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This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....
Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....
The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....
Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....
|NOTES FROM PRESS ROW IN FARGO, Monday, July 23|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Fargo Special Section
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. Monday, July 22 saw the gold-medal rounds for both Junior Greco-Roman and Junior Women's wrestling
Long Island has the name, but Upstate (N.Y.) has the game
By Rob Sherrill, W.I.N. Magazine
I thought I would be eating my words about New York wrestling after watching The Evil Empire struggle to attain just five Cadet National All-Americans - and a paltry 15th-place finish - in its favorite style, Greco-Roman.
In the Junior Greco, however, New Yorkers made me a genius once again. No other state - not even my home-state Illinois bunch - matched New York's 12 All-Americans. That's more like it.
Usually, when you think New York wrestling, you think Long Island, whose Suffolk County-based Section 11 dominated the state for years. There's plenty of wrestling tradition on The Island - and they're not afraid to remind you.
In recent years, however, while Long Island has talked the talk, Upstate New York has walked the walk.
Want proof? Just take a look at the 12 Junior All-Americans.
Only one - two-time All-American Shane Strumwasser, sixth at 135 - hails from Long Island. And not from Section 11 at that; Strumwasser's school, Massapequa High, is in Nassau County, which is Section 8 territory. Four, including former champion Michael Chaires of Albany Christian Brothers Academy, the Virginia recruit, and 171-pound finalist Nate Graham of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High, are from Albany-area Section 2. Southern Tier-area Section 4 and Rochester's Section 5 feature three All-Americans each and Buffalo's Section 6 claimed the other one.
Section 5 also produced the highest Cadet finisher, 135-pound runnerup Mike Nevinger. It would be safe to say that Nevinger is one of the state's most anonymous wrestlers and that his high school, Gainesville Letchworth High, is one of the state's most anonymous programs. Though section rival Warsaw High won the state team title, Letchworth, with Nevinger and fellow state placewinner Weston Weaver (135) leading the way, handled Warsaw with ease in two of their three regular-season meetings, one of them a dual-meet victory.
Read my post-tournament column in W.I.N. for more.
Women make an impact in Fargo
By Randy Hinderliter, USA Wrestling Kansas
Today at the 2007 Cadet and Junior Nationals in Fargo, many of those competing were women. It is a couple of those young ladies that I wish to mention today.
First is Beth Johnson from Garden City, Kansas. Beth who was a recipient of TheMat.com/Asics High School All-American First Team award, placed 3rd in the 124# class in this tourney.
If you look up the words, "class act" in the dictionary you might very well see a picture of Beth. After she won her bout for 3rd, she shook hands with everyone in sight. You might suggest, that it's easy to be humble when you win. However, when she lost her one match to eventual champ, Randi Beltz of Missouri, she was just as humble. Though she was clearly disappointed she was still respectful.
Second is Paige Rife from Michigan. Paige, a High School All-American was your National Champion in the 153-pound division. I hadn't known Paige until this past Saturday morning at 7am. At that early hour, Paige showed up for a Bronze coaches certification clinic. As the class was getting to know each other, we found out that this young lady was competing in this years women's division.
While I was suspecting she would like to find something else to do with 7 hours besides sit in a clinic, like Beth, she displayed a lot of class. She was on time for every session, contributed in the clinic, and was very well grounded for her age. By the way, she's a very good wrestler!!
Finally, I'll mention Trish Rife. Trish is Paige's mom. I say this with all the respect in the world … Trish is a wrestling mom! Trish was also in the clinic and a team leader on the Michigan Women's team. It was easy to see where Paige gets a lot of the respect she has for the sport from … meeting her Mom was my pleasure.
As three long days come to a close, I'll awake tomorrow eager for three more of the same. After all, I'm in Fargo during the last part
A family affair for the Dominguez clan
By Matt Russell, NDSU Sports Information
FARGO, N.D. - Iowa's Esai Dominguez had plenty of support in both the sidelines and the stands during his runner-up performance at the Junior Greco-Roman National Championships.
Esai is coached by his brother Zac, who was named 2007 Junior Greco-Roman Coach of the Year.
"Being able to watch and coach Esai has been absolutely fantastic," said Zac. It's been great watching him develop."
Zac will have more time to watch his younger brother develop as Esai will wrestle for Nebraska-Omaha next year, the school where Zac is an assistant coach.
When teased about how much recruiting was done through family get-togethers, the brothers were not joking about the decision the younger Dominguez made.
"I really didn't recruit him at all," said Zac of his brother. "I wanted Esai to take recruiting trips to other schools and leave it up to him. I was always there to answer any questions he had but it was ultimately his decision."
"He [Zac] really didn't have to a recruit to me because I really liked the engineering program at UNO," said Esai, who intends on majoring in
Moving up from Cadet to Junior is difficult task
by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling
Moving up to a higher level in wrestling is always a challenge. The skill level and experience go up, and the competition is more intense.
One of the most interesting aspect of the Junior Nationals is seeing how the Cadet National champions from the year before are able to compete when they step up against the older wrestlers. It takes a true talent for a Cadet National champion to become a Junior National champion on his first year in that age group.
The 2007 ASICS/Vaughan Junior Greco-Roman Nationals became a coming-out party for three talented Cadet champions from last year.
Max Nowry of Illinois, a Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman champ last year, opened the Junior finals with a solid 3-0, 3-0 victory over Cody Pack of California.
Next up at 105 pounds, Ohio's super-talented David Taylor, a Cadet double champion last year, made the transition with style by winning the gold medal over B.J. Futrell of Illinois, 2-1, 2-3, 7-1.
Taylor, a two-time state champion at St. Paris Graham High School as a sophomore, has been stepping up all year. Taylor was able to also win the FILA Junior Nationals and World Team Trials this year, to earn a trip to the Junior Worlds in Beijing, China.
The next big chance for 2006 Cadet Nationals stars to show their stuff came in the upper weights, when Oregon stars Ryland Geiger (189) and Tyrell Fortune (215) qualified for the Junior Greco-Roman finals. Both are members of the Peninsula Wrestling Club, under the legendary Roy Pittman.
Geiger had a tough finals battle with Zac Nielsen of Minnesota, a graduated senior. After losing the first period, Geiger came back to tie the bout in the second. In the third period, trailing in the match, Geiger hit a sweet three-point throw with just six seconds on the clock to win the period and the match.
In the next match, Fortune came out against a talented Marcel Dubose of Michigan, and got behind 5-1 in the first period. He battled back to score some points, but lost it 5-4. In the second period, Dubose threw Fortune for three, followed by an immediate three point throw by Fortune. But Dubose stopped Fortune on the bottom for the final point, giving Fortune a 5-4 loss. Even super-talents like Fortune have trouble making the step all the way to the top at the next level.
"When you're a Cadet, you can make a lot of little mistakes and come back because everybody's young. In this one, if you make one little mistake, you lose a round, maybe even a match," said Geiger.