Braxton Amos won his third straight Super 32 Challenge title (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The 20th anniversary edition of the Super 32 Challenge came to its conclusion on Sunday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C. It was also the 10th year of it being held as a two-day event on Saturday and Sunday. Milestone events throughout the finals program from the beginning to the end.
Nine wrestlers still competing in high school came into 2019-20 having already won a title at this prestigious tournament. However, just one was entered in the tournament. Braxton Amos (Parkersburg South, W.Va.), the No. 2 overall wrestler in the Class of 2020, entered the weekend as the clear anchor figure in the 220-pound weight class. He would also leave the weekend in such position, after winning a third consecutive Super 32 title at this weight. The University of Wisconsin commit did not give up an offensive point over five bouts, which included an 8-2 finals victory over No. 36 overall Class of 2022 wrestler Chase Horne (West Laurens, Ga.). Amos used two first-period takedowns and one second-period takedown to spark that finals victory.
Eighth-grader Mason Gibson won the title at 106 pounds (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)
Right at the beginning of the finals program, Mason Gibson (Forest Hills, Pa.) won the 106-pound weight class. He is currently ranked No. 1 overall among junior high wrestlers. Two years ago Ryan Crookham (Notre Dame-Green Pond, Pa.), who is currently ranked No. 1 overall in the Class of 2022, won this tournament at 113 pounds. Gibson joined him as an eighth grader to win the high school division at the Super 32. In the finals, Gibson would jump out to a 5-0 lead midway through the second period via a pair of takedowns; however, Cory Land (Moody, Ala.) did surge in the second half of the bout, but the No. 32 overall Class of 2022 fell by the score of 5-4.
The depth of this tournament was clear and obvious, as demonstrated by the Sunday journey of 145-pound weight class champion Bretli Reyna (South Dade, Fla.). The senior, a three-time state champion, made it to the quarterfinal round on the strength of four major decision victories. In the quarterfinal round, it was a 9-6 victory over No. 71 overall Class of 2020 wrestler Joseph Zargo (Bergen Catholic, N.J.). The semifinal round saw Reyna earn a 9-7 overtime decision over Ed Scott (DuBois, Pa.), who is No. 75 overall in the senior class. Reyna then outlasted No. 6 overall senior Joshua Saunders (Christian Brothers College, Mo.) in the finals.
Bretli Reyna knocked off Joshua Saunders to win the title at 145 pounds (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)
Two first-period takedowns for Reyna, followed by a Saunders reversal, and then Reyna escape made it 5-3 Reyna after a period. A third-period takedown for Saunders with just over one minute remaining tied the proceedings at 6-6, but Reyna escaped with 28 seconds remaining. A second stalling call against Reyna with one second remaining created sudden victory, which went scoreless. Then in the tiebreaker period, Saunders was called for locking hands to cement the 8-7 Reyna victory.
Four other weight class champions ran through very strong Sunday gauntlets: Joel Vandervere (Warren Township, Ill.) at 132 pounds, Lachlan McNeil (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) at 138, Chase Saldate (Gilroy, Calif.) at 152, and Greyden Penner (Liberty, Mo.) at 170.
Joel Vandervere came through to win the title at 132 pounds with a victory in the finals over Kenny Herrmann (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)
Vandervere beat No. 3 overall sophomore Jesse Mendez (Crown Point, Ind.) 2-1 in the tiebreaker during the quarterfinal round, and then beat No. 28 overall senior Anthony Clark (Delbarton, N.J.) 6-2 in the semifinal bout. Ranked No. 24 in the Class of 2021, Vandervere used a double-leg takedown with 23 seconds remaining and subsequent near fall points to break open a tied bout into a 6-2 finals victory over No. 66 overall senior Kenny Herrmann (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.).
Ranked No. 33 in the senior class, Lachlan McNeil (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) beat Nick Moore (St. Paris Graham, Ohio), who is No. 47 overall in the junior class, 2-1 in the tiebreakers during the quarterfinal round. The 138-pound lower bracket semifinal was a battle of Junior National freestyle All-Americans, with McNeil using a first-period takedown and second-period escape to counter the late third period takedown of No. 43 overall senior Mick Burnett (Elyria, Ohio) in a 3-2 victory. The championship bout saw McNeil score a scramble takedown with just under 30 seconds remaining to counter the shot attempt of No. 57 overall senior Justin Rivera (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.) in a 3-1 victory.
Saldate, who is the No. 31 overall wrestler of the senior class, started Sunday with a narrow 3-2 decision over No. 90 overall senior Cameron Robinson (Council Rock North, Pa.). The 7-1 win over No. 58 senior A.J. Kovacs (Iona Prep, N.Y.) represented the most decisive of his three wins on the second day; while the Michigan State commit upended No. 79 senior Peyton Hall (Oak Glen, W.Va.) 3-2 in the championship bout. A takedown during the first period made the difference. Saldate had two subsequent chances to get a margin-extending takedown, while he had to fend off a late leg attack from Hall to seal the belt.
