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2023 Super 32 Top 8
1Joe Bachmann (PA)
2Rocco Hayes (IL)
3Grey Burnett (OH)
4Dominic Deputy (PA)
5Shamus Regan (SC)
6Ignacio Villasenor (CO)
7Ezekiel Witt (KS)
8Cameron Sontz (NJ)
Ranked Wrestlers Entering The Weekend: 15
Top Seed & Finish: #1 Joe Bachmann (PA); 1st place
Lowest Seed To Place: 13 seed Cam Sontz (NJ); 8th place
New Top 25: Cooper Foster (NC) #25
There are a few freshmen coming into this season leading the way nationally in their respective weights. One of those is currently Joe Bachmann of Faith Christian Academy (PA). He just finished 3rd in the world wrestling for Puerto Rico and came into this one as the favorite for the belt.
While I may have thought the real battle was going to be on the bottom half, where a collective of ranked kids would vie for a spot in the finals against Bachmann, he did get pushed in back to back matches by Ezekiel Witt and Shamus Regan. Each falling by only 1.
It would be a junior from Illinois, Rocco Hayes, who got there. He did so with wins over a fellow Illinoisian named Rocco – Cassioppi. That’s a familiar name. Cassioppi came in seeded a few spots higher by way of a head to head win over Hayes just a week prior. Hayes would capitalize on the opportunity for revenge here. Hayes also was able to upend another stellar freshman, Grey Burnett from Perrysburg, OH. There was even yet another top 3 freshman in this mix, Ignacio Villasenor from Pomona, CO. He got hurt and medically forfeited out to 6th place.
In the end, Bachmann would prove his superiority, winning the finals by fall. But with the results against Witt and Regan, perhaps the gap between him and the weight class isn’t as big as I had thought. He still leaves as the top wrestler in the country at 106.
Notable that Deputy would lose to Rylan Seacrist early on but come back to finish 4th.
1Aaron Seidel (PA)
2Domenic Munaretto (IL)
3Landon Sidun (PA)
4Joseph Uhorchuk (TN)
5Ayden Smith (PA)
6Jermaine JJ Peace (SC)
7Titan Friederichs (MN)
8Nicholas Garcia (IL)
Ranked Wrestlers Entering The Weekend: 12
Top Seed & Finish: #2 Aaron Seidel (PA); 1st place
Lowest Seed To Place: 22 seed Titan Friederichs (MN); 7th place
New Top 25: Titan Friederichs (MN) #10; Raekwon Shabazz (CT) #21; Braiden Weaver (PA) #25
113 doesn’t have the sheer number of freshmen as 106, but it too has a phenom 9th grader sitting at the top. That would be Paul Kenny of Christian Brothers (NJ). Unfortunately, he wasn’t in this field but there certainly wasn’t a lack of excitement and top notch 113 pound action.
Aaron Seidel (Northern Lebanon, PA) came in as the top seed and our #2 behind Kenny. He held onto that spot with nice wins over #7 Ayden Smith (a PA state champion from NDGP), #8 JJ Peace (Cane Bay, SC0 and #21 Raekwon Shabazz (Middletown, CT) on his way to the finals. In those finals, he would take on Illinois state champion and world champion, #3 Dom Munaretto (Lake Charles-East). The match would ultimately go Seidel’s way, 3-0.
Munaretto for his part, took out another frosh phenom, #4 Landon Sidun and two prep school teammates, #9 Davis Motyka, and Nikos Filipos en route to his 2nd place finish.
Some other notable performances were turned in by #5 JoJo Uhorchuk, #8 JJ Peace, and perhaps the surprise of the weight, Titan Friederichs (Watertown Mayer, MN) who leaves sitting at #10 in our rankings with a pair of wins over #11 Nick Garcia (who himself beat Motyka) and top 8th grader Matt O’Neill (Malvern Prep).
I don’t know what event might bring together Christian Brothers and Northern Lebanon during the season, but I would love to get that Seidel Kenny match up. Kenny holds the recent head to head win, but that was freestyle and it was 4-4 on criteria :yikes, this is close.
