By: Ryan Holmes
Ironman has given us some of the most incredible match-ups over the years. Just Micah Jordan's tournament resumè alone includes some of the most epic matches in history.
Last year was my first year covering this tournament and needless to say I was impressed with field. But all that did was set my standards pretty high for what is to come this year. Looking through the weight classes my eyes got pretty big when I saw the absolute hammers at 145-pounds. The top four seeds alone are reason enough to keep your eyes glued on that bracket. With the #1 dude in the weight, Jared Verkleeren, along with Rocky Jordan, Zander Wick and the crazy slick David Carr, how could we go wrong?
It's almost enough to make us forget about the fact that we will have to go without Michael Kemerer this year.
Speaking of guys who won't be at this year's tournament, we are going to be missing a few key pieces of the championship scope. Out due to injury will be Wyoming Seminary's Chris Weiler (170) and two-time Champ Spencer Lee (120) who will be out most of the season. In addition we won't have returning finalists Jason Renteria (120) along with Cade Olivas (126), Isaiah White (160) and Kevin Vough (285) who were all champs last year.
But enough with who won't be there, let's check out the always impressive field of competitors that will be there.
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Last Year's Final: Cade Olivas, SJB dec. Drew Mattin, Del, 8-3.
5 Years Ago: (103) Nathan Tomasello, CVCA dec. Darian Cruz, BC, 2-1.
(1) #11-Dylan D'Emilio, Genoa -- Fargo Champ, UWW FS Champ
(2) #17-Peter Ogunsanya, OPRF -- Fargo GR Champ, Fargo FS AA
(3) #8-Jordan Crace, Graham -- 2x Jr. High State Champ
(4) #15-Elijah Palacio, Calvary Chapel -- Freak Show Champ
(5) Mike Colaicco, Blair - Fargo FS AA
(6) Christian Nunez, St. John Bosco -- Super 32 Placer, Freak Show Runner-up
(7) Lucas Byrd, LaSalle -- Fargo CD AA
(8) Gabe Tagg, Brecksville - Fargo FS AA
(9) Josh Venia - OH State Champ
(10) Trey Keeley, Washington -- IL State Runner-up, Fargo GR Champ
(11) Mosha Schwartz, Ponderosa -- Fargo CD FS Champ, UWW FS Runner-up
(12) #6-Joey Melendez, Montini -- Fargo AA
(13) Ronnie Pietro, Dayton Christian -- OH State Placer
(14) Nate Keaton, Circleville -- OH State Placer
Others To Watch: Colton Yapoujian, Pomona; Beau Bayless, Reynolds; Jake Dunlop, Belle Vernon; Jacob Decatur, CVCA.
Commentary: Quick and scrappy. That's what comes to mind when looking at the crop of lightweights eyeing up the title. D'Emilio has the clear edge over the field, but Ogunsanya is a true threat. My guy to watch is Palacio. He's the only one I can see ruining a meeting between the two frontrunners here. But D'Emilio should be making the trip to the top when it's all said and done.
Willie's Youngster To Watch: I could write a book here. 106 at Ironman is a virtual smorgasbord for future stars and it's that way every year. There are up and comers everywhere. But Colton Yapoujian comes to Ironman after a tremendous Junior High career where he won Roller events with regularity.
Willie's Picks: 1. D'Emilio 2. Crace 3. Palacio 4 Melendez
Holmes' Picks: 1. D'Emilio 2. Ogunsanya 3. Palacio 4. Melendez
Last Year's Final: Mitch Moore, SPG dec. Jason Renteria, OPRF, 6-1.
