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Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman event kicks off; Benick, Olivas, Hall among unbeaten wrestlers

California’s Cade Olivas went undefeated on the first day of the Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman competition on Sunday. John Sachs photo.

FARGO, N.D. – There was a common theme during the opening day of the Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman competition on Sunday at the Fargo Dome.

More points and more action.

There also was a recurring theme – high-quality wrestling.

The new international rules, with cumulative scoring over two three-minute periods, are bringing out the best in some of the nation’s best as 810 wrestlers competed on 23 mats.

A number of top young U.S. stars and future Olympic hopefuls put their talents on display during two sessions on Sunday.

One of those stars was 2012 USA Wrestling Triple Crown winner Lance Benick of Minnesota. Benick went 5-0 at 220 pounds on Sunday to keep his hopes alive for a second straight Cadet title. He recorded three falls and two technical falls on the day.

Benick is not eligible to win a Triple Crown this year since he won a 2013 Junior Folkstyle Nationals title.

Seven wrestlers are still alive for Cadet Triple Crowns after going unbeaten on Sunday.

They include California’s Cade Olivas (88 pounds), California’s Armand Molina (126), Illinois’ Larry Early (138), Texas’ Nick Reenan (152), Colorado’s Mark Hall (160), Minnesota’s Keegan Moore (170) and Iowa’s Jacob Marnin (285).

Those wrestlers each won titles at April’s Cadet Folkstyle Nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Cadet Nationals freestyle event will be held later in the week.

Returning Cadet Greco champions who went undefeated on the first day were Minnesota’s Mitchell McKee (113), New Jersey’s Mason Manville (145) and Oregon’s Samuel Colbray (195).

2013 FILA Cadet champion Tanner Cox of Utah (106) also made it through the first day with a zero in the loss column.

Georgia’s Lucas Patterson knocked off returning champion Vincent Turk of Illinois 13-9 in the third round at 126.

Cadet wrestlers are 15 and 16 years old.

The 810 wrestlers entered in the Cadet Greco tournament are an increase of 32 from last year. There are 45 states represented in the field.

Day 3 of the eight-day event is scheduled for Monday in Fargo. Competition resumes in Greco-Roman at 9 a.m. with Cadets continuing and Juniors beginning. The Cadet finals are set for 2 p.m. in Fargo.
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