Williams wins second straight 16U Fargo freestyle title in dramatic fashion

Jordan Williams (Oklahoma) came from behind late to win the title at 120 pounds (Photo/John Sachs,

FARGO, N.D. -- A year ago, Jordan Williams (Oklahoma) came from behind late to win a 16U Fargo freestyle title

On Monday, Williams did it again. This time it was even more dramatic.

Facing Zeke Seltzer (Indiana), a high school state runner-up, in the finals at 120 pounds, Williams trailed 5-2 in the final minute. But the nation's No. 6 sophomore scored two late takedowns -- the final one coming off a slide-by with 10 seconds remaining -- to earn a 6-5 victory and his second straight Fargo freestyle stop sign.

Joining Williams as a repeat champion in the 16U freestyle competition was Hayden Copass (Illinois) at 285 pounds. Copass, a state runner-up in high school, dominated Griffin Liddle (Iowa) 11-1 in the finals. He picked up three first-period takedowns and two turns off a lace to grab a 10-1 lead at the break. Copass ended the match early in the second period off a step out. He finished the tournament with four technical superiorities and two falls.

Pennsylvania claimed the 16U team title with 61 points and crowned a pair of champions, Leonard Pinto (170) and Kolby Franklin (220).

Pinto, the nation's No. 23 junior, topped No. 15 sophomore Rylan Rogers (Washington) 7-1 in the finals at 170 pounds. He led 4-1 at the break after a takedown and exposure before adding a third takedown with just over a minute remaining.

Franklin, a 16U Greco-Roman champion last year, secured a second Fargo stop sign by defeating fellow Pennsylvania wrestler Dustin Swanson 10-0 in the finals at 220 pounds.

Minnesota finished second in the team standings, 10 points behind Oklahoma, and had a pair of champions, Jore Volk (100) and Bennett Berge (182).

Jore Volk defeated Caden Horwath (Michigan) in the finals at 100 pounds (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)

Volk, a runner-up in the 16U freestyle competition last summer, used a trap-arm gut wrench to break open a close match in the second period on his way to a 12-5 victory in the finals against Caden Horwath (Michigan). Volk led 4-0 at the break, but Horwath battled back late to take a 5-5 criteria lead in the second period before Volk earned a reversal and then used a trap-arm gut wrench to score three turns and win by seven.

Bennett Berge earned his title with a 10-0 victory in the finals (Photo/Jeff Beshey, The Guillotine)

Berge, a two-time high school state champion and the nation's No. 19 sophomore, cruised to a 10-0 technical superiority in the finals against Michael Tal-Shahar (Florida). He led 4-0 at the break after a takedown and gut wrench. Berge eventually put the match away in the second period with a lace.

Oklahoma crowned the most individual champions with three. In addition to Williams (120), Oklahoma wrestlers Cael Hughes (94) and John Wiley (138) won stop signs.

Hughes, who will be a freshman at Stillwater High School, came through to win the title at 94 pounds in dominant fashion, beating Dillon Campbell (Ohio) 12-2 in the finals. Hughes scored eight of his 12 points off a lace. He picked up a takedown in the first period and then used a lace to go up 8-0. After giving up a takedown with a minute remaining in the match, Hughes came back with a takedown of his own before locking up a lace to finish out the technical superiority.

Wiley, a high school state champion and the nation's No. 29 sophomore, earned his title by beating No. 50 sophomore Nicholas Vafiadis (Virginia) 10-4 in the finals at 138 pounds. Eight of Wiley's 10 points came in the opening period, which included a four-point throw.

Michigan crowned a pair of champions in Braeden Davis (88) and Stoney Buell (152).

Davis, a Central Regional freestyle champion, claimed the title at 88 pounds with a 10-0 technical superiority over Alan Koehler (Minnesota). Davis scored a late first-period takedown and led 2-0 at the break. He came out strong in the second period, getting an early takedown before locking up a trap-arm gut wrench for three consecutive turns to end the match.

Buell won his title at 152 pounds by beating another Michigan wrestler in the finals, Manuel Rojas, 5-0. Buell scored the only point in the opening period off the activity clock, then two takedowns in the second period gave him a five-point lead. But Rojas mounted a late rally, picking up two late takedowns, with the final one coming in the last second.

Wilfried Tanefeu (North Dakota) turned in a dominating finals performance at 113 pounds, winning by 10-0 technical superiority over Gabe Whisenhunt (Oregon) in the first period. He scored a takedown to go up 2-0 and then built his lead to 6-0 off a four-point counter. Tanefeu then finished it off with a takedown and gut wrench.