5 Years Ago: (112) George DiCamillo, St. Ig dec. Ryan Taylor, SPG, 6-5.
(1) #6-Drew Mattin, Delta -- Fargo Runner-up, UWW Cadet FS Runner-up, Returning Runner-up
(2) Tommy Hoskins, Dayton Christian -- Returning 7th
(3) #9-Real Woods, Montini -- Returning 4th, IL State Champ
(4) Tyler Lawley, Broken Arrow -- Returning 8th, OK State Placer
(5) Jarod Bronstrup, Brecksville -- 2x OH State Placer, FILA FS AA
(6) #7-Jordan Decatur, CVCA -- Fargo FS Champ
(7) Caleb Yates, Anthony Wayne -- Ohio State Champ
(8) Alex Cruz, Orting -- WA State Champ
(10) Dack Punke, Washington -- Fargo GR Champ
(14) King Sandoval, St. Mary's Ryken -- National Prep placer
Others To Watch
(12) Mark Salvatore, Malvern Prep, PA; Julian Sanchez, Genoa; Matt Kazimir, St. Edward; Logan Heil, Brunswick; Justin Pacheco, Pomona; Colton Camacho, Franklin Regional.
Commentary: Mattin should not be denied this year after coming up short against Cade Olivas in last year's 106-pound finals. However, Decatur will be looking for some revenge since the last few times they met it was all about Mattin. Also in the mix will be Woods. Apparently, the name fits because he's the Real deal. It will be interesting to see these three battle it out. I'm not ruling out a Decatur victory, but the way things have been, Mattin has had his number.
Willie's Youngster To Watch: There's Jordan Decatur as a potential finalist as a freshman. But most already know about him. So I'm going with Coltan Camacho. Working out in the room with Spencer Lee, Devin Brown, and Gus Solomon has to help. This kid beat Fargo and State Runner-Up Liam Cronin (CA) in the first round at Super 32 this year.
Willie's Picks: 1. Decatur 2. Mattin 3. Woods 4. Hoskins
Holmes' Pick: 1. Mattin 2. Decatur 3. Woods 4. Hoskins
Last Year's Final: Spencer Lee, FrRe md. Eli Stickley, SPG, 13-2.
5 Years Ago: Jimmy Gulibon, Derry md. Dom Malone Wyom. Sem, 11-2.
(1) #2-Jack Mueller, Trinity -- 2x National Prep Champ, 3x Ironman Placer (Returning 3rd)
(2) #11-Tyler Warner, Claymont -- 3x State Champ, Returning 5th, Journeyman Runner-up
(3) #13 @ 113-Joey Prata, St. Christopher -- National Prep Champ, Fargo AA
(4) Zach Sherman, Blair -- Returning 8th, Prep National Runner-up
(5) #20-Noah Baughman, Wadsworth -- 2014 Super 32 Runner-up, OH State Champ, Fargo AA
(6) Justin Stickley, Graham -- Returning 5th, OH State Runner-up
(7) Seth Beard, Napoleon -- OH State Placer
(8) Tony DeCesare, Padua - 2x OH State Runner-up
Others To Watch: (15) Theorius Robison, Pomona; Malcom Robinson, St. John's College; Job Greenwood. Poudre.
Commentary: Mueller came up short last year taking third but I don't see it that happening this year with Spencer Lee absent from his road to gold this year. Though I'm picking Prata to come in 3rd, I could see a finals appearance for him. But that won't be an easy with Warner in the way. When it all shakes out the two I see meeting in the final are Mueller and Warner with Mueller taking the title by a good margin of victory.
Willie's Youngster To Watch: There are a ton of hammers coming in to high school from Colorado and Theorius Robison is among the best. He's currently #4 on my Freshmen Big Board.
Willie's Picks: 1. Mueller 2. Warner 3. Sherman 4. Robison
Holmes' Picks: 1. Mueller 2. Warner 3. Prata 4. Sherman
Last Year's Final: Eli Seipel, SPG dec. Coltan Williams, Trinity Christ., 7-2.
