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Seventy-two state wrestlers set to compete in Fargo at nationals

USA Wrestling’s Junior and 16U national championships begin this weekend in Fargo, North Dakota.

Competitors from across the country will be in Fargo, North Dakota beginning on Saturday for the 52nd annual USA Wrestling Junior and 16U national championship meet at the FargoDome.

The meet will be held July 15-23 with competition in freestyle and Greco-Roman for boys and freestyle for girls. Junior Division competitors must be in grades 9-12 and can’t be over the age of 18. The 16U division features athletes who turned 15 or 16 years old in 2023.

USA Wrestling officials are expecting more than 7,000 wrestlers for the first time, which will be a new record. Officials expect to use 30 mats for this year’s competition.

The Connecticut team released their roster recently. Seventy-two athletes are on the Connecticut, including three girls who are nationally ranked – Southbury’s Sarah Henckel (fifth at 152), Nowalk’s Kayla Batres (7th at 106) and Norwalk’s Calli Gilchrist (8th at 112).

Eight national champions have come from Connecticut with Henckel being the latest wrestler to win a national title. She won at 138 pounds in 16U freestyle in 2022.

Last year, four state wrestlers earned All-American honors in Fargo. Along with Henckel, her older brother, William, was fourth at 152 pounds in 16U freestyle, Amity’s Camryn Brown was eighth at 132 in Junior Women and Gilchrist was sixth at 112 pounds in 16U freestyle.

Instead of starting each of the six national tournaments on different days and holding a one-mat finals on six consecutive days, this year the tournament is broken up by discipline.

Both the Junior and 16U Nationals finals in each discipline will be held side-by-side on two raised mats. It starts with women’s freestyle (July 15-16), followed by men’s freestyle (July 17-19) and Greco-Roman (July 21-22). There is a off-day on Thursday, July 20.

This tournament started with the Junior Nationals in men’s freestyle, held in Iowa City, Iowa in 1971, which added Greco-Roman competition in 1972, and later was merged with the 16U Nationals (formerly the Cadet Nationals) in 1996. The Junior Nationals enters its 52nd year, held annually except in 2020 when it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live Broadcast on FloWrestling

Complete Fargo Event Schedule

Schedule For 2023 Championship Finals In Fargo

Sunday, July 16 – Junior and 16U Women’s Freestyle Finals (side-by-side) at 7 p.m. EST
Wednesday, July 19 – Junior and 16U Men’s Freestyle Finals (side-by-side) at 6:30 p.m., EST
Saturday, July 22 -Junior and 16U Greco-Roman Finals (side-by-side) at 7 p.m., EST

Team Connecticut 2023

Junior Boys freestyle
100 – Zach Brzoska
113 – Raekwon Shabazz
132 – Phoenix Gardella, Trey Kaupp, JT Schneider, Ben Zuckerman
138 – Andrew De La Rosa, Chris Mazza, Dylan Sherman
145 – Ronnie Christolin, Nicholas Fatone, Joshua Howard, Caiden Talento
152 – Austin Rasmussen, Tyler Shea, Caeleb Wilderman, Donell Young
160 – Yash Gawande
170 – Willis Rondon
182 – Zahir McLean-Felix, Nathan Taylor
195 – Dominic Iaquinto, Aethan Munden
220 – Nehemias Pettway

Junior Greco-Roman
100 – Zach Brzoska
113 – Raekwon Shabazz
132 – Phoenix Gardella , JT Schneider
138 – Andrew De La Rosa, Chris Mazza
145 – Nicholas Fatone, Caiden Talento
152 – Donell Young
170 – Willis Rondon
195 – Aethan Munden
220 – Nehemias Pettway

Junior Girls freestyle
100 – Samantha Yap
117 – Calli Gilchrist
122 – Lindsey Rywolt
127 – Esther Ribeiro
132 – Camryn Brown
138 – Kelly Aspras
144 – Brianna Seixas

16U Boys freestyle
94 – Jude Grammatico, Chase Kastner
106 – Michael Ortiz
113 – Jack Francis
120 – Joseph Bernardi , Eli Kelly, Harry Kittredge
126 – Colby Houle, Brady Kaupp, Micah Kelly
132 – Antonios Aspras, Ibrahim Kadri, Dylan O’Brian, Dominick Spadaro
138 – William Motley
145 – Nathaniel Wolyniec
152 – Logan Cofsky
160 – Jeffrey Hutzelmann
170 – Ryan Schneider
182 – Cole Grenier
220 – Nicholas Ebrahimi, Jagger Rees, Brayden Sohn

16U Greco-Roman
94 – Chase Kastner, Jude Grammatico
106 – Michael Ortiz
113 – Jack Francis
120 – Joseph Bernardi , Eli Kelly,
126 – Micah Kelly, Colby Houle
132 – Dylan O’Brian, Ibrahim Kadri, Dominick Spadaro
138 – William Motley
160 – Jeffrey Hutzelmann
182 – Cole Grenier
220 – Nicholas Ebrahimi

16U Girls freestyle
100 – Abby Pallotto
106 – Kayla Batres
112 – Sybella Landrie
122 – Shyan Rolle
127 – Maddie Cooper, Rylee Donohue, Emma Rial
144 – Sarah Henckel

Nationally ranked girls: Sarah Henckel (No. 5 at 152), Kayla Batres (No. 7 at 106), Calli Gilchrist (No. 8 at 112)

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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