These High-Level Youngsters Impressed On FloNationals Stage

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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.

SEE 2018 FLONATIONALS ARCHIVES

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:

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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.


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Longest Win Streaks Entering The 2019 NCAA Tournament

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One of my favorite articles to write every year, the longest win streak entering the NCAA tournament. The cutoff this year is 20 matches, in part because that created a four way tie for ninth.

2019 NCAA Party Crashers, Dark Horses And Sleepers

One of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked since the 2019 NCAA Wrestling brackets dropped is who are my sleepers?  What high seeds could make a run?  They act like they care about my opinion, but really they are scouring anyone for information so they can bolster their fantasy teams and dunk on their friends. I see through every last one of you.

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Team Trophy Breakdown: 2019 NCAA Tournament Edition

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For the eighth time in nine years, Penn State will be the last team on the raised mat on Saturday night, hoisting the NCAA championship trophy. The team race is all but over before it starts, however, just like there are eight All-Americans, four programs go home with team trophies (or five if there's a tie like last year).

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The Most Glorious And Comprehensive NCAA Tournament Preview Ever

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The season has reached its crescendo. There are 330 wrestlers now standing at the foot of the mountain that is the NCAA championships, and only 10 will scale it.

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Four-Time Qualifiers, Not Yet All-Americans

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Qualifying for the NCAA Championships is extremely difficult. Any athlete that can boost an appearance at nationals has accomplished something the vast majority of the wrestlers in America will never come close to achieving. Appear four times at the big dance and you've set put yourself in even more exclusive company. 

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2019 NCAA Tournament Preview + Predictions: 285 Pounds

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We're writing this, our final preview, on Monday. We leave for Pittsburgh on Tuesday. First whistle is noon Thursday. If someone could hit the fast forward button to get us to Thursday already, that would be super.  

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2019 NCAA Tournament Preview + Predictions: 197 Pounds

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The light heavyweights close out our previews for the 2019 NCAA Tournament. A weight that routinely produces surprises has been reduced to the Bo Nickal show this year.

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Highest Seeded Freshmen At NCAAs

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This season we’ve watched some pretty outstanding performances from the freshmen class.

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FRL 362: The Pre-NCAA Tournament Mega Show!

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FRL 362 - The Pre-NCAA Tournament Mega Show!