5 Years Ago: (125) Mason Beckman, Reynolds dec. Mark Grey, Blair, 3-2.
(1) Alex Mackall, Walsh Jesuit -- 3x Ironman Placer, Fargo AA
(2) #15-Mitch Moore, Graham -- Returning Champ, Super 32 Placer, OH State Champ
(3) Devan Turner, Dixon -- 2x Freak Show Champ, NHSCA Jr. National Champ
(4) #18-Allan Hart, St. Edward -- Returning 5th, OH State Champ
(5) Mario Guillen, Perrysburg -- Returning 6th
(6) #13-Tony Madrigal, OPRF -- Fargo Runner-up, Returning 3rd
(7) Tariq Wilson, Steubenville -- 2x OH State Runner-up, FloNational AA
(8) Jimmy Pawelski, Montini -- IL State Runner-up
(9) Romelle Person, Maplewood -- MO State Champ
(10) Jake Riegel, Wyoming Seminary -- PA State Champ
(11) Garrett Lambert, Brunswick -- Fargo AA
(12) Cole Matthews, Reynolds -- PA State Champ
(13) Nick Lattanze, Malvern Prep - National Prep Placer.
Commentary: Last season this is really where Mitch Moore burst onto the scene recording some huge upsets and shooting up in the rankings. This year he's put on some weight and could look to get another rankings boost if he can come away with his second straight title. The field isn't exactly as tough as it was for him last season, which he absolutely dismantled with his sick dresser dump, but there's still enough in his way to cause some minor issues. But it's still his to lose in my book. The battle for who meets him in the final will probably be a bit more interesting with so many returning place winners.
Willie's Darkhorse To Watch: Devan Turner lays below the radar but has won two Freakshow titles and an NHSCA JR title. On the 'youngster' side, watch for Josh Gobencion, the new addition for Blair. He appears at #32 on the Freshmen Big Board.
Willie's Picks: 1. Moore 2. Matthews 3. Hart 4. Mackall
Holmes' Picks: 1. Moore 2. Madrigal 3. Matthews 4. Hart
Last Year's Final: Cam Kelly, Bell dec. Rocky Jordan, SPG, 3-1.
5 Years Ago: (130) Ben Whitford, Marmion dec. Brandon Jeske, FWC, 3-1.
(1) #9 @ 126-Navonte Demison, Bakersfield -- USAW Folkstyle National Champ, CA State Runner-up
(2) #12-Dylan Duncan, Montini -- 2x IL State Champ, Returning 6th
(3) Jaden Mattox, Central Crossing -- Returning 3rd, OH State Runner-up
(4) Gabe Townsell, OPRF -- Fargo GR Champ, Returning 8th
(5) Jack Spiess, Delta -- 2x OH State Champ
(6) Trent Olson, Wyoming Seminary -- 2x National Prep Runner-up
(7) Hunter Bray, Franklin -- 3x OH State Placer
(8) Corey Shie, LaSalle -- Super 32 Placer, Fargo AA
(9) #18-Gus Solomon, Franklin Regional -- Returning placer
Others To Watch: PJ Crane, Malvern Prep; Anthony Cheloni, Marmion; Ryan Thomas, St. Paris Graham; Zach Hartman, Belle Vernon.
Commentary: Like Willie says in his darkhorse commentary, Solomon had some injuries last season so his return to action will be great to see. His seed (or ranking) definitely isn't indicative of how good he actually is. I think he returns with a huge chip on his shoulder after nearly beating Austin Assad. The match was pretty epic and a wee bit controversial, so I think he will be back to get rid the bad taste in his mouth after last season. His toughest match will be Demison and when they meet be sure to get your popcorn ready.
Willie's Darkhorse To Watch: Those who remember last year's Ironman where Gus Solomon beat ranked foes and nearly knocked off a couple others will not consider Solomon a darkhorse. But because he missed both state tournaments with injuries, he flies a little under the radar. He's a true title contender in this field.
Willie's Picks: 1. Demison 2.Solomon 3. Shie 4. Duncan
Holmes' Picks: 1. Demison 2. Solomon 3. Townsell 4. Duncan
Last Year's Final: Davion Jeffries, BA dec. Matt Kolodzik, Blair, 5-3 SV.
