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16U National Duals set for Loves Park, Ill., June 7-10, with California (Greco-Roman), Ohio (freestyle) defending champions

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

2023 16U Nationals Duals logo

USA Wrestling has entered its annual National Dual Meet Championships season, where USA Wrestling state association age-group teams loaded with talented athletes compete for national dual meet titles in the Olympic styles of wrestling, Greco-Roman and freestyle.

Starting this year’s popular events is the 16U National Duals, which return to Mercyhealth Sportscore Two in Loves Park., Ill., June 7-10. The Greco-Roman competition is set for Wednesday and Thursday this week, followed by the freestyle competition on Friday and Saturday. This event features boys who turn 15 and 16 years old this calendar year.

The defending 16U National Greco-Roman champions is California, which won a stunning 37-37 criteria decision over Pennsylvania Blue in the championship dual meet last year. Minnesota Blue placed third last year, defeating Oklahoma Red, 55-20 in the third-place bout. Iowa claimed fifth place with a 44-31 victory over Illinois. Placing seventh was Colorado, a 41-32 winner over Tennessee in their placement match.

In the 16U National Duals freestyle finals last year, Ohio also needed to claim the team title by criteria over Wisconsin Red, 35-35. Pennsylvania Blue was third after a 46-29 victory over California in the third-place dual meet. Claiming fifth was Illinois, a 42-31 winner in the medal match over Iowa. Finishing in seventh was Florida, which defeated Oklahoma Blue, 49-28 in their dual meet.

The first day of each style will feature the pool competition, where teams will compete against a number of teams in preliminary pools. Based upon the results of the day one preliminary pool competition, the top teams from each pool will advance to the Gold/Silver pool on day two, which determines the top eight teams in the tournament. There will be three other placement pools which determine the final team placements in the tournament: Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue and Green/Yellow).

An All-Tournament Team, featuring athletes who go undefeated in their individual matches in a specific style, will be announced after each tournament.

This event will feature numerous talented athletes, who will be expected to battle for national titles and All-American honors at the USMC 16U Nationals in Fargo, N.D. in July.

Heading into the tournament, there were 42 state association teams registered in freestyle and 39 in Greco-Roman. USA Wrestling will publish the seeding rankings of the teams the day prior to the start of competition in each style.

All of the action will be broadcast live once again by FloWrestling.


Loves Park, Ill. (Central time)

Wednesday, June 7

9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - Greco Roman Session 1: Rounds 1 & 2 Preliminary Championship Match, Championship Semi-Finals, & Consolation Quarterfinals

1:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. - Greco-Roman Session 2: (16 mats) Rounds 3, 4 & 5 - Consolation Semi-Finals & 1st Place Match, Placement Match 3rd, 5th, 7th, True 2nd place Match

Thursday, June 8

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon - Greco-Roman Session 3: Color Pools (Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue, Green/Yellow) Rounds 1 & 2 Preliminary Duals (All 16 Mats)

1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. - Greco-Roman Session 4: Rounds 3 & 4 Preliminary Duals & Finals Placement Match Dual

Friday, June 9

8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. - Freestyle Session 1: Rounds 1, 2, & 3– Preliminaries, Consolations, & Semifinals

1:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. - Freestyle Session 2: Rounds 4, 5 & 6 – Consolations, Placement (1st-8th), & True 2nd, plus Round 1 - Preliminary Duals Color Pools (Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue, Green/Yellow)

Saturday, June 10

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. - Freestyle Session 3: Rounds 2, 3 & 4 - (16 mats) Preliminary Duals and Finals Placement Match