Thirty one North Carolina wrestlers made the annual summer pilgrimage to Fargo, ND for the USA National Championships, and two returned home with the coveted honor of Fargo All American.
Rising freshman Josh Blatt got the week off to a great start, with a strong 7th place finish in Cadet Greco-Roman in his first trip to Fargo. Blatt finished 4-2, with a strong Tech Fall win over Atilano Escobar of Arizona. Blatts loses were to the 3rd place and 5th place finishers respectively. Team NC Cadets finished 27-24 overall in Greco competition.
Returning national runner up and state champion Wilson Smith kept the strong Greco showing going, backing up his Cadet runner-up finish last year with a strong 5th place finish this year. Smith finished 5-2, outscoring his opponents 67-15 in his five wins, and 84-32 overall. This included four shutout wins. Wilson's only losses were to eventual national champion Gabriel Townsell of Illinois 10-7, and last year's national champion Coltan Williams of Texas 11-10.
Team NC Juniors finished a combined 39-30 in Greco competition.
North Carolina's lone female competitor Brooke Richards kicked off the freestyle competition for North Carolina by competing in both cadet and junior divisions.
North Carolina cadets were a combined 27-24, with strong performances from Anthony Brito (4-2) and Jacob Balmas (3-2)
North Carolina juniors were a combined 31-34 in freestyle competition, with Angel Najar (4-2) and Ryan Ashley (4-2) leading the way for Team NC.
This was the first time since 2011 that North Carolina had multiple All-Americans, and even bigger things will be expected next year, and many of this year's Team NC wrestlers will be returning.
Thanks to all the wrestlers, coaches, parents, and supporters who helped make this year's trip possible!
For complete Cadet greco results, CLICK HERE.
For complete Cadet freestyle results, CLICK HERE.
For complete Junior greco results, CLICK HERE.
For complete Junior freestyle results, CLICK HERE.