1Anthony Knox (NJ)
2Nathan Desmond (PA)
3Ronnie Ramirez (CA)
4Christian Castillo (AZ)
5Ethan Rivera (FL)
6Keanu Dillard (PA)
7Antonio Mills III (GA)
8Antonio Rodriguez (CA)
Ranked Wrestlers Entering The Weekend: 9
Top Seed & Finish: #1 Anthony Knox (NJ); 1st place
Lowest Seed To Place: unseeded Antonio Rodriguez (CA); 8th place
New Top 25: #20 Israel Borge (MO), #22 Antonio Rodriguez (CA), #25 Canon Acklin (OK)
There were two main storylines at 120 this year. The first was Anthony Knox going for a 2nd Super 32 belt. He got his first in 2021 and was coming back for the second one last year. That got upended by Bo Bassett in the finals and so he had to wait. It wasn’t always clear in the run up to 2023 whether it would be Bassett for a 3rd time, but it would be someone very accomplished either way. With Bassett up a few weight classes now, it turned out to be Christian Castillo. He’s just a Super 32 champion himself, as well as a world champion, Who’s #1 winner, etc. The point is, he’s a highly decorated kid and a more-than-worthy 2 seed to challenge Knox.
Only it wouldn’t be Castillo in the finals. PA state champ, and new Wyoming Seminary transfer, Nate Desmond had other ideas. Some of those ideas were that he should be the finalist. And so it was. A 4-1 decision in the semifinals for Desmond. And there he was in the finals against Knox. Knox, who had to get past Desmond’s former teammate, Keanu Dillard, also a PA state champion. And he did that. A 12-2 major decision. It was one more performance in a run of dominance to the Sunday afternoon finals.
Ultimately, Knox would prove to be every bit the big favorite he was coming in. In fact, he was the only champion to win every match with bonus points. A feat he now shares with only 6 other wrestlers in the history of the tournament.
Some other notable performances were #9 Ronnie Ramirez (wins over Castillo, Dillard, Borge, and Acklin). The CA state champ finished 3rd with a sole loss to Desmond. Israel Borge, a freshman who only lost to #12 Ethan Rivera in a 5-4 tight battle, and Ramirez in the bloodround.
1Jax Forrest (PA)
2Jj McComas (OK)
3Adrian DeJesus (NJ)
4Nikolaus Oneill (PA)
5Seth Mendoza (IL)
6Eren Sement (PA)
7Jackson Blum (MI)
8Jake Crapps (GA)
Top Seed & Finish: #2 Jax Forrest (PA); 1st place
Lowest Seed To Place: unseeded Adrian DeJesus (NJ); 3rd place
New Top 25: 0
The big story here might be the 3rd place kid from Jersey. But we’ll get to him in a second. First, let’s talk about this Jax Forrest character. And I say character with all the respect possible. Like Marvel hero or some character like that. Heading into the finals, he was having an equally dominant run as Knox. We’re talking tech after tech after tech. As we have come to expect from Bishop McCort. Or Bishop McTech amirite? The finals against McComas would be a lot closer than that, thus ending his bid for all bonus wins.
The title for Jax is his first in three attempts. He’s gone 3, 3, and now 1. The first was as an 8th grader so more than respectable. The second was supposed to be a massive showdown with rival Luke Lilledahl. But he would get caught up in a Raney cradle and then battle back for 3rd. Now this year, this was basically a coronation. But we all know this sport sometimes has other ideas. And Jax navigated those possible hiccups tremendously.
As for McComas, he picked up 3 ranked wins, most notably against 2 seed Seth Mendoza (an Illinois state champion up a weight class). McComas looked good all weekend and really did give Jax a battle that I don’t know who was expecting to be so tightly contested. Even in the loss, he showed a lot of promise as someone looking to improve upon last year’s 2nd place finish in the state (OK) finals.
