ASICS/VAUGHAN JUNIOR NATIONALS CELEBRATE 30TH ANNIVERSARY, AND ADVOCARE CADET NATIONALS CONTINUE TO IMPROVE, AS 2000 EDITION IS SET FOR FARGO, N.D., JULY 22-28
The Asics/Vaughan Junior Nationals turn 30 years old in 2000. The most prestigious youth wrestling tournament in the nation will celebrate this milestone in at the FargoDome at North Dakota State University in Fargo, N.D., July 22-28, with as many as 1,800 of the nation's best high school age wrestlers battling for national honors.
This event has played an important role in the development of America's greatest wrestlers, and is expected to continue its prominence in the new century. The Junior Nationals feature wrestlers in grades 9-12, with representatives of USA Wrestling's 49 state associations.
The first Junior Nationals were held in 1971 in Iowa City, Iowa, and featured one style of wrestling - freestyle. That initial group of Junior National champions included two future Olympians, Joe Corso of Iowa at 114.5 pounds and Jimmy Carr of Pennsylvania at 123 pounds.
In the following years, dozens of Junior National alumni have gone on to claim World and Olympic titles for the United States. The most decorated wrestler in world history, 13-time World or Olympic medalist Bruce Baumgartner, was a Junior National champion in 1978 for New Jersey. The list of stars who competed in the Junior Nationals is long and impressive.
This year's Junior Nationals should be outstanding. Four 1999 Junior National freestyle champions are eligible to return this season: Leo Bugaj of Oklahoma (98), Nick Simmons of Michigan (105), Chris Rodrigues of Georgia (114.5) and Steven Mocco of New Jersey (275). Rodrigues was the Outstanding Wrestler at last year's Junior Nationals.
Seven Junior National Greco-Roman champions are eligible to return this year to defend their titles: Sterling Oglesby of Wyoming (98), Cam Jones of Utah (105.5), Mark Jayne of Ohio (123), Dusty Spaulding of Kansas (132), Matt Nagel of Minnesota (143), Josh McLay of Minnesota (165) and Justin Millard of Pennsylvania (178).
Six Junior Nationals freestyle runners-up may also return: Eric Anderson of Minnesota (98), Robert Ariaza of Arizona (105), Kyle Ott of Ohio (114.5), Marcus Levesseur of Minnesota (143), Wes Roberts of Oklahoma (165) and Quint Swanberg of Arizona (191).
In addition, five Junior National Greco-Roman runners-up are also back: Justin Pearch of Oregon (98), Robert Ariaza of Arizona (105.5), Dustin Brewer of Missouri (114.5), Bryson Vasquez of Colorado (132) and Alex Lammers of Ohio (191.5).
Since 1996, the Junior Nationals have been held alongside the AdvoCare Cadet National Championships. Combined, it is the world's largest wrestling meet, with up to 3,600 entries during the week. Cadets are wrestlers who are 15-16 years old, who are battling for national titles and All-American honors.
This year's AdvoCare Cadet Nationals should also be spectacular. Four 1999 Cadet National champions are eligible to return this season, including Mario Estrada of California (83.5), Nathan Morgan of California (88), Tim Kephart of Missouri (94.5) and C.P. Schlatter of Ohio (112). Three Cadet National runners-up are also back: Christian Smith of Virginia (83.5), Derek Moore of California (88) and Burke Barnes of Washington (112).
Defending Cadet National Greco-Roman champions eligible to return include Alex Usztics of Pennsylvania (83.5), Greg Brendemuehl of Minnesota (88) and Zach Lamano of Utah (112), plus national runners-up Kevin Milakovic of Indiana (83.5), Derek Moore of California (88), Brandon Tucker of Oklahoma (94.5), C.P. Schlatter of Ohio (112) and Roger Kish of Michigan (167).
A Special Wrestle-off for the 187.25-pound position on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Freestyle Wrestling Team will be held on Thursday, July 27 at the FargoDome. Les Gutches (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) will face Charles Burton (Bloomington, Ind./New York AC) in a best-of-three series, with the winner qualifying to compete at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Session times are 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
The annual USA Wrestling National Convention, which includes meetings, seminars and workshops for a variety of wrestling organizations, will also be hosted during the week of the competition. In addition, the 15th annual Asics Tiger High School All-American Team will be recognized during ceremonies on the night of the finals. The Asics Tiger High School Wrestler of the Year will also be announced at that time.
The Junior National Championships have been held in five sites. The tournament was held in Iowa City, Iowa from 1971-82. It moved to Cedar Falls, Iowa from 1983-90. Other sites were Warrensburg, Mo. in 1991, St. Paul, Minn. in 1992 and Fargo, N.D. from 1993- present.
The Cadet National Championships were first held in Allentown, Mich. in 1986. The event moved to Warrenburg, Mo. in 1987-89. Battle Creek, Mich. hosted the tournament in 1990, and it returned to Warrensburg, Mo. in 1991. The event was then hosted in Columbia, Mo. from 1992-94, and was held in Lincoln, Neb. in 1995, before finding its current home in Fargo, N.D. in 1996.
For updated coverage of the competition, contact TheMat.com
2000 Competition Schedule
Saturday, July 22
Parade of USAW State Associations from 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Cadet Greco-Roman Preliminaries from 4:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 23
Cadet Greco-Roman Preliminaries from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Junior Greco Roman Preliminaries from 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Monday, July 24
Cadet and Junior Greco-Roman Preliminaries from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m
Cadet Greco-Roman Medal Matches (3rd, 5th, 7th) from 2:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Junior Greco-Roman Preliminaries from 4:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m.
Cadet Greco-Roman Finals and Awards from 6:45 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, July 25
Junior Greco-Roman Preliminaries from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Junior Greco-Roman Medal Matches (3rd, 5th, 7th) from 4:00 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.
Junior Greco-Roman Finals and Awards from 6:15 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 26
Parade of USAW State Associations from 2:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Cadet Freestyle Preliminaries from 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, July 27
Cadet Freestyle Preliminaries from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Gutches vs. Burton Olympic Wrestle-off, Bout 1 at 9:00 a.m.
Junior Freestyle Preliminaries from3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Gutches vs. Burton Olympic Wrestle-off, Bout 2 and 3 from 3:00 p.m. - conclusion
Friday, July 28
Cadet and Junior Freestyle Preliminaries from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Cadet Freestyle Medal Matches (3rd, 5th, 7th) from 2:00 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
Junior Freestyle Preliminaries from 4:15 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Cadet Freestyle Finals and Awards from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Saturday, July 29
Junior Freestyle Preliminaries from 9:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
Junior Freestyle Medal Matches (3rd, 5th, 7th) from 2:00 p.m. -3:45 p.m.
Junior Freestyle Finals and Awards from 4:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.