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Team Wisconsin Junior Freestyle Places 3rd at National Duals

By Gabby Lord-Klein, 06/17/23, 7:30PM CDT


TULSA, Okla.If you listened closely during Wisconsin’s All-American match with Iowa you can hear the athletes and coaches cheering specifics like, “yeaaa buddy,” “ayyy,” or skadoosh!

“We’ve been doing things like that with our dual teams for years,” said Randy Ferrell. It’s their way of cheering for each other, and given how close they are, they’re incredibly invested in each other’s matches. “Those guys have been traveling and doing that for years and years, and this graduating group of seniors is the first group I coached in Indianapolis, and we started and continued it,” he said. This type of unity is a big part of what keeps the team moving forward and in high spirits during such a long event.

Wisconsin’s Junior freestyle team competed at National Duals Friday and Saturday in Tulsa, posting a 7-1 record and 3rd place finish overall. 

In the All-American match versus Iowa, the team jumped out to a fast lead. Noah Mulvaney—undefeated at duals now two years in a row—collected the first points at 170 pounds before Iowa snuck in a win at 182. From there, Cole and Connor Mirasola, Koy Hopke and Teghan Moore secured tech falls that propelled the team to a 21-5 lead.

“The whole team is phenomenal,” Kluever said. “But when you have that type of horsepower in the beginning of the dual it’s encouraging to know you can get out ahead and have a chance to mentally break opponents.”

The matches were tighter throughout the middle of the dual, and, though there were scraps, Iowa won six matches straight. The Wisconsin crew picked up essential points in those matches by scoring points, and adding to the team’s overall score. Greyson Clark, Zane Licht and Braeden Scoles wrapped up the dual with a trio of wins and sealed the victory for Wisconsin 39-28.

“It was good to finish 3rd,” said Kluever. “It took a little salt away from the wound.” Getting into that 3d place match came down to a point differential over Oklahoma—Wisconsin won over Oklahoma, lost to Ohio, but then Oklahoma beat Ohio. With the head-to-head win, it was Ohio advanced to the finals.

On Friday, Wisconsin started in Pool A and simply outmatched their opponents. “We felt and looked fantastic,” said Kluever. They had lopsided wins over Michigan (56-12), South Carolina (64-5), Ohio Gray (54-14), and then Oklahoma Red in the finals (45-19). “We got the job done to get where we wanted to go.”

The team anticipated having at least one more dual on Friday, but the internet went down and they ended the night with a clean sweep of Pool A 4-0.

Competition was more evenly matched in the gold/silver pool on Saturday. Sandwiched between wins over Oklahoma Blue (50-16) and Minnesota Blue (37-29) they were stopped in the latter half of the dual versus Ohio.

Five wrestlers, Connor and Cole Mirasola, Koy Hopke, Noah Mulvaney, and Braeden Scoles, went undefeated with 5+ wins and will be listed on USA Wrestling’s All-Tournament team.

National Duals is one of two major events Team Wisconsin travels to as a state team. They’re headed home now and have just about a month before competition in Fargo where they’ll give individual and team titles a go. Kluever said, “We’re going to rally the troops, get back around each other, and aim to get the job done in Fargo.”

In total, Wisconsin’s teams had 7 top-ten performances at National Duals: Junior Freestyle 3rd, 14U Greco 3rd, 16U Greco 4th, 14U Freestyle 4th, 16U Freestyle 5th, Junior Women’s Freestyle 9th, 14U Women’s Freestyle 9th. Junior Greco placed 12th, and 16U Freestyle Blue was 18th.

Wisconsin is tough. Congratulations to all!


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