The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Who will be the 106- and 113-pound stars in Fargo this summer?
By Rob Sherrill
As the July 13-20 Cadet and Junior Nationals approach, we’ll use this space to review one or more weight classes and some of the major players. This week, it’s 106 and 113 pounds. Here are a few of the standouts to date, regional by regional, beginning with the lightest weight class.
Bryce Fogelman, Nampa (Idaho)
The sophomore was the double Junior champion at 100 pounds, going 10-0. He won four matches in Greco-Roman and was unscored upon, with two pins and a win by injury default. His 6-0 freestyle record included three pins and a technical fall, allowing just four points.
Fogelman pinned his way to the 98-pound 4A state title this season, compiling a 54-1 record.
Collin Purinton, Burns (Ore.)
The sophomore was the double Junior champion at 106, going 11-0. None of his five Greco-Roman matches went the distance, as he had two pins and three technical falls. He added two pins and two technical falls in six freestyle wins, allowing just five points.
Purinton was the 4A state champion this season at 106.
Joey Prata, Richmond (Va.) St. Christopher’s School
Fourth and fifth in the Cadet Nationals last year at 94 pounds, Prata was the double Cadet champion at 100, winning all nine matches. He allowed just one point in four Greco-Roman wins, and had a pin and a technical fall in building a 5-0 freestyle record, losing just one period.
The freshman posted a 50-11 record this season at 106, finishing second in the independent state tournament and fifth in the National Prep Championships.
Northern Plains Regional
Paul Bianchi, Two Rivers (Wis.)
The freshman was the double Junior champion at 106 pounds, winning two matches in each style.
Bianchi finished fifth in the Division 2 state tournament this season, compiling a 49-4 record.
Matthew Schmitt, Platte City (Mo.) Platte County
Third in the Cadet Nationals in both styles last year at 88 pounds, Schmitt was the double Junior champion at 100, with none of his five matches going the distance. He had a pin and a technical fall in Greco-Roman and a pin and two technical falls in freestyle, allowing just two points.
The freshman was the Class 3 state runner-up this season, posting a 39-9 record.
Dack Punke, Washington (Ill.)
Punke was the double Cadet champion at 106, building a 7-0 record. He was unscored upon in Greco-Roman with a 3-0 record, scoring two technical falls. His four freestyle wins included two more technical falls and a victory over double Cadet National All-American Logan Grass of Huntington (W.Va).
Punke’s brother, Ryder, was a Cadet National All-American a year ago.
Let’s move up the ladder with our Cadet and Junior Nationals preview. This week, it’s 113 pounds. Here are a few of the standouts to date, regional by regional.
J.T. Ayers, Bend (Ore.) Mountain View
The sophomore was the double Junior champion, going 8-0. He won three matches in Greco-Roman with two pins and a technical fall. His 5-0 freestyle record included a pin and a technical fall.
A two-time 5A state runner-up, Ayers lost to fellow sophomore Matt Hofenbredl of The Dalles in the state finals in both seasons, this year at 113.
Trayton Libolt, Prineville (Ore.) Crook County
The sophomore was a dominant double Cadet champion, going 10-0 with five pins and four technical falls. He allowed just three points in the two tournaments, going 5-0 in each, and two of those points were surrendered in his very first match.
Also a two-time state place-winner, Libolt dropped a 6-5 decision to Collin Purinton of Burns, who made our list last week at 106, in the 4A state final at that weight.
Collin Glorioso, Huntingdon (Pa.)
Unheralded after failing to place in the Cadet Nationals a year ago, Glorioso was the double Cadet champion, winning all 10 matches. He had a pin and technical fall among his four wins as he repeated as Greco-Roman champion, then dominated the freestyle tournament with a 6-0 record that included three technical falls to start and a 25-second pin to finish.
The freshman posted a 39-5 record this season at 106, finishing third in the AA state tournament.
Steven Simpson, Leonardtown (Md.) St. Mary’s Ryken
Although he had to beat just one opponent in each style, Simpson was the double Junior champion.
The sophomore posted a 49-9 record this season, finishing third in both the independent state tournament and in the National Prep Championships at 113.
Northern Plains Regional
Nolan Hellickson, Runnells (Iowa) Southeast Polk
The defending Cadet National freestyle champion at 100, Hellickson went double duty to earn this spot. He was the double Junior champion with a 6-0 record. Hellickson was unscored upon and beat the defending Junior National freestyle champion at the same weight, fellow Iowan Tanner Rohweder of West Des Moines Dowling, 2-0, 3-0 in the freestyle final.
The sophomore was upset in the 3A state semifinals at 106, but came back to finish third, compiling a 50-1 record.
Chad Red, New Palestine (Ind.)
Red was the double Cadet champion, building a 9-0 record. His 4-0 Greco-Roman record included two pins and a technical fall. His four freestyle wins included two more TFs and he added three technical falls in freestyle, where he was 5-0. He allowed only three points.
The freshman was the state champion at 106, posting a 48-0 record, and finished the season ranked No. 9 in the final WIN rankings.
Frankie Bruno, Brandon (Fla.)
Sixth in the Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman last year at 100 pounds, Bruno was the double Cadet champion. He won four matches in Greco-Roman and five more in freestyle to finish 9-0 overall, with four wins coming by technical fall. He allowed just eight points.
The freshman wrestled behind 3A state runner-up Geoff Doback, the latter finishing No. 20 in the WIN rankings at 106.