Oklahoma University verbal commit Penner entered the tournament ranked No. 53 in the senior class. Third-period takedowns were the difference in 3-2 victories over Trey Kibe (Mifflin County, Pa.) and Clayton Ulrey (Lower Dauphin, Pa.) during the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. Kibe is ranked No. 38 in the junior class, while Ulrey is No. 60 in the senior class. (The wrestlers finished third and fourth respectively.) It should be noted that Ulrey beat Penner in the semifinals of the UWW Cadet Nationals in Akron on the way to qualifying for the World Team in freestyle at 69 kilograms. Takedowns in the first and second period of the championship match yielded Penner a decisive 5-3 finals victory over No. 42 overall senior Gavin Kane (Cambridge, Ga.).
Two other elite seniors won Super 32 titles on Sunday afternoon: No. 16 overall Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon-McMillan, Pa.) at 182 and No. 29 Hunter Catka (Sun Valley, Pa.) at 285.
Gerrit Nijenhuis gets his hand raised after winning the title at 182 pounds (Photo/Sam Janicki, SJanickiPhoto.com)
In the 182-pound championship bout, Nijenhuis scored a takedown with just over 30 seconds remaining in the first period to take a 2-0 lead after that stanza. No. 38 overall senior John Poznanski (Colonia, N.J.) escaped to start the second and scored a takedown right after, while Nijenhius escaped within 20 seconds to level the bout at 3-3. A third-period escape for Nijenhuis yielded the final point in a 4-3 victory that enabled him to elevate from last year's runner-up finish in this tournament, though Poznanski was in very deep on a leg attack for the last thirty seconds of the bout.
Cadet World Team member in freestyle Catka, a Virginia Tech verbal commit, entered the championship bout with four bonus point wins from four bouts. The championship match came against No. 39 overall junior Hayden Copass (Westville, Ill.), a two-time 16U freestyle champion. The first period of the final was scoreless, while Catka scored a second period takedown sandwiched by two Copass escapes. Catka got an escape, takedown, and three-point near fall in the third to confirm the 8-2 championship victory.
Last among the seniors to win weight classes were Jacob Rivera (Selma, Calif.) at 113 pounds and Santos Cantu (Crescent Valley, Ore.) at 195.
Rivera was untested but for a 4-3 round of 16 victory over state champion Carter Dibert (Franklin Regional, Pa.). Rivera needed a pair of third-period near falls to rally for that victory over the eventual third-place finisher. Most notable of those dominant wins for him was the 13-6 result over No. 49 overall senior Jeremiah Reno (Liberty, Mo.) in the semifinal round. The championship bout started with a five-point move for Rivera off a shin whizzer before a second period takedown would help cement his 9-3 victory over Nico Provo (Green Farms, Ct.).
Three-time state champion Cantu used a takedown midway through the third period to outlast two-time state champion Brandon Hoselton (Prairie Central, Ill.) 3-2 in his championship bout.
Rounding out the weight class champions were a pair of elite sophomores in No. 2 Nic Bouzakis (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) and No. 6 Jordan Williams (Collinsville, Okla.) at 126 and 120 respectively, while No. 11 overall junior Cael Valencia (St. John Bosco, Calif.) won at 160.
Placement Match Results
1st: Mason Gibson (Forest Hills, Pa./8th grade) dec. Cory Land (Moody, Ala.), 5-4
3rd: Maxximus Martinez (St. John Bosco, Calif.) dec. Dylan Gilcher (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.), 3-0
5th: Charlie Farmer (Moline, Ill.) dec. Spencer Moore (Walton Verona, Ky.), 8-4
7th: Carter McCallister (Rock Bridge, Mo.) dec. Mac Church (Waynesburg, Pa.), 8-6
1st: Jacob Rivera (Selma, Calif.) dec. Nico Provo (Green Farms, Ct.), 9-3
3rd: Carter Dibert (Franklin Regional, Pa.) dec. Braxton Brown (Allen, Texas), 3-2
5th: Jeremiah Reno (Liberty, Mo.) major dec. Erik Roggie (St. Christopher's, Va.), 10-2
7th: Joziah Fry (Coventry, R.I.) dec. Brady Hankin (Woodland Park, Colo.), 8-6 OT
1st: Jordan Williams (Collinsville, Okla.) dec. Maximo Renteria (Buchanan, Calif.), 5-3
3rd: Alex Almeyda (St. Joseph Regional, N.J.) dec. Jordan Titus (Center Morinches, N.Y.), 1-1 TB
5th: Dean Peterson (St. John Vianney, N.J.) dec. Dominic Chavez (Arlington Martin, Texas), 6-3
7th: Troy Spratley (Collinsville, Okla.) dec. Nicholas Babin (Emerson-Park Ridge, N.J.), 3-1
1st: Nic Bouzakis (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) dec. Nico Nardone (Delbarton, N.J.), 7-3
3rd: Jacob Rundell (Oak Park River Forest, Ill.) dec. Caleb Tanner (Collinsville, Okla.), 5-1
5th: Conor Knopick (Millard South, Neb.) dec. Antoine Allen (Cincinnati LaSalle, Ohio), 1-0
7th: Zach Redding (Eastport-South Manor, N.Y.) dec. Ethan Oakley (Wheatmore, N.C.), 8-6
1st: Joel Vandervere (Warren Township, Ill.) dec. Kenny Herrmann (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.), 6-2
3rd: Wyatt Henson (Francis Howell, Mo.) dec. Patrick Noonan (Stroudsburg, Pa.), 8-4
5th: Jesse Mendez (Crown Point, Ind.) dec. Anthony Clark (Delbarton, N.J.), 3-1
7th: Skylar Smith (Liberty Christian, Texas) dec. Julian Farber (Veterans, Ga.), 5-3
1st: Lachlan McNeil (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.) dec. Justin Rivera (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.), 3-1
3rd: Alek Martin (St. Paris Graham, Ohio) dec. Josh Edmond (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.), 5-4
5th: Mick Burnett (Elyria, Ohio) dec. Caden McCrary (Woodland, Ga.), 4-0
7th: Nick Moore (St. Paris Graham, Ohio) by forfeit over Sam Hillegas (North Hills, Pa.)
