2022 USMC US Open Wrestling Championships

Stock Watch After U17 Trials

Stock Watch After U17 Trials

The U17 Trials brought together a huge collection of prep stars. Here's a look at 10 who are trending upward after their performance in Vegas.

May 12, 2022 by Andy Hamilton
Stock Watch After U17 Trials

Few events shuffle the national rankings quite like the U17 World Team Trials. It’s a launching pad this year to Rome for some, but, for many, it’s also a springboard to a higher tier in the rankings. 

In the latest edition of the Flowrestling national high school rankings, 20 previously-unranked wrestlers cracked the top 20 of their respective weight classes. Fifteen of them wrestled at the U17 Trials, 13 of them placed in Las Vegas and three went from outside the rankings into the top 10. 

That’s not including the eighth-graders who toppled highly-credentialed opponents in Vegas but won’t debut in the rankings until later this summer. 

Here’s a look at 10 wrestlers who boosted their stock earlier this month with superb performances at the U17 Trials.  

Nathan Carrillo 

One of two junior high wrestlers on this list. The eighth-grader from California placed third at 51 kilograms, but that’s only part of the story. Carrillo’s attention-grabbing performance included wins over three of the top 40 wrestlers on the 2025 Big Board — #9 Nathan Desmond, #12 Cooper Hilton and #40 Edwin Sierra. 

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Jax Forrest 

Forrest notched enough notable wins during his eighth-grade year to stamp himself as a threat at 55 kilograms, but his performance in Las Vegas elevated him into another category. He’s not just one of the top eighth-graders in the country. He’s one of the top lightweights — period. His run to the title included victories against Sergio Vega, Kale Petersen, Ben Davino and a pair of wins in the final series against Cadet World bronze medalist Nate Jesuroga that displayed his ability to hang tough in high-stakes situations. 

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Drew Gorman 

Gorman put together an impressive victory list in Vegas, notching wins over Fargo finalists Sam Herring and Adrian Meza and Super 32 champ Mason Gibson on his way to a fifth-place finish in the loaded 55-kilogram bracket. The performance vaulted Gorman up 10 notches to #6 at 120 pounds, making the Georgia native the highest-ranked freshman in the weight class. 

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McCrae Hagarty 

Hagarty has performed well at national tournaments in the past — he placed third last summer in both styles in Fargo — so a third-place finish at 92 kilograms is not a huge surprise. His path to getting there, though, included wins over some of the nation’s best 195-pounders. The two-time Iowa state champ registered wins over fellow Fargo All-Americans Max Vanadia, Sonny Sasso, Austin Johnson and Sawyer Bartelt. Hagarty’s performance in Las Vegas took him from outside the rankings up to #9 at 195. 

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Brock Herman

Herman followed up a 7-0 performance at the Elite 8 Duals by placing fifth in Vegas at 65 kilograms, notching wins along the way against P.J. Duke, Vince Bouzakis and Laird Root. The North Carolina State commit’s recent work elevated him from 19th up to sixth at 138 in the latest set of Flowrestling national high school rankings.  

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Kyler Larkin 

Larkin ascended from outside the rankings up to #10 at 132 pounds after capturing the 60-kilogram title in Las Vegas. His run to the title included technical superiority wins against Omar Ayoub and Zan Fugitt and a final series sweep of Dalton Perry. 

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Luke Lilledahl 

How does a Cadet World silver medalist wind up on this list? By turning in a razor-sharp performance in a two-match sweep of a reigning Cadet World champ. Lilledahl took home the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler award after outscoring his opponents 55-5 in Las Vegas, where he downed Bo Bassett in the best-of-three championship series at 51 kilograms, winning the two bouts 6-1 and 10-0. 

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Max McEnelly 

McEnelly’s pedal-down offensive approach produced 70 points in seven matches in Las Vegas, led to wins over up-and-coming Nevada native Melvin Whitehead, Fargo All-Americans Austin Johnson and Sawyer Bartelt and a wildly entertaining three-match series win against Fargo champ Camden McDanel at 92 kilograms. The three-time Minnesota state champ, who’s committed to the home-state Gophers, surged six notches to #7 in the national rankings at 195 pounds.   

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Kale Petersen 

Nobody made a bigger move in the rankings this week than Petersen, who went from outside the top 20 up to #4 at 120 after an incredible showing in Las Vegas. The Iowa state champ registered wins against Nick Treaster, Adrian Meza, Draegen Orine and Drew Gorman en route to a fourth-place finish at 55 kilograms. 

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Zack Ryder 

Ryder entered Las Vegas as the #6 prospect on the 2024 Big Board, so we’re not talking about a U17 World Teamer who came out of nowhere here. What made Ryder’s title run so impressive was where and how it happened. He essentially moved up a weight class and a half, going from 160 pounds, where he was ranked 11th, up to 80 kilograms (176.4 pounds) and taking out Gabe Arnold, Aeoden Sinclair and Connor Mirasola on his march to the title. Ryder’s performance took him from 11th in the rankings at 160 up to the #4 spot at 170. 

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