This coming year's event should be no exception. The talent level among the approximately 1,500 wrestlers registered to compete is extraordinarily high. More than one-third of the nation's top 100 Class of 2015 wrestlers, according to InterMat, are in the field; while approximately half of the top 50 in the Class of 2016 and Class of 2017, and a similar amount of the top 25 in the Class of 2018 are slated to be in the event as well.
Four of the five underclassman wrestlers that ended the 2013-14 season ranked number one in their weight class populate this field: Yianni Diakomihalis (Hilton, N.Y.), Spencer Lee (Franklin Regional, Pa.), Nick Piccininni (Ward Mellville, N.Y.), and Zahid Valencia (St. John Bosco, Calif.). Two wrestlers ranked first regardless of weight class in their respective graduating class are in this field -- freshman Cade Olivas (St. John Bosco, Calif.), along with sophomore Spencer Lee.
Sam KrivusThe 2014 Super 32 Challenge field also features 40 wrestlers that placed in the 2013 edition of this event, including five defending champions: Yianni Diakomihalis, Spencer Lee, Luke Pletcher (Greater Latrobe, Pa.), Sam Krivus (Hempfield Area, Pa.), and Jordan Wood (Boyertown, Pa.); Krivus is after a third consecutive title in this event. Also in this field are two other wrestlers with a past Super 32 high school division title: 2011 champion Michael Kemerer (Franklin Regional, Pa.) and 2012 champion Nick Suriano (Bergen Catholic, N.J.)
Wrestling will start at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. At the end of Saturday's competition, 16 wrestlers (8 quarterfinalists, 8 in consolation) will remain in each weight class. Competition then resumes on Sunday at 8:00 a.m. to determine a champion and the other seven placers in each weight class. Held in conjunction with the high school division on Sunday will be a middle school tournament, as well as the debut year for two divisions of elementary school competition.
The following is an overview of the highlight wrestlers in each weight class based on entrants as of the evening of October 27.
Youth tends to be served in the opening weight class, and this year should be no exception with four of the nation's top 25 Class of 2018 prospects in this field -- No. 1 Cade Olivas, No. 3 Gavin Teasdale (Jefferson Morgan, Pa.), No. 17 Anthony Madrigal (Oak Park River Forest, Ill.), and No. 24 Roderick Mosley, Jr. (Heritage Hall, Okla.). Both Olivas and Teasdale are among the seven FILA Cadet freestyle world team members from this summer in this field, while Madrigal is one of six 2014 Fargo freestyle All-Americans in the field.
Others include Drew Mattin (Delta, Ohio), Matt Parker (Pennridge, Pa.), Ryan Chauvin (Pine Creek, Colo.), and Elijah Varona (South Dade, Fla.) from the Cadet level; while Jonathan Tropea (St. Joseph Montvale, N.J.) finished third in Juniors. Additional wrestlers to watch include state champions Dane Heberlein (Alexander, N.Y.) and Joseph Silva (Lake Highland Prep, Fla.), as well as state runners-up Justin Portillo (Claridon-Goldfield, Iowa) and Jonathan Gomez (Locust Valley, N.Y.)
Predicted finals match: Olivas over Teasdale, in a rematch of the Who's Number One match from two weekends ago.
Returning champion Spencer Lee, who also was a FILA Cadet World freestyle champion this summer, is the headline wrestler in this field. He is joined by five other graduating class ranked wrestlers: Devin Brown (Franklin Regional, Pa.), ranked No. 96 in the Class of 2015; Jason Renteria (Oak Park River Forest, Ill.) and Kaden Gfeller (Heritage Hall, Okla.), ranked No. 22 and 39 in the Class of 2017; Mitch Moore (St. Paris Graham, Ohio), ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2018; and Nick Raimo (Hanover Park, N.J.), ranked No. 3 among Junior High wrestlers.
