VIRGINA BEACH, Va., March 28, 2019 — The National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA)’s 30th annual national championship wrestling tournaments begin Friday here at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
Connecticut has 139 wrestlers register to compete in the tournament including 31 seniors, 39 juniors, 23 sophomores and 30 freshmen. Five Connecticut girls will compete in the new girls division with 11 wrestlers set to compete in the middle school division.
Past champions include Olympic Gold Medalists Cael Sanderson, Jordan Burroughs, Jake Varner and 2019 NCAA All Americans Sebastian Rivera, Mitch Finesilver, Myles Amine and Kollin Moore.
The Senior Nationals has 806 wrestlers from 46 states, including some wrestlers from Canada and Germany. There are 414 state champions, seventeen wrestlers who are 4 time state champs, 35 three-time state champs and 58 two-time state champions.
Last year, Jarod Kosman (113) of Fitch became the first Connecticut wrestler to win a Senior Division championship.
A record 1,309 juniors from 47 states and Italy have signed up to compete in the Junior Nationals There are 39 Connecticut wrestlers who have register to compete including 351 state champions and 24 three-time state championships.
Top wrestlers in the junior division look to be Danbury’s Ryan Jack, Patrick Noonan (PA), Jaxon Garoutte (CO), Andrew Cerniglia (PA), John Martin Best (WV), Brayden Roberts (WV), and Charlie Darracott (GA). The last Connecticut wrestler to win a national title in the junior division was Newtown’s Anthony Falbo in 2016.
The Sophomore Nationals have also set a new record with 1132 participants from 48 states and Germany. There 144 state champions including 30 two-time state champions. The last state wrestler to win a national title in the Sophomore division was Falbo (160), who won in 2015.
The Freshman Nationals have a tournament-record 858 competitors including participants from 46 states and Germany. Last year, New Canaan’s Justin Mastroianni (132) became the first state wrestler to win the Freshman Nationals.
There are 525 students in grades six, seven and eight, from 33 states and Germany participating in the middle school tournament.