Recapping Fargo 2019

Updated: July 22, 2019

Fargo 2019, otherwise known as the 2019 USMC Junior and 16U (Cadet) Nationals, is now completed and here are noteworthy highlights of the weeklong event that held six championships, July 14-19, in North Dakota.

You will also find these stories and other highlights from the 49th annual event in the next issue of WIN Magazine, which will be printed on Aug. 14.

Click here to subscribe to WIN Magazine or call 888-305-0606 and recapture all the noteworthy moments that took place in the Fargodome.

Record participation numbers — For the first time since 1997, when the 16U (Cadet) Nationals were first held under the same roof of the Fargodome as the Junior Nationals, the event topped 5,000 wrestlers in six different age groups/styles: men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman at the Junior and 16U (Cadet) levels.

Among the 5,378 wrestlers who competed in Fargo were a record number of young people who competed in the Cadet men’s freestyle (1253) and women’s freestyle (360) and Junior men’s freestyle (1272) and women’s freestyle (594). Meanwhile, the number of Greco-Roman wrestlers in 16U Cadet (967) and Junior (928) were an increase from those who competed in 2018.

Illinois and California lead All-American race — Overall, 44 different states featured an All-American in the six tournaments and 28 states could brag of an individual champion. Among the 48 states that sent wrestlers to Fargo, no states had more success than Illinois and California, which both produced 66 All-Americans and Illinois held a 13-9 advantage in total national champions.

Illinois won team championships in Junior freestyle as well as 16U Cadet and Junior Greco-Roman, while California won team titles in 16U Cadet women’s freestyle. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania topped the state field by winning the 16U Cadet men’s freestyle tournament, while the state of Washington won the Junior women’s freestyle team championship.

Eight Double Winners —There were no Triple Crown winners — wrestlers who won national championships in three styles — folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman — this spring and summer on either the Junior or 16U Cadet level. But there were seven wrestlers who won two titles in Fargo:

Two in 16U Cadet and Junior women’s freestyle: Sage Mortimer (Utah) at 100 pounds and Kennedy Blades at 164 pounds. Mortimer, who also became the first woman to earn an All-American honor in Junior Greco-Roman in 2018, also competed in that tournament this summer and won one of three bouts;

Three Junior wrestlers in freestyle and Greco-Roman: Andre Gonzales (106) of California, Anthony Echemendia (145) of Arizona, and Luke Luffman (heavyweight) of Illinois;

Three 16U Cadet wrestlers in freestyle and Greco-Roman: Jore Volk (100) of Minnesota, John Wiley (138) of Oklahoma, and Seth Shumate (195) of Ohio.

Fargo 2020 will mark 50 years in Juniors— Next year’s event that will return to Fargo, N.D., will also mark the 50th annual time a freestyle national championship will be held and USA Wrestling has plans to celebrate the half-century impact on youth wrestling in this country.

Before Fargo first hosted the Juniors in 1993, the event first took place in Iowa City (1971-82), Cedar Falls, Iowa (1983-90), Warrensburg, Mo. (1991) and St. Paul, Minn. (1992).

The first 16U Cadet Nationals were held in Allendale, Mich., in 1986, followed by Warrensburg, Mo. (1987-89), Battle Creek, Mich. (1990), Warrensburg (1991), Columbia, Mo. (1992-94) and Lincoln, Neb. (1995) before coming to Fargo in 1996.