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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

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

    Carina Giangeruso 132 lb 16U national champion; New Jersey's first (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    Earlier this week, we unveiled some fun facts and trends from the 16U men's freestyle tournament. Here are some from the 16U women's tournament. This event continues to evolve, perhaps more than any other tournament Fargo because of which the rate that high school/college wrestling is growing for young women. Also, some of the holdouts have finally sanctioned girls HS wrestling (what's the holdup on the others?). Because of these changes, expect to see this tournament change in the coming years, because of new pockets of wrestling opportunities available for young girls. None of this was more evident than Iowa winning a team title and traditional powerhouse California taking third, behind Missouri.

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

    For the second consecutive year, a woman from Indiana captured the championship at 100 lbs. This year it was Rianne Murphy and in 2021 it was Makenzie Smith. It's only the third 16U title by an Indiana native.

    Molly Allen claimed the title at 112 lbs. She is only the third Iowa native to win at 16U. The first was Rachel Watters at 143 lbs in 2013.

    Carina Giangeruso won the first championship by a 16U woman from New Jersey. To win, she needed to defeat Lauren Walton of Kentucky. Had Walton won, it would have been Kentucky's first title.

    Sarah Henckel captured only the second 16U title by a Connecticut woman. The first was Cara Broadus in 2016.

    Last year, Nebi Tsarni became the first Maryland woman to win a 16U national title. That makes her the first Maryland native to win multiple 16U titles, which she did by taking the stop sign at 144 lbs.

    Another repeat champion was Ella Pagel of Minnesota at 164 lbs. Last year, Nagel won both 16U and Junior titles.

    Pagel and Skylar Little Soldier joined Emily Shilson as the only two-time 16U national champions from Minnesota.

    At 180 lbs, Sabrina Nauss won her second consecutive 16U title.

    Led by eight All-Americans (1 champion), Iowa won their first team championship. That stopped a run from 2012 where California won every team title.

    In the history of the 16U women's tournament, Iowa only had 15 All-Americans from 2011-2021. This year they had more than half of that total with eight.

    Runner-up Missouri established a new state high with nine All-Americans. In 2019, they put eight on the podium, which tied the previous high of eight from 2017.

    Tennessee's Piper Fowler became the state's second-ever 16U finalist. Last year, Genesis Gilmore made the 152 lb finals and became the first.

    Ciara Riner took seventh place at 127 lbs for Team West Virginia. That made Riner the first 16U All-American representing her state.

    Virginia had a trio of All Americans with Mia Galindo (100 - 7th), May Cuyler (144 - 4th), and Taylor Waddy (180 lbs - 8th). The last time that Virginia had three or more 16U women's All-Americans was in 2015, when they had four.

    Coming into this tournament, Oklahoma had only produced six 16U All-Americans in the entire history of the women's event and never had more than one in a single year. In 2022, they had three; Bella Williams (117 - 3rd), Kali Hayden (180 - 2nd), Symphony Velez (180 - 6th).

    35 states had at least one All-American. That's up from 2021 with 31 and 2019 with 33.

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