Some of Michigan's top preps took on one of the nation's premiere national events this week, competing at the Cadet and Junior Freestyle and Greco Nationals.
The Greco-Roman portion of the tournament earlier this week was not great for the state of Michigan, as Cadet 182lber Brandon Whitman was the lone all-american finishing 3rd in his weight class.
Freestyle kicked off Wednesday and wrapped this morning and Michigan fared much better with three Cadet all-americans and three Junior all-americans as well.
In Cadets Rayvon Foley of Ann Arbor Pioneer HS and Whitman of Dundee HS each stormed all the way to the Freestyle finals, before falling a match short of national titles and finishing runner-up.
Whitman, a freshman D3 state champ this year at 171lbs, entered the tournament as one of the favorites, ranked top 10 nationally, and he looked like the favorite as he crushed everyone en route to the 182lb freestyle finals.
Whitman did not surrender a point in his first 5 matches with 4 tech-falls and a 4-0 win in the semifinals. The final match against Jacob Raschke of Wisconsin looked to be more of the same as Whitman came out firing and took a 5-0 lead into the second period. However, Raschke turned it around and battled back, not only striking the first point on Whitman in three days, but scored 6 points with three unanswered takedowns to win the match 6-5.
Foley, a D1 state placer at 103lbs this year, entered as a top contender as well, but his streak of 4 straight tech-falls to reach the 94lb finals was less expected. Foley's impressive run was finally stopped by Greco Champ and Freestyle World Team Member Malik Heinselman of Colorado, who beat Foley 6-2 in the Freestyle Finals.
Additionally, Lucas McFarland enjoyed a breakout performance at 152lbs. He came into the tournament a bit under the radar, but stormed to the semifinals before falling to eventual champ and returning finalist Trevell Timmons of Illinois. McFarland bounced back in impressive fashion, dominating in the consolation bracket and capping off his tournament with an impressive tech fall over New Jersey state placer Mike O'Malley.
The Junior Freestyle Division was absolutely loaded with talent, and although several Michiganders made deep runs, only three landed in the All-American rounds.
Gaylord 2x State Champ Dominic Lajoie's cut down to 106lbs proved worth while as the multiple time Greco all-american scored his first Freestyle All-American honor, finishing 3rd at 106lbs Lajoie's lone loss was to the #1 ranked wrestler in the country and reigning GFC Champ Louie Hayes of Illinois.
St Johns State Champ and nationally ranked Ian Parker earned All-American honors at 120lbs with a 4th place finish and both losses came to #14 ranked Travis Piotrowski of Illinois. Parker scored arguably the biggest Michigan win of the tournament, however, in the cons semis when he beat #3 ranked Austin Gomez of Illinois 8-5.
Graduated senior and 4x State Champ Lincoln Olson of Davison earned his 4th Fargo Freestyle All-American honor placing the highest of his career with a 4th place finish at 132lbs. Olson's losses both came to his future Oklahoma State team-mate Kaid Brock of Oklahoma and he scored big wins over Old Dominion recruit Brandon James of Indiana and Hunter Marko of Wisconsin who is ranked #4 in the country at 138lbs.
Michigan USA Wrestling Inagural Beach Wrestling season will begin July 26th 2015. The State Finals for Beach Wrestling will be held on August 23rd 2015. The schedule is as follows:
Registration is $10 and is all done onsite. All Ages $10 for members; $25 for non-members Madison block weights Swimwear attire suggested Patches awarded to competitors! Please email your weight, age, and experience levels to Ryan Lancaster at email@example.com prior to 10pm on July 24th. Schedule of events: 8:00am Check-in 9:00am Wrestle until Completion Stay and enjoy all the beach has to offer!
DIVISIONS: All divisions will be Madison weights.
Camps are mandatory unless you have been previously excused by your respective coach or director. The camps are used to prepare and train for the Dual Tournaments and Fargo, to allow your coaches to get to know you and your style and to execute any wrestle-offs that are necessary. It is extremely important that you attend these camps. Camps are open to team members and are included in the cost of your package. Non-team members are welcome to come at an additional charge of $10.00 per session. MUSAW National Team Coaching Staff will be leading all sessions.
May 23, 2015-Michigan State University 10:00am-12:00pm (Schoolboy/Cadet/Junior)
May 30, 2015-Holt High School 10:00am-12:00pm (Schoolboy/Cadet/Junior)
June 6, 2015-Michigan State University 10:00a-12:00pm (Cadet/Junior)
June 13, 2015-Central Michigan University 10:00am-12:00pm (Schoolboy/Cadet/Junior)
June 20, 2015-Central Michigan University 10:00a-12:00pm (Schoolboy/Cadet/Junior)
June 27, 2015-Site Walnut Creek Middle School Aux Gym 10:00am-12:00pm (Schoolboy/Cadet) 7601 Walnut Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, 48323
July 1, 2015 - Site Michigan State University 6:00pm-8pm (Cadet/Junior Fargo)
July 4, 2015-Site Michigan State University 10:00am-12:00pm (Schoolboy/Cadet/Junior)
July 11 (10:00a-3:00p) & 12 (10:00a-1:00p), 2015-Michigan State University Turf (Schoolboy/Cadet/Junior)
After winning a D3 state title for Dundee as freshman, Brandon Whitman is back at it on the FS/GR circuit. This Saturday he dominated the Freestyle portion of competition at the Central Regional en route to a Cadet title at 182lbs. Whitman won all of his matches by tech fall without surrendering a single point against solid competition including Cadet Folk AA Andrew Demos and Illinois SQ Trevor Schmidt.