Among the other wrestlers to watch are state champion Noah Baughman (Wadsworth, Ohio), Junior Triple Crown winner Danny Vega (Ironwood Ridge, Ariz.), returning Super 32 Challenge place-winners Kennedy Monday (Arlington Martin, Tex.) and Brandon Cray (Hamilton East, N.J.), Cadet National freestyle champion Paul Konrath (Mt. Vernon, Ind.), FILA Cadet Greco-Roman world team member Drew West (Highland, Iowa), NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion Sebastian Rivera (Christian Brothers Academy, N.J.), along with Junior National freestyle All-Americans in Garrett Pepple (East Noble, Ind.) and Drew Hildebrandt (Mishawaka Penn, Ind.)
Predicted finals match: Lee over Brown, in a battle of Franklin Regional teammates. That said, the second finalist spot is anyone's guess; while Lee is the prohibitive favorite.
Two wrestlers ranked No. 4 overall in their respective grade level are among the field, junior Nick Suriano and sophomore Daton Fix (Sand Springs, Okla.); Suriano is a two-time state champion and two-time Super 32 finalist, while Fix was a FILA Cadet freestyle world team member this summer. Ten other wrestlers in this weight class are ranked in their respective grade level -- returning Super 32 placers Christian Moody (Collinsville, Okla.) and Eli Stickley (St. Paris Graham, Ohio) are ranked No. 80 and 86 in the senior class; returning Super 32 placer Kyle Norstrem (Brandon, Fla.) and Alex Mackall (Walsh Jesuit, Ohio) are No. 16 and 28 in the junior class; Yianni Diakomihalis, FloNationals runner-up Vitali Arujau (Syosset, N.Y.), Cadet freestyle runner-up Ben Freeman (Walled Lake Central, Mich.), Cadet Greco-Roman champion Coltan Williams (Trinity Christian Academy, Tex.), and Cadet double All-American Bryce West (Highland, Iowa) hold positions No. 5, 11, 19, 30, and 42 in the sophomore class; while Aaron Brooks (North Hagerstown, Md.) is No. 25 in the freshman class.
Three additional wrestlers in this weight class placed in the Super 32 last year, all doing so at 106 pounds: Gage Curry (North Hills, Pa.), Tyler Warner (Claymont, Ohio), and Luke Karam (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.). Another trio of wrestlers have been Junior National freestyle All-Americans: Doyle Trout (Centennial, Neb.), Michael Cullen (Cary Grove, Ill.), and Benny Gomez (Holt, Mich.). Other wrestlers to note in this field include Flo Nationals runner-up Rudy Yates (Carl Sandburg, Ill.), NHSCA Junior Nationals runner-up Steven Simpson (St. Mary's Ryken, Md.), and two-time FILA Cadet freestyle All-American Ian Parker (St. Johns, Mich.)
Predicted finals match: Suriano over Fix in a rematch of their marathon meeting at Who's Number One two weekends ago. The pair of wrestlers also met over Memorial Day weekend in the FILA Cadet National freestyle final, though Fix won that meeting.
A pair of wrestlers with major "sticker value" credentials lead this weight class -- Luke Pletcher and Nick Piccininni. Pletcher is ranked No. 3 overall in the junior class, and won the Super 32 Challenge last year at 120 pounds; while Piccininni is ranked No. 9 in the senior class, and ended the 2013-14 season No. 1 nationally at 120 pounds after earning a Flo Nationals title.
Three other top 100 seniors are present in this weight class: two-time Super 32 Challenge placer Jose Rodriguez (Massillon Perry, Ohio), two-time Junior freestyle All-American Lincoln Olson (Davison, Mich.), and two-time state champion Markus Simmons (Broken Arrow, Okla.). Also in this weight class are two additional top 50 juniors: Cadet National freestyle runner-up Chad Red (New Palestine, Ind.) and Junior double All-American Ryan Deakin (Legacy, Colo.). Four other grade-level ranked wrestlers reside in this field: Francisco Valdes (Miami Southwest, Fla.), No. 31 in the sophomore class; while Bill Janzer (Delsea Regional, N.J.), Grant Aronoff (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fla.) and Joe Lee (Evansville Mater Dei, Ind.) are positioned No. 13, 14, and 19 in the freshman class.