5 Years Ago: Hunter Stieber, Monroeville dec. Austin Ormsbee, Blair, 3-2.
(1) #4-Brent Moore, Graham -- Super 32 Runner-up, OH State Champ, Returning 4th
(2) #12-Julian Flores, San Marino -- CA State Champ, Returning 6th
(3) #7-Hunter Ladnier, St. Edward -- Returning 4th, OH State Runner-up
(4) #15-Ryan Deakin, Legacy -- Super 32 Placer, Fargo AA
(5) Ryan Ford, Covington -- Returning 6th, 2x OH State Placer
(6) #16 @ 132-JJ Figueroa, Bakersfield -- Doc B 3rd, USAW Folkstyle 2nd
(7) AJ Jaffe, Marmion -- Fargo AA, IL State Placer
(8) Jaime Hernandez, OPRF -- 2x Fargo AA, IL State Placer
(9) Seth Hogue, Reynolds -- PA State Runner-up
(12) Will Lewan, Montini -- IL State Placer, Fargo AA
(13) #13-Grant Aronoff, St. Thomas Aquinas -- NHSCA FR. National Champ, FL State Runner-up
(14) Jacob Greenwood, Poudre - CO State Champ
Others To Watch: Josh Wyland, Benedictine
Commentary: Plenty of competition here with Brent Moore leading the pack. Ladnier isn't too far behind though. Grant Aranoff could shake things up here along with a slew of others. If Moore pulls out his aggressive nature and attacks the entire match it should be a good weekend for him. Against this group of hammers sitting back and waiting isn't the way to go.
Willie's Youngster To Watch: Another weight, another Coloradan to keep an eye on. Already with a state title and USAW Preseason crown, Jacob Greenwood is one of the best Sophomores in the country.
Willie's Picks: 1. Ladnier 2. Moore 3. Aranoff 4. Figueroa
Holmes' Pick: 1. Moore 2. Aranoff 3. Ladnier 4. Hernandez
Last Year's Final: Michael Kemerer, FrRe dec. Wade Hodges, Waus, 7-1.
5 Years Ago: (140)Evan Henderson, Kiski School dec. Cam Tessari, Monroeville, 5-3.
(1) #1-Jared Verkleeren, Belle Vernon -- Cadet World Champ, PA State Placer
(2) #3-Zander Wick, San Marino -- Fargo AA, CA State Runner-up, Returning 5th
(3) #4-David Carr, Massillon Perry -- Super 32 Champ, OH State Champ, Returning 5th
(4) #14-Rocky Jordan, Graham -- Returning Runner-up, OH State Runner-up
(5) Kevin Budock, Good Counsel -- 3x National Prep Runner-up, Returning 6th
(6) Ben Anderson, Pleasant Grove -- Fargo AA, Returning 7th
(7) Adam Lewis, Tampa Jesuit -- 2x FL State Runner-up
(8) #16-Josh Heil, Brunswick -- FloNational AA
(9) Ethan Reel, Washington -- IL State Runner-up
(10) Justin DeMicco, Brecksville -- Fargo AA, NHSCA AA
(12) TK Megonigal, James Madison -- 2x State Champ
(14) #15-Josiah Rider, Grand Junction -- NHSCA Freshman Champ, Super 32 Placer
Others To Watch: Ben Gore, Orting; Robert DuPont, Benedictine; Andrew Merola, Blair.
Commentary: This will be the most exciting weight class to watch in my opinion. There's so much fire power here that it's got me excited just thinking about these possible match-ups. Everyone will be gearing up to take on the top dog Verkleeren. As the #1-ranked dude at the weight he's the obvious favorite. Wick had a good summer and picked up some steam at Fargo, but I'm not sure he is ready for Jordan or Carr. Either way it's going to be interesting.
