Featured photo of Ashton Miess by Jenni Peterson
FARGO, North Dakota—Everyone loves a good day of Greco. Juniors and 16U wrestled up to the quarterfinals in today’s sessions for the final of three disciplines and Wisconsin has a combined 36 wrestlers advancing to the second day. “We stayed solid in basics and it won us a lot of matches,” said Coach Scott Arneson. “We’re talking to the kids about staying in the hunt, staying in the battle, and you do that by using great Greco technique.”
The juniors advanced seven to the quarterfinals and every single one of these guys gifted their opponents some air time: Ashton Miess (160), Brayten Casey (113), Brett Back (160), Caden Young (170), Charlie Meudt (120), Kale Roth (160) and Tj Schierl (152).
The beauty of Greco and all its high amplitude takedowns and par terre excellence was on display. “This sport’s more about explosions, whereas freestyle is more about picking your moments and working around the guy,” said Brett Back. “This is like pressure-release-explode.”
Back, a 16U Greco finalist in 2021, returns to Fargo this year after sustaining a season-ending injury at National Duals last summer. “I’ve grown a lot in my positioning,” he said. “Everyone’s always saying ‘technique, technique, technique,’ well, the biggest improvements I’ve made is understanding positioning and pressure and when to attack.”
Iron sharpens iron and the Wisconsin kids work together on their own or at various clubs. Tj Schierl, who is training Greco full-time right now, says he trains with fellow quarterfinalists Back, Roth and Young regularly. Out of a basement. “We get together and we wrestle Greco; it’s what we love to do,” he said. His round of 16 was an all-out brawl against Minnesota’s Elijah Paulson. “It was a grind,” he said. “Towards the end of the match, I fell into my rhythm and I could feel him just slowly breaking inside.”
Kale Roth, in the quarters at 160-pounds, said he played baseball until three weeks ago, but he looked as sharp as ever picking off opponents handily. Shawano’s Caden Young, the No. 1 seed at 170 pounds and runner-up in 2021 is 3-0. He hit a wicked head pinch in an early match.
Also sending kids flying through the 160-pound bracket is Ashton Miess. He hasn’t given up a single point in his four matches. Miess, 7th in 2021, is on the same side of the 160-pound bracket as Roth so hopefully, although it would be a tough loss for someone, we get an all-Wisconsin semifinal.
No. 2 seed Brayten Casey prevailed over Kaiden Powell of Kansas in a wild 20-13 match in the round of 16. Before that, he had two wins by tech. Rounding out the junior quarterfinalists is Dodgeville's Charlie Meudt at 120 pounds. Meudt had a bye first round and then won matches over opponents from Tennessee, Arizona and Colorado giving up just a single point.
In the junior consolations are Amryn Nutter (132), Bryce Falk (170), Corbin Ramos (145), David Malin (182), Easton Cooper (120), Evan Gratz (285), Grant Stromberg (285), Gunnar Hamre (138), Hunter Gartman (145), Wyatt Ingham (182) and Ryan Rambo (220).
The 16U team has five in the quarterfinals, including 16U finalist Declan Koch at 132 pounds. No. 2 seed Colton Weiler has the nation on notice at 138—the longest he’s been on the mat was 1:17, and his fastest clocked in at just :30 seconds. This FloWrestling featured throw is the definition of a FargoBomb. Gage Losiewicz (152), Garett Kawczynski (220) and Jacob Herm (132) remain undefeated and start tomorrow in the quarterfinals. Kawczynski was 3rd in freestyle earlier this week.
Wrestling in the consolations are Adam Whittier (132), Breyson Kelley (170), Bryson Busler (88), Dale Corbin (120), Danil Kostetskyi (152), Gabriel Metzler (145), Henry Vander heiden (220), Nehemiah Lendobeja (220), Nolan Kielcheski (160), Ryder Zdanczewicz (170) Spencer Madsen (145), Sullivan Ramos (145) and William Du chemin (100).
Wisconsin has strong Greco roots, and the team dynamic is awesome. Coach Arneson, who has been with Wisconsin Greco for 30+ years, tributes the growth in numbers and strength to statewide unity, coordination, and incredible coaches. “Almost every club is represented by a coach that’s here, and that’s a tribute to [Scott] Kluever to try to pull everybody in and get us on the same page so we’re not competing against each other when we come here we’re together,” he said. “Run your clubs and get ‘em as good as you can but when we come here we’re all on the same page; in the whole state you can go somewhere and get better at Greco.” We'll be able to see where the team scores start to shake out early tomorrow. Both teams were 2nd overall last year.
Wrestling resumes for both divisions at 9am on the final day at the Junior and 16U National Championships. Quarterfinals, semifinals and consolations will be from 9am-1pm, cons, cons semifinals and 3rd-8th place medal matches from 3pm-5pm, and the championship finals are scheduled for 6pm. Be ready for some exciting matches, and watch everything live on FloWrestling.