5 Under The Radar Contenders At FloNats

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For the first time ever, FloNationals has gone freestyle. 

As we take a look at the registration as we get closer to this year’s tournament we see five guys that we are interested in watching that are coming in a bit under the radar. Check out five up and comers that you need to keep an eye on at this year’s Flonats.

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April 18-20 | 9AM ET

55kg - Kaleb Larkin, AZ

Larkin just finished 2nd at NHSCA at 113 and will be looking to make another finals appearance at FloNationals. He’s a very long and lanky wrestler that has some pretty good counters. He doesn’t seem like the type to panic when a guy is on his legs. He kind of welcomes it and uses it to his advantage by tying guys up and forcing a scrambling. While he won’t be able to pass a leg this time around because it’s freestyle, his ability to turn his opponents’ attacks into points on his side of the scoreboard should work well for him. Offensively he’s not very heavy on the attacks. He can (and will) get to a leg and score, but he’s not a volume shooter. All-around, he’s just a solid wrestler.

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60kg - Nicco Ruiz, CA

Make way for another California 8th grader that will be making some noise very soon. He has a traditional Cali style where he’s aggressive in every position and goes a mile a minute. While he may not take the title against some tough competition at this year’s FloNats, he’s definitely a kid to keep an eye on. Like I said, he’s got an aggressive style, specifically on his feet, that can manufacture a good deal of points. 

65kg - Chase Warden, TX

He’s got a special set of skills that will allow him to take you down and turn you. But seriously, he is an attacker and he’s got a top game that looks like he was taught by Daton Fix himself. When he gets on top he will throw a leg and lock up a trapped arm gut very fast. Warden road that strong top game to double AA finishes in Fargo last year.

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71kg - Matt Arciuolo, PA

I really like his style. Simply put, he’s a goer. When he attacks he doesn’t waste time finishing. And he’s got a pretty nice leg lace too. I’m looking forward to seeing how he does at FloNats and if he can push the pace against some tough competitors. I think he’s going to be a lot handle for plenty who come up against him.

110kg - Kyonte Hamilton, MD

Hamilton is large and aggressive. He’s fresh off of an NHSCA title where he absolutely dominated the bracket. He finished his regular season with a 4th place finish at National Preps as well. But he moves very well and is very offensive on his feet.

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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.