Willie's Youngster To Watch: Two guys here. Rider is #27 on the Sophomore Big Board and Andrew Merola made massive gains this offseason. Watch out for both of them.
Willie's Picks: 1. Verkleeren 2. Carr 3. Wick 4. Jordan
Holmes' Picks: 1. Verkleeren 2. Carr 3. Jordan 4. Wick
Last Year's Final: Isaiah White, OPRF dec. Vincenzo Joseph, PCC, 3-1 SV.
5 Years Ago: (145) Bo Jordan, SPG md. Robert Henderson, Kiski School, 9-1.
(1) #1-Mason Manville, Wyoming Seminary -- 3x Ironman Runner-up, Super 32 Champ, Cadet World Champ
(2) #4-Evan Wick, San Marino -- Fargo Runner-up, 2x CA State Placer
(3) #5-Luke Troy, MLK -- 2x Fargo AA, USAW Folkstyle Champ
(4) #6 @ 145-Eric Hong, Kiski Prep -- National Prep Champ, Super 32 Placer
(5) Trace Carello, Marmion -- IL State Champ, Fargo Runner-up
(6) Nicholas Vestal, Dayton Christian -- OH State Runner-up
(7) #18-Nick Monico, Saegertown -- 3x PA State Placer
(10) Georgio Poullas, Canfield -- Super 32 Placer
(12) Max Wohlabaugh, Winter Springs -- Fargo GR Champ, FL State Placer
Others To Watch: (13) Julian Ramirez, Tampa Jesuit; (14) John Manning, Blair; Jesse Beverly, Delta; Jack Conway, St. Edward; Jacoby Ward, Moeller, OH.
Commentary: Is this the year that Mason Manville gets over the hump and finally grabs Ironman gold? He's a three-time finalist and has come away with silver all three times. His move from Blair to Wyoming Seminary and his tough losses this offseason seem to have rejuvenated him. He's attacking and opening up more. If we see more of what we saw at Super 32 it's going to be tough to stop him. Wick is obviously anxious to square up with Manville. It's going to be a low scoring match when they do see each other in the finals with Manville taking it. Hong is also not to be overlooked. It will be nice to see what he's learned from taking on Manville in the offseason too.
Willie's Youngster To Watch: One of just two 8th graders to place at FloNationals this year, Julian Ramirez is the T-R-U-T-H, truth. 152 at Ironman as a Freshmen is a tall task. But keep an eye on him.
Willie's Picks: 1. Manville 2. Wick 3. Hong 4. Troy
Holmes' Picks: 1. Manville 2. Wick 3. Hong 4. Monico
Last Year's Final: Alex Marinelli, SPG dec. Mason Manville, Blair, 3-1 SV.
5 Years Ago: (152) Ian Miller, OH dec. Stephen Robertson, Montini, 8-6.
(1) #1-Alex Marinelli, Graham -- Returning Champ, 3x OH State Champ, 3x Ironman Finalist
(2) #13 @152-Wyatt Sheets, Stilwell -- Fargo AA, OK State Champ
(3) #9-Justin Thomas, Calvary Chapel -- CA State Placer, Returning 8th
(4) Jesse Beverly, Delta - 2x OH State Placer
(5) #20-Nick Kiussis, Brunswick -- 2x OH State Runner-up
(6) Austin Hiles, Brecksville -- Fargo AA, OH State Placer
(7) #18 @ 182-Riley DeMoss, Marmion -- Fargo AA, IL State Champ
(8) Will Verallis, Wyoming Seminary -- 3x National Prep Placer
(9) #15-Ryan Karoly, Blair -- Fargo Champ, NHSCA Freshman Champ
(13) Ryder Punke, Washington -- Fargo GR AA
Others To Watch: (14) Chris Hisey, Malvern Prep
Commentary: Marinelli is looking to make his fourth straight Ironman final and there really isn't anyone that I can see standing in his way of making it there and winning it for the second straight year. He's looked spectacular coming into this season so in my mind it's his to lose.