Two additional wrestlers in this weight class were also Junior freestyle All-Americans this summer, Peter Lipari (Bergen Catholic, N.J.) and Jonathan Gabriel (Bedford, Pa.). Additional wrestlers to watch in this field include returning Super 32 Challenge placer Evan Cheek (Milan Edison, Ohio), three-time state placer Eli Seipel (St. Paris Graham, Ohio), three-time National Prep placer Ryan Friedman (St. Paul's, Md.), FILA Cadet Greco-Roman world team member Jake Spiess (Delta, Ohio), along with a trio of two-time New Jersey state placers in Mike Russo (Jackson Liberty), Patrick D'Arcy (Holy Spirit), and Ryan Pomrinca (North Hunterdon, N.J.)
Predicted finals match: Piccininni over Pletcher in a rematch of their Flo Nationals championship match meeting from early April.
Eleven wrestlers in this weight class are ranked among the overall best in their respective grade level, including four top 100 seniors: two-time state champion Jared Prince (Palm Harbor University, Fla.), three-time state finalist Cameron Kelly (Bellbrook, Ohio), 2013 Junior freestyle All-American Brandon James (Perry Meridian, Ind.), and NHSCA Junior Nationals runner-up Mike D'Angelo (Commack, N.Y.); Prince, Jeffries, and James have placed in the Super 32 before. Within the junior class rankings, returning Super 32 runner-up George Phillippi (Derry Area, Pa.) is ranked No. 13, while Junior National freestyle champion Mitch McKee (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.) is No. 19.
Two-time FILA Cadet freestyle runner-up Nick Lee (Evansville Mater Dei) is ranked No. 2 in the sophomore class, and is joined by three others in the rankings: returning Super 32 placer Eric Hong (Georgetown Prep, Md.), Cadet double All-American Corey Shie (LaSalle, Ohio), and Flo Nationals placer Todd Lane (Southern Columbia, Pa.). Finally, Justin Ruffin (Union Grove, Ga.) is ranked No. 20 in the freshman class. Other wrestlers to watch include Flo Nationals runner-up Robert Lee (Kaukauna, Wis.); two-time state champions Jarred Ganger (Covington, Ohio), Marty Margolis (La Plata, Md.), Hunter Washburn (Alburnett, Iowa), and Alius DeLaRosa (Post Falls, Idaho); along with Cadet Greco-Roman champion Jake Allar (St. Michael-Albertville, Minn.)
Predicted finals match: Prince, who placed in 2012, bounces back from last year's DNP; while Phillippi finishes runner-up for a second straight year in this tournament.
Sam Krivus, ranked No. 26 overall in the senior class, seeks to become only the sixth wrestler to ever win three Super 32 Challenge titles -- but just the second to win those three titles since the event has moved to Greensboro in 2005. Fourteen other wrestlers in this field are ranked in their respective grade levels, including four fellow seniors: No. 31 Nate Limmex (Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Mich.), No. 38 Jaydin Clayton (Father Tolton Catholic, Mo.), No. 50 Davion Jeffries (Broken Arrow, Okla.), and No. 95 Craig de la Cruz (Summit, N.J.). Two juniors are nationally ranked -- Flo Nationals champion Brent Moore (St. Paris Graham, Ohio) and two-time state runner-up Kyle Bierdumpfel (Don Bosco Prep, N.J.).
