TLDR: Connor Mirasola is a Junior Freestyle National Champion at 182 pounds. Team Wisconsin won eight of nine matches in the All-American medal rounds: Braeden Scoles (3rd at 160), Caleb Meunier (5th at 145), Cole Mirasola (5th at 195), Noah Mulvaney (5th at 70), Shane Corrigan (7th at 126), Gavin Drexler (7th at 145), Charlie Millard (7th at 152), Max Ramberg (8th at 220). The team placed 5th overall to match the 16U MFS team performance. Katelyn Lewis (180) is an All-American in junior WFS and will wrestle to determine placement in the morning.
Day four of wrestling is complete, with three of six championship finals contested and men’s freestyle officially complete. The junior men’s freestyle division is the largest of the six wrestled here with 1,563 wrestlers representing 47 states. The parade of states prior to the start of finals highlighted Wisconsin’s 53 individual titles and 442 junior men’s freestyle All-Americans. After today, that jumps up to 54 individual titles and 451 All-Americans.
The All-American round was monumental for Wisconsin. Eight of the nine wrestling closed out their national tournament with victories. Their performance earned the team a 5th place finish overall, which was a jump up from 10th before the session. On repeat from yesterday, but this team is so dang strong and inspiring to watch.
Leading the way for the men is Junior National Champion Connor Mirasola at 182 pounds. He controlled the entire finals match with stellar position and hand fighting, and clearly defeated the spirit of Oklahoma’s Aj Heeg. Mirasola finished a double leg at the edge of the mat in the first period and earned a push-out point in the second. He shared thanks to his family and the Askrens in his post-match interview, saying he put in a lot of work to finally get to the number one spot and he couldn’t be there without them. He battled to a 7-0 performance in a 128-person bracket.
With Sinclair’s 16U title yesterday, that’s back-to-back champions in the 182-pound weight class.
But before Mirasola even stepped on the mat seven teammates already fought for their All-American match victories.
Braeden Scoles earned 3rd place All-American at 160 pounds. He started his tournament Sunday with two wins by superiority, and then fought for wins including an 11-10 decision over Minnesota’s Jedd Wester in the quarters. The only match he lost, in the semis, was a close 9-7 battle to California’s Nicco Ruiz. Not fading after the loss though, Scoles fought for a 4-4 criteria win in the consolation semis to grab his chance at 3rd. Scoles placed 4th in 2021.
Each of our 5th place All-Americans had high-scoring matches. Caleb Meunier, at 145 pounds, started things off with a thrilling 15-8 decision.
Cole Mirasola, at 195, won 16-14. Mirasola trailed 14-12 late in the match but finished a single leg from feet to back and picked up 4-points for the win.
At 170 pounds Noah Mulvaney won by superiority, 15-5. He picked up some sweet exposure points from a head pinch in the first period.
Shane Corrigan (7th) was trailing 9-2 at the end of the first period but closed the gap in the second putting up 11 points on the board for 13-11 decision at 126 pounds. Charlie Millard (7th at 145) shut out his North Carolina opponent with a 12-0 superiority at 152.
Gavin Drexler was on and off the mat in 1:24—he finished a single leg and locked up a series of gut wrenches to wrap it up for 7th at 145. Our All-American at 220 pounds is Max Ramberg, who placed 8th.
Max Askren was named USA Wrestling’s 2022 Freestyle Developmental Coach of the Year.
The junior women’s division is celebrating 20 years of competition in 2022, and the growth in numbers is breathtaking. There are just shy of 1,000 wrestling in the division. They wrestled the morning session on all 27 mats for the first time ever.
Katelyn Lewis, at 180 pounds, will wrestle in the consolations tomorrow to determine placement matches. She earned 4 wins by pin today, suffering just one loss in the quarterfinals to Washington’s Alivia White.
I’ll share more from the women’s division in tomorrow's piece. Wisconsin’s cadet Greco team is weighed in and will make their first appearance on the mats in the morning. Wrestling resumes at 8AM. Select here for an updated schedule by USAW.
Junior MFS All-Americans
*Featured photo of Aeoden Sinclair by Brett Peterson*