A robust field of 50 schools from seven states will assemble outside of Philadelphia for the 12th annual Escape the Rock Tournament this Saturday at Sunday at Council Rock South (Pa.) High School. Ten weight class feature at least one nationally ranked wrestler, with twenty nationally ranked wrestlers in total among the competitors.
Michael Beard (Malvern Prep) is the top ranked wrestler in the country at 182 pounds, while another trio hold position as the second-best wrestler in the country at their respective weight classes: Kurt McHenry (St. Paul's, Md.) at 106 pounds, Patrick Glory (Delbarton, N.J.) at 120, and John Borst (Sherando, Va.) at 195.
Three nationally ranked teams are in the field, led by No. 8 Malvern Prep, joined by No. 45 St. Paul's (Md.) and No. 47 Delbarton (N.J.). Other notable schools include the hosts (Council Rock South), Bishop McCort, Easton, Northampton, and Hanover Park (N.J.)
Below is a weight-by-weight preview for the event.
106 pounds: Leading the way is UWW Cadet World champion Kurt McHenry (St. Paul's, Md.), who is ranked No.2 nationally in this weight class having already won a title at the Beast of the East this season. His primary challenge will come from freshman Anthony Clark (Delbarton, N.J.), who is ranked No. 10 nationally. Also in the weight class is Sammy Alvarez (St. Joseph Montvale, N.J.), a UWW Cadet freestyle All-American, who was one match away from placement at the Super 32 Challenge.
113: Despite the absence of a nationally ranked wrestler, three rather notable wrestlers lead the way in this weight class. Two-time state placer Jaret Lane (Southern Columbia) is also a two-time Junior National Greco-Roman champion, state qualifier Jacob Dunlop (Belle Vernon Area) placed at the Walsh Ironman and finished as runner-up at the Powerade, while Shane Hanson-Ashworth (Malvern Prep) was runner-up at National Preps last year. Additional contenders include state qualifiers Kyle Kaiser (Paramus, N.J.) and Jacob Downing (North Allegheny), along with state placers Chase Shields (Bishop McDevitt) and A.J. Burkhart (Athens).
120: Three nationally ranked wrestlers anchor a rather deep field at this weight class. Heading the list is Super 32 Challenge champion Patrick Glory (Delbarton, N.J.), who is ranked No. 2 nationally; Junior National freestyle All-American and two-time state champion Tommy Hoskins (Legacy Christian Academy, Ohio) is ranked No. 7, while two-time state placer Matthew Parker (Pennridge) is ranked No. 12. Others in the weight class include 2015 state placer Aiden Burke (Council Rock North), state placer Michael Kelly (St. Peter's Prep, N.J.), Super 32 Challenge placers Killian Cardinale (Brentsville, Va.) and Logan Macri (Canon-McMillan), along with 2015 National Prep placer Mark Salvatore (Malvern Prep).
126: The two nationally ranked wrestlers in this weight class met in the Beast of the East final last month, with No. 10 Julian Chlebove (Northampton) scoring the mild upset over No. 6 Nick Raimo (Hanover Park, N.J.). Others to watch include state champions Sam Book (Robinson, Va.) and Levi Englman (Colonial Forge, Va.), three-time National Prep placer Daniel Planta (St. Paul's, Md.), state qualifier A.J. Warner (Legacy Christian Academy, Ohio), and impact freshman Jonathan Miers (Easton).
132: Anchoring this weight class is No. 3 Brian Courtney (Athens), last year a state champion and Flo Nationals champion, along with placing third at the Super 32 Challenge this fall. Additional notables include two-time state placers K.J. Fenstermacher (Northampton) and Jakob Campbell (Boyertown), state champions Marc Garofalo (Colonial Forge, Va.) and Caden Darber (New Kent, Va.), state placers Lou Raimo (Hanover Park, N.J.) and Ray Wetzel (Queen of Peace, N.J.), two-time state qualifier Luke Landefeld (North Allegheny), along with 2015 state qualifier Micah Visuwan (Malvern Prep).