Willie's Youngster To Watch: I'm looking at Ryan Karoly. After a slow freshman year, Karoly had an outstanding Fargo that included trips to the finals in both styles.
Willie's Picks: 1. Marinelli 2. Sheets 3. Thomas 4. Karoly
Holmes' Picks: 1. Marinelli 2. Sheets 3. Kiussis 4. Thomas
Last Year's Final: Anthony Valencia, SJB md. Kamal Bey, OPRF, 12-3.
5 Years Ago: (160) Jason Luster, PCC dec. Vincent Waldhauser, OR, 3-2.
(1) #7 @ 160-Brandon Dallavia, Blair -- Returning 3rd, National Prep Runner-up
(2) James Handwerk, Lutheran West -- Fargo FS AA, Returning 7th
(3) #8-Jeremy Thomas, Calvary Chapel -- Returning 3rd, CA State Placer
(4) #5-Austin Bell, Belle Vernon -- FloNational AA, PA State Placer
(5) Garrett Jordan, Graham -- Returning 6th, OH State Placer
(6) #19-Tyler Wiederholt, Bellbrook -- OH State Runner-up
(8) Koy Wilkinson, Pleasant Grove - UT State Champ, 2x NHSCA AA
Commentary: Austin Bell showed us the crazy tricks he has up his sleeve at NHSCA Team Duals. He also had favorable finishes to last season becoming a FloNational AA after a third place finish at PA states. He may not be the top seed, but he's the favorite in my eyes if he wrestles his match. Jeremy Thomas will be tough to get by and should be Bell's opponent in the final.
Willie's Picks: 1. Bell 2. Thomas 3. Dallavia 4. Weiderholt
Holmes' Picks: 1. Bell 2. Thomas Wiederholt 4. Dallavia
Last Year's Final: Zahid Valencia, SJB dec. Myles Martin, McD, 2-2 UTB.
5 Years Ago: (171) Chris Phillips, Monroeville md. Konner Witt, OH, 12-4.
(1) #1 @ 195-Nick Reenan, Wyoming Seminary -- 4x Fargo Champ, FloNational Champ, Super 32 Champ
(2) #4-Nathan Traxler, Marmion -- IL State Champ, Fargo FS AA, Returning 4th
(3) #7-Jacob Warner, Washington -- 2x Fargo Champ, IL State Runner-up
(4) #7 @ 170-Michael Beard, Malvern Prep -- Returning 6th, National Prep Runner-up
(5) Tre Campbell, Wauseon -- 2x OH State Placer
(6) Chasen Blair, Ranch Bernardo -- NHSCA Soph. National Champ, CA State Placer
(7) JT Brown, Elyria -- OH State Placer
(8) Isaiah Page, Broken Arrow -- Ok State Placer
Commentary: Is it safe to say that it's a one-horse race here. Reenan is rarely tested anymore outside of his Super 32 final against Dakota Geer. Warner was injured so hopefully he's made a full recovery. He's the frontrunner to meet Reenan in the final here, but his match with Traxler in the semis will definitely be one to watch.
Willie's Picks: 1. Reenan 2. Warner 3. Traxler 4. Beard
Holmes' Picks: 1. Reenan 2. Warner 3. Traxler 4. Beard
Last Year's Final: Dylan Reynolds, Saeg dec. Matt Stencil, ORCL, 7-6.
