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Junior Greco and women’s freestyle battle at National Duals; 14U and 16U women impress on day one in Indiana

By Gabby Lord-Klein, 06/20/24, 10:45PM CDT


National Duals, Thurs. — The first two styles at the Junior National Duals have wrapped up, with Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle competitions concluding this afternoon in Tulsa. Meanwhile, in Indiana, the 14U and 16U women’s freestyle teams advanced to the gold/silver placement pools, and the junior men’s freestyle team is set to compete.

Junior Greco Secures #NextBestThing
Junior Greco stormed their way through the red/blue placement pool today after a 5th-place finish in Pool C yesterday. Their impressive sweep featured wins over Virginia Blue (37-30), California Red (45-23), Oregon (35-34) and then Florida (35-29).

“I think everybody came up big throughout the week,” Coach Ty Pelot said, noting that everyone on the lineup won multiple matches. “That’s not something that happens a lot.” Three wrestlers—Sullivan Ramos (8-0), Henry (9-0), and Hunter Vander Heiden (8-0)—went undefeated and will be named to USA Wrestling’s All-Tournament team.

Pelot said he was impressed by this group’s ability to listen and learn in matches and grow throughout the week, with some adjustments in the 30-second break completely altering outcomes. “They’re great kids, they wrestle hard, they listened and they learned so I thought it was a great team and a great week.” With a string of such closely contested matchups, the team orientation toward doing their part to score each point was key to their day two success.

Wisconsin Junior Greco posted a winning record of 7-2 and 17th place finish overall at the two-day national event.


Women’s Freestyle Showcases Grit in Bronze/Copper Pool
The women’s freestyle team placed 8th in the bronze/copper pool, and 16th overall at the 2024 National Dual tournament.

Juniors leading the team went out and did what they needed to do, with many of them posting three or more wins. Lillie Banks, initially set to compete on the 16U team, stepped in last minute for the juniors and went 8-1, knocking a five-point throw off her “first-time” list in round one. More top performers included Kara Kuge with 6, and Hayli Fletcher and Carley Ceshker with 5 wins apiece.

Every national tournament is tough to traverse, but this team in particular showcased grit and support for each other in the face of adversity in the bronze/copper pool. “Forgetting about the results, I thought their performance was great,” Coach Jake Wozniak said. “Our team is really young.” And that youth, as much as they grew through it today, is a massive bright spot for Wisconsin. “We’ve got a pretty big chunk of the team that are still in that 16U age group wrestling here at junior duals against the best girls in the country.”

One of those young guns is Kat Cook, who now has some gritty wins under her belt. She went 5-4 and showcased what “wrestle longer” really means. In one match, Cook turned a five-point deficit into a pinfall victory. “Winning is a skill and being able to pull out a win in a tough match, and being able to find a win, is important as you progress through your career,” Wozniak said citing times girls were able to fight off their back or turn around a match and end up with a win. That kind of fight—ladies finding wins and scoring points—threads through the entirety of the results.

“The thing that stuck out the most was the fact that they fought every dual, regardless of what happened before, or leading up to their match, looking to score and fight,” Wozniak said. “I loved the support they all had for each other throughout the entire day.”


14U and 16U WFS Advance to Gold/Silver Pools
Team Wisconsin’s 14U and 16U women’s freestyle teams went on an absolute tear today in Indiana. The 14U team cruised through preliminary pool competition with an impressive 4-0 start over Indiana (45-22), Ohio (45-30), Michigan (47-23) and Kansas (42-26).

The 16U team impressed with three wins over Texas Red (57-12), Minnesota (52-17) and Missouri (47-23). The team won 7 matches in their hard-fought dual against California but were stopped short of a win, 40-29. They placed 2nd in Pool D.

Both teams will compete in the gold/silver pool tomorrow.


Junior Freestyle Means Business
The junior men’s freestyle is weighed in and set to compete on Friday and Saturday.

The tight-knit team will feature some of America’s best, including 2024 U.S. Open champions Aeoden Sinclair and Connor Mirasola, multiple-time Fargo champ and U17 freestyle World champ Koy Hopke, four-time Fargo champ Haakon Peterson, Fargo champ Kellen Wolbert and Fargo finalist Cole Mirasola. Hopke and the Mirasola brothers were among five Wisconsin wrestlers that went undefeated last year—Mulvaney and Scoles, who went on to win Fargo titles last summer, were the other two. That’s barely scratching the surface on this team’s individual accolades. Neitzel rounds out the returners on this stellar lineup.

The battle-tested team looks to claim the title after a 3rd place finish in 2023 where they posted a 7-1 record overall. Their only loss came at the hands of Ohio Scarlet in the gold-pool semifinal in a closely contested 34-29 matchup.


Wrestling resumes in Tulsa and Westfield at 9 am central time.


Thursday's Final Results

Helpful Notes
→ Team WI Rosters: 
→ Stream live on FloWrestling
→ Brackets posted on TrackWrestling
→ ABOUT: National Duals are age-level USA Wrestling events featuring some of the most talented freestyle and Greco wrestlers on state association teams nationwide.

The Wisconsin Wrestling Federation, guided by USA Wrestling, provides quality opportunities for its members to achieve their full human and athletic potential. Wisconsin Wrestling Federation will strive to be USA Wrestling’s best state organization.