And now DeJesus. It’s not often the 3rd place kid gets a lot of attention, but when that kid is only ranked by a little start-up outfit called TKDWN Media and not expected to come close to placing in a deep field, well then you start to see why he’s got some building publicity. His only loss was to Jax, early. And then he racked up 8 straight wins, 4 over ranked opponents, 2 in the top 10, to finish 3rd. Talk about a fast riser.
1Bo Bassett (PA)
2Sergio Vega (AZ)
3Benjamin Davino (IL)
4Kyler Larkin (AZ)
5Drew Gorman (GA)
6Adrian Meza (AZ)
7Logan Swensen (MN)
8Tahir Parkins (PA)
Ranked Wrestlers Entering The Weekend: 13
Top Seed & Finish: #1 Ben Davino; 3rd place
Lowest Seed To Place: 8 seed Drew Gorman (GA); 5th place
New Top 25: #17 Layne Kleimann (UT), #20 Lucas Peters (WI), #21 Tyler Traves (VA), #24 Cole Evans (OH)
While the freestyle season didn’t necessarily go the way Bo Bassett would have wanted, to say he’s been a man on a mission since then would be a severe understatement. It seems he has settled into this weight and now he’s the same force to be reckoned with that he became at 113. He’s an absolute terror. And now he’s a back-to-back Super 32 champion with a chance to win 2 more.
We were really hoping, all of us involved in this sport, to see a Bassett vs Davino finals. One for the ages. Well everyone except Sergio Vega, his friends and family. And sure enough the top 5 Arizona kid from Sunnyside HS put the kibosh on that. He pulled one of the most memorable upsets with a 6-5 win over Davino in the semifinals.
Leading up to that semifinals match with Vega, Davino looked every bit the dominant wrestler you’d expect. He went fall, tech, fall, tech, major to reach the semifinals. After the loss, he bounced back with a pin of Adrian Meza and a decision over Kyler Larkin, in what was a rematch from Who’s #1 not that long ago.
This bracket was filled with elite Arizona talent. #3 Larkin and #5 Meza entered as Valiant Prep teammates both ranked in the top 5. #4 Vega was sandwiched between them. They would ultimately finish 2nd (Vega), 4th (Larkin), 6th (Meza). The desert is doing well at this weight.
A pair of big risers are Logan Swensen (MN) and Layne Kleimann (UT). Swensen picked up 3 ranked wins, including Matt Botello and Tahir Parkins. Parkins himself has been hot this Summer and Fall, looking like the possible PA AAA favorite. Kleimann moves into the top 25 with wins Manuel Saldate and Jayce Paridon. While they aren’t top 5 or top 10 wins, they’re strong enough to get him in this mix nationally.
1Maddox Shaw (PA)
2Landon Robideau (MN)
3Alex Braun (MN)
4Paul Kelly (CA)
5Sam Herring (PA)
6Luke Simcox (PA)
7Tyler Guerra (IL)
8Dalton Perry (PA)
Top Seed & Finish: #4 Landon Robideau (MN); 2nd place
Lowest Seed To Place: 14 seed Tyler Guerra (IL); 7th place
New Top 25: #22 Jackson Tucker (MO)
I had thought early on, like after his win at Who’s #1, that we’d see #1 Daniel Zepeda here. And in that case we might have been set up for a Zepeda Robideau finals. It turned out, no Gilroy wrestlers made the trip east and that positioned #4 Robideau as the top seed with the biggest target on his back. And it was a position that he ultimately surrendered to PA runner-up Maddox Shaw.
Shaw might have had the most impressive tournament run of the weekend. He entered as the 6 seed and knocked off #7 Paul Kelly (CA), #6 Alex Braun (MN), and #25 Daishaun Powe (AL) to reach the finals against Robideau. And that finals didn’t disappoint. It was a tightly contested 7-3 battle but ultimately it was Shaw able to get a pair of takedowns while Robideau got shutout in that department. It is the kind of pairing that could definitely go the other way down the line, but this weekend was Shaw’s. A coming out party if a top 10 kid needed one.