Two of the nation's top five sophomores won stop signs on Monday, No. 2 Nic Bouzakis (Florida) at 126 pounds and No. 4 Seth Shumate (Ohio) at 195 pounds.

Bouzakis, a three-time high school state champion, won his crown at 126 pounds with a last-second fall over Ramon Ramos (Arizona). The match was competitive throughout. Bouzakis led 10-9 late in the match before Ramos attempted a desperation arm spin and Bouzakis planted him for the fall.

Shumate, a high school state champion and NHSCA Freshman Nationals champion, was untested in the finals at 195 pounds as he cruised to an 11-0 technical superiority over Evan Bates (Indiana).

At 106 pounds, Evan Tallmadge (New Jersey) used a strong start to pace him to a 10-8 victory in the finals against Mitchell Neiner (Washington). Tallmadge used a four-point move early to go up 4-0. He then transitioned to a lace to pick up two turns and race out to an 8-0 lead. Neiner came back with an exposure from a front head and then a takedown to make the score 8-4 at the break. Tallmadge extended his lead to 10-4 in the second period. Neiner made it interesting late, picking up a takedown and gut wrench to get within two points, but Tallmadge hung on for the win.

T.J. Stewart, the nation's No. 43 sophomore, claimed Maryland's 12th all-time 16U title in freestyle with a 5-0 shutout over Mac Stout (Pennsylvania) in the finals at 160 pounds. Stewart used a takedown and gut wrench to go up 4-0 at the break. He added a point off a caution early in the second period.

Daniel Cardenas (Colorado), the nation's No. 7 sophomore, won a stop sign at 132 pounds after finishing as a runner-up last summer at 113 pounds. He defeated Antrell Taylor (Nebraska) 10-8 in the finals at 132 pounds. Cardenas found himself in a 5-0 hole early in the match, but used a trap-arm gut wrench to score eight of his 10 points in a come-from-behind victory.

Two-time high school state champion Dean Hamiti Jr. (Illinois) won the title at 145 pounds with a first-period fall in the finals over Matthew Singleton (Georgia). Hamiti held 2-2 criteria lead before throwing Singleton to his back with 40 seconds remaining in the first period to secure the fall.


1st: Braeden Davis (Michigan) tech. Alan Koehler (Minnesota), 10-0 2:23
3rd: Kolby Warren (Missouri) dec. Grigor Cholakyan (California), 4-0
5th: Caleb Thoennes (Minnesota) tech. Hunter Taylor (Kansas), 10-0 0:37
7th: Kyison Garcia (Utah) tech. Benjamin Bast (Wisconsin), 10-0 0:43

1st: Cael Hughes (Oklahoma) tech. Dillon Campbell (Ohio), 12-2 3:43
3rd: Tristan Stafford (Arkansas) dec. Codie Cuerbo (Ohio), 10-8
5th: Jaden Pepe (Pennsylvania) tech. Paul Kelly (Arizona), 12-2 2:53
7th: Coleman Nogle (Maryland) tech. Christopher Martino (Idaho), 14-3 3:16

1st: Jore Volk (Minnesota) dec. Caden Horwath (Michigan), 12-5
3rd: Kannon Webster (Illinois) dec. Kai Owen (Florida), 10-1
5th: Beau Mantanona (California) dec. Christian Forbes (Oklahoma), 3-1
7th: Darrell Rochester (Georgia) dec. Koy Buesgens (Minnesota), 5-2

1st: Evan Tallmadge (New Jersey) dec. Mitchell Neiner (Washington), 10-8
3rd: Carter Mccallister (Missouri) tech. Sean Seefeldt (Ohio), 10-0 1:17
5th: Charlie Farmer (Illinois) dec. Joseph Fernau (Illinois), 5-4
7th: Greyson Clark (Wisconsin) tech. Trever Anderson (Iowa), 10-0 2:27

1st: Wilfried Tanefeu (North Dakota) tech. Gabe Whisenhunt (Oregon), 10-0 1:29
3rd: Nash Singleton (Oregon) tech. Levi Haines (Pennsylvania), 10-0 2:00
5th: Brady Hankin (Colorado) pinned Brock Bobzien (California), 1:30
7th: Damian Mendez (Kansas) dec Trae Mcdaniel (Tennessee), 7-4

1st: Jordan Williams (Oklahoma) dec Zeke Seltzer (Indiana), 6-5
3rd: Brennan Van hoecke (Florida) tech. Nicolar Rivera (Wisconsin), 10-0 0:33
5th: Rocco Welsh (Pennsylvania) tech. Garrett Grice (Nebraska), 12-2 3:20
7th: Jacob Mann (Missouri) by injury default over Zachary Espalin (Arizona)

