Charlie Pickell is one of three state champions entered at 132 pounds (Photo/Mary Christen, The Guillotine)
The 10th InterMat Classic takes place on Saturday at Edina High School in Edina, Minn. Wrestlers from eight different states are entered in this year's event. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. CT. Trackwrestling.com will be providing a live stream, archived video and results.
Links: InterMat Classic Website | Live Results | Purchase Live & Archived Video
Let's examine a few storylines to watch at this year's InterMat Classic.
Returning InterMat Classic champions
In the nine-year history of the InterMat Classic, only 11 wrestlers have been multiple-time champions. This year, four wrestlers will look to join that exclusive group. Returning InterMat Classic champions entered in this year's event include Christian Noble (Big Lake, Minn.) at 113 pounds, Nolan Craine (Goddard, Kan.) at 170 pounds, as well as Wyatt Lidberg (STMA, Minn.) and Jagger Greenwood (Hibbing, Minn.) at 182 pounds.
Christian Noble will look to win his second straight InterMat Classic title (Photo/Mary Christen, The Guillotine)
Noble won the 100-pound title at the 2018 InterMat Classic, pinning all four of his opponents. He reached the state semifinals at 106 pounds in Minnesota's Class AA last season as a freshman, losing to the eventual state champion in overtime. Noble battled back to finish third and concluded his freshman season with a 44-2 record.
Craine won last year's InterMat Classic title at 160 pounds in dominant fashion, outscoring his opponents 32-1. He was a state runner-up last season and third-place finisher in 2018. Craine made his mark nationally in late March, finishing as a runner-up at the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals.
Lidberg and Greenwood are both entered at 182 pounds. Lidberg, a multiple-time state placewinner and Fargo All-American, won last year's title at 170 pounds. Greenwood, a multiple-time state qualifier, claimed last year's title at 195 pounds.
132-pound weight class loaded with talent
While many of the weight classes are filled with talented wrestlers, the 132-pound weight class might be the strongest, most top-heavy weight class with three state champions, a state finalist and several other notable wrestlers.
Charlie Pickell (Mankato West, Minn.), Cody Minor (Ashwaubenon, Wis.) and Kelby Armstrong (Minot, N.D.) have all won state titles.
Pickell captured state titles at 106 pounds and 113 pounds in 2016 and 2017 respectively. He has been a state runner-up in each of the past two seasons. Earlier this year, Pickell finished as a runner-up at the NHSCA Junior Nationals in Virginia Beach.
Minor claimed a Wisconsin Division 1 state title last season at 113 pounds, becoming his school's first state wrestling champion since 2008. He was a state third-place finisher in 2018. Minor has placed multiple times at the InterMat Classic. Most recently, he placed fifth in a deep 113-pound weight class in 2018. In 2017, Minor placed third at the InterMat Classic at 106 pounds.
Armstrong won a state championship as a sophomore at 106 pounds in 2018. Last season, he was a state runner-up at 113 pounds. Armstrong has placed at the InterMat Classic in each of the past two years (fourth in 2018, fifth in 2017).
Another wrestler who could challenge for the title at 132 pounds is Landen Parent (Princeton, Minn.). Parent was a state finalist in 2018 and state third-place finisher last season. He was a runner-up at last year's InterMat Classic at 113 pounds.
Talented junior high wrestlers
Every year, there are talented junior high wrestlers who perform exceptionally well at the InterMat Classic. In 2011, Mark Hall (Apple Valley, Minn.) became the first junior high wrestler to win an InterMat Classic title when he accomplished the feat as an eighth-grader. He would go on to become a five-time InterMat Classic champion.
Pierson Manville after winning a state championship as a seventh-grader (Photo/Mark Beshey, The Guillotine)
In 2016, two eighth-graders won titles at the InterMat Classic. In 2017, another eighth-grader won a title. Last year, Pierson Manville (Shakopee, Minn.) reached the InterMat Classic finals as a seventh-grader at 106 pounds. Manville, ranked as the nation's No. 2 overall junior high school wrestler by InterMat, is back in the tournament as an eighth-grader and will compete at 126 pounds.
St. Michael-Albertville (Minn.) has a couple very accomplished junior high wrestlers that should contend for high finishes, Landon Robideau at 100 pounds and Jed Wester at 120 pounds. Robideau was a 2018 Tulsa Kickoff champion, 2019 Tulsa Nationals champion and 2019 Minnesota/USA Triple Crown winner. Wester was a state high school tournament qualifier as a seventh-grader and a 14U All-American in both freestyle and Greco-Roman this year.
Beat the Streets Chicago wrestlers
The organization Beat the Streets Chicago is bringing a talented group of wrestlers to the InterMat Classic. The goal of BTS Chicago is "to develop the urban wrestling community into a self-sustaining entity that is based on the core values of wrestling; hard work, dedication, discipline and determination." Several BTS Chicago wrestlers have the potential to make noise at the InterMat Classic.
One BTS Chicago wrestler in particular to keep an eye on is Julian Valtierrez (Chicago Taft, Ill.) at 120 pounds. The senior has only been wrestling since his freshman year but has built a strong wrestling resume in just a few years. He has thrived in the Beat the Streets Chicago program. To learn more about Valtierrez and Beat the Streets, read InterMat's story.