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|(Updated) NOTES FROM PRESS ROW IN FARGO, Saturday, July 21|
By Various journalists
Each day, wrestling journalists on press row at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals and Accelerade Cadet Nationals will be filing interesting notes from the day's competition. Saturday, July 21 is the first day of Cadet Greco-Roman action here.
Moss ousted in deep 112 class
By Jason Bryant, InterMat
The largest weight class in the Cadet Greco-Roman competition has also been one of the toughest. How tough? Utah's Kade Moss, last year's Greco-Roman runner-up at 91 pounds, won't be returning to podium after he was dealt two losses and was eliminated in the fifth round. Moss, a Utah state champion, fell to two-time Minnesota state champion Destin McCauley in the first round of the tournament, then was put out by New York's Casey Lanave.
That's right, two of the nation's top underclassmen met right off the bat - something Fargo has been known for.
It should be noted that McCauley made headlines in Minnesota the last two years by winning state high school titles before he's entered the ninth grade. McCauley's still unbeaten in the B Pool but has some stellar competition he's yet to face. New Jersey's Frank Cagnina is undefeated and has a win over Lanave. Returning All-American Damonte Riley of Illinois is also still in the tournament in the B Pool, but he too has been dealt a loss - to Florida's Pete Baldwin.
Returning All-American Kyle Dake of New York is still alive in the A Pool, but the depth and toughness of the tournament shine through, as Dake lost in two periods to Illinois Kent Williams, who was beaten by Dylan Ness of Minnesota. The 112 weight continues to be stacked at the Cadet level.
PA's First Two Sessions, 34 Cadets with 34 Falls
by Tabitha Wilson, Pennsylvania USA Wrestling
If they say there's strength in numbers, apparently Team Pennsylvania didn't get the memo.
Bringing just 34 athletes into the Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals in Fargo, the Keystone contingent finished the first day with 34 falls, good enough to average one fall per participant.
As the day ended on Saturday, Pennsylvania had clinched at least 12 medals with Sunday's round-robins set to determine which wrestlers will go for which medals.
In previous years, Team PA would bring as many as 50 wrestlers to compete in Greco, but with one weigh-in due to the shortened competition schedule, and fewer regional qualifiers only 34 made the trip.
The group is currently first in total classification points, second in total match points scored - only behind Illinois, which brought 49 wrestlers, most of any state in this year's Cadet Greco competition.
Josh Kindig, Dylan Alton and Evan Craig were all dominant, each registering four falls. Marshall Peppelman had three on the day, including one in a scant eight seconds. Of the 873 wrestlers in the tournament when it started, PA has four wrestlers in the Top 16 for total falls.
Peppelman is tied for the tournament lead with 33 classification points.
The grueling day saw some wrestlers compete in as many as eight matches, but one such match was especially satisfying for 160-pounder Michael Evans.
Evans avenged a loss to Illinois' Brandon Ward at the Cadet Duals last month, picking up a 3-1, 3-0 victory.
Pennsylvania state chairman Van Plocus considers this year's team "leaner and meaner."
Team Okinawa now called Armed Forces team
by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
The last two years at the Cadet and Junior Nationals, there was a team entered from Okinawa, Japan, featuring athletes from families who were stationed their with the U.S. Marines Corps. 2006 U.S. World Team member Jake Clark coached the teams. The first year there was one athlete, then the team expanded to about seven. Okinawa got its first Cadet All-American in 2006 when Max Huntley placed seventh in freestyle at 171 pounds.
The team is back again this year, called the Armed Forces Team. Clark has returned as its coach, and Huntley is again entered in the Cadet division. This time, the team has nine athletes, and is no longer just representing a Marine base in Japan. It now includes all of the U.S. citizens serving in the Armed Forces around the world.
There are seven Juniors and two Cadets. The athletes represent families affiliated with the U.S. Marines, U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense Schools. They come from Okinawa, Guam, Mainland Japan and Virginia.
"I sent out invitations to overseas military bases. They have a Far East and a European championships for wrestling, and I made that the qualifier, inviting the top two placewinners," said Clark.
The team spends a month together, going to a freestyle training camp at Clark's high school in Minnesota in South St. Paul, then joining the Minnesota USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior Teams in their training camp. Clark is able to spend the time with the team on assignment from the U.S. Marine Corps, because of its impact on recruiting as well as providing a meaningful opportunity to military families.
"Throughout their careers, they bounce around so many times," said Clark of this team of military kids. "They are all over the country and world. I approached USA Wrestling about this. I thought it would be good if they had one program, one coach, and one team to stick with for their wrestling. It is working out well, and the word is spreading.
Clark, wearing a U.S. Marines Corps uniform top, designed the new logo for the team for their equipment. It was an impressive-looking military shield. Last year, Clark's Okinawa athletes had a very colorful outfit, which Clark also designed.
"It is clean, something classy," said Clark of the new uniforms. "The kids like it, and even the parents would wear it."
Coaches Education a part of the week in Fargo
By Randy Hinderliter, USA Wrestling Kansas
My first note to add to the event that is Fargo will be about something very dear and near to my heart! Coaches Education and the NCEP is clearly part of my very existence.
One of my duties this week will be to facilitate the Bronze level clinic that is part of the event. At 7:00 am today, myself and eight certification candidates got together to talk about wrestling and coaching. We will follow that up with a session at 2 p.m. today and have our final session at 7: 00 a.m. tomorrow.
One might suggest that the last tournament on the calendar for a lot of competitors is a bit late to be gaining your Bronze certification. However, I feel, it is a perfect time! Attending a clinic, while participating in Fargo, opens a lot of windows to discuss the many facets of wrestling and coaching.
Also, I really look forwarded to meeting, USAW's new NCEP manager, Jamill Kelly. Jamill will be a great addition to the family that is USA Wrestling.
Finally, I cherish the opportunities that USA Wrestling has forwarded to me. Like the old ad said, "there's no place on Earth, I'd rather be" than Fargo.