2023 US Marine Corps USAW 16U Junior National Championships

Every State's Most Decorated Fargo Champion

Every State's Most Decorated Fargo Champion

Get ready for Fargo by taking a look at every state's all-time most accomplished wrestler at USA Wrestling's 16U and Junior Nationals.

Jul 7, 2024 by Andy Hamilton
Every State's Most Decorated Fargo Champion

Note: The following list was compiled by using data from The Fargo Almanac by Jason Bryant of Mat Talk Online. The almanac is the most complete record of each state’s history at the USA Wrestling Junior & 16U Nationals. The Fargo Almanac breaks down each state’s placewinners and champions by style and age group as well as lists the unique records, lists, facts and figures from the tournament since the first Junior Nationals began in 1971. The Fargo Almanac is a $40 digital publication and can be purchased at mattalkonline.com/Fargo

Alabama: Sam Latona — No Alabamian had won a title in Fargo until Latona claimed a 16U Greco title in 2016. Latona followed that up a year later by winning a Fargo Junior freestyle title.  

Alaska: Michaela Hutchison — The state’s only multi-time Fargo champion was a four-time Junior women’s freestyle finalist and won titles in 2006 and 2007. 

Arizona: Henry Cejudo — Before he won Olympic gold, Cejudo racked up five Fargo titles — three in Greco and two in freestyle. 

Arkansas: Leo Bogaj — Arkansas’ lone champ won a 16U Greco-Roman title at 83.5 pounds in 1998. He also earned All-America honors once more in each style. 

California: Aaron Pico and Gracie Figueroa — A pair of five-time Fargo champs. Pico won his five titles, three of which came in freestyle, during a three-year span. Figueroa swept women’s 16U and Junior titles in 2015 and 2016 and added another Junior title in 2017.  

Colorado: Malik Heinselman — Heinselman piled up four titles, including three in freestyle, over a three-year stretch beginning in 2014 as an 88-pounder. 

Connecticut: Erin Clodgo and Anthony Valles — Before she made a pair of women’s freestyle Senior World Teams, Clodgo placed four times in Fargo and won a pair of Junior titles. Valles won a pair of 16U freestyle titles in 2004 and 2005. 

Delaware: Sheldon Thomas — Thomas was a five-time All-American who never stood lower than third on the podium, highlighted by three freestyle titles and four finals appearances.  

Florida: Anthony Artalona and Shawn McCoy — Artalona was a six-time All-American, five-time finalist and four-time champ, sweeping the 16U titles in 2015 before winning Junior freestyle titles each of the next two years. McCoy doubled up on 16U titles in 1994 and 1995. 

Georgia: Sean Hage — Hage is responsible for more than a quarter of Georgia’s 29 titles. He swept both styles for four consecutive years to become one of the event’s two eight-time champions. 

Hawaii: Teshya Alo — A six-time women’s freestyle champion, Alo left Fargo with a stop sign for five consecutive years, highlighted by her 16U and Junior sweep in 2013. 

Idaho: Mack Mauger — Mauger had been tied with Hayden Tuma for the top spot on Idaho’s all-time list with four Fargo titles, but he broke the tie last year with a Junior Greco title, increasing his Fargo title count to five. 

Illinois: Matt Goldstein and Max Nowry — The Land of Lincoln has a slew of notable four-time Fargo champs, including Tony Cassioppi, Austin Gomez, Zane Richards, Eric Tannenbaum and Jacob Warner, but Goldstein and Nowry top the list with five titles apiece. Goldstein earned All-America honors nine times from 1992 to 1996 when he won four Greco titles. Nowry was a seven-time All-American who doubled up on Junior titles in 2007 and 2008. 

Indiana: Jeff Pease and Mitch Sliga — Pease was a six-time All-American and five-time champ from 1987 to 1989. Sliga swept 16U titles in both styles in 2010 and 2011 and added a Junior title in 2013. 

Iowa: David Kjeldgaard — An 11-time All-American and eight-time champ. Kjeldgaard won a pair of 16U Greco titles before racking up six Junior titles — four in Greco and two in freestyle. He won the 154-pound Junior freestyle title in 1996 by defeating future Iowa State stars Joe Heskett and Cael Sanderson. 

Kansas: Eric Akin — Akin earned All-America honors nine times and collected four titles in five trips to the finals. 

Kentucky: Jayden Raney — Kentucky had captured just one Fargo title prior to 2022 — Zeke Escalera’s 16U freestyle championship in 2017 — but the Raney twins quadrupled the state total two years ago. Jordyn Raney won a 16U Greco title and Jayden swept both styles in the 16U division. Jayden doubled up in both styles again in 2023. 

Louisiana: Scott Gibbons — The state’s only Fargo champ. Gibbons earned All-America honors three times, placed in both styles and won a 16U Greco title in 2010.

Maine: Deanna Rix — Maine’s only Fargo champ collected three titles, winning Junior women’s freestyle titles in three consecutive years beginning in 2003. 

Maryland: Nicole Woody — Maryland’s list of Fargo champs includes Olympic gold medalists Kyle Snyder and Helen Maroulis and three-time NCAA champion Aaron Brooks, but nobody from the state has won more Fargo titles than Nicole Woody, who collected four Fargo titles over a three-year stretch beginning in 2004. 

Massachusetts: Rollie Peterkin — The only multi-time champ from a state with six total titles. Peterkin placed three times in freestyle and won a 16U title in 2003 and a Junior title in 2004. 

Michigan: Brent Metcalf — Michigan is home to several all-time tournament greats. Adam Coon (six titles), Andre Metzger (five), Taylor Massa (four), Sabrina Nauss (four) and a host of three-time champs are among Michigan’s greats, but Metcalf tops the list with seven titles.  