1st: Nic Bouzakis (Florida) pinned Ramon Ramos (Arizona), 4:00
3rd: Kyren Butler (Ohio) dec. Ismael Ayoub (Ohio), 8-4
5th: Derrick Cardinal (Minnesota) tech. Ethan Stiles (Illinois), 10-0 2:53
7th: Alejandro Herrera-rondon (Pennsylvania) dec. Eli Rocha (Missouri), 10-5

1st: Daniel Cardenas (Colorado) tech. Antrell Taylor (Nebraska), 10-8
3rd: Matthew Bianchi (Wisconsin) dec. Michael Kilic (Georgia), 7-2
5th: Mitchell Mesenbrink (Wisconsin) dec. Jack Crook (Florida), 6-2
7th: Jack Milos (Illinois) dec. Kage Lenger (Missouri), 9-5

1st: John Wiley (Oklahoma) dec. Nicholas Vafiadis (Virginia), 10-4
3rd: Cody Chittum (Tennessee) pinned Joshua Barr (Michigan), 1:46
5th: Nick Hamilton (Iowa) dec. Thor Michaelson (Washington), 2-1
7th: Preston Owens (Idaho) dec. Cole Becker (Minnesota), 7-0

1st: Dean Hamiti jr (Illinois) pinned Matthew Singleton (Georgia), 1:25
3rd: Paniro Johnson (Pennsylvania) tech. Cael Berg (Minnesota), 13-0 3:19
5th: Gavin Brown (Ohio) tech. Cj Hamblin (Washington), 11-2
7th: Erik Gibson (Pennsylvania) dec. Travis Ragland (Virginia), 10-6

1st: Stoney Buell (Michigan) dec. Manuel Rojas (Michigan), 5-4
3rd: Robert Weston (Georgia) dec. Tyler Lillard (Ohio), 9-5
5th: Kamdyn Munro (Georgia) by injury default over Hunter Lyden (Minnesota)
7th: Jared Simma (Kansas) pinned Brayden Thompson (Illinois), 0:39

1st: Thomas Stewart (Maryland) dec. Mac Stout (Pennsylvania), 5-0
3rd: Clayton Whiting (Wisconsin) dec. Bradley Gillum (Illinois), 2-2
5th: Cayleb Atkins (Kansas) dec. Drake Buchanan (Indiana), 7-6
7th: Nicholas Hall (Delaware) tech. Dawson Mathews (Georgia), 19-9 4:00

1st: Leonard Pinto (Pennsylvania) dec. Rylan Rogers (Washington), 7-1
3rd: Tate Picklo (Oklahoma) dec. Branson Britten (Texas), 9-4
5th: Gavin Nelson (Minnesota) dec. Evan Canoyer (Nebraska), 3-2
7th: Brian Soldano (New Jersey) tech. Damion Schunke (South Dakota), 10-0 0:36

1st: Bennett Berge (Minnesota) tech. Michael Tal-shahar (Florida), 10-0 3:00
3rd: Nicholas Feldman (Pennsylvania) tech. Michael Altomer (New York), 6-0 1:46
5th: Harley Andrews (Oklahoma) tech. Isaiah Huus (North Dakota), 11-0 1:19
7th: Jack Darrah (Missouri) dec. Talmage Carman (Utah), 8-2

1st: Seth Shumate (Ohio) tech. Evan Bates (Indiana), 11-0 2:49
3rd: Noah Pettigrew (Georgia) dec. David Harper (Georgia), 6-0
5th: Bennett Tabor (Minnesota) dec. Wyatt Voelker (Iowa), 4-2
7th: Kaden Glass (Oklahoma) dec. Ashton Davis (Tennessee), 7-4

1st: Kolby Franklin (Pennsylvania) tech. Dustin Swanson (Pennsylvania), 10-0 1:50
3rd: Chase Horne (Georgia) tech. Lucas Walker (Iowa), 10-0 2:12
5th: Riley Ucker (Ohio) tech. Jaren Rohde (Wisconsin), 17-6 4:00
7th: Nathan Taylor (Pennsylvania) by injury default over Gage Cook (Washington)

1st: Hayden Copass (Illinois) tech. Griffin Liddle (Iowa), 11-1 2:05
3rd: James Howard (Tennessee) dec. Ethan Kremer (Kansas), 7-2
5th: Jacob Barnes (Oregon) dec. Jacob Moore (Arizona), 2-1
7th: Gavin Layton (Minnesota) tech. Ryan Elrod (Ohio), 10-0 1:16

Outstanding Wrestler: Nic Bouzakis of Florida, 126 lbs.

Team Standings (Top Five)

1. Pennsylvania 61
2. Minnesota 51
3. Ohio 50
4. Georgia 42
5. Illinois 40


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