There are five nationally ranked sophomores: state champion Cameron Coy (Penn Trafford, Pa.), FILA Cadet freestyle world team member Jared Verkleeren (Belle Vernon, Pa.), FILA Cadet Greco-Roman world team member Domenick Demas (Dublin Coffman, Ohio), Cadet double All-American Devin Bahr (West Salem, Wis.), and Cadet Greco All-American Hunter Bolen (Christiansburg, Va.). Rounding out the grade ranked wrestlers is a trio of freshmen: No. 7 Frankie Gissendanner (Penfield, N.Y.), No. 10 Josiah Rider (Grand Junction, Colo.), and No. 15 David Carr (Dayton Christian, Ohio).
Also in this field are Cadet Nationals double champion Will Karsten (Platte County, Mo.), NHSCA Junior Nationals champion Will Clark (Cary, N.C.), state champions Nate Hagan (Toledo Central Catholic, Ohio) and Richard Screptock (Oregon Clay, Ohio), three-time state placer Josh Wenger (Cedar Rapids Prairie, Iowa), two-time state placer Connor Burkert (St. Peter's Prep, N.J.), and NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion Mark McCormick (Camden Catholic, N.J.).
Predicted finals match: Krivus gets his third straight title at the Super 32, upending Limmex in the final. However, this is an extremely deep weight class, with the number of plausible finalists creeping towards double digits.
Three-time Super 32 finalist Michael Kemerer is one of three top 100 seniors in this field, joined by NHSCA Junior Nationals champion Max Thomsen (Union, Iowa) and NHSCA Junior Nationals runner-up Patricio Lugo (South Dade, Fla.). Joining Kemerer and Thomsen in this weight class as returning Super 32 placers are Kyle Lawson (St. Paris Graham, Ohio), who is ranked No. 6 in the sophomore class, and Thomas Dutton (Rocky Point, N.Y.). This is a relatively shallow weight class, with the lone other grade-level ranked wrestler being No. 27 overall junior, Hayden Hidlay (Mifflin County, Pa.)
Others to note in this weight class include state runner-up Ryan Burkert (St. Peter's Prep, N.J.), two-time state placer Zac Carson (Uniontown Lake, Ohio), two-time Flo Nationals placer Kent Lane (Southern Columbia, Pa.), NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion Kevin Budock (Good Counsel, Md.), two-time state champions Jake Adcock (Pope, Ga.) and Christian Villani (Bellevue, Wash.), along with two-time state finalists Logan Lacure (Dayton Christian, Ohio), Griffin Parriott (New Prague, Minn.), and Brock Cooper (Bremen, Ga.).
Predicted finals match: Like Joey Dance did in 2012, coincidentally beating Kemerer in that final, look for the future Hawkeye Kemerer to bookend his high school career with Super 32 titles; his projected opponent in the final will be a potential in-state college rival Thomsen, who has committed to Northern Iowa.
Returning Super 32 runner-up Zach Kelly, who placed third in Junior freestyle in 2013, leads the field in what is a rather deep -- if not overly top-heavy -- weight class. He is joined by four top 100 seniors and seven top 50 juniors. Nationally ranked seniors include returning Super 32 placer Tommy Forte (Mishawaka, Ind.), Junior freestyle All-Americans Josh Maruca (Franklin Regional, Pa.) and Myles Amine (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.), along with NHSCA Junior Nationals champion Neal Richards (Matoaca, Va.). Ranked juniors include No. 25 Kaleb Young (Punxsatawney, Pa.), No. 31 Drew Hughes (Lowell, Ind.), No. 32 Justin Thomas (Santiago Corona, Calif.), No. 34 Jake Wentzel (South Park, Pa.), No. 38 Chris Mauriello (Haupppauge, N.Y.), No. 42 Thomas Bullard (Archer, Ga.), and No. 44 Austin Kraisser (Centennial, Md). The other grade-level ranked wrestler in this field is sophomore A.J. Pedro (Phillips Exeter, N.H.), who placed third at National Preps.
