New Jersey, Benjamin Davino of Illinois, Dawson Johnson of Wisconsin, Elias Navida, Billy Townson and Tigran Greyan of California
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Benjamin Davino (No. 4 at 120), Landon Robideau (No. 15 at 126) 

132 pounds:
California’s Brock Mantanona is the highest placing returning All-American in this field. He finished runner-up after a 10- 0 loss to New Jersey’s Leo DeLuca at 113. However, he looks much different than last summer. Mantanona hit the weight room and bulked up 20 pounds.
Maddox Shaw of Pennsylvania joins Mantanona as the other returning Fargo All-American. Shaw went undefeated in freestyle at the National Duals and won the Northeast Regional with a 100% bonus rate. Mantanona and Shaw highlight the group, but talent exists with the rest of the field.

Minnesota’s Tyson Charmoli spent a lot of time on the mat in the last few months. He competed in the 16U and Junior National Duals. Naturally, he fared better in the 16U division with an undefeated record but still sought out tough competition at a higher level. He also finished fourth at the U17 Nationals in late April.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Maddox Shaw (PA, 5th U16 FS 120), Brock Mantanona (CA, 2nd U16 FS 113)
Others separated: Gunner Andrick of West Virginia, Nathaniel Askew of Georgia, Cory Velasquez of Oklahoma, Adyn Bostick of Arizona, Nolan Fellers of Iowa, Tyson Charmoli of Minnesota, Jackson Tucker and Colby Gray of Missouri, Tre Haines and Israel Acosta of Washington, Anderson Heap of Florida, Trevor Jones of New Jersey, Ian Hawkins of Illinois, Billy Greenwood and Nevin Smith of Colorado, Daniel Heiser of Wisconsin, Daishun Powe of Alabama and Benjamin Weader of Virginia
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Tyson Charmoli (No. 17 at 132)

138 pounds:
Vince Bouzakis, the brother of Ohio State signee and super recruit Nic Bouzakis, returns to Fargo after a sixth-place finish at 126. He carries the pedigree of a winning program with Wyoming Seminary. He recently placed seventh at the U17 Nationals and went undefeated at the 16U National Duals. Gabriel Bouyssou of Rhode Island, the other returning Fargo All-American, placed seventh at 132 in 2021. He looks to find the podium in 2022.

Beyond these two, the credentials continue. Look for New York’s PJ Duke who is a contender despite a lot of freestyle mat time. Most recently, he won a Northeast Regional championship. Duke is a two-time New York state champion.

Many guys in this bracket will be making their Fargo debuts. Ohio’s Grayson Woodcock earned fourth at Kids Nationals this summer. Joseph Jeter of Oklahoma enters after he won the U15 Nationals. Despite that experience, this will be his first Fargo tournament. Kane Naaktgeboren, the brother of Iowa State signee Tate Naaktgeboren, won a folkstyle national championship.

This is a loaded bracket with plenty of contenders. Bouzakis, Bouyssou, Duke or someone else? Take your pick.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Vince Bouzakis (PA, 6th U16 FS 126), Gabriel Bouyssou (RI, 7th U16 FS 132)
Others separated: PJ Duke of New York, Wyatt Krejsa and Silas Foster of Indiana, Grayson Woodcock of Ohio, Jack Garrett of Georgia, Joseph Jeter of Oklahoma, Kane Naaktgeboren of Iowa, Alex Braun and Conlan Carlson of Minnesota, Owen Pritchard of Washington, Brandon Dean of New Jersey and Garrett Reece of Colorado
Nationally ranked wrestlers: PJ Duke (No. 7 at 138), Vince Bouzakis (No. 14 at 138)

145 pounds:
A lack of returning Fargo All-Americans leave this field wide open. A new collection of All-American titles will be assigned, and one will depart as champion.

Owen McMullen of Pennsylvania stormed into Las Vegas for the U15 Nationals in late April and left as freestyle national champion. He also won a Greco-Roman title.
McMullen, however, is not the only national champion in this bracket. Iowa’s Kyler Knaack makes the jump into Fargo after a Kids Nationals 14U championship last summer. On top of that, he’s adjusted to higher age groups. In late April, he finished fifth at the U15 Nationals.

Other than McMullen and Knaack, keep an eye on guys such as Cooper Driscoll of Ohio. He beat Christopher Acuna of Montana, another competitor in this Fargo bracket, 10-9, to finish seventh at the U15 Nationals. Eli Leonard of Wisconsin is another 2022 U15 Nationals All-American. He finished seventh at 62 kg (136 pounds).

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans:
Others separated: Cooper Driscoll and Ty Wilson of Ohio, Cade Parent and Emil Necula of Georgia, Kody Routledge of Oklahoma, Kyler Knaack of Iowa, Christopher Acuna and Kaleb Shine of Montana, Carl J Betz III of New Jersey, Collin Gaj and Owen McMullen of Pennsylvania, Eli Leonard of Wisconsin, Carlos Valdez of Idaho, Keenan Sheridan of South Dakota, Aliaksandr Kikiniou of California and Gabriel Delgado of Nevada
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

152 pounds:
Midwest excellence is exhibited this group. Indiana’s Anthony Rinehart, Bas Diaz of Iowa and Minnesota’s Bradley Rodriguez-Little all enter Fargo as national champions.

