What 2 Watch 4 Early in Junior Freestyle

What 2 Watch 4 Early in Junior Freestyle

The Junior Freestyle event begins today, where the winners will guarantee themselves a spot in the finals in June’s World Team Trials in Madison. Early this week we released a preview and Nick’s picks for the absolute gauntlet at 74KG’s. We also caught up with Mark Hall, one of the favorites in that bracket, to get his thoughts entering the tournament.

It wasn’t until after midnight on the east coast when brackets were built and released. So below we’ll outline what you should keep an eye on early. Juniors start at 9AM PT today and wrestle through the quarters. WATCH LIVE HERE.

Semifinal action will pick back up at 2PM PT on Saturday followed by finals.


What to Watch For

50kg: The biggest news in the smallest bracket is that returning World Team Member, Jabari Moody, is a late scratch. The puts Devin Brown, a 2013 Cadet WTM as the top seed. Four-time Fargo Champ, Danny Vega is the #2 seed.


55kg: Top Bracket - Micic, a finalist here last year, got the top seed. No surprise there, but watch for a potentially sneaky 1st round match up for him with Skyler Petry of Minnesota who posted several top flight freestyle wins last summer, including the #2 seed, Daton Fix. Also in the top bracket, there’s a nice potential quarter between Fargo Champs Austin Gomez (who moved up 50kg from where he was registered) and Jack Mueller who won Fargo the last two years.
Bottom Bracket - Fargo Champ Austin Assad vs. Tyrone Klump should be an entertaining first round match-up. In the second round, the winner of Barlow McGhee and Sean Fausz will get Ronnie Bresser. No matter who comes out of that, the best bout of the day at this weight will be that guy vs. Fix.


60kg: Top Bracket - Really fun first round match with Josh Terao vs. PT Garcia. The winner should get Lincoln Olson, and then top seeded Gary Wayne Harding.
Bottom Bracket - Mitchell McKee and Kanen Storr, both ranked in the country, met in the opening round of Greco on Thursday. They have another first round date here in Free. The winner should make it to the quarterfinals vs. Northern Iowa’s Josh Alber.


63kg: Top Bracket - Although non-world weights (and this is one) are usually light brackets, the top of this one is full of intrigue. Last year’s finalist at this weight, Matt Kolodzik, is back and top seeded with a first round match against nationally ranked Tristan Moran. Win that and he’ll have Will Koll, who just won this weight in Greco on Thursday.
Bottom Bracket - Two-time Cadet World Team Member Tommy Thorn is the second seed. He’ll have a minor test with Northern Colorado recruit, Sean Cannon, in the first round and a likely date in the quarters with the underrated Zehlin Storr of Michigan.


66kg: Top Bracket - Returning Champ and 2014 World Junior Silver Medalist Aaron Pico is your top seed. My favorite matches for Day I at this weight include Chad Pyke vs. Justin Arthur in the second round and an Alfred Bannister, who’s new to freestyle, and Dante Rodriguez quarterfinal.
Bottom Bracket - Zain Retherford, who lost to Pico in the finals here and at the World Team Trials last year, is your #2 seed. He has Ryan Schuman in the first round, who has a career win over Seth Gross. Watch for Ohio U’s Noah Forrider against one of the best high school Juniors in Griffin Parriott in Round 1.


70kg: Top Bracket- Micah Jordan, a relative newcomer to the FS scene, gets the top seed in this non-world weight. But he’ll have a stiff test in the second round against Jack Clark, a multiple-time Fargo AA. Wyoming’s Archie Colgan and former Fargo finalist Austin Kraisser, still just a Junior in HS, meet in the first round with the winner to face Renaldo Rodriguez-Spencer in the next round.
Bottom Bracket - Two monster Round 1 match-ups: Jonce Blaylock vs. Alec Panteleo and Cameron Harrell vs. second-seeded Tyler Berger.


74kg: Top Bracket - Cadet World Champion Mark Hall is the top seed in a bracket full of quantity and quality. In his half of the bracket resides a monster quarter: Jo Jo Smith vs. Fox Baldwin.
Bottom Bracket - Last year’s champ here, Logan Massa is the third seed. But he has a monster test right out of the gates in Daniel Lewis. The winner should cruise to the quarters to see GR Champ Jon Jay Chavez.
2012 Cadet World Team Member Chance Marsteller is the #2 seed. He’ll see Jason Nolf in the quarters in a match that will have all of Pennsylvania buzzing.


79kg: Top Bracket - 2012 WTM Chandler Rogers is the top seed in the final non-world weight. But he has a horrible draw. He’ll have to go through Dakota Sizemore, Drew Garcia and Ben Harvey on Day I alone. He should handle it, but it’s not very 1-seed-ish.
Bottom Bracket - Nebraska’s Jacobi Jones is the #2 seed. He’ll hit Dom Scalise in R2 and Kimball Bastian, who made a GR World Team, in the quarters.


84kg: Top Bracket - Zahid Valencia is the top seed, but he gets returning champ Pete Renda in the second round. I also like the match-up of Jaeden Bernstein vs. the Wyatt Koelling-Matt Olauson winner.
Bottom Bracket - Myles Martin is the #2 seed and should cruise through Day I. The best match at this weight on Friday will be the quarter between Northwestern’s Mitch Sliga, who won 3 Fargo FS titles, and Oregon State’s Corey Griego.


96kg: Top Bracket - Iowa State’s Marcus Harrington is the top seed. I’m really looking forward to the quarterfinal between Derek White and Anthony Cassar, who Penn State fans rave about.
Bottom Bracket - I would say there’s four legitimate finalist contenders in the bottom half, and they’ll all hit within the first two rounds. Chip Ness is the #2 seed. But he’ll have a stiff test against up-and-comer Jacob Seely in Round 2. OK State Cowboy, Preston Weigel, is the #3 seed, and I’m really high on him. His opening round match will be against a very game Chance McClure.


120kg: Top Bracket - Jake Scanlan is the top seed but he’ll have to run a guantlet: Robert Enmon in R1 and Jesse Webb in R2.
Bottom Bracket - The quarters will be fun. Jeramy Sweany will likely face Christian Colucci and GR Champ Tate Orndorff will see Carter Shipley.


Willie’s Friday (Thru Quarters) Can’t Miss Matches:
55kg: Austin Gomez, IL vs. Jack Mueller, TX - Quarterfinal
55kg: Barlow McGhee, IL vs. Sean Fausz, KY - Round 1
55kg: McGhee or Fausz vs. Ronnie Bresser, OR - Round 2
55kg: McGhee/Fausz/Bresser vs. Daton Fix, OK - Quarterfinal
66kg: Noah Forrider, OH vs. Griffin Parriott, MN - Round 1
70kg: Micah Jordan, OH vs. Jack Clark, NJ - Round 2
70kg: Tyler Berger, OR vs. Cameron Harrell, MD - Round 1
74kg: Jo Jo Smith, OK vs. Fox Baldwin, FL - Quarterfinal
74kg; Logan Massa, MI vs. Daniel Lewis, Mo - Round 1
74kg: Massa or Lewis vs. Jon Jay Chavez, ID - Quarterfinal
74kg: Chance Marsteller, PA vs. Jason Nolf, PA - Quarterfinal
84kg: Mitch Sliga, IN vs. Corey Griego, CA - Quarterfinal
96kg: Derek White, OK vs. Anthony Cassar, NJ - Quarterfinal
96kg: Chance McClure, GA vs. Preston Weigel, KS - Quarterfinal
96kg: Chip Ness, GA vs. Jacob Seely, CO - Quarterfinal




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