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Wisconsin girls shine at Women’s National Duals; Junior Men's Freestyle dominates day one in Tulsa

By Gabby Lord-Klein, 06/21/24, 9:15PM CDT


Westfield, Ind., — The 14U and 16U women’s freestyle teams made a statement in Indiana this week with two top-five finishes at National Duals.

The 16U team finished runners-up in the first-ever event for the age group, posting an impressive 6-2 performance. After finishing 2nd in pool d, Wisconsin had wins in the gold/silver pool today over Oklahoma (46-19), Texas Blue (53-16), and Ohio Blue (37-31), which sent them into the championship matchup with Pennsylvania, L48-25.

Their impressive team effort was led by four wrestlers who declared total dominance: Madi Peach, Riley Hanrahan, and Brooke Huffman went 8-0, and Brynn Engel went 6-0. Emjay Neumann (7-1) and Cassidy O`Connell (6-1) gave up just a single match, and Harlow Skenandore was 6-2 with all techs. The majority of wins from this group were by way of tech or fall as the ladies contributed all the extra team points they could get their hands on.

Wisconsin is known to battle—win or lose—for every team point. “Every single team knows we’re not just going to roll over for them,” Coach Carl DeLuca said. “We talked about the reputation Wisconsin has while at camp and before the duals, and there were many times we could be down 9-0 and turn it into 9-4, or down 6-0 and get a step-out point and team point.”

Their fight was balanced by fun and personality that jumped through the screen for at-home viewers. “We got there in the morning and we did the hard warmup and after that, it’s really focused on competing when we compete and while we’re not competing having fun,” he said. The team brought several cheeseheads and used up 300 temporary tattoos. “We were really good at going between having fun and flipping that switch and going out there and fighting as hard as we could.”

The 14U team placed 4th overall owning their own 6-2 record. The team went 4-0 Thursday and had a split performance Friday featuring wins over Arizona (41-27) and Oklahoma (48-28). They were outmatched today by the champions, Pennsylvania, and Kansas.

Some young leaders with top performances were Daelin Cody who went undefeated 6-0, Ramsey Brandenburg 7-1, Cora Stewart 6-1, Alexa Thomas 6-1, and Ember Zupanc 6-2.

“It was a lot of fun,” DeLuca said and noted heightened interaction between the groups that practically did everything together.“Having the teams together so they can watch each other and be together between rounds adds fun and it adds support, too.”

That blend of competitive fire and fun seems like a great place for a strong team to grow from together, and Wisconsin seems to be well on its way. The 14U and 16U teams are, undoubtedly, on the proverbial wrestling map.

Junior Men Dominate Day One
Tulsa, Okla., — The men’s freestyle team dominated their opening day of competition at Junior duals. “We’re excited to compete,” said Coach Nick Becker after warmups this morning. “I know these guys are hungry and eager to go today . . . we just gotta start out right against Florida and not take anyone lightly,” he added.

The team, which started in pool a, won every single match over Florida (63-3) in the quarterfinals, and continued domination in the semifinals over Utah, 59-7. After a short break in action, they cruised to victory over California to win the pool title, 47-18. Their win advanced them to the gold/silver pool where they started out over Oklahoma Blue, 47-19.

Everyone anticipated this type of action, but the team’s intensity on day one alone is something for the books and sets the stage for an exciting finish in the championship bracket tomorrow.

The final day of action at Junior National Duals begins tomorrow at 9 AM.

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