Rinehart’s freestyle skills will be tested after he won a 16U folkstyle national championship in April. He hasn’t seen any freestyle action since. In last year’s Fargo tournament, he exited early in the consolation bracket.

Diaz continues Iowa’s wrestling dominance into North Dakota. Last summer, he won a U15 national championship. Diaz made a deep run in Fargo in 2021 but lost three wins short of All-American status. At 152, he lost just twice at the 16U National Duals in early June. Rodriguez-Little will make his Fargo debut after he won a Kids Nationals championship at 14U last summer.

Also keep an eye on Ladarion Lockett of Oklahoma, the only nationally ranked competitor in this bracket. He finished third at the U17 Nationals. His ability to compete with older divisions shows his skill level. He competed in last year’s Fargo tournament but had the same result as Diaz. Lockett only improved from last year thanks to a strong high school season with national power Stillwater High School. In 2021, he won a U15 national championship.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Travis Grace (CA, 6th U16 FS 132), Alessio Perentin (NJ, 7th U16 FS 138)
Others separated: Anthony Rinehart and Mitchell Betz of Indiana, Mitchell Younger and Brodie Dominique of Ohio, Ladarion Lockett of Oklahoma, Damarion Ross and Bas Diaz of Iowa, Bradley Rodriguez-Little of Minnesota, Claudio Torres of Florida, Joseph Ruiz and Alessio Perentin of New Jersey, Emmit Munson of Colorado, Colin McAlister of Kansas
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Ladarion Lockett (No. 10 at 152)

160 pounds:
Several U15 and 14U All-Americans highlight this bracket along with some regional champions. This is one of the lighter groups with zero returning Fargo All-Americans or ranked wrestlers.

Minnesota’s Aydan Carlson recorded an excellent 16U National Duals performance with just one loss. He will make his Fargo debut a few months removed from Northern Plains Regionals championship. Look out for Angelo Posada of California, as well. Posada went undefeated at the 16U National Duals and allowed just two points during his run to a Northwest Regional championship. His Fargo experience show better results in Greco-Roman, but the strong summer could be an indicator of his form. Posada only finished a few wins away from Fargo All-American status in both styles last year.

Similar to Posada, most of the guys in this bracket boast stronger Greco-Roman results so the transition to freestyle will be interesting.

Merrik Murray of Missouri wrestled 36 matches since the beginning of June between Greco-Roman and freestyle. He competed in the 16U and Junior National Duals. He excelled in the freestyle 16U National Duals with a 7-2 performance and a 100% bonus point rate. Murray, the 2022 Southern Plains Regional champion, will be hungry to reach the podium in Fargo. In last year’s tournament, we went 2-2 but didn’t compete in the National Duals.

Montana’s Maverick McEwen, New Jersey’s Jordan Chapman and Virginia’s Macon Ayers are the other regional champions in the field.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: None
Others separated: Miguel Rojas of Indiana, Justin Avila of Iowa, Aydan Carlson of Minnesota, Merrik Murray of Missouri, Maverick McEwen of Montana, Jordan Chapman of New Jersey, Angelo Posada of California and Macon Ayers of Virginia
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

170 pounds:
Missouri’s Peyton Westpfahl, the bracket’s only returning All-American, bumps up from 160. Last summer, he finished seventh in Fargo and headlines one of the deeper upperweight brackets.

This group does not lack in credentials.

California’s Adrien Reyes secured a U15 Nationals championship in late April but hasn’t competed since. This will be his first Fargo tournament.

Jarrel Miller Jr. of Ohio destroyed his competition at the 16U National Duals with an undefeated performance. He allowed just eight points in eight matches. He returns to Fargo after a 1-2 freestyle outing.

Despite limited freestyle experience, Sir Friday of Arizona placed eighth in last year’s U15 national championships.

Minnesota brings a strong contingent at 170 that includes John Murphy, a 2021 14U national champion. His teammate, Bryce Burkett, placed fifth in the U15 Nationals a year ago. Burkett returns to Fargo after being two wins away from All-American status in 2021 at 152.

Similarly, Espyn Sweers of Wisconsin, Hudson Rogers of Idaho and Luke Hancock of Kansas earned U15 All-American honors last summer. Hancock placed fifth while Rogers finished fifth and Sweers earned third.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Peyton Westpfahl (MO, 7th U16 FS 160)
Others separated: Jarrel Miller Jr. of Ohio, Sir Friday of Arziona, Brent Slade of Iowa, Bryce Burkett and John Murphy of Minnesota, Luis Mendoza of Washington, Artem Skyba of Pennsylvania, Espyn Sweers of Wisconsin, Hudson Rogers of Idaho, Adrien Reyes of California, Gavin Blondeaux of Nevada, Luke Hancock of Kansas and Liam Byrne of Oregon
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

182 pounds:
Indiana’s De’Alcapon Veazy returns as the only All-American who wrestled at 182 last summer. He finished sixth in this bracket and will be challenged by Wisconsin’s Aeoden Sinclair who captured third at 160.

Sinclair executed a 15-0 performance at the 16U and Junior National duals. He also placed third at the U17 Nationals. He is a high-level product of the Askren Wrestling Academy and will be a title contender in Fargo. Veazy, meanwhile, placed eighth at the U17 Nationals at 80 kilograms. He is closer to a true 182 than Sinclair.

Minnesota’s Joseph Muhlstein beat Adonis Bonar II of Nebraska, a fellow competitor in this bracket, to earn fifth at 85 kilograms in the U15 Nationals.

Also watch out for Coby Merrill of California who finished runner-up at U15 Nationals a year ago. In last year’s Fargo tournament, he compiled a 2-2 performance.

In addition to these guys, this bracket features two folkstyle All-Americans. North Dakota’s William Ward will have home mat advantage in Fargo. He finished third at the 16U Recruiting Showcase in April but won the 14U national championship last year. He fared well at the 16U National Duals with a 3-1 mark. Samuel Watkins of Kansas finished fourth at 170 at the 16U Recruiting Showcase in April.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Aeoden Sinclair (WI, 3rd U16 FS 160), De’Alcapon Veazy (IN, 6th U16 FS 182)
Others separated: William Ward of North Dakota, Joseph Muhlstein of Minnesota, Matt King of Washington, Adam Waters of Pennsylvania, Coby Merrill of California, Samuel Watkins of Kansas, Karson Tompkins of Texas, Adonis Bonar II of Nebraska, Landon Spence of Virginia
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Aeoden Sinclair (No. 5 at 182)

195 pounds:
Despite zero returning Fargo All-Americans, Iowa’s Dreshaun Ross rides into Fargo as a double (Greco-Roman and freestyle) U15 national champion. A member of Sebolt Wrestling Academy, he teched his way through that U15 Nationals bracket and outscored his three opponents 32-2. A year ago, Ross cruised to two Kids Nationals championships. This will be his first Fargo tournament.

Missouri’s Brennan Carey is a viable contender as well. He lost just once, to fellow competitor Michael Mocco, at the 16U National Duals in early June. Carey went 0-2 last year in Fargo and is a returning Southern Plains Regionals champion.

Mocco, the son of former Olympian Steve Mocco, finished third at the U15 Nationals and makes his Fargo debut.

Mark Marin III of California grabbed the Folkstyle Recruiting Showcase championship in early April. A new group of All-Americans will be found at this weight.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: None
Others separated: Dreshaun Ross of Iowa, Brennan Carey of Missouri, Michael Mocco of Florida, Vincenzo Lavalle of New Jersey, Gabino Perez of Illinois, Tyson Martin and Ilijah Sanchez of Wisconsin, Carson Gooley of Idaho, Mark Marin III of California, Cole Langford of Oregon and Mason Ellis and Cole Carter of Alabama
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

220 pounds:
California’s Nicholas Sahakian returns as an All-American at this weight. He finished sixth a year ago and captured fourth at the U17 Nationals. Sahakian is also the only wrestler ranked by FloWrestling in the field and will be a main contender.

Keep an eye on his teammate, Adam Farha, who exhibited clutch abilities when he decided the 16U Greco-Roman National Duals championship for California in the dual’s final bout.

In Fargo 2021, he was two wins away from All-American status. Watch for these California boys.

Beyond those two, Michigan’s Brady Vaughan will debut in Fargo after a fourth-place finish last summer at Kids Nationals. James Bechter of Ohio and Brayden Hill of Kansas were also Kids Nationals All-Americans.

Nevada’s Melvin Whitehead won a folkstyle national championship in April.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: Nicholas Sahakian (CA, 6th U16 FS 220)
Others separated: Rylan Kuhn of Missouri, James Bechter of Ohio, Chase Baker of Washington, Brady Vaughan of Michigan, Ean Winchester of Pennsylvania, Adam Farha of California, Melvin Whitehead of Nevada, Brayden Hill and Clayton Frehn of Kansas and Jason Young of Virginia
Nationally ranked wrestlers: Nicholas Sahakian (No. 16 at 220)

285 pounds:
A new group of heavyweight All-Americans will be established in Fargo. The lack of unknowns based on Fargo experience makes this weight wide open.

Missouri’s Sampson Stillwell establishes himself as a highly decorated contender with a sixth-place finish at the U17 Nationals. In June, Stillwell went undefeated at the 16U National Duals. In 2021, he placed eighth at U15 Nationals. This will be his first Fargo tournament.

Kansas’s Milan Colvin makes the jump to Fargo after a third-place finish at Kids Nationals. Also look for Ohio’s Aaron Ries. He logged an undefeated performance at the 16U National Duals. He won a Central Regional championship in the spring but doesn’t have any results from last year.

Returning 2021 Fargo All-Americans: None
Others separated: Aaron Ries of Ohio, Avaugn Dorvil of Minnesota, Kamahao Grace and Sampson Stillwell of Missouri, Kaden Darwin and Connor Aney of Washington, Wyatt Schmitt of Illinois, Milan Colvin of Kansas and Willie Cox of Alabama
Nationally ranked wrestlers: None

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