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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Fun Facts From Fargo 2022's 16U Men's Freestyle Division

    113 lb champion Kellen Wolbert (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    Yesterday, we saw the finals of the 16U men's freestyle tournament take place in Fargo. As always, there were plenty of excellent performances and stars that announced themselves to the rest of the wrestling world. As we were entering results, we noticed some notable facts surrounding the tournament. Below are some of the "firsts", "best since" and overall fun facts from the event. We'll have more with other divisions as well.

    As with anything historical pertaining to Fargo, this couldn't be possible without Jason Bryant's Fargo Almanac, which is an incredible resource.

    Mac Crosson was the third Iowa native to win 88 lb 16U freestyle in the last six tournaments (Cullan Schriever - 2016 and Drake Ayala - 2017).

    Kentucky's only previous 16U freestyle national champion (Zeke Escalera - 2017) won at 106 lbs, the same weight won by Jayden Raney.

    In addition to Jayden's title, Jordyn Raney was fifth at 120 lbs. That marked the first time that Kentucky had multiple 16U freestyle placers in the same season.

    Jay Henderson won Utah's first 16U freestyle national title since Brock Hardy in 2016 (138).

    Wisconsin had three 16U men's freestyle national champions (Haakon Peterson - 106, Kellen Wolbert - 113, Aeoden Sinclair - 182). That's the most the state has ever had in a single year. 2009 was the only time they had more than one (Alex Dieringer - 135 and Devin Peterson - 171).

    None of the 2021 16U men's freestyle champions repeated in that age group in 2022. Seth Mendoza and Anthony Knox both made the finals, but lost.

    Gabriel Bouyssou finished third in 16U men's freestyle. That makes him the highest placewinner (in any style) since Corey Peltier was a runner-up in 2006. Bouyssou's is now a three-time Fargo All-American; making him only the second Rhode Island native to accomplish the feat. Patrick Feeley did so between 2002-05. If he places in Greco, he'll be the first four-time placewinner.

    Nevada had a pair of 16U freestyle All-Americans with Melvin Whitehead (3rd - 220) and Manuel Saldate (8th - 120). It was the first time that Nevada had multiple placers since 2014 (Ian Timmons, Adrian Ojeda, and Andrew Berreyesa).

    Virginia had a pair of 16U freestyle All-Americans with Tyler Dekraker (7th - 106) and Ben Weader (8th - 132). It's the first time Virginia has had multiple AA's in this division since 2014 with (Antonio Agee, Jeffrey Allen, Troy Allen).

    Team New Jersey went 0-3 in the 16U men's freestyle finals (Knox - 120, Alessio Perentin - 152, Vincenzo Lavalle - 195). The last time New Jersey went without a champion in this division was in 2012. That year Kyle Bierdumpfel, Chas Tucker, and Myles Martin lost in the finals.

    In the same breath, Team Minnesota was held without a title for the first time since 2016. Three Minnesota wrestlers made the 2022 finals (Landon Robideau - 126, Tyson Charmoli - 132, and Bryce Burkett - 170), but all were defeated. In 2016, Minnesota's highest placewinner was Greg Kerkvliet (3rd).

    Despite being one of the traditional powers, California's had two champions for the first time since 2012. Michael Romero (100) and Brock Mantanona (132) were the champions in 2022. The 2012 champions were Aaron Pico, Anthony and Zahid Valencia.

    The wins by Romero and Mantanona marked only the second and third titles by California wrestlers since 2014. Maxximus Martinez won the only other title in the interim (in 2018).

    Team Florida finished in tenth place led by five placers (Lincoln Sledzianowski: 3rd - 100, Elvis Solis: 5th - 138, Claudio Torres: 5th - 152, Michael Mocco: 5th - 195, Caleb Rodriguez: 7th - 285). The only other time that Florida placed more than five wrestlers on the podium was in 1990 when they had six. Those were Adrian Tramotola (3rd - 94.5), Tim Morgan (4th - 94.5), Joe Giammanco (7th - 112), Chris Bono (2nd - 143), Chris Blair (4th - 209), Marvin David (4th - 242).

    Though they didn't have the type of firepower that the 2021 team possessed, Team Arizona made some history. Arizona had five wrestlers make the 16U freestyle podium (Giosue Hickman: 6th - 126, Israel Ibarra: 6th - 160, Gabriel Ramirez: 7th - 113, Adyn Bostick: 7th - 132, Carlos Stanton Jr: 8th - 126), the most in state history. Last year's squad with three finalists and two champs, tied for the previous high with four (originally set in 2013 and reached again in 2019).

    Team Illinois finished with three placewinners, which is notoriously low for the traditional title contender. That is the lowest total for the state since 1989 when they only had two.

    Pennsylvania captured its fourth consecutive 16U men's freestyle title (2018, 2019, 2021, 2022; no 2020 tournament). Either Pennsylvania or Illinois has won every championship in this division since 2008.

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