Larkin, son of Hodge Trophy winner, captures 16U men’s freestyle Nationals

Updated: July 19, 2021

Photo: Kyler Larkin, the 16U National freestyle champion at 126 pounds, receives his award and winning bracket from his father, Eric Larkin, the former NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner from Arizona State. (Mike Finn photo)

FARGO, N.D, — Kyler Larkin was but a dream in the mind of his father Eric Larkin when the former wrestler from Arizona State won an NCAA championship in 2003. But on Monday, the 16-year-old son of the former Hodge Trophy winner proved he could make a dream of his own come true as the native from Gilbert, Ariz., won the 126-pound title of the 16U Nationals in the Fargodome.

“I knew that I was going to win. I just wanted some respect,” said Kyler, a sophomore from Valiant College Prep High School who was born two years after his father won the 149-pound NCAA championship and the Hodge Trophy. “My dad knows how to do this and doesn’t put too much pressure on me. I know how good he was and how good I can be.”

Eric was standing near the raised mat as his son scored a late takedown to beat Landon Robideau of Minnesota, 3-1, for the championship and later earned O.W. honors at the end of the 16U men’s freestyle national tournament.

“First and foremost, he’s my son and I want him to be the best person that he can be,” said Eric who has five sons, all of whom have or are currently wrestling. “He loves wrestling and I’m super excited for him.”

The state of Pennsylvania captured the team championship without a single champion but 21 All-Americans for 223 points, while fourth-place New Jersey featured the most individual champions in Anthony Knox (106), Leo DeLuca (113) and Louie Cerchio (160). Three teams featured two champions: second-place Minnesota (Zach Hanson at 132 and Max McEnelly at 195), third place Ohio (Javaan Yarbrough at 88 pounds and  Camden McDanel at 182 pounds) and Arizona (Adrian Meza at 120 joined Larkin).

Two of four wrestlers, who also on a folkstyle national tournament this past spring, won their matches and are alive to win a Triple Crown later this week when Greco begins: Mack Mauger (94) of Idaho, and Koy Kopke (220) of Wisconsin.

The 16U men’s freestyle tournament was one of six championships that make up the 2021 Junior/16U Nationals that taking place in Fargo, one year after the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled the annual event, which is celebrating its 50thanniversary. The 16U women’s tournament concluded Sunday with the Junior men’s freestyle final matches to take place Tuesday afternoon.  The week will end with Junior women’s freestyle on Wednesday, 16U Greco-Roman on Thursday and Junior Greco on Friday.



Top 20 16U Freestyle State Standings

4New Jersey3/9120
20tNew York0/125
20tSouth Dakota0/125




88 – Javaan Yarbrough (Ohio) 182 – Camden McDanel (Ohio) dec. Haakon Peterson (Wisconsin), 10-4

94 – Mack Mauger (Idaho) dec.  Cadell Lee (Virginia), 8-3

100 – Seth Mendoza (Illinois) dec.  Christian Castillo (Arizona), 7-0

106 – Anthony Knox (New Jersey) won by TF over Sam Herring (Pennsylvania), 18-6 3:32

113 – Leo Deluca (New Jersey) won by TF over Brock Mantanona (California), 10-0 1:02

120 – Adrian Meza (Arizona) dec.  Aden Valencia (California), 3-0

126 – Kyler Larkin (Arizona) dec.  Landon Robideau (Minnesota), 3-1

132 – Zach Hanson (Minnesota) dec.  Christopher Coates (Missouri), 2-1

138 – Joel Adams (Nebraska) dec.  Tyler Kasak (Pennsylvania), 7-6

145 – William Henckel (Connecticut) dec.  Pierson Manville (Pennsylvania), 4-2

152 – Zack Ryder (New York) dec.  Kj Evans (Oklahoma), 10-9

160 – Louie Cerchio (New Jersey) dec. Daschle Lamer (Oregon), 8-4

170 – Gabriel Arnold (Georgia) dec.  Cody Merrill (California), 3-1

182 – Camden McDanel (Ohio) dec.  Luke Vanadia (Ohio), 9-6

195 – Max McEnelly (Minnesota) dec.  Sonny Sasso (Pennsylvania), 11-8

220 – Koy Hopke (Wisconsin) won by TF over Jacob Walker (Iowa), 10-0 1:28

285 – Navarro Schunke (South Dakota) won by TF over Will Sather (Minnesota), 11-0 3:49


88 – Aydan Thomas (Texas) dec.  Griffin Rial (Colorado), 5-4

94 – Moses Mendoza (California) dec.   Tyler Garvin (Maryland), 9-4

100 – Gage Singleton (Oregon) won by TF over Dedrick Navarro (Idaho), 12-2 3:42

106 – Isaiah Quintero (California) dec.   Marcus Blaze (Ohio), 9-0

113 – Vincent Kilkeary (Pennsylvania) dec. Jax Forrest (North Carolina), 9-6

120 – Tyler Wells (Minnesota) dec.   Kael Lauridsen (Nebraska), 5-1

126 – Mason Gibson (Pennsylvania) pinned Kamdyn Williams (Pennsylvania), 5-4 1:03

