The greatest card in Who's #1 history was about as action packed as anything we could have ever asked for. Now that everyone is back home with time to digest, let's go through some of the history made on Sunday afternoon in the Snakepit.
First Women's Match
The godfather of District XI, our own Willie Saylor, has repeatedly mentioned his desire to to get a girls match on the card. After Macey Kilty knocked off Ronna Heaton in the Fargo finals, her match with Gracie Figueroa fell into place.
Figueroa cemented her spot as the No. 1 pound-for-pound girl in the country with some of the cleanest leg attacks we saw all day. Kilty fought till the end, with all four of her points coming in the final minute of either period. The match also sets the tone for the rest of the month, which features a girls match at Night of Conflict 3, two girls matches at Agony in Ames, and girls divisions at both the Conflict at Carver and Super 32 tournaments.
Six No. 1s Go Down
Are you kidding me? Even for an event that is supposed to be for the first and second ranked athletes in their weight classes, six No. 1s going down is unprecedented. That's over half the card.
It started off with Malik Heinselman falling to Kurt McHenry in what was quite possibly the best WNO match of all-time. Patrick McKee followed that up with a ridiculous neck whip to defeat Cadet world teamer Robbie Howard. Joey Silva took down Roman Bravo-Young in overtime, and Kilty lost as mentioned above.
The night finished off very dramatically, with Gavin Hoffman toppling Michael Beard as what looked like the entire Malvern kids club was matside to cheer on Beard. Finally, just minutes from his home, Sammy Sasso sent the crowd and his Dark Knights teammates into a frenzy by avenging his Fargo loss to Anthony Artalona with a pin.
First Ever Falls
It took four plus years and 45 matches, but we finally had our first pin at a Who's Number One event. With neither Julian Ramirez nor Trent Hidlay able to score a takedown after three periods, they went to sudden victory tied at one. Ramirez tried a lat drop, but Hidlay dropped his hips back and landed square on Ramirez to finish it off (along with an epic, hoagie eating celebration). We already mentioned Sasso's pin to close out the night, which blew the roof off of Grace Hall.
David Carr Joins Elite Company
With his 6-1 victory over Joe Lee, David Carr of Ohio entered the select group of wrestlers to win twice at WNO. Fredy Stroker was the first to notch two wins in the Snakepit when he won the four-man mini tournament at 132lbs in 2013. Chad Red and Mason Manville joined the club in 2015, with Manville becoming the first to win at two different WNO events and Red replicating Stroker's mini-tournament accomplishment. Last year, Jarod Verkleeren and Daton Fix became the first guys to win in two consecutive years.
First College Commitment
The list of wrestlers who have went from Who's #1 competitors to Division 1 All Americans is extensive, but the first four years passed without someone making a verbal commitment. That changed at this year's press conference, when Patrick Glory announced he would be attending Princeton.
High Scoring Match
For the second year in a row, WNO was kicked off by an 8-7 barnburner. Kurt McHenry timed a shot perfectly to score with under five seconds remaining to knock off No. 1 Malik Heinselman. That match is in a three-way tie for second highest scoring match in WNO history. Jordan Decatur beat Gavin Teasdale 8-7 last year, and Jason Nolf beat Joey McKenna 10-5 in 2013. The highest scoring match was Michael Beard's 12-6 win over Jelani Embree last October.
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