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Five wrestlers still on pace for Triple Crowns after winning Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman titles

Colorado’s Mark Hall (right) hits the winning move in the Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman finals on Monday. John Sachs photo.

FARGO, N.D. – Five wrestlers kept their USA Wrestling Triple Crown hopes alive by earning Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman championships on Monday afternoon at the Fargo Dome.

Oklahoma’s Daton Fix (106 pounds), Illinois’ Larry Early (138), Texas’ Nick Reenan (152), Colorado’s Mark Hall (160) and Iowa’s Jacob Marnin (285) are now two-thirds of the way to Triple Crowns after collecting Greco titles Monday.

Those wrestlers earned Cadet Folkstyle Nationals titles in April in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The third leg of the Triple Crown, the Cadet Nationals in freestyle, will be held later in the week in Fargo.

Early recovered from an early deficit to defeat Florida’s Patricio Lugo 6-2 in the finals. Early placed eighth in this event last year.

“Our team trained really hard in our camp and worked hard to get ready for this tournament,” Early said. “Our whole team is really close – we are like a family.”

Fix trailed 3-0 before hitting a textbook headlock to record a second-period fall over Dylan Duncan of Illinois in the finals.

Reenan hit a succession of second-period gut wrenches to rally past New York’s Jesse Porter 9-6 in the finals. Reenan was third in this tournament last year.

The explosive Hall, one of the country’s top young prospects, built a big lead before recording a second-period fall over Arizona’s Vicente Guerrero. Hall has been training this spring and summer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.

Marnin started strong in blanking Antonio James of Illinois 7-0 in the finals. Marnin was fourth in this event last year.

Illinois won the team title with Minnesota finishing second and Wisconsin third.

2012 Cadet Triple Crown winner Lance Benick of Minnesota rolled to a 7-0 technical fall over Pennsylvania’s Jordan Wood in the 220 finals. Benick won a Junior Folkstyle Nationals title this year.

Minnesota’s Mitchell McKee repeated as Cadet Nationals Greco champion by earning a quick 8-0 technical fall over Georgia’s Adam Flatt in the 113 finals.

“I like the new rules for Greco,” McKee said. “There is a lot more scoring out there plus you can come right out and finish a match quicker.”

Oregon’s Samuel Colbray repeated as Cadet Greco champion after earning a first-period fall over Indiana’s Randy Scott in the 195 finals.

New Jersey’s Mason Manville held off Joey Gunther of Illinois 2-1 in a battle of returning champions at 145. Manville repeated as Cadet Greco champion. Gunther was also second in this event in 2012.

Manville was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.

Illinois’ Gabriel Townsell delivered with a spectacular five-point throw on his way to defeating Tennessee’s Chris Debien 7-0 in the 120 finals. Townsell followed up his throw with a turn to end the match by technical fall.

Illinois’ Austin Gomez recorded a first-period fall over California’s Randon Miranda in a wild match in the 94 finals. The bout was deadlocked 6-6 before Gomez hit the match-ending throw that led to the pin.

Illinois’ Louie Hayes of Illinois wasted virtually no time in storming to a quick 7-0 technical fall over Minnesota’s Alexander Crowe in the first finals match at 88. Hayes executed a slick arm throw and followed with a pair of turns to finish the match in under a minute. Hayes was fifth in this event last year.

California’s Zahid Valencia lost his first match of the tournament by fall before coming all the way back to win the title at 126. He capped his impressive run by topping Pennsylvania’s Hayden Hildlay 12-4 in the finals. Valencia won the 2012 Cadet Nationals in freestyle.

“We just train hard every day,” Valencia said. “We don’t miss a practice and we have great workout partners. We make sure we do everything the right way.”

Virginia’s Joey Prata came out strong en route to downing Arizona’s Danny Vega 7-0 in the 100 finals. Prata was fourth in this event last year.

Wisconsin’s Josh Bird used a strong second period to take control in topping Minnesota’s Logan Kass 15-7 in the 132 finals.

Wisconsin’s Beau Breske looked strong in rolling past Minnesota’s Keegan Moore 8-0 in the 170 finals. Breske was a 2011 Schoolboy Triple Crown winner. Moore won a Cadet Folkstyle Nationals title this year.

Maryland’s Hunter Ritter came from behind to down Georgia’s Roberto Rivera in the 182 finals. The match finished 4-4, but Ritter prevailed with the highest-scoring move on a three-point arm throw. Ritter avenged a loss to Rivera from the Cadet National Duals.

Cadet wrestlers are 15 and 16 years old.

Day 4 of the eight-day event is scheduled for Tuesday in Fargo. Competition resumes at 9 a.m. The Junior Greco-Roman finals are set for 2:15 p.m. with the Junior women’s freestyle finals scheduled for 5:45.

Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman
Monday, July 15, Fargo Dome, Fargo, N.D.

Finals results

88 Pounds
Louie Hayes (Illinois) dec. Alexander Crowe (Minnesota), 7-0

94 Pounds
Austin Gomez (Illinois) pinned Randon Miranda (California), 2:24

100 Pounds
Joey Prata (Virginia) dec. Danny Vega (Arizona), 7-0

106 Pounds
Daton Fix (Oklahoma) pinned Dylan Duncan (Illinois), 4:31

113 Pounds
Mitchell McKee (Minnesota) dec. Adam Flatt (Georgia), 8-0

120 Pounds
Gabriel Townsell (Illinois) dec. Chris Debien (Tennessee), 7-0

126 Pounds
Zahid Valencia (California) dec. Hayden Hidlay (Pennsylvania), 12-4

132 Pounds
Josh Bird (Wisconsin) dec. Logan Kass (Minnesota), 15-7

138 Pounds
Larry Early (Illinois) dec. Patricio Lugo (Florida), 6-2

145 Pounds
Mason Manville (New Jersey) dec. Joey Gunther (Illinois), 2-1

152 Pounds
Nick Reenan (Texas) dec. Jesse Porter (New York), 9-6

160 Pounds
Mark Hall (Colorado) pinned Vicente Guerrero (Arizona), 3:32

170 Pounds
Beau Breske (Wisconsin) dec. Keegan Moore (Minnesota), 8-0

182 Pounds
Hunter Ritter (Maryland) dec. Roberto Rivera (Georgia), 4-4 criteria

195 Pounds
Samuel Colbray (Oregon) pinned Randy Scott (Indiana), 1:30

220 Pounds
Lance Benick (Minnesota) dec. Jordan Wood (Pennsylvania), 7-0

285 Pounds
Jacob Marnin (Iowa) dec. Antonio James (Illinois), 7-0
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