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U.S. Open U20 Nationals preview & entries: U20 World medalists Volk, Mesenbrink, Attao, Berge return

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Jore Volk (USA) celebrates his 2022 U20 World title in freestyle with the American flag.
Jore Volk (USA) celebrates his 2022 U20 World title in freestyle. Photo by Kadir Caliskan, United World Wrestling

Four 2022 U20 World medalists have entered the 2023 U20 Nationals at the South Point Hotel and Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.

The U20 Nationals in Greco-Roman will be held on Friday, April 28. The U20 Nationals in freestyle are set for Saturday, April 29 and Sunday, April 30 . It is one of the major events within the 2023 Pritchard Companies U.S. Open, presented by FloWrestling.

2022 U20 World freestyle champion Jore Volk returns and will compete at 57 kg in freestyle this year. 2022 U20 World freestyle silver medalist Mitchell Mesenbrink will compete at 70 kg in freestyle this year. Mesenbrink was also a U20 Nationals champion last year.

A pair of U20 World bronze medalists, Bennett Berge in freestyle and Aden Attao in Greco-Roman, are also entered in the U20 Nationals. Berge will wrestle at 86 kg in freestyle., Attao will compete in both Greco-Roman (130 kg) and freestyle (125 kg). Attao was also a U20 Nationals champion last year.

This event is a qualifying event for the U20 World Team Trials, which will be held in Geneva, Ohio, June 2-4. The top eight place winners from the 2023 U20 Nationals in men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman qualify for the U20 World Team Trials.

A number of other 2023 U.S. U20 World Team members will compete in this year’s U20 Nationals. Other U20 Freestyle World Team members who return and are entered in Las Vegas include Nic Bouzakis, who will compete in 61 kg in Las Vegas, Vince Cornella, who will compete at 65 kg in Las Vegas, and Brayden Thompson, who will compete at 86 kg in Las Vegas.

Other 2023 U20 Greco-Roman Team members, with the weight they are entered this year at the U20 level are Max Black (60 kg), Robert Perez, Jr. (67 kg), Richard Fedalen (70 kg), Adrian Artsisheuskiy (77 kg) and Christian Carroll (130 kg).

Returning U20 men’s freestyle champions who are back are Bouzakis, Cornella, Mesenbrink, Troy Spratley at 57 kg and Luca Augustine at 79 kg. In Greco-Roman, returning U20 champions are Black, Perez, Fedealen and Attao, plus MJ Gaitan (who is competing in freestyle at 79 kg), Michael Altomer at 82 kg and Robert Plympton at 97 kg.

Among the U20 World Team Trials runners-up in the draw include Sprately and Augustine, plus Jesse Mendez (61 kg) and Noah Pettigrew (97 kg). Among the U20 World Team Trials runners-up in Greco-Roman in the draw are Altomer and Plympton, plus Pierson Manville (65 kg), Hunter Garvin (74 kg), Braden Stauffenberg (70 kg), Jared Stricker (82 kg).

With over 1,000 entries this year, the U20 Nationals is jammed full of talented athletes in both styles, including many who are currently in the national high school rankings. FloWrestling is tracking all of the ranked high school wrestlers at the U17 and U20 Nationals.

What makes this tournament so compelling is that it includes both college underclassmen and high school stars. A majority of the 2022 USMC Junior Nationals champions in both styles are entered to compete.

2022 Junior National freestyle champions in the U20 draw are Attao plus Cory Land (61 kg), Kyle Dutton (70 kg), Cody Chittum (70 kg), Aiden Riggins (74 kg), Joshua Barr (79 kg), Connor Mirasola (86 kg) and Bradley Hill (125 kg). 2022 Junior National Greco-Roman competing at U20 Nationals are Stauffenberg, Altomer and Attao plus Anthony Ruzic (57 kg), Otto Black (63 kg), Kannon Webster (65 kg), Keith Smith (65 kg), Brennan Van Hoecke (65 kg), Brendon Abdon (74 kg), Bradley Gillum (74 kg), Jack Darrah (92 kg) and Max Ramberg (97 kg).

