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Mauger and Rairdon repeat as National High School Recruiting Showcase champions; nationally ranked Petersen and Robinson also shine

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Mack Mauger (ID) and Jackzen Rairdon (CO) with their National High School Recruiting Showcase belts
National High School Recruiting Showcase champions Mack Mauger (ID) and Jackzen Rairdon (CO).

DES MOINES, Iowa – With finals victories on Saturday afternoon, winning their second career Boys National High School Recruiting Showcase titles were Mack Mauger of Idaho (113) and Jackzen Rairdon of Colorado (120).

Mauger defeated returning Showcase runner-up Dedrick Navarro of Idah, 6-4 in a very competitive finals. Mauger scored a first-period takedown to lead 2-0. Navarro scored an escape and takedown to take 3-2 lead. Mauger tied it at 3-3 with a second-period escape. In the third period, Mauger escaped and hit a spin behind takedown. A Navarro escape gave him a chance for a late takedown, but Mauger had strong defense at the end. Mauger is ranked No. 3 in the nation at 106 pounds by FloWrestling.

Rairdon used his funky style to edged Iowa state champion Timothy Koester, 3-2. After a scoreless first period, Rairden rode Koester the entire second period, sinking in the legs. In the third, Rairden escaped and secured a takedown to lead 3-0. A late Koester reversal was not enough.

The National High School Recruiting Showcase is an elite competition, where wrestlers must meet specific achievement standards to enter. Those eligible for the Showcase include high school state champions, Prep National champions, NHSCA placewinners, high school state placewinners plus All-Americans from a variety of USA Wrestling national championship tournaments.

The only other returning Showcase champion qualifying for the finals was Aiden Gruenenfelder of Wisconsin, who lost an injury forfeit in the finals to Zaiyahn Ornelas of Nebraska. Ornelas was a 2022 14U Freestyle national champion
In a battle of Iowa state champions and Sebolt Wrestling Academy athletes at 126 pounds, Kale Petersen defeated Koufax Christensen, 10-5. Petersen jumped to a 4-0 lead with a takedown and backpoints, but Christensen was able to tie it up at 4-4 in the second period. Petersen took control the rest of the way, scoring two takedowns in the third period. Petersen holds a No. 16 national ranking by FloWrestling at 126 pounds.

The 132-pound finals displayed the talents of Illinois star Vincent Robinson, who holds a No. 11 FloWrestling national ranking and has committed to North Carolina State. Robinson scored three takedowns while controlling North Dakota State commit Carter Schmidt in a 7-4 victory.

In a high-scoring battle at 138 pounds, Alex Braun of Minnesota held on for a 9-7 victory over William Denny of Illinois. Braun opened with a takedown and three backpoints for a 5-0 lead, and never trailed. However, Denney battled back with three takedowns in the second and third period to close the gap before time ran out. Braun was a 2021 Preseason Nationals champion in the 9-10 Grade division, and also won a 2022 16U Folkstyle Nationals title.

In an all-Illinois finals at 145 pounds, Antonio Alvarado used a cradle for a takedown and three backpoints in the second period, the key move in his 8-6 victory over Noah Manuel Tapia.

Putting on a show at 152 pounds was two-time Florida state champion Christopher Minto, who opened up his offense on the way to a 14-3 major decision over Israel Moreno of Montana. Minto had four takedowns and also turned Moreno giving up only escapes.

Three-time Kansas state champion Derek Johnson gave up the first takedown, but gave back for an 8-4 victory over Nebraska state champion Landon Weidner. The bout was tied at 4-4 in the third period, but Johnson scored a clutch double leg takedown for the win.

Scoring the only takedown of the match at 170 pounds, Iowa’s Brent Slade edged Idaho state champion Hudson Rogers, 3-2. Slade led 3-0 after a first-period takedown and a second-period escape, and gave up an escape and a stall call in the third period. Both athletes have been Fargo All-Americans.

Securing the only pin of the finals was Mark Ayala of California, who led 5-0 before turning and putting away Colorado’s True Tobiasson in 3:54 in the 182-pound finals.

Scoring a takedown on the buzzer, Texas state champion Karson Tompkins defeated Montana state champion Mason Christian, 3-2 at 195 pounds. Both athletes scored takedowns that were confirmed upon review by the referees.

Scoring a pair of first period takedowns, Albert Butler of Georgia stopped Washington state runner-up Johnathan Gressett, 4-2 at 220 pounds.

The 285-pound champion was determined on Friday, as Rodney Trotter Jr. of Texas won a three-athlete round robin.

All of the Showcase champions were awarded with a new championship belt for their great achievement.