There were some really entertaining and competitive bouts in this bracket. Braun vs Dalton Perry (PA) in the quarterfinals. Shaw vs Kelly also in the quarterfinals. Worth going back to watch if you can.
Jackson Tucker is the only new top 25 entry. He beat a couple fringe or honorable mention wrestlers and current #23 Yandro Soto.
1Melvin Miller (PA)
2Cameron Catrabone (NY)
3Jaxon Joy (OH)
4Logan Paradice (GA)
5Brogan Tucker (OH)
6August Hibler (NJ)
7Beau Hickman (OK)
8Gavin Linsman (MO)
Top Seed & Finish: #2 Jax Joy (OH); 3rd place
Lowest Seed To Place: 13 seed Brogan Tucker (OH); 5th place
New Top 25: #20 Sonny Amato (NJ), #25 Anderson Heap (FL)
I saw Jax Joy compete at Elite 8 Duals and he gave current #1 in the country Pierson Manville all he could handle for most of their early Sunday battle. When Manville withdrew from here, I really thought it was set up for Joy to come away with the belt. And perhaps he would have… if not for Bishop McCort freshman Melvin Miller. Miller would build on that quarterfinal result, a 13-10 match that really deserves your eyeballs, to come away with the title and join Bachmann as the only freshmen to do so.
Miller’s impressive run included 4 ranked wins. Joy of course. #18 Logan Rozynski (NJ), #4 Cam Catrabone (NY), and new to the top 10, Brogan Tucker (OH).
Joy doesn’t fall too far in any rankings, not that that is an adequate consolation prize, due to the quality of his own wins. #7 Auggie Hibler, #9 Logan Paradice, #11 Beau Hickman, and #22 Zeno Moore.
Catrabone entered in the top 5 and exits the same way after a finals run that ended in 2nd place after the 4-1 loss to Miller. He picked a pair of ranked wins over Hibler and #14 Gavin Linsman.
The really notable, or perhaps surprising, performance was turned in by Ohio’s Brogan Tucker. The 13 seed from St Paris Graham finished 5th with wins over Hibler, Hickman, and #15 Gabe Bouyssou (RI). He moves into our top 10 entering the season.
Now, we had Tucker ranked, but a couple of wrestlers come out of the weekend newly in the mix. They are Sonny Amato, a stud freshman from New Jersey and Anderson Heap, a senior from Florida. Amato’s best win was over Bouyssou, while Heap knocked off a pair of honorable mentions, Joseph Sanderfer (OH) and Talon Maple (FL). Sanderfer himself picked up a nice win over Jason Kwaak (NY).
1Kollin Rath (PA)
2Kody Routledge (OK)
3Vince Bouzakis (PA)
4Kael Voinovich (IA)
5Claudio Torres (FL)
6Will Denny (IL)
7Ethan Parco (CA)
8Nolan Liess (NY)
Ranked Wrestlers Entering The Weekend: 8
Top Seed & Finish: #3 Vince Bouzakis (PA); 3rd place
Lowest Seed To Place: unseeded Nolan Liess (NY); 8th place
New Top 25: #24 Nolan Liess (NY); #25 Jimmy Mastny (IL)
When we first thought PJ Duke would be back to defend his belt, the story here was going to be who can keep it closest against him and just how much separation is there now between him and the rest of the class. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it in and that made for a much more competitive weekend with some surprises along the way.
One of those surprises was the top seed, Vince Bouzakis getting beat in the quarterfinals to 9 seed Will Denny (IL). For his top 6 finish, Denny climbs into the top 20.
Routledge was a surprise finalist and the beneficiary of the Denny upset. He comes away with wins over Denny, #15 EJ Parco (CA), and Max Stein (PA).
As for the champion, Rath, he’s a PA state champ with one of the nation’s best rivalries with Pierson Manville. It was set up to still be an all PA finals with Bouzakis but it would be Routledge instead.
The top 7 in this weight were all super close with a series of 1 and 2 point wins scattered throughout. Rath proved his mettle in surviving all of it and comes out as our #3 at 150.