Other wrestlers to note in this field include NHSCA Junior Nationals champion Sean Glasgow (Bound Brook, N.J.); returning Super 32 placer Isaiah Crosby (South Dade, Fla.); Flo Nationals placer Adam Martz (Mountain Ridge, Md.); 2013 state champion Dewey Krueger (Oconto Falls, Wis.); along with a pair of NHSCA Junior All-Americans in Gavin Murray (Cranford, N.J.) and Anthony Bell (Fairport, N.Y.)
Predicted finals match: Kelly wins the belt in his second Super 32 finals appearance, knocking off Forte in the Sunday mid-afternoon showdown.
Two-time Super 32 placer Fox Baldwin (Osceola, Fla.) is one of seven top 100 seniors populating the field in this weight class. Those other ranked Class of 2015 prospects include Flo Nationals runner-up Josh Ugalde (Bound Brook, N.J.), Junior National double All-American Brett Bye (Vermillion, S.D.), Super 32 placer Dayton Racer (Bettendorf, Iowa), three-time state placer Paden Bailey (Broken Arrow, Okla.), NHSCA Junior Nationals champion Ben Schram (Bellbrook, Ohio), and three-time state placer Cole Walter (Mifflinburg, Pa.). There is also a pair of top 50 ranked juniors and a ranked sophomore in this weight class: the juniors include Alex Marinelli (St. Paris Graham, Ohio), ranked No. 9 in the Class of 2016, and FILA Cadet freestyle runner-up Trace Carello (Marmion Academy, Ill.); while Flo Nationals placer Louie Deprez (Hilton, N.Y.) is No. 29 in the Class of 2017.
Additional wrestlers to note in this field include three-time New England placer Cody Hughes (Marshwood, Maine); two-time state champion Carver James (Dakota, Ill.); Cadet Greco-Roman champion Owen Webster (Shakopee, Minn.); Junior Greco All-American Joey Gunther (Libertyville, Ill.); two-time state finalist Corbin Allen (Hanover, Va.); NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion Thomas Bullard (Archer, Ga.); along with Flo Nationals placers D.J. Hollingshead (Altoona, Pa.) and Tony Palumbo (Pittsburgh Central Catholic, Pa.)
Predicted finals match: In a battle of top ten wrestlers in their respective grades, look for Baldwin to upend Marinelli.
Two top 100 seniors, and potential in-state college rivals, are featured in this weight class: Taylor Lujan (Carrollton, Ga.), a Northern Iowa commit, finished runner-up at the Super 32 and Flo Nationals during 2013-14; while two-time state champion Colston DiBlasi (Park Hill, Mo.) is an Iowa State commit. Other notable wrestlers in this field include returning Super 32 placer Zach Hertling (Ocean Township, N.J.); NHSCA Junior Nationals runner-up Juan Garcia (Danbury, Ct.); Flo Nationals placer Brett Donner (Wall, N.J.); NHSCA Junior Nationals placers Sean Kennedy (Riverdale, Tenn.) and Fritz Hoehn (North Andover, Mass.); along with state champions Trevor Allard (Mexico, N.Y.) and Caleb Little (Jefferson, Ga.)
Predicted finals match: Look for Lujan to improve upon last year's runner-up finish, and win what is arguably the tournament's weakest weight class outside of heavyweight. It's open season for runner-up honors, though DiBlasi might be a fractional favorite for that position.
Two top 100 seniors anchor the proceedings in this weight class, No. 5 Zahid Valencia (St. John Bosco, Calif.) and No. 41 Dylan Wisman (Millbrook, Va.); Valencia is a three-time Walsh Ironman champion, while Wisman won titles at the NHSCA Junior Nationals and Flo Nationals this spring. Three other wrestlers in this weight class are among the top 50 juniors nationally: Nathan Traxler (Marmion Academy, Ill.), an All-American in both Junior freestyle and FILA Cadet freestyle; state runner-up Jack Harris (Urbana, Ohio), also a FILA Cadet freestyle All-American; and state runner-up Blake Rypel (Indianapolis Cathedral, Ind.), also a NHSCA Sophomore Nationals champion.