At Des Moines, Iowa, October 29

1st Place Match - Zaiyahn Ornelas (NE) won by medical forfeit over Aidan Gruenenfelder (WI) (MFF)
3rd Place Match - Brayden Teunissen (IL) won in the ultimate tie breaker over Ezekiel Witt (KS) (UTB 2-1)
5th Place Match - Eric Casula (OK) won by decision over Kiernan Meink (NE) (Dec 3-0)
7th Place Match - Griffin Rial (CO) won by decision over Aiden Larsen (IL) (Dec 7-1)

1st Place Match - Mack Mauger (ID) won by decision over Dedrick Navarro (ID) (Dec 6-4)
3rd Place Match - Wyatt Skebba (WI) won by decision over Drew Davis (IL) (Dec 5-0)
5th Place Match - Connor Fiser (IA) won by decision over Everest Sutton (OR) (Dec 7-5)
7th Place Match - Jaylen Burge (CO) won in tie breaker - 1 over Luke Koenen (MN) (TB-1 2-1)

1st Place Match - Jackzen Rairdon (CO) won by decision over Timothy Koester (IA) (Dec 3-2)
3rd Place Match - Bowen Downey (IA) won by decision over Caio Aron (TX) (Dec 5-3)
5th Place Match - Keyan Hernandez (MT) won by major decision over Kurt Wehner (NJ) (Maj 11-3)
7th Place Match - Daniel Aranda (IL) won by decision over Zachary Parisi (IL) (Dec 10-6)

1st Place Match - Kale Petersen (IA) won by decision over Koufax Christensen (IA) (Dec 10-6)
3rd Place Match - Evan Gosz (IL) won by fall over Lincoln Gregersen (CO) (Fall 3:42)
5th Place Match - Garret Rinken (IA) won by medical forfeit over Carson Exferd (ID) (MFF)
7th Place Match - Mark Cardenas (CO) won by major decision over Dj Wince (CO) (Maj 11-2)

1st Place Match - Vincent Robinson (IL) won by decision over Carter Schmidt (MT) (Dec 7-4)
3rd Place Match - Teegan Vasquez (MT) won by major decision over Daniel Heiser (WI) (Maj 14-4)
5th Place Match - Izaiah Padilla (CO) won by decision over Jayce Luna (IA) (Dec 10-5)
7th Place Match
Giosue Hickman (AZ) won by forfeit over William Anderson (AL) (FF)

1st Place Match - Alex Braun (MN) won by decision over William Denny (IL) (Dec 9-7)
3rd Place Match - Jakob Romero (CO) won by decision over Ayson Rice (SD) (Dec 4-3)
5th Place Match - Tye Barker (NM) won in tie breaker - 1 over Julian Garnica (TX) (TB-1 2-1)
7th Place Match - Landon Drury (WA) won by tech fall over Grayson Williams (ID) (TF 19-3)

1st Place Match - Antonio Alvarado (IL) won by decision over Noah Manuel Tapia (IL) (Dec 8-6)
3rd Place Match - Kayd Craig (ID) won by decision over Jacob Schmadeke (AZ) (Dec 7-3)
5th Place Match - Dayton Bell (KS) won by decision over Finn Shepard (TX) (Dec 8-7)
7th Place Match - Brandon Dean (NJ) won by decision over Gabriel Gallardo (AZ) (Dec 10-8)

1st Place Match - Christopher Minto (FL) won by major decision over Israel Moreno (MT) (Maj 14-3)
3rd Place Match - Leandro (lj) Araujo (ND) won by fall over Isaiah Fenton (IA) (Fall 3:47)
5th Place Match - Nathan Vande Hey (WI) won by decision over Robert Flege (WI) (Dec 9-3)
7th Place Match - Jace Anderson (IA) won by medical forfeit over Braden Blackorby (IA) (MFF)

1st Place Match - Derek Johnson (KS) won by decision over Landon Weidner (NE) (Dec 8-4)
3rd Place Match - Logan Cole (MT) won by decision over Tyler Schofield (MI) (Dec 7-1)
5th Place Match - Aiden Robertson (NE) won by medical forfeit over Henry Reilly (NE) (MFF)
7th Place Match - Tyler Martinez (IL) won by decision over Christian Gallardo (AZ) (Dec 4-0)

1st Place Match - Brent Slade (IA) won by decision over Hudson Rogers (ID) (Dec 3-2)
3rd Place Match - Travis Smith (MN) won by decision over Dante Hutchings (CO) (Dec 4-2)
5th Place Match - Kaleb Owen (OK) won by decision over Owen Uppinghouse (IL) (Dec 5-2)
7th Place Match - Anders Thompson (MT) won by fall over Hunter Moore (NV) (Fall 2:37)

1st Place Match - Mark Ayala (CA) won by fall over True Tobiasson (CO) (Fall 3:54)
3rd Place Match - Matthew Kubas (IL) won by forfeit over Matthew Gazda (AZ) (FF)

1st Place Match - Karson Tompkins (TX) won by decision over Mason Christian (MT) (Dec 3-2)
3rd Place Match - Eugenio Franco (CA) won by decision over Hunter Sonnenberg (WA) (Dec 12-6)
5th Place Match - Tyson Irby-Brownson (NV) won by medical forfeit over Dalton Reed (WA) (MFF)
7th Place Match - Kevin Lund (OK) won by decision over Jarrett Huber (AZ) (Dec 7-3)

1st Place Match - Albert Butler (GA) won by decision over Johnathan Gressett (WA) (Dec 4-2)
3rd Place Match - Davin Mattimoe (WY) won by fall over Leo Meyer (IL) (Fall 4:47)

285 pounds
1st Place - Rodney Trotter Jr. of TX
2nd Place - Milan Colvin of KS
3rd Place - Forest Howell of MT
Rodney Trotter Jr. (TX) won by decision over Milan Colvin (KS) (Dec 6-1)
Rodney Trotter Jr. (TX) won by fall over Forest Howell (MT) (Fall 1:17)
Milan Colvin (KS) won by fall over Forest Howell (MT) (Fall 2:38)
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