The summer’s largest wrestling tournament has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. USA Wrestling announced on Wednesday (May 27) that the Junior Nationals and the 16U national championship tournament at the Fargodome in North Dakota has been cancelled.
The competition was scheduled to be held July 17-24, 2020. The 16-and-under tournament was once known as the Cadet National tournament.
With input from its state leadership as well as its COVID-19 Special Committees, USA Wrestling believes that this is the responsible thing to do in order to maintain the long-term viability of the sport. As has been the case since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the health and safety of USA Wrestling members and the entire wrestling community remains the No. 1 priority for the organization.
Based upon information currently available, it was not feasible or prudent to host a major national championship in July, where participants will come from all different areas in the nation, many of which have vastly different local situations concerning COVID-19.
Connecticut had five All-American wrestlers at last year’s tournament including Plainville’s Dakota Marie Dinelli, who was second in the women’s 16-and-under division at 152 pounds and Stratford’s Nico Provo, who was second in Junior freestyle at 113 pounds. Competition in the boys tournaments are held in freestyle and Greco Roman while the women’s competition is freestyle only.
More than 20 Connecticut wrestlers have earned All-American honors in the last decade by finishing in the top eight of their respective weight classes. In that time, East Lyme’s Ross Spencer (2010) and Plymouth’s Cara Broadus (2016) have won national championships.
This year would have marked the 50th year that the Junior Nationals (high school) portion of the event had been held, with the first Junior Nationals hosted in Iowa City, Iowa in 1971.
USA Wrestling has consistently stated that the expected progression of wrestling activity will likely begin locally, based upon health and government regulations, then move on to state, regional and national activity.