Of course one of the most notable performances was turned in by Wyoming Seminary’s Nolan Liess. Entering unranked and unseeded, he picked up a trio of solid wins over other fringe top 25 guys in Ty Wilson (OH) and Chase Hontz (PA).
Freshman Jimmy Mastny also acquitted himself well against this field, losing only to Parco and Rath.
1LaDarion Lockett (OK)
2Joseph Antonio (CA)
3Conner Harer (PA)
4Leo Contino (CA)
5Matt Henrich (NJ)
6Darius Marines (MI)
7Cory Thomas Jr. (MI)
8Dylan Pile (CA)
Top Seed & Finish: #2 LaDarion Lockett (OK); 1st place
Lowest Seed To Place: unseeded Dylan Pile (CA); 8th place
New Top 25: #18 Eddie Enright (IL), #19 Dylan Pile (CA), #23 Brent Nicolosi (MA), #24 Colin Young (IL), #25 Chris Mance (GA)
One of the most anticipated matches of the entire tournament, maybe for the entire season was going to be #1 Joe Sealey and #2 LaDarion Lockett. Now, when we look at 132, we understand nothing in this sport is a foregone conclusion. Did last year’s 125 NCAA tournament not teach us anything? You might think you know what’s going to happen, but you really don’t. It’s possible even with Sealey here, one of the two gets tripped up. For example, Sealey last year took 3rd here and 3rd at Ironman. So it could have happened again. In fact, Lockett’s 2-0 win over Dylan Pile (Los Gatos, CA) in the round of 32 means we were close to a finals without either of them. What a wonderful world.
As it is, though, Lockett came in as the one seed and ultimately won back to back titles. This year, his title run was dominated with wins over CA wrestlers. 3 of them in fact. He beat Pile in the round of 32, Leo Contino (Buchanan) in the semifinals and then Joseph Antonio (St John Bosco) in the finals. Mixed in there was a win over perhaps the best wrestler currently in Maryland, Mekhi Neal.
As for Lockett’s finals opponent, Josep Antonio, he definitely put the wrestling world on notice that the move up to this weight may in fact have been the best thing for him. He looked like a neutral machine with an absolute takedown clinic against Cory Thomas. Then he controlled things from his feet again against PA state champ, Conner Harer. I don’t think anyone here did more to up their stock among the nation’s elite than Antonio.
Aside from Antonio, Dylan Pile opened some eyes nationally. First, it was the close battle with the top seed. Then it was wins over ranked Mekhi Neal and seeded Woodstock, Ultimately, he would go from unseeded/unranked to placing 8th and moving into the national top 25.
1Leandro Araujo (ND)
2Dominic Bambinelli (GA)
3Ethan Birden (OH)
4Latrell Schafer (GA)
5Alessio Perentin (NJ)
6Xavier Giles (NY)
7Bryce Griffin (IL)
8Branson John (CA)
Top Seed & Finish: #2 Ethan Birden (OH); 3rd place
Lowest Seed To Place: unseeded Branson John (CA); 8th place
New Top 25: #21 Ben Smith (MD), #22 Branson John (CA), #25 Brian Heard (PA)
When you look at the rankings coming in, the seeding, and the depth of the field, you might think Araujo is the surprise champion of the whole tournament. And there is some truth to that for sure. But of almost all the weights, there is more parity between the top and the rest of the top 20 than perhaps any other. And we saw that play out and Araujo capitalized.
As the top seed, Ethan Birden came in ranked as high as 1 and no lower than 5 anywhere. But he’s been as susceptible to the upset as he has shown an ability to knock off the very best. He got a scare in the round of 16 against Xavier Giles and you didn’t know if that meant someone like Araujo in the quarters would complete the task or if he’d shake that off and proceed business as usual. And it turned out Araujo would pull it off, 2-1. To his credit, Birden came back strong to finish 3rd.
For Araujo, aside from the big win over Birden which spring him into the semifinals, he also picked up a major over Latrell Schafer and then a solid decision over Bambinelli.