138: Bereft a nationally ranked wrestler, this weight class is led by a pair of notable seniors in Zack Trampe (Council Rock South) and Dan Moran (Northampton), both of whom have finished as state runners-up earlier in their career; Trampe has placed twice at state and was a Super 32 Challenge placer this fall, while Moran is a three-time state placer and was a Junior National freestyle All-American this past summer. Others to watch include state qualifiers Carnell Andrews (Bishop McCort) and Aaron Rump (Chambersburg), National Prep placer P.J. Crane (Malvern Prep), as well as 2015 state champion Josh Baier (Cave Spring, Va.)
145: Even without a nationally ranked wrestlers, there is a bunch of quality in this field, which is led by a trio of multi-time state placing seniors. John Pipa (Bishop McDevitt) has a pair of runner-up finishes sandwiched around a state fourth, two-time state placer Jake Hinkson (North Allegheny) is also a two-time Flo Nationals placer, while Todd Lane (Southern Columbia) placed second at state as a freshman and fourth last season. Another trio of state/National Prep placers reside in this weight class, Ethan Krause (Georgetown Prep, Md.), Nick Santos (St. Peter's Prep, N.J.), and Garrett Beam (Queen of Peace, N.J.). Also meriting attention in this weight class is state qualifier Devon Britton (Northampton), who will be competing in his first tournament of his sophomore season.
152: The last of the weight classes without a nationally ranked wrestler is led by 2014 state placer Riley Palmer (Council Rock South). Other contenders include star freshman Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon-McMillan) and two-time state runner-up Ethan Dendy (McCallie, Tenn.)
160: Super 32 Challenge champion Kyle Cochran (Paramus, N.J.), ranked fifth nationally, was a state champion and NHSCA Junior Nationals champion last season. Others to watch include two-time state placers Zach Hartman (Belle Vernon Area) and Jared Lough (Colonial Forge, Va.), along with state placers Josh Stillings (Pennridge) and Seth Baney (Huntingdon).
170: Three nationally ranked wrestlers are featured in this weight class, led by Cadet National double champion Ryan Karoly (Malvern Prep), who is ranked No. 5 nationally. Also ranked are No. 10 Jacob Oliver (Huntingdon) and No. 16 Shane Sosinsky (Northern Highlands, N.J.); Oliver is a three-time state placer, including his state title from last year, while Sosinsky finished second at state last year. Additional contenders include National Prep runner-up Dale Tiongson (St. Paul's, Md.) as well as 2015 state champions Michael Battista (Broad Run, Va.) and Kade Sanders (New Kent, Va.).
182: Leading the field is Michael Beard (Malvern Prep), the tournament's lone wrestler ranked first in the country at his weight class; a returning National Prep champion, he has won titles at the Walsh Ironman and Beast of the East this season. No. 16 Drew Peck (Chambersburg), a state placer and two-time Super 32 Challenge placer, also features in this weight class. Other contenders include Junior National double All-American Miles Lee (South Philadelphia), National Prep placer Carter Davis (St. Christopher's, Va.), and state placer Louis Castellano (Delbarton, N.J.)
195: The tournament's deepest elite weight features a quartet of nationally ranked wrestlers, led by Super 32 Challenge champion John Borst (Sherando), who is ranked No. 2 nationally. No. 4 Jake Woodley (North Allegheny) was champion at the Powerade and a Junior National freestyle All-American, No. 12 Noah Bushman (Cave Spring, Va.) is a two-time state champion), while No. 19 Cole Nye (Bishop McDevitt) won state last year and was runner-up at the Super 32 Challenge. An additional contender is two-time state placer Anthony Walters (Bishop McCort).
220: Heading the field is No. 13 Josiah Jones (Bishop McCort), state runner-up last season, and off an excellent championship performance at the Powerade. Other contenders include Super 32 Challenge placer Joey Doyle (Council Rock South), state champion Jonathan Birchmeier (Broad Run, Va.), 2015 National Prep placer John Urban (St. Paul's, Md.), and Billy Korber (Belle Vernon Area).
285: National Prep champion Seth Janney (Malvern Prep), who is ranked No. 9 nationally after winning the Beast of the East last month, leads the way in this weight class. Others to watch include Super 32 Challenge champion Brendon Furman (Canon-McMillan) and state placer River Henry (McCallie, Tenn.)