Over the years, some of the best young wrestlers in the country have put on a show at FloNationals, including future NCAA stars such as Spencer Lee, Luke Pletcher, and Zahid Valencia.
The 2018 edition of FloNationals once again saw a number of talented youngsters reach the podium at the Kovalchick Complex, proving that everyone should be keeping an eye on them in the future.
106: Richard Figueroa (FR) & Joey Cruz (8th Grade), CA
In an all-California final between freshman state champion Richard Figueroa and eighth-grader Joey Cruz, these youngsters impressed by showing off great attacks and elite-level defense until Figueroa was crowned the champion in OT.
Though he came up short in the finals, Cruz’s performance the entire weekend was incredible. He majored Ryan Miller, who was a National Prep champ and Ironman finalist this past season, in the semis after recording decisions in the first three rounds to get to the FloNats stage.
Other notable placings:
(FR) Dustin Norris - 3rd
(FR) Jordan Titus - 5th
(FR) Peyten Keller - 8th
Watch Figueroa and Cruz battle in the FloNats finals:
113: Brock McMillen (FR), PA
The freshman came out firing on day one with an impressive top game to record a 16-0 tech fall followed by a fall in 4:42. When it was all said and done, he outscored his opponents by a combined score of 33-3. More impressively, he didn’t relinquish one takedown—all the points he gave up were escapes.
Adding his name to the list of middle school wrestlers claiming high school accolades is eighth-grader Jesse Mendez, who placed third here. He made it all the way to the semis where he was downed by eventual runner-up Kai Orine 5-0.
Other Notable placings:
(FR) Vance VomBaur: 5th
152: Trey Kibe (FR), PA
Fresh off a title-claiming performance at NHSCA nationals, Kibe grinded out a seventh-place finish at FloNationals in a very tough 152-pound bracket. Kibe ended up going 5-2 with losses coming against Gabriel Dinette, whom Kibe eventually outplaced, and Thayne Lawrence, who finished third.