Fargo: Cadet Finals Recap
Willie Saylor, Editor
The cream rose to the top Friday on the floor of the Fardgdome at the world's largest wrestling tournament: The Asics Cadet and Junior National Championships.
On Friday, in Cadet Freestyle action, they finished up their Round Robins and staged their finals.
Here we'll give you the skinny on what went down on the big stage.
There were 16 individuals that appeared in the finals that had also made the big stage in Greco earlier in the week. Seven of them would double dip.
Double Finalists: Devin Schnupp (PA), Hunter Marko (WI), Kyle Bierdumpfel (NJ), Seth Gross (MN), Cole Weaver (MI), Aaron Pico (CA), Mason Manville (MN), Kimball Bastian (UT), Bo Nickal (TX), Chandler Rogers (WA), Ryan Christensen (WA), Michael Pixley (MO), Lance Benick (MN), Landon Pelham (MI), Roy Nash (UT), Wyatt Spears (OR).
Double Champs: Schnupp (PA), Marko (WI), Pico (CA), Nickal (TX), Benick (MN), Nash (UT), and Spears (OR).
Illinois and Pennsylvania were in the Top 3 in both Cadet Greco and Freestyle. Minnesota (60pts) won Greco. Illinois (57) was 2nd and PA 3rd with 47pts. PA (66pts) won Freestyle and IL (57pts) was the Runner-Up.
Devin Schnupp (PA) over Michael Doetsch (MD) Dec 1-2,2-1,5-2
Schnupp hit a two point exposure at the buzzer of the 3rd period which was reviewed and upheld, giving him the win and a pair of Fargo titles.
Schnupp's road was gritty from the start. He had a tough, three-period win over double AA Matt Schmitt (MO) in the opening round.
Hunter Marko (WI) over Nick Lukanich (IL) Dec 1-0,4-0
Hunter Marko dominated the competition all week and was in control at all times in the finals. The win gave him double titles and with a USAW Folk Championship in April, a Cadet Triple Crown.
Miguel Silva (IL) over Kyle Bierdumpfel (NJ) Dec 4-1,1-5,3-1
Someone was going to go home unhappy. Silva was a Runner-Up last year. Another 2nd wouldn't sit well with him. Bierdumpfel was Runner-Up in GR.
Silva's early 3pter in the third period stood up and Bierdumpfel had to settle for doubt 2nds.
Scott Parker (PA) over Kaid Brock (OK) Dec 1-0,1-4,4-0
There were several kids that had the arena buzzing with their performance. Parker was one of them. He dominated his pool, beating four ranked opponents with yielding a single point. And other than one 2nd period flurry, he was control in the finals.
Zahid Valencia (CA) over Charles Tucker (NJ) Dec 1-0,1-0
Valencia dropped down from 120 where he was at GR and wrestled his way to the finals in FS. Although it wasn't lopsided, Zahid looked great in the finals. I've seen him a lot, and this was probably the best match i've seen him wrestle.
Matthew Kolodzik (OH) over Joe Smith (OK) Dec 3-0,6-0
Speaking of buzzing, Jo Jo Smith went from being "John Smith's son" to a talent of his own making. He dominated his top bracket, going the distance only once (against David McFadden (NJ) when he essentially blew the second period on a mental lapse.)
The bottom bracket was a mess. Kolodzik beat Josh Terao (HI) who beat Michael Kemerer (PA), who beat Kolodzik.
So for as good as Kolodzik is and who impressive Jo Jo was, the finals were a surprise as Kolodzik dominated from start to finish.
Seth Gross (MN) over Cole Weaver (MI) Dec 0-2,4-4,4-3
This was a rematch of the GR final won by Weaver, who was upped his stock all week long. He looked to have the title all sewn up in two periods before Gross rallied late to pull it out.
That's three finals and two titles for Gross this summer. In additional to the two finals here, he also made the Cadet World Team ay 127.5 by winning Fila Cadets.
Aaron Pico (CA) over Cody LeCount (IN) Dec 4-0,4-0
Aaron Pico. Good lord, that kid's impressive; not just in the end but in its means. He has the most wicked snaps and heavy hands i've seen in a Cadet. He has four Fargo titles and he hasn't stepped foot in high school yet.
Anthony Valencia (CA) over Pat Duggan (PA) Dec 1-0,5-1
Valencia had a hiccup early in pool play when he dropped a bout to NJ's Mike Gentile. But he rebounded to win the make the finals where he looked outstanding. Along with brother Zahid (113) and Pico (132) he became the third St. John Bosco wrestler to win a Cadet FS title.
Fox Baldwin (FL) over Mason Manville (MN) Dec 0-3,5-1,5-3
Along withe the Gross-Weaver bout, this was the bout of the finals. Manville had beaten Baldwin in three recent occasions: at Fila's, at the Southeast Regional, and at Cadet Duals.
And the finals in Fargo appeared to be a continuation of that trend. Manville was dominant on his feet early. But Baldwin used a double, a crotch lift, and out-scrambled Manville late to take the crown.
Mark Hall (MI) over Myles Martin (NJ) Dec 1-0,3-1
A rematch from a wild three-period Fila pool bout won by Hall, the first period was rather uneventful, ending Hall wining the flip and the clinch.
In the second, Hall hit a duck and a gut to take the title in his much-anticipated Fargo debut.
Bo Nickal (TX) over Kimball Bastian (UT) Dec 1-1,1-0
Someone was going to win double titles. Bastian was 1st at this weight in GR. Nickal won a GR title at 152, then bumped up for Free. Nickal wowed onlookers all week with high amplitude throws and falls.
The final didn't fall into either category, as he wrestled a more methodical match. But that didn't stop the voters from naming him Cadet Freestyle's Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Ryan Christensen (WA) over Chandler Rogers (WA) Dec 3-1,2-1
This marked the third time this year that these two met for a major title. Rogers had beaten Christensen in both the state and Cadet GR finals. In FS, Christensen exacted a little revenge.
Michael Pixley (Missouri) over Chip Ness (Georgia) Dec 2-1,5-3
Although Pixley won in two straight, this was one of the most competitive bouts. Two of the nation's best up-and-comers.
Lance Benick (MN) over Landon Pelham (MI) TF 7-0,6-0
In another rematch of the GR finals, Benick completely overmatched Pelham. Blast doubles, great mat awareness, and seemingly effortless guts highlighted the way to Benick's final leg of double titles and the Triple Crown.
Roy Nash (UT) over Kyler Childers (OK) Dec 4-1,4-0
Nash would say in a post-match interview that his best style was Greco and that he just hoped he could place in Free. You couldn't have figured that watching him moments before. Nash dominated his way to double titles with an impressive performance in the finals. He's one of the best in par terre in the Cadet division.
Wyatt Spears (OR) over Nicky Allegretti (IL) Dec 2-0,4-0
In the GR finals, Spears had to use a flurry of late bout heroics to win his first title. In FS, it was a much different story. He was in control the whole bout, never in jeopardy, and exhibited impressive athleticism for such a big kid.