Bambinelli being the finalist here was almost as surprising as Araujo. He was the 6 seed, somewhere around 12 to 15 and had what looked like a pretty tough run with NIck Kunstek and Alessio Perentin as the 3 and 2 seeds. Kunstek was upset early – one of the biggest of the weekend – and Bambinelli controlled the semifinals against Perentin to an extent I personally never saw coming. The southeastern United States is quickly catching up to the rest in terms of elite kids going toe to toe nationally.
The clear notable performance here was Branson John. Spending most of last season on Buchanan’s B team, he traveled across the country with a lot of promise and the ability to put it on display.
1Ryan Burton (NJ)
2Cole Han-Lindemyer (MN)
3Dom Federici (PA)
4Landon Jones (GA)
5Carson Thomas (OH)
6Jake Stacey (TN)
7Elijah Penton (FL)
8Isael Perez (RI)
Top Seed & Finish: #7 Cole Han-Lindemeyer (MN)
Lowest Seed To Place: unseeded Landon Jones (GA); 4th place
New Top 25: none
I thought coming into this tournament, this was the most toss up weight. I mean I thought most of the seeding would hold up. Although I had Landon Jones ranked and would have had himseeded, he’s the only glaring “miss” here. But the very top of this weight seemed to all be dropping out one by one. First it was Ty Eise, then Louie Cerchio. Then Adam Waters. Before you knew it, there was no clear-cut favorite and the weight was a possible free for all.
I liked Burton going in and he held up. On paper it looks like he benefited by unseeded guys Landon Jones and Jake Stacey winning along the way. However, when we look at the final top 8, perhaps they were more formidable foes in their own right.
Cole Han-Linedemeyer was another top seed from Minnesota (Landon Robideau at 138) and like Robideau, made the finals. His best performance was against Federici in a 16-3 blitz. And the finals against Burton, a 2-0 battle, means he won’t really drop at all, even in the 2nd place finish.
Landon Jones turned in probably the most notable performance. He entered unseeded and finished 4th with wins over seeded Carson Thomas twice and 10 seed Omer Barak.
1Aeoden Sinclair (WI)
2Rune Lawrence (PA)
3Tucker Hogan (PA)
4Karson Tompkins (TX)
5Anders Thompson (MT)
6Harvey Ludington IV (NJ)
7Cade Ziola (NE)
8Gunner Henry (IN)
Ranked Wrestlers Entering The Weekend: 10
Top Seed & Finish: #1 Aeoden Sinclair (WI); 1st place
Lowest Seed To Place: 11 seed Anders Thompson (MT); 5th place
New Top 25: #20 Matt Kowalski, #22 Brokton Borelli (CA), #23 Tayshaun Glover (NC)
While 132 was generating a ton of interest and intention for the quality of its bracket, 190 was just chillin. But when you look at the field, the top 4 was every bit as quality laden as any weight here, perhaps moreso. Within the top 4, you had 4 of the top 5. At the very top, you had #1 overall. After him, you had 3, 4, and 5.
While I did think Sinclair was a solid favorite against the field, that was more a credit to him than a knock on them. And there’s always some question as to the ability to rise in match after match against the best, with no let down or opportunity to rest. And we did see Sinclair pushed, 4-0 win over Ziola, 5-4 over Hogan, and then 3-2 over Lawrence. But in the end, he did just enough each time and some times that’s all it takes.
There were a couple things I was interested in with this weight specifically. The two from PA. They won’t meet in the state finals, as they compete in AA (Lawrence) and AAA (Hogan), so if they could have made it to the finals, or maybe met for 3rd, we’d get that Keystone State All-Star showdown. Instead, they took turns losing to Sinclair by 1 point each.
I also wanted to see how New Jersey Heavy Hitter Harvey Ludington would do making the move up to 190 against an elite field. He had recently beat Tompkins at PNL I believe, so he certainly came in as a viable contender. This time, Tompkins would get that head to head revenge and send Harvey to the consolations sooner than he would have wanted.