Minnesota: Emily Shilson — With six titles, Shilson stands atop a list of 10 Minnesotans who have won the tournament four times or more. She won a pair of 16U and Junior women’s freestyle titles in 2016 and 2017 before winning Junior titles each of the next two years. 

Mississippi: No Fargo champions. 

Missouri: T.J. Hill — A 10-time Fargo finalist and seven-time champion. Hill wrestled in four finals and won three titles in 1995 alone when he captured Greco titles in the 16U and Junior divisions and won a 16U freestyle title. 

Montana: Mike Zadick — One of five Montanans who have won the tournament multiple times. Zadick, a 2006 World silver medalist and 2008 Olympian, made the Junior finals in both styles in 1996 and 1997 and won three titles, including two in Greco. 

Nebraska: Joel Adams and Brad Vering — Before he won a national title at Nebraska and a 2007 Greco World silver medal, Vering was a six-time Fargo All-American and Nebraska’s first three-time champ, highlighted by a sweep of both Junior titles in 1996. Adams matched his three titles when he won a Junior Greco title in 2023. 

Nevada: Sterling Dias — Nevada’s lone multi-time Fargo champ won 16U women’s freestyle titles in 2018 and 2019 and came back in 2022 in the Junior division to win her third title. 

New Hampshire: No Fargo champions. 

New Jersey: Pat Lynch — One of New Jersey’s five four-time tournament champions, along with Andrew Campolattano, Damion Hahn, Steve Mocco and Nick Raimo. Lynch earned All-America honors nine times with six finals appearances from 1987 to 1991. 

New Mexico: Scott Owen — Five wrestlers have won New Mexico’s five tournament titles, including Owen, who was a seven-time freestyle All-American from 1994 to 1998. 

New York: Troy Nickerson — The current head coach at Northern Colorado collected more Fargo titles than any other wrestler from New York. Nickerson placed third or better six times in Fargo and won five titles, including both 16U styles in 2003 and both Junior styles in 2004. 

North Carolina: Ty Reynolds — One of five tournament champs from North Carolina. Reynolds was a four-time freestyle All-American and two-time finalist in the late-’90s. 

North Dakota: Scott Owens — Placed fifth or better nine times, made the finals seven times and won five titles. 

Ohio: Dustin Schlatter — Ohio is home to some of the tournament’s all-time greats, including David Taylor (five Fargo titles), Alan Fried (four), Tommy Rowlands (four), C.P. Schlatter (four) and Logan Stieber (four). Dustin Schlatter won six titles in Fargo, including a star-studded Junior freestyle bracket in 2003 that featured six future Division I All-Americans. 

Oklahoma: Jason Powell — A seven-time All-American and six-time champ. Powell doubled up on Junior titles in 1997 and 1998 and added a Greco title in 1999 before going on to Nebraska, where he became an NCAA champ in 2004.  

Oregon: Tyrell Fortune — Fortune and Isaac Wood are tied for the top spot in titles for Team Oregon with six. Fortune swept both styles in the 16U division in 2005 and 2006 and as a Junior in 2008. He also placed second in Junior Greco in 2007 and third in Junior freestyle. 

Pennsylvania: Andrew Alton — One of three five-time tournament champions from Pennsylvania, along with Mark Angle and Chris Fleeger. Alton was a seven-time All-American and six-time finalist. He swept the 16U titles in both styles in 2007 and won Junior freestyle titles in 2008 and 2009. 

Rhode Island: Gabe Bouyssou — A four-time Fargo All-American who became Rhode Island’s second tournament champ in 2022 when he won a 16U Greco title. 

South Carolina: Brieana Delgado and Brittany Delgado — Six Fargo titles have gone back to South Carolina. Four of them belong to the Delgados, who each won two from 2006 through 2010. 

South Dakota: Ronna Heaton — Three wrestlers from South Dakota — Heaton, Lincoln McIlravy and Navarro Schunke — have won Fargo multiple times. Heaton reached the finals six times and won three titles, which tops the list.  

Tennessee: Nicholas Boykin — Six wrestlers from Tennessee have taken home titles. Boykin is the only one to do it twice. He won 16U titles in both styles in 2015. 

Texas: Brad Knouse — Only one Texan had won the tournament prior to 1985 when Knouse won 16U titles in both styles. He swept both 16U titles again in 1986 and won a Junior Greco title a year later and reached the freestyle finals in 1988. 

Utah: Roy Nash — The Sanderson family combined to win seven Fargo titles. The LaMonts combined for five. Individually, though, Nash holds the top spot for Utah natives with five — three in Greco and two in freestyle — from 2012 through 2014. 

Vermont — No Fargo champions. 

Virginia: Jesse Kirby — One of Virginia's four multi-time champs and the state's lone three-time Fargo champion. Won a pair of 16U women's freestyle titles and another at the Junior level.  

Washington: Michael Mangrum — Earned All-America honors eight times in Fargo and won four titles, including Junior freestyle championships in 2006 and 2007 when he beat Tyler Graff and Kellen Russell in the finals. 

West Virginia: Braxton Amos — Six wrestlers have combined to win West Virginia’s 10 tournament titles, led by Amos, who won three titles for West Virginia and two more for Ohio. Amos had a total of six finals appearances and swept 16U titles in 2016 and 2017. 

Wisconsin: Garrett Lowney — Four wrestlers from Wisconsin won at least five Fargo titles, including Alex Dieringer, but Lowney is atop the list with seven. Lowney won titles in both styles in 1997 and 1998 before capturing a Greco Olympic bronze in 2000. 

Wyoming: Josh Miller and Sterling Ogelsby — Five Wyoming natives have each won the tournament once. Miller and Ogelsby each placed four times. Miller won his title in 1987 in the 16U freestyle division. Ogelsby won a Junior Greco title in 1999.