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.


2020 Title Contenders: 149 Pounds

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A lot of heavy hitting 149-pounders used up their final year of NCAA eligibility last season, including the champ Anthony Ashnault, three-time All-American Micah Jordan, and 2018's fourth-place finisher Mitch Finesilver. A solid crop of contenders return, however, to a weight class that is very much up for grabs. 

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2020 Title Contenders: 141 Pounds

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Ohio State's Three-time All-American Joey McKenna has exhausted his NCAA eligibility, but just about every other 141-pounder from last season has time left to earn an NCAA title. Four-time national qualifier Josh Alber of UNI is another noteworthy departure from the division. 

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#4 Gaige Garcia Commits To Michigan

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Gaige Garcia is pulling double duty in college. The Pennsylvania state champ has committed to wrestle and play football for Michigan.

2020 Title Contenders: 133 Pounds

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For as gnarly as the hunt for the 125-pound NCAA title looks to be, 133 is going to be an absolute bloodbath. Although the weight class loses two All-Americans to graduation in John Erneste and Ethan Lizak, and it looks like 2018 third-placer Tariq Wilson will be bumping up to 141 for the 2020 season, the weight class does expect to see the return of Seth Gross, the 2019 133-pound champ. 

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Six Questions For Ohio State's Lineup In 2020

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For three straight years now Ohio State has finished as the second best team in the country. Their lineups have totaled 341 points at NCAAs in that time, an average of nearly 114 per tournament.

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Rutgers Depth Charts & Targets

Rutgers wrestling has made steady improvements over the last decade. Now, after bringing home two of the nation's ten NCAA titles, the next step is upon them. 

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2020 Title Contenders: 125 Pounds

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A good amount of talent returns to the lightest NCAA weight class next season, as only a couple of All-Americans in Ronnie Bresser and Sean Russell have used up their eligibility. 

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Bo Nickal Receives Special Wrestle-Off For U23 World Team

After losing to World Champion J’den Cox at Final X - Rutgers Bo Nickal will receive a special wrestle-off for the 92kg spot on the U23 World Team.

USA Men's Freestyle Mount Rushmore

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It's Mount Rushmore season! For this edition, we are crafting a monument to men's freestyle wrestlers from the USA. So NCAA records, either as a competitor or coach, are not factors when it comes to deciding who gets their face carved into the mountain. Maybe in a subsequent Mount Rushmore!

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FRL 386 - American Wrestling's Mt. Rushmore

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FRL 386 discusses Final X, Aaron Pico and Mt. Rushmore for American Wrestling.