In addition to Whitman, 4 other Michiganders placed in the top 4 at their weight respective class. Starting at 94lbs, DCC’s Dan Rehfeldt earned runner-up honors on a small chart.
Moving on to 120lbs, Stevensville Lakeshore freshman Austin Franco had a great day that culminated with a 3rd place finish on one of the event’s deepest charts. Finishing the day with a record of 6-2, Franco notched a first period pin of Kentucky state champ Saul Ervin and also managed to tech GFC placer Ryan Moore.
Dearborn Hts Annapolis frosh Dustin Gross continued his impressive offseason, finishing 4th at 145lbs. After suffering an early loss Gross battled through the consolation bracket, winning a 12-10 barnburner over Ohio SQ Colt Yinger in the consolation semis to earn a spot in the top 4.
Wrestling up at 152lbs, Lucas McFarland of St Johns also had a very solid day. The sophomore earned a 4th place finish, which was highlighted by a 3-2 win over talented Ohio freshman Dominic DiPietro in the opening round.
Additionally, Austin Boone fell a match shy of placing, but the Lowell 7th grader was still extremely impressive as he made his debut at the cadet level. Despite a limited Freestyle background, Boone managed to post a record of 4-2 with his only losses coming to Wisconsin state champ Jeremy Schoenherr and Ohio state placer Brandon Lucas.
Several of Michigan's wrestlers impressed in the Junior Freestyle division, but none more so than Walled Lake Central sophomore Ben Freeman. To start the day Freeman drew a brutal first round matchup with Ohio state champ Evan Cheek, but was up to the challenge and advanced with a 6-0 win. Freeman proceeded to the finals with a pin and a tech, and then capped the day in grand fashion by defeating 2X Kentucky state champ Bryce Sheffer via tech fall.
At 120lbs Gaylord sophomore Dom LaJoie cruised to the finals, recording a pair of first period tech falls. In the finals LaJoie wrestled a competitive match with Cadet Freestyle national champ Paul Konrath, but ultimately came up short in a 10-1 loss.
Also earning runner-up place honors was Temperance Bedford’s Blake Montrie. Competing at 160lbs, the junior had an awfully tough road to the finals, which included wins over Cadet Freestyle AA Matt Ferraro of Illinois, Kentucky state runner-up Max Andreoni, and 2X West Virginia state champ Jacob Hart. In the finals Montrie suffered his only loss of the day, falling to Cadet Freestyle AA and Ohio state placer Austin Hiles.
The final Michigan placer in the Junior Freestyle division was Anthony Riopelle, who finished 3rd at 220lbs. A Carleton Airport senior, Riopelle finished the day with 5-1 record and impressive pins of Indiana state placer Christian Redmond and Ohio SQ Ahmad Doucet.
Just like Freestyle, Brandon Whitman was totally untouchable in Greco action, claiming the 182lbs title with a pin and a tech.
At 94lbs Dan Rehfeldt also matched his Freestyle finish, once again finishing runner-up on a small chart.
Also finishing runner-up was Dustin Gross, who dominated his way to the finals before falling to Colt Yinger of Ohio in a rematch from the previous day’s Freestyle tournament.
Walled Lake Central freshman Nick Freeman had a very solid outing, which was highlighted by a pin of Cadet Folk AA Drew Scharenbock en route to a 4th place finish at 113lbs.
Another Michigan placer was Springport’s Sean O’Hearon. A 4th place finisher at 138lbs, the sophomore earned his spot on the podium by gutting out some close consolation wins after an early loss.
Finally, Hunter Schneider rounded out Michigan’s placers with a 4th place showing at 160lbs. The Midland sophomore proved himself to be a dangerous matchup with all 4 of his wins coming via fall.
After winning a Freestyle title on Saturday, Ben Freeman followed up with a dominant Greco showing on Sunday. The 2X D1 state champ went untouched, not allowing a single point along his path to the 132lbs title.
Also claiming a Greco title was 2X D2 state champ Dom LaJoie. Following a runner-up finish in Freestyle the day prior, LaJoie dominated a small chart and won both of his matches via tech fall.
Dearborn Heights Annapolis senior Diallo Matsimella doesn’t have too extensive of a FS/GR background, but that didn’t prevent him from turning in a very solid performance at the Central Regional. The future Chippewa finished 3rd at 195lbs in Greco action after falling a match shy of placing in Saturday’s Freestyle competition.
Anthony Riopelle matched his Freestyle finish, once again finishing 3rd at 220lbs, and with his only loss coming at the hands of Illinois state runner-up Eric Johnson.