Others to watch in this weight class include 2013 state champion Evan Hansen (Exira, Iowa); two-time state runners-up Kollin Moore (Norwayne, Ohio) and Chance Cooper (Timberland, Mo.); Flo Nationals placers Dakota Geer (Franklin, Pa.) and Willie Bivens (Eastern Guilford, N.C.); state runner-up Ben Darmstadt (Elyria, Ohio); along with NHSCA Junior Nationals All-Americans in Corey Hazel (Penns Valley, Pa.), Dontae McGee (Farragut Academy, Fla.), and Chris Morgan (West Orange, N.J.)
Predicted finals match: Even up six weight classes from where he competed during the 2013-14 high school season, Valencia will be the man in this weight class, key word being "man". Fellow top 100 senior Wisman is the projected runner-up.
Two wrestlers in this weight carry a grade-level ranking into the tournament, FILA Cadet freestyle champion Hunter Ritter (John Carroll, Md.) is No. 35 in the senior class, while returning Super 32 placer Drew Phipps (Norwin, Pa.) is No. 50 in the junior class. Additional wrestlers to note in this field include Junior freestyle All-American Kevin Mulligan (Bergen Catholic, N.J.), NHSCA Junior Nationals champion Jeff Velez (David Brearley, N.J.), returning Flo Nationals placers Jacob Cooper (Springport, Mich.) and Drew Kasper (Lexington, Ohio), two-time state placers Dylan Reynolds (Saegertown, Pa.) and Jacob Worthington (Milan Edison, Ohio), along with state third place finishers Gabriel Rangel (Davenport Assumption, Iowa) and Steve Allen (Broken Arrow, Okla.)
Predicted finals match: Ritter over Phipps.
A pair of nationally ranked juniors and FILA Cadet world team participants is among the lead figures in this weight class. No. 5 Jordan Wood was a world silver medalist in freestyle, while No. 33 Ethan Andersen (Southeast Polk, Iowa) as the world team participant in Greco-Roman. The other pair of lead figures placed at the NHSCA Junior Nationals in this weight class during the spring: Austin Myers (Campbell County, Ky.) was runner-up, and is ranked No. 20 in the senior class, while Patrick Grayson (Colonial Forge, Va.) placed third.
Others to watch include returning Super 32 placer Vincent Feola (Walt Whitman, N.Y.), Flo Nationals runner-up and Junior freestyle All-American Yousef Hemida (Mamaroneck, N.Y.), National Prep placer Michael Smith (McDonogh, Md.), two-time state qualifier Christian Colucci (St. Peter's Prep, N.J.), Flo Nationals placer Reynold Maines (West Branch, Pa.), state champions John Kramer (Wilson Central, Tenn.) and Jacob Plaster (Northside, Va.), along with Cadet freestyle runner-up Luke Ready (Brighton, Mich.)
Predicted finals match: Given the general nature of this weight class during preseason tournaments, there resides an extreme amount of depth in this weight class. That said, it's a pretty clear two-man final between Wood and Myers, with Wood the pick to repeat as champion in what would be one of the more intriguing finals matchups.
Two returning Super 32 placers are among those featured in this field, two-time state placer Andrew Dunn (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.) and two-time New England finalist Ian Butterbrodt (St. John's Prep, Mass.). Additional wrestlers to watch in this weight include Junior National double All-American Michael Rogers (Wyoming Seminary, Pa.); a trio were NHSCA Junior Nationals All-Americans in Adam Olsen (High Point Central, N.C.), Zack Mauldin (Lexington, N.C.), and Bucky Dennis (Port Charlotte, Fla.); state placer Alan Beattie (Burrell, Pa.); as well as state runner-up Dane Drimmer (Chaparral, Colo.)
Predicted finals match: Rogers moves up a pair of weight classes from the 2013-14 season to win the title over Dunn, who placed fourth last year here in this weight class.