I think the most notable or surprise performance would be Brokton Borelli (Los Banos, CA). He came in way off the radar. Beat a top 5 seed in Vincent LaValle (NJ) but ultimately fell short of placing. His losses were to Hogan and Thompson.
1Anthony Harris (NJ)
2Michael Mocco (FL)
3Oscar Williams (OK)
4Quin Morgan (MN)
5Dillon Bechtold (PA)
6Rylan Kuhn (MO)
7Connor Bercume (MI)
8Hudson Skove (NJ)
Ranked Wrestlers Entering The Weekend: 6
Top Seed & Finish: #9 Mike Mocco (FL); 2nd place
Lowest Seed To Place: 13 seed Connor Bercume (MI); 7th place
New Top 25: #15 Connor Bercume (MI), #20 Alex Taylor (OH)
If 175 wasn’t the biggest toss up coming in, that’s only because 215 was. Top ranked Cody Merrill doesn’t really travel to these things. Last year’s champ, Jude Correa withdrew and was on a recruiting trip. The rest of the top 10 might have been playing football.
Who was here was #10 Mike Mocco and a few other guys behind him in that 15-25 range. And so we were in for some possible surprises and perhaps the biggest was the Anthony Harris championship run.
As the 10 seed, Harris was the lowest seeded champion. His run included wins over the 7 seed Ryland Whitworth, 2 seed Dillon Bechtold, 3 seed Rylan Kuhn, and Mocco in the finals.
Mocco proved a worthy 1 seed as he battled his way to the finals. He beat the 5 seed Williams and the 8 seed Quin Morgan (finished 4th) to make it. His 2nd place finish wasn’t as much about him coming up short as it was Anthony Harris coming up huge.
Aside from Harris, another notable performance here was turned in by Michigan’s Connor Bercume. He entered as the 13 seed but ultimately scratched and clawed his way to 7th.
1Nicholas Sahakian (CA)
2Daniel Herrera (IA)
3Spencer Lanosga (LA)
4Nicholas Pavlechko (PA)
5Mark Effendian (PA)
6Calvin Lachman (PA)
7Dean Bechtold (PA)
8Marko Ivanisevic (IL)
Ranked Wrestlers Entering The Weekend: 7
Top Seed & Finish: #7 Nick Sahakian; 1st place
Lowest Seed To Place: 8 seed Marko Ivanisevic (IL)
New Top 25: #24 Calvin Lachman (PA)
We were never going to see the full complement of heavyweights, like the two weights before it (but even more extreme), heavyweight has a ton of football players. But that doesn’t mean it’s still not one of the best fields any of these guys will see all season.
Newly up from 220, Nick Sahakian came in as the 1 seed, a CA state champion, and looking to make his first major mark up here. And he was able to do that. He came away with wins over the 3, 4, and 8 seeds.
The most anticipated aspect of this weight for most of us was the possibility of Sahakian at his new weight taking on Daniel Herrera who is the reigning back-to-back heavyweight state champion in CA. With Herrera now in Iowa, we otherwise likely never get to see this one. As they came in seeded opposite each other, it set the table for a finals match up. And that’s what we got.
Herrera and Sahakian didn’t disappoint. A 2-1 contest that had zero takedowns, an exchange of escapes and one single stalling point being the difference for Sahakian.
Herrera had been the busier of the two through the Summer, where he knocked off class of 2023 graduate Aden Attao but also fell short to Lanosga. He would get the chance at Lanosga again, and this time flipped the script.
Lanosga, who came in as the 2 seed, picked up a nice pair of wins over PA guys Bechtold and Pavlechko.
As we can see from the final 8, PA is crazy deep at heavyweight this season. And the best from the state wasn’t even here.
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Based in Western PA. Right in the heart of WPIAL country, Todd brings an insider’s view from the country’s epicenter of wrestling. He’s excited to build on the TKDWN tradition of starting with the story first. The athletes, the coaches, their families and supporters, there is no shortage of stories to tell. And Todd will bring his unique perspective to help us continue to deliver top notch content for the world’s greatest sport!