1st: Bretli Reyna (South Dade, Fla.) dec. Joshua Saunders (Christian Brothers College, Mo.), 8-7 TB
3rd: Austin Boone (Lowell, Mich.) dec. Ed Scott (DuBois, Pa.), 4-3
5th: Manzona Bryant (Hudson WRA, Ohio) dec. Francis Morrissey (Veterans, Ga.), 4-3
7th: Jagger Condomitti (Northampton, Pa.) dec. Avery Bassett (Midd-West, Pa.), 8-6
1st: Chase Saldate (Gilroy, Calif.) dec. Peyton Hall (Oak Glen, W.Va.), 3-2
3rd: Brayden Roberts (Parkersburg South, W.Va.) dec. Luke Odom (Edwardsville, Ill.), 4-2, OT
5th: A.J. Kovacs (Iona Prep, N.Y.) dec. Cameron Robinson (Council Rock North, Pa.), 7-6
7th: Jaxon Garoutte (Pueblo County, Colo.) dec. Dominic Isola (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.), 6-1
1st: Cael Valencia (St. John Bosco, Calif.) dec. Thayne Lawrence (Frazier, Pa.), 7-5
3rd: Brian Soldano (High Point, N.J.) dec. Jaxon Smith (Woodland, Ga.)
5th: Derek Gilcher (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.) by forfeit over John Martin Best (Parkersburg South, W.Va.)
7th: Joseph Martin (Buchanan, Calif.) dec. Caleb Fish (Eaton Rapids, Mich.), 4-1
1st: Greyden Penner (Liberty, Mo.) dec. Gavin Kane (Cambridge, Ga.), 5-3
3rd: Clayton Ulrey (Lower Dauphin, Pa.) dec. Trey Kibe (Mifflin County, Pa.), 3-1
5th: Leonard Pinnedto (Stroudsburg, Pa.) dec. Tyler Stoltzfus (St. Joseph's Catholic, Pa.), 5-1
7th: Graham Calhoun (Plymouth, Ind.) dec. Bennett Berge (Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.), 3-0
1st: Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon-McMillan, Pa.) dec. John Poznanski (Colonia, N.J.), 4-3
3rd: Joseph Walker (Mishawaka, Ind.) dec. Nathan Warden (Christiansburg, Va.), 7-5
5th: Gavin Bell (Beavercreek, Ohio) dec. Jake Evans (Elyria, Ohio), 4-2
7th: Giuseppe Milano (Spring-Ford, Pa.) dec. Quayin Short (Simley, Minn.), 12-7
1st: Santos Cantu (Crescent Valley, Ore.) dec. Brandon Hoselton (Prairie Central, Ill.), 3-2
3rd: Isaac Trumble (Millard South, Neb.) pinned Bennett Tabor (Simley, Minn.), 4:43
5th: Evan Bates (Chesterton, Ind.) dec. Jack Wimmer (McDonogh, Md.), 1-0
7th: Michael Misita (St. Augustine Prep, N.J.) dec. Austin Walley (Ellwood City, Pa.), 7-2
1st: Braxton Amos (Parkersburg South, W.Va.) dec. Chase Horne (West Laurens, Ga.), 8-2
3rd: Chad Nix (Jensen Beach, Fla.) dec. Dorian Crosby (Erie Cathedral Prep, Pa.), 3-1
5th: Cody Goodman (Deerfield, Ill.) pinned John Meyers (Greensburg-Salem, Pa.), 4:00
7th: K.J. Miley (Whitfield, Mo.) dec. Charles Swiggett (Western Guilford, N.C.), 12-8
1st: Hunter Catka (Sun Valley, Pa.) dec. Hayden Copass (Westville, Ill.), 8-2
3rd: Isaiah Vance (Hempfield Area, Pa.) pinned Skylar Coffey (Brentwood, Tenn.), 1:53
5th: Colby Whitehill (Brookville, Pa.) by forfeit over Garrett Kappes (McDonogh, Md.)
7th: Alex Coleman (Hamilton Ross, Ohio) dec. Tyler Delooff (Lowell, Mich.), 9-4