5 Years Ago: (189) Morgan McIntosh, Calv. Chap dec. Huston Evans, SPG, 2-1.
(1) #5 @ 182-Ben Darmstadt, Elyria -- Fargo AA, Returning 3rd, OH State Champ
(2) #13-Jack Harris, Urbana -- Fargo AA, Super 32 Placer
(3) #11-Wyatt Koelling, Davis -- FloNationals AA, Fargo GR Champ
(4) #8 @ 182-Christian Dietrich, Wyoming Seminary -- Returning 7th, FloNational Runner-up
(5) #4-Chase Singletary, Blair -- National Prep Runner-up, Returning 8th
(6) #11 @ 182-Tyler Frankrone, Trinity -- KY State Champ, NHSCA Jr. National Champ
(7) #12-Kevin Snyder, Good Counsel - Beast 4th, Powerade 4th
(9) Rashon Lusane, Malvern Prep - National Prep Placer
Commentary: Dietrich's return after his late season injury last season is going to be a good one. The rivalry between Dietrich and Singletary will definitely be reignited in the final with it coming down to a close one again. Frankrone is also really tough and I like his style on his feet. He will shake things up a bit.
Willie's Picks: 1. Singletary 2. Frankrone 3. Darmstadt 4. Dietrich
Holmes' Picks: 1. Dietrich 2. Singletary 3. Frankrone 4. Darmstadt
Last Year's Final: David Showunmi, Blair dec. James Ford, Worth, 7-2.
5 Years Ago: (215) Tanner Hall, Meridian dec. Williams Knowls, Calv Chap, 6-3.
(1) #4-Matt Stencel, Oregon Clay -- OH State Champ, Returning Runner-up, CD FS/GR Champ
(2) Jack Meyer, Moeller -- Returning 5th
(3) Zane Black, Phelps School -- Returning 6th, National Prep Placer
(4) Nick Mosco, Blair - FL State Champ, NHSCA Champ
(5) Brady Daniel, Good Counsel - Fargo AA
(6) Seth Janney, Malvern Prep -- NHSCA Soph. National Champ, PA State Runner-up
(7) #5-Cohlton Schultz, Ponderosa -- Fargo GR Champ, Fargo FS Runner-up, FloNational AA
(8) Kordell Chaney, Sandusky Perkins - Returning 8th
(11) Cole Rickert, Reynolds - PA State Placer
(14) Jared Campbell, St. Edward - OH State Runner-up
Others To Watch: Johnny Shafer, Graham
Commentary: Stencel will be too much for Schultz to handle in the final but the youngster won't be too far behind. He's pretty damn tough in his own right. The x-factor will be the experience and it's on the side of Stencel here. Janney can cause some fits along the line here so don't count him out.
Willie's Picks: 1. Stencel 2. Schultz 3. Janney 4. Meyer
Holmes' Picks: 1. Stencel 2. Schultz 3. Janney 4. Meyer
Last Year's Final: Kevin Vough, Ely fall Tate Orndorff, Univ, 3:46.
5 Years Ago: Brooks Black, Blair dec. Doug Vollaro, Oviedo, 3-2.
(1) Chance Veller, Delta -- Returning 3rd, OH State Placer
(2) #10-Hunter Mullins, Orting -- Returning 6th
(3) Neil Putnam, Blair -- Returning 7th, National Prep AA
(4) Trenton Lieurance, Broken Arrow -- Returning 6th
(5) Gene Ringer, Reynolds - 2x PA State Placer, Ironman 8th (2012)
(6) Will Hilliard, Wyoming Seminary - NHSCA AA
(7) Mansur Abdul-Malik, St. Vincent Pallotti -- National Prep Placer, Super 32 Placer
(10) Joe Hensley, Moeller -- Powerade Placer
(13) Kameron Teacher, Central Crossing - Medina Champ
Commentary: Veller will be primed to impress upon his 3rd place finish from a year ago. Abdul-Malik should be able to fight through the gauntlet and come out on the bottom half of the bracket. But there's plenty of talent here so even though I am leaning towards the returning 3rd place finisher as the guy to beat, it's really anyone's game here.
Willie's Picks: 1. Mullins 2. Abdul-Malik 3. Lieurance 4. Teacher
Holmes' Picks: 1. Veller 2. Abdul-Malik 3. Mullins 4. Lieurance
2015 Walsh Ironman Preview
By: Ryan Holmes