2023 U.S. Open – U20 Nationals entries (as of April 24)

At Las Vegas, Nev. April 30, 2022

2022 U20 Freestyle Champions
April 2022

57 - Troy Spratley (Texas Pride WC)
61 - Nic Bouzakis (Pennsylvania)
65 - Vince Cornella (Spartan Combat RTC)
70 - Mitchell Mesenbrink (Askren Wrestling Academy)
74 - Alex Facundo (Nittany Lion WC)
79 - Luca Augustine (Pittsburgh WC)
89 - Samuel Fisher (Southeast RTC, Inc)
92 - Jaxon Smith (Dmv Rtc)
97 - Ben Kueter IA (Sebolt Wrestling Academy)
125 - Nicholas Feldman PA (Ohio RTC)

2022 U20 Greco-Roman Champions
April 2022

55 kg- Jakason Burks NE (MWC Wrestling Academy)
60 kg - Max Black CO (Black Fox Wrestling Academy)
63 kg - Haiden Drury WA (Brunson UVRTC)
67 kg- Robert Perez iii CA (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)
72 kg- Richard Fedalen MD (Warhawks Wrestling)
77 kg- Manuel (M.J.) Gaitan CA (Temecula Valley High School Wrestling)
82 kg- Michael Altomer NY (West Point Wrestling Club)
87 kg- Kodiak Stephens CA (Beaver Dam Wrestling Regional Training Center)
97 kg- Robert Plympton OR (Oregon)
130 kg- Aden Attao ID (Suples Wrestling Club)

2022 U20 Freestyle World Team Trials champions
June 2022

57 kg - Jore Volk (Pinnacle Wrestling Club)
61 kg - Nic Bouzakis (Pennsylvania)
65 kg - Vince Cornella (Spartan Combat RTC)
70 kg - Mitchell Mesenbrink (Askren Wrestling Academy)
74 kg - Alex Facundo (Nittany Lion Wrestling Club)
79 kg - Brayden Thompson (Illinois)
86 kg - Bennett Berge (Pinnacle Wrestling Club)
92 kg - Jaxon Smith (Dmv Rtc)
97 kg - Ben Kueter (Sebolt Wrestling Academy)
125 kg - Nicholas Feldman (Ohio Regional Training Center)

2022 U20 Greco-Roman World Team Trials champions
June 2022

55 kg – Jonathan Gurule ((NMU-National Training Center)
60 kg – Max Black (NMU-National Training Center)
63 kg – Haiden Drury (Brunson UVRTC)
67 kg – Robert Perez III (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)
72 kg – Richard Fedalen (Warhawks Wrestling)
77 kg – Payton Jacobson (Sunkist Kids Wrestling Club)
82 kg – Adrian Artsisheuskiy (Elite Wrestling Academy)
87 kg – Kodiak Stephens (Beaver Dam Wrestling RTC)
97 kg – Christian Carroll (Indiana)
130 kg – Aden Attao (Suples Wrestling Club)

2022 Junior Nationals freestyle champions
July 2022

100 - Tyler Garvin (Maryland)
106 - Mack Mauger (Idaho)
113 - Hunter Taylor (Missouri)
120 - Nathanael Jesuroga (Iowa)
126 - Mason Gibson (Pennsylvania)
132 - Cory Land (Alabama)
138 - Ryder Block (Iowa)
145 - Kyle Dutton (Missouri)
152 - Cody Chittum (Tennessee)
160 - Aiden Riggins (Iowa)
170 - Joshua Barr (Michigan)
182 - Connor Mirasola (Wisconsin)
195 - Cody Merrill (California)
220 - Bradley Hill (Iowa)
285 - Aden Attao (Idaho)

2022 Junior Nationals Greco-Roman champions
July 2022

100 - Javaan Yarbrough (Ohio)
106 - Mack Mauger (Idaho)
113 - Anthony Ruzic (Illinois)
120 - Kael Lauridsen (Nebraska)
126 - Otto Black (Colorado)
132 - Kannon Webster (Illinois)
138 - Keith Smith (Nebraska)
145 - Brennan Van Hoecke (Florida)
152 - Braden Stauffenberg (Illinois)
160 - Brendon Abdon (Florida)
170 - Bradley Gillum (Illinois)
182 - Michael Altomer (New York)
195 - Jack Darrah (Missouri)
220 - Max Ramberg (Wisconsin)
285 - Aden Attao (Idaho)
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