132 – Brock Herman (Ohio) won by TF over Cross Wasilewski (New Jersey), 10-0 0:17

138 – Ethan Mojena (Florida) dec.   Jaydon Robinson (Illinois), 2-1

145 – Dylan Evans (Pennsylvania) dec.   Brett Back (Wisconsin), 6-0

152 – Nicholas Fox (Iowa) won by TF over Dominic Bambinelli (Georgia), 11-0 2:32

160 – Aeoden Sinclair (Wisconsin) pinned Roman Garcia (Florida), 11-2 3:34

170 – Jared Schoppe (New Jersey) dec.   Justin Rademacher (Oregon), 8-7

182 – Connor Mirasola (Wisconsin) won by injury default over Cole Mirasola (Wisconsin), 0-0 0:00

195 – McCrae Hagarty (Iowa) pinned Carter Neves (Ohio), 10-3 2:55

220 – Parker Ferrell (Virginia) dec. Austin Johnson (Pennsylvania), 6-0

285 – Spencer Lanosga (Louisiana) won by TF over Maddux Borcherding-johnson (Iowa), 12-0 3:04


88 – Revin Dickman (Indiana) dec. Kole Davidheiser (Pennsylvania), 8-4

94 – Michael Olson (Minnesota) pinned Devon Harrison (Missouri), 8-7 2:50

100 – Layne Kleimann (Utah) won by TF over Blake Beissel (Minnesota), 13-2 2:33

106 – Jameson Garcia (Illinois) dec.  Jackson Blum (Michigan), 9-2

113 – Draegen Orine (Missouri) dec.  Jack Consiglio (Pennsylvania), 9-6

120 – Maddox Shaw (Pennsylvania) won in injury default over Jacob Myers (Colorado), 0-0 0:00

126 – Dmitri Alarcon (Colorado) pinned Vince Bouzakis (Pennsylvania), 18-8 4:00

132 – Jason Mara (Idaho) dec.  Travis Grace (California), 8-4

138 – August Hibler (New Jersey) dec.  Nicholas Kunstek (Pennsylvania), 4-4

145 – Charlie Millard (Wisconsin) dec. Duncan Christensen (Virginia), 9-2

152 – Lars Michaelson (Washington) won by TF over Griffin Lundeen (Minnesota), 10-0 1:34

160 – Talon Mccollom (Oklahoma) won by TF over Jed Wester (Minnesota), 12-0 1:43

170 – Brian Burburija (Florida) dec. Keegan Sell (Ohio), 8-2

182 – Dominic Thebeau (Illinois) dec. De’alcapon Veazy (Indiana), 6-3

195 – Sawyer Bartelt (Florida) won by TF over Adam Haselius (Michigan), 10-0 2:42

220 – Zachary Evans (Pennsylvania) won by TF over Nicholas Sahakian (California), 10-0 2:24

285 – Aiden Compton (Pennsylvania) won by TF over Aidan Trujillo (Colorado), 12-1 3:11


88 – Nathan Rioux (Indiana) dec. Lawson Eller (Minnesota), 5-0

94 – Tyler Harper (Iowa) pinned Liam Neitzel (Wisconsin), 10-8 3:27

100 – Dru Ayala (Iowa) dec. Carson Walsh (New Jersey), 6-6

106 – Nathan Desmond (Pennsylvania) dec. Ethan Rivera (Florida), 6-2

113 – Drew Gorman (Georgia) dec. Nick Treaster (Kansas), 8-0

120 – Dalton Perry (Pennsylvania) dec. Gauge Botero (Pennsylvania), 8-3

126 – Clayton Giddens (Oklahoma) dec. Nathan Taylor (New Jersey), 4-1

132 – Gabriel Bouyssou (Rhode Island) won by TF over Smokey Mcclure (Washington), 10-0 1:10

138 – Alessio Perentin (New Jersey) dec. James Chance (Ohio), 7-7

145 – Isaias Jimenez (Arizona) dec. Latrell Schafer (Georgia), 6-2

152 – Silas Dailey (Wisconsin) dec. Zachary Eliszewski (Wisconsin), 4-1

160 – Peyton Westpfahl (Missouri) dec.  Tyler Secoy (Georgia), 4-2

170 – Nathan Taylor (Connecticut) dec.  Travis Stipetich (Pennsylvania), 6-1

182 – Tucker Hogan (Pennsylvania) won by TF over Soren Herzog (Minnesota), 17-6 3:08

195 – Max Agresti (Delaware) dec.  William Clark (Indiana), 16-12

220 – Samuel Murphy (Missouri) dec. Max Vanadia (Ohio), 7-0

285 – Sebastian Lopez (Kansas) won by injury default over Aidan Fockler (Ohio)


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