2021 US Marine Corps Junior and 16U National Championships

Illinois Holds Off Pennsylvania And Michigan To Win Junior Team Title

Illinois Holds Off Pennsylvania And Michigan To Win Junior Team Title

A recap of the team race for the 2021 Junior Nationals in Fargo

Jul 20, 2021 by Jon Kozak
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The Junior Freestyle tournament just wrapped up in Fargo and the team race came down to the final day. Take a look below as we summarize the team race and highlight notable performances from teams in the top 10.

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The Junior Freestyle tournament just wrapped up in Fargo and the team race came down to the final day. Take a look below as we summarize the team race and highlight notable performances from teams in the top 10.

Illinois Wins Fourth Straight Junior Title

Led by two national champions and two runner-ups, Illinois came away with the team title. Illinois continues to prove they are the team to beat in Freestyle by winning their fourth consecutive junior national team title in Fargo. Kannon Webster (120lbs) and Nasir Bailey (132lbs) won in the finals in two very different ways. Webster earned a tech fall early in the second period but Bailey needed every second to win his title and scored a takedown with 1 second left to take home gold. Beyond their champs, it was truly a team effort for Illinois. They had the most All-Americans of any team in the field with 11 total. 

Take a look at the Top 15 teams:

TeamPointsChampsAll-Americans
Illinois130211
Pennsylvania111010
Michigian10737
Wisconsin103110
Iowa9817
Indiana9517
Ohio8718
Minnesota8006
Oklahoma7925
New Jersey7205
California6807
Georgia6714
Arizona3703
Washington3502
Maryland3212


Teams That Still Showed Out

Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin had impressive tournaments despite coming short of Illinois. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin had 10 All-Americans (second behind Illinois) and performed well in the medal matches. Wisconsin’s only finalist, Ben Kawzynski was the surprise of the finals when he took out #1 Chase Horne, 12-4. However, neither PA or WI had enough “fire power” to catch first place Illinois.

Michigan was on the opposite end of the spectrum from Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Michigan had 4 finalists but only 3 other All-Americans. Their finalists performed well under the bright lights with 3 champions in Braeden Davis, Josh Barr and Manuel Rojas. With those three winning, Michigan had the most champs of any team.

After those top 4, Iowa and Indiana had almost identical tournaments. Both had one champ apiece in Drake Ayala and Christian Carroll. Drake Ayala led the charge for Iowa and was dominant from start to finish - he had 6 techs, 1 pin and outscored his opponents 72-4! Christian Carroll won the 220lbs bracket for Indiana and was dominant himself - he had 4 techs and 2 pins while outscoring his opponents 68-10. Both Iowa and Indiana weren't "one man shows" but needed an entire team to propel themselves into the 5 and 6 position in the team race. They each had 7 total All-Americans -  tied for the fifth most in the tournament with Michigan and California.


With one incredible junior tournament in the books, you can check out FloArena here for full brackets, team scores and links to every match