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16U National Duals begin Wednesday in Illinois

by Adam Engel, USA Wrestling

The nation’s best 16U dual squads will congregate in Loves Park, Illinois, this week. Seventy teams are registered for this year’s 16U National Duals.

Greco-Roman action begins Wednesday with freestyle on Friday.

Minnesota Blue surged to win the Greco-Roman bracket in 2021 while Ohio Red claimed the freestyle title.

2021 Greco-Roman results

1st place — Minnesota Blue
2nd place — Oklahoma Outlaws Blue
3rd place — California
4th place — Illinois
5th place — Pennsylvania Blue
6th place — Indiana Gold
7th place — Idaho
8th place — Wisconsin

2021 freestyle results

1st place — Ohio Red
2nd place — New Jersey
3rd place — Minnesota Blue
4th place — Illinois
5th place — Pennsylvania Blue
6th place — Oklahoma Outlaws Blue
7th place — California
8th place — Indiana Gold

2021 16U National Duals

At Loves Park, Ill., June 7-11

Wednesday, June 8

9 a.m. — Greco-Roman Session 1 (Rounds 1 & 2 Preliminary Championship Match, Championship Semifinals, & Consolation Quarterfinals)
1:30 p.m. — Greco-Roman Session 2 (Rounds 3, 4 & 5 - Consolation Semi-Finals & 1st Place Match, Placement Match 3rd, 5th, 7th, True 2nd place Match)

Thursday, June 9

8 a.m. — Greco-Roman Session 3 (Color pools: Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue, Green/Yellow, Rounds 1 & 2 Preliminary Duals)
1 p.m. — Greco-Roman Session 4 (Rounds 3 & 4 Preliminary Duals & Finals Placement Match Dual)
Friday, June 10
8 a.m. — Freestyle Session 1: Rounds 1, 2, & 3– Preliminaries, Consolations, & Semifinals
1:30 p.m. — Freestyle Session 2: Rounds 4, 5 & 6 — Consolations, Placement & True 2nd Round 1 — Preliminary Duals Color Pools (Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue, Green/Yellow)

Saturday, June 11

9 a.m. Freestyle Session 3: Rounds 2, 3 & 4 — Preliminary Duals and Finals Placement Match

Key teams/wrestlers:
Note: Several rosters are unknown as they have not been finalized.
Ohio Red: The defending freestyle national champions lost the majority of its roster but return a key group. Ty Wilson (145 pounds) and Cole Evans (113 pounds) — Ohio Division 1 champions, will lead this young roster. Keep an eye on heavyweight Aaron Ries, Jarel Miller (170 pounds) and Grayson Woodcock (138 pounds). Can this group lead Ohio Red to another national championship?
Nebraska: Nebraska takes an automatic hit without a full roster in both styles but that won’t stop the guys from an opportunity to surprise. Kiernan Meink (100 pounds) and Tyler Harrill (138) are incoming freshman that bring a load of accolades. Harrill recorded an 11-3 record at last year’s 14U National Duals with seven tech falls. Meink placed third in last year’s Southern Plains Regional Championships.
Illinois: Six regional champions highlight Illinois’ Greco-Roman and freestyle rosters. The squad placed fourth in each style a year ago at the 16U National Duals. Wyatt Medlin (120 pounds) won in both styles and makes his 16U National Duals debut.
Missouri: Fargo experience runs deep with Missouri. Devon Harrison placed sixth at the 2021 tournament at 94 pounds in 16U freestyle. This year, he’s up to 106. Several others made lengthy runs on the backside. Peyton Westpfahl (170 pounds) exploded from a round of 16 loss to place seventh at Fargo in the U16 freestyle 160-pound bracket. Colby Gray (132 pounds) finished fifth at the 2022 U.S. Open in U15 Greco.
Idaho: Idaho placed seventh in Greco-Roman a year ago and is primed for another placement with five returners. The roster is littered with high level experience and three Fargo All-Americans. Kolter Burton (106 pounds) won a Fargo title in 2021 and Matthew Martino (120 pounds) finished runner-up. Hudson Rogers (145 pounds) placed eighth. Idaho is a team that could make serious noise in Illinois.
Oklahoma: The 2021 Greco-Roman runners-up lost plenty from last year’s tournament. Fargo champion Zane Donley, however, will lead Oklahoma Blue’s quest for a national championship. Donley, a 100-pound Fargo champion, bumped up to 106. He will be one of the most marked men in the tournament.

Tennessee: Several accomplished wrestlers will lead a state with a constantly growing wrestling scene. Look for Casen Roark (132 pounds) to lead his squad. Last year, he smashed the field with a 7-0 mark in Greco-Roman.
Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania hammers are Illinois bound. Pennsylvania Blue strives to improve on last year’s fifth place finish in both styles. In a wrestling hotbed like Pennsylvania, the roster is heavy on Fargo All-Americans. Watch Sam Herring (120 pounds), a double Fargo All-American in 2021. He claimed eighth in Greco and finished runner up in the 106-pound freestyle final. Aaron Seidel (106 pounds) finished third in Fargo in Greco-Roman but many more returning All-Americans will make an impact.
Indiana Gold:
This squad placed in both styles a year ago. Look for many debutants to accompany experienced returners. De’Alcapon Veazy (182 pounds) enters this week with a prolific resume. He earned double All-American honors in Fargo a year ago and finished fifth in Greco at April’s U.S. Open. However, this will be his first national duals appearance. At 113 pounds, Isaiah Schaefer enters as a U17 freestyle U.S. Open All-American. Will this team repeat a podium position?
Minnesota Blue:
Lawson Eller (100 pounds) leads the defending Greco-Roman champions. Eller is a double 16U Fargo-All American and he logged a busy April and May. He finished seventh at the U.S. Open before winning a Northern Plains Regional Greco-Roman championship in mid-May.

: World level experience fills Georgia’s roster. Emil Necula (145) won the 2021 U15 Pan-American Championships in freestyle and Greco but couldn’t reach the podium at the U.S. Open or Fargo. Gabe Swann (88 pounds) provides power in the lightweights.

The event will be streamed live on FloWrestling.