WIN’s Fargo freestyle report card: Almost as good as Greco

Updated: July 26, 2013

By Rob Sherrill

We set ourselves a pretty high standard last week with our performance in prognosticating the Cadet and Junior National Greco-Roman tournaments at Fargo, N.D.

You’ll remember we correctly predicted 12 of the 17 Cadet National Greco-Roman champions – 70.6 percent – would advance to the finals. We projected five to reach the Cadet Greco-Roman finals, five to reach the Cadet freestyle finals, and one each to advance to a Junior National Greco-Roman and freestyle final.

This week: our freestyle report card. It was pretty good, too.

A dozen champions is a pretty tough act to follow. At the Cadet freestyle level, we predicted nine of the 17 champions – 52.9 percent – would advance to the finals. We projected five to reach the Cadet freestyle finals, one to reach the Cadet Greco-Roman finals, and two to advance to the Junior freestyle finals.

Mark Hall (left) of Colorado defeated Kamal Bey of Illinois for the 160-pound Cadet freestyle title to Hall a double championship in Fargo.

Here’s the breakdown of our projected finalists and eventual champions on the Cadet level:

Weight                  Wrestler (state)                  Projected AG/Style       Projected weight

113                            Daton Fix (OK)                         Cadet FS                                106

120                           Taylor LaMont (UT)                Cadet FS                                113

126                           Zahid Valencia (CA)                Junior FS                              120

138                           Isaiah White (IL)                     Cadet FS                                132

145                           Mason Manville (NJ)              Cadet FS                                152

160                          Mark Hall (CO)                         Cadet FS                                160

170                          Beau Breske (WI)                     Cadet GR                                160

220                          Lance Benick (MN)                 Junior FS                                195

285                          Jake Marnin (IA)                     Cadet FS                                  285

We projected eight other Cadet finalists: Austin Gomez (IL), 94; Matthew Schmitt (MO), 100; Hayden Hidlay (PA), 126; Austin Kraisser (MD), 145; Trace Carello (IL), 152; Jackson Harris (OH), 182; Samuel Shields-Colbray (OR), 195; and Mike Smith (MD), 220.

So we correctly projected half the Cadet finalists — 17 — in each style. Not bad.

Meanwhile, over in the Junior freestyle division, all six finalists we projected won titles. Here’s the breakdown:

Weight             Wrestler (state)                     Projected AG/Style          Projected weight

120                       Kaid Brock (OK)                         Junior FS                                    113

120                       Nathan Tomasello (OH)           Junior FS                                    126

126                       Jered Cortez (IL)                       Junior FS                                    132

138                      Aaron Pico (CA)                          Junior FS                                    138

170                       Bo Nickal (TX)                            Junior FS                                    160

195                       Mitch Sliga (IN)                          Junior FS                                    195

                  Our Junior freestyle champions percentage: 40 percent — twice as good as in Greco-Roman.

  To review, to be considered for this list, a wrestler already had participated in at least one USA Wrestling event this year. In some years, that has limited the available talent pool significantly (though we’re not using that as an excuse). No Fargo walk-ins on this list, regardless of ability. Still, plenty of the nation’s elite wrestlers have come out for one or more events this year. The only exceptions: the Cadet and Junior National Duals, which took place after the list was constructed.


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