Finally, Utica Eisenhower senior Conor McDill rounded out the Michigan placers with a 4th place showing at 152lbs. After losing his opening bout, McDill battled back and earned an impressive 8-8 win over 3X Ohio state placer Jacoby Ward in the consolation semis.
Zoe Nowicki wrestles during a match earlier this season.
IRVING, TEX. – A defending national champion and a handful of girls who placed in the top three lead a group of Michigan girls in Texas during the 2015 Body Bar Women’s National Championship May 15-17.
Cadet U.S. World Team member Theresa Rankin looks to defend her national title, while Kenya Spencer and Hannah Jewell look to improve on their second and third place finishes, respectively.
Nine girls from Michigan pre-registered for the tournament, which acts as the freestyle national tournament and world team qualifier.
First time competitor Zoe Nowicki will wrestle in the 60 kilogram (132.2 pound) weight class.
She is a freshman at Coldwater High School.
“I wanted to go to Body Bar to mainly just get the experience of going to bigger places to wrestle – to get to see better competition,” Nowicki said. “I really think I have a chance at winning this.”
Nowicki hasn’t wrestled in a tournament in three weeks and is ready to get back to competition.
“I miss it,” she said. “I’m super excited to wrestle freestyle, too. It’s my favorite.”
Dominic Adams is a journalist and wrestling coach based in Fenton, Mich. He can be reached via email here.
~~MUSAW TEAM MICHIGAN 2015
ASICS/VAUGHAN JUNIOR & CADET NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
1800 UNIVERSITY DR. NORTH
JULY 18-25, 2015
This tournament is wrestling’s premier individual National wrestling event. It is the crowning jewel of Freestyle and Greco wrestling for the Cadet and Junior division athlete. See the complete schedule on themat.com for weigh-in and check-in times.
All athletes planning to participate in this event must qualify and register through MUSAW. No individual registrations are accepted for this event. You must qualify through the MUSAW State Tournament, USAW Central Regional’s or by being a past age group All-American. For example: To qualify at cadet you must have been a past cadet All- American
MUSAW can provide transportation & housing for athletes that are not traveling/staying with their parent, coach or another family; however those arrangements must be made in advance. All athletes must be present for registration and check-in, in order to receive their credentials. Wrestlers must also attend mandatory work-outs and practices which will be scheduled throughout the week.
Participating as a member of the MUSAW National Team is an honor and privilege. It is important that all athletes represent themselves and the State of Michigan with class and integrity. We expect your best both on and off the mat. Anyone not complying with the rules will not be allowed to continue participating in this event.
Please review the attached information for details on camps, costs, contacts and registration. Feel free to contact anyone on the contact list if you should have further questions or concerns regarding this event. You can print the complete flier for this event at www.themat.com. further information will be posted at musaw.org and you may also get updates by subscribing to the Musawrestling facebook page.
In August 2011, the Michigan Regional Training Center (M-RTC) was sanctioned by USA Wrestling and launched through support from the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club. The M-RTC allows for broader participation and increased development in the international styles for wrestlers meeting specific performance criteria at the Senior, Junior, and Cadet age levels.
M-RTC Elite Development Program: Our elite development program is designed to fuel the Olympic Dream for wrestlers grades 9-12 who consistently train and compete Freestyle and/or Greco-Roman wrestling. Participants will build on an existing knowledge base of advanced wrestling fundamentals by committing themselves to technical development, drilling/position sparring, and competitive live wrestling. Each wrestler will achieve a higher level of mastery of the sport through: 1) exposure to techniques and training that are currently used at the elite levels of collegiate and international wrestling; 2) practices that are focused and challenging; and 3) immersion in an environment that will increase physical capabilities, competitive limitations and mental toughness. These organized training sessions are focused on Freestyle wrestling technique, strategies, and tactics to prepare wrestlers for success at the numerous state, regional, national, and international competitions at the Cadet and Junior levels.
Participation Criteria: To be eligible to participate, you must be currently enrolled in 9-12 grade, live within 200 miles of the Bahna Wrestling Center and meet one of the following performance criteria:
Where: Bahna Wrestling Center || 2350 S. State Street || Ann Arbor, MI 48104
When: May 6 – June 19, 2014 || Tuesdays and Thursdays || 4:30 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
**No practice 5/29 due to the U.S. World Team Trials in Madison, WI.
Fees: There is a $75.00 program fee made payable to the Cliff Keen Wrestling Club. This fee may be paid by cash or check at the first practice. The fee includes a Cliff Keen/M-RTC shirt and short; sizes will be collected the first week. You must also have a valid USA Wrestling membership/competitor card or purchase one through MI USA Wrestling.
Registration Requirements: Qualified participants must register by April 30th to be placed on a USA Wrestling approved roster. Without USA Wrestling roster approval or the following documents on file, participation will not be permitted. The following documents must be submitted prior to full participation:
To register, M-RTC participation forms, a copy of a valid USAW membership, and a copy of a valid health insurance card may be submitted the following ways by April 30th. This provides us enough time to secure your required M-RTC Roster approval by USAW prior to the first practice: