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A look ahead at the 14U National Duals set for Indiana

by Adam Engel, USA Wrestling

Several dozen of the nation’s top 14U dual teams flock to Indiana for the 2022 14U National Duals. Nearly 65 squads are registered so far. Greco-Roman competition begins Thursday with freestyle on Saturday.
Illinois looks to add to its accomplished history at this event. It won the 2021 Greco-Roman bracket and placed seventh in freestyle. Minnesota Red, now Minnesota Storm, returns as the defending freestyle champions. This field is packed with U.S. Open All-Americans.
The event will be streamed live on FloWrestling.

2021 Greco-Roman results

1st place — Illinois
2nd place —Pennsylvania Blue
3rd place — Minnesota Red
4th place — Iowa
5th place — New Jersey
6th place — Team Utah
7th place — Michigan Blue
8th place — Oklahoma Outlaws
2021 freestyle results
1st place — Minnesota Red
2nd place — California
3rd place — New Jersey
4th place — Iowa
5th place — Ohio Scarlet
6th place — Oklahoma Outlaws Red
7th place — Illinois
8th place — Wisconsin
2022 14U National Duals

At Indianapolis, Ind., June 8-12

Thursday, June 9
8 a.m. — Greco-Roman Session 1 (Preliminary pool rounds 1-3)
3 p.m. — Greco-Roman Session 2 (Preliminary pool rounds 4-6)
Friday, June 10
8 a.m. — Greco-Roman Session 3 ¬— Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue, Green/Yellow (Three rounds)
2:30 p.m. — Greco-Roman Session 4 (Finals and Awards)
Saturday, June 11
8 a.m. — Freestyle Session 1 (Rounds 1-3)
3 p.m. — Freestyle Session 2 (Rounds 4-6)
Sunday, June 12
8 a.m. — Freestyle Session 3 — Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue, Green/Yellow (Three rounds)
2:30 p.m. — Freestyle Session 4 (Finals and Awards)
Key teams/wrestlers:
Note: Several rosters are unknown as they have not been finalized.
Kansas: Kansas Red is guided by two returning Kids Nationals All-Americans in James Bilby (77 pounds) and Thunder Page (106 pounds). This is the pair’s first 14U National Duals. Also watch for Noah Mathis (187 pounds) and Oscar Gauna (87 pounds) to continue their run of success after winning a Kansas Triple Crown.

West Virginia: The boys from the Mountain State are looking to crack the top eight after placing 12th in their National Duals debut a year ago. Look for Dominic Way (102 pounds) and Kayden McDonald (97 pounds) to lead the way. The two combined to go 15-3 in last year’s event.

Maryland: Maryland brings a wealth of experience to Indianapolis. Corey Brown (71 pounds) and Salah Tsarni (119 pounds) won the 2021 Kids Nationals in freestyle and Greco-Roman. Brooklyn Pickett (144 pounds) returns after a combined 12-3 record last year.

Ohio: Ohio will rely on its large group of returners to improve on a fifth-place freestyle finish in 2021. Grey Burnett is a month removed from a Greco U15 U.S. Open championship at 41 kilos. He returns to the 14U National Duals after losing just one bout in last year’s event.
Nebraska: Nebraska struggled mightily in both styles in last year’s 14U National Duals. But with plenty of new bodies, the squad is hopeful for improvement. Look for Cruzer Dominguez (83 pounds) to make an impact in his 14U National Duals debut. He earned 15U freestyle All-American status at the U.S. Open in late April with a fifth-place finish. In Greco, he finished a win short of double All-American status. Also watch for Northern Plains Regionals Greco champ Zaiyahn Ornelas (102 pounds). On paper, this an improved squad heavy in youth.

Missouri: Three teams will represent Missouri at the 14U National Duals. The state fielded two Greco squads and one in freestyle. Watch for returner Jet Brown (97 pounds) and first-timer Miller Sipes (119 pounds) to lead the squad.
Georgia: Georgia’s roster is loaded with Southeast Regional champions and runners-up. Chris Phillips (97 pounds) pinned and teched his way to a Greco and freestyle Southeast Regional championship. He needed just 55 seconds to pin in his freestyle final. Keep an eye on Ariah Mills, the 77-pound 2022 Southeast Regional champion. Will this squad crack the top eight?
Utah: Seven West Region champions highlight this Utah contingent. Mason Carlson (110 pounds) enters the tournament fresh off a prolific run in the past several weeks. He placed seventh in U15 freestyle at the U.S. Open. He teched and pinned his way to two West Region titles in mid-May. Most of this roster will make its 14U National Duals debut.
California: A plethora of age-group place winners comprise this team that finished freestyle runner-up in 2021. Isai Fernandez (165 pounds) and David Calkins (187 pounds) recently earned double U15 All-American status at the U.S. Open in April. On the lighter side of the scale, Thales Silva (71 pounds) and Thiago Silva (77 pounds) were double 12U Kids Nationals place winners. California must rely on a mixture of experience in 2022.
Iowa: Another year. Another loaded Iowa group. Experience could be a benefit with six returners from last year’s squad. In 2021, Iowa placed fourth in freestyle and Greco-Roman. Hayden Schwab (83 pounds) and his brother, Hendrix Schwab (97 pounds), are double place winners from last year’s Kids Nationals. Hendrix teched and pinned his way to a 12U national championship. The boys are the sons of Northern Iowa head coach Doug Schwab. Others such as Dawson Youngblut (106 pounds), Justis Jesuroga (114 pounds) and Jax Shekleton (125 pounds) boast similar resumes.
Pennsylvania Blue: Only two return from last year’s squad that finished runners-up in Greco-Roman. Plenty of new faces leaves many questions about how this team will mesh. In Pennsylvania, lack of skill is never a question. Keegan Bassett (87 pounds) stands out with plenty of accomplishments at his age. In April, he earned double All-American honors in the U15 U.S. Open bracket. He is only 13. Bassett is the younger brother of Cadet World Champion, Bo Bassett.
Tennessee: Similar to its U16 team, Tennessee is full of credentialed competitors. It brings 13 Southeast Regional champions to Indianapolis. Take note of Hudson Chittum (77 pounds). He recently completed a Southeast Regional Triple Crown. Chittum also earned double All-American honors at the U.S. Open. Can a stacked Tennessee roster make the podium?
Minnesota Storm: Minnesota Red, the defending freestyle champions, have a little different setup this year. Gone are the red and blue teams. Now, it’s Minnesota Thunder and Minnesota Storm. Each team contains plenty of talent. Liam Collins, an 83-pounder for the Storm, won the U.S. Open at 38 kg in the U15 bracket. He is proven at freestyle as well after winning the Northern Plains Regionals with technical falls in each bout. Collins also placed third in freestyle at the 2021 Kids Nationals. In both events, he defeated competitors in this 14U National Duals field.
New Jersey:
A balanced, deep roster puts New Jersey in a strong spot this weekend. The squad found the podium in both styles last year. New Jersey’s lightweights are especially dangerous. Jojo Burke (83 pounds) won Kids Nationals in 2021 at 78 pounds and followed with double All-American honors at the U.S. Open. New Jersey’s coaches will have the luxury of another 12U national champion at 83 pounds with Sean Kenny.
Several key contributors from last year’s Greco winning team return. Rocco Cassioppi (102 pounds) and his brother Bruno (106 pounds) solidify the middle of Illinois’ lineup. Bruno is a double 14U national runner up. Rocco also finished Greco runner-up and claimed freestyle All-American honors at Kids Nationals. They are the younger brothers of three-time Iowa All-American Tony Cassioppi. Brody Sendele (136) returns after a 14U Greco-Roman national championship. Several All-Americans make Illinois a threat to repeat.