Last week we were able to look at videos from recruits going to UNI, ISU, Iowa, and the uncommitted group.Now we can take a look at which wrestlers have boosted their “stock” from their Fargo performances, and who have not.
On the Up and Up
Bryce Steiert (160) had one heck of a weekend (and is on an absolute tear this Summer). After winning a state title at 145 this February, Steiert bumped up to 160 to compete for Team Iowa. He was sitting at 19 in 145, and even with graduating seniors, jumping to #11 while going up two weight classes in the middleweights is extremely impressive. After a Fargo weekend where he finished 4th in freestyle, while picking up wins over ranked opponents Paden Moore, Chris Weiler, and Weston Dobler. The UNI commit has firmly placed himself into the top half of his weight, and his only two losses on the weekend were to the #3 Fox Baldwin, losing 11-10 and 11-11 on criteria. Schwab appears to have landed himself a really nice recruit.
Chase Straw (152) put together a pretty solid weekend by placing 7th in Greco-Roman, including a pin over a ranked Colston DiBlasi. I know it’s hard to actually rate a win when it comes in a different style than what they would actually wrestle against each other in college, but I still rate it as a solid win. Straw also fell a round short of becoming an All-American in freestyle so I would have to think that all of that together would be a positive thing for Straw’s stock in college recruitment.
Cash Wilcke (182) had a pretty successful weekend as well, placing 6th in a bracket with a top ten wrestler pound-for-pound. Wilcke was able to net a win over #13 Ty Wildmo to reach the quarterfinals, and ground out another tough win over #12 Nathan Traxler to place himself in the consolation semifinals. Already considered a top 100 recruit for the Iowa Hawkeyes, Wilcke’s successful weekend reinforced his ranking at 182.
Cole Erickson (152) had a pretty nice run in my mind too, as we discussed back in Part III, Erickson finished 4th behind Straw in the 2A 145 bracket. Erickson lost his opening match, but then he won five straight matches before losing to the eventual 6th place finisher (also worth noting that the wrestler that eliminated Erickson was the one that eliminated Straw). It’s not easy losing your first match and still have the will to keep wrestling back, but Erickson did a pretty good job.
Fredy Stroker’s stock would have to be one that was unchanged from this weekend. After what was supposed to be only going up one weight class from his junior season, Fredy ended up having to go up two classes to 145 for Fargo. You see the problem with coming into a national tournament as a top ten wrestler pound-for-pound is that improving your stock is in the realm of impossible, as there are only a few guys to jump. The result of Fredy’s weekend was a 4th place finish in a tough bracket. Stroker was still able to make the semifinals and in total picked up two top seven wins at 145, so I have to believe that this was a learning experience for the Bettendorf wrestler. While you could argue that his stock went down at Fargo, I am placing myself in the “wait and see” boat, as I think he will correct his drop to #3 (which it’s still really good to be ranked top three at a weight), and Fredy will climb back to where he was as his body transitions to a new weight class.
Jake Marnin is in the same situation as Stroker. He had a good showing taking home 4th in both freestyle and Greco-Roman. Finishing behind guys like Adarios Jones (headed to UNI), Sam Stoll (headed to Iowa), and Tate Orndorff isn’t anything to get down in the dumps about. Even if Marnin would have finished 3rd in both styles, I still don’t think his stock would have gone up, as he was probably the third or fourth best wrestler in his bracket (which is where he finished). He would have needed an upset to improve his stock. That’s the problem with being one of the best at your weight, it’s hard to go up. He is 3-2 against Orndorff this summer, so while his loss to him dropped Marnin in the rankings, it’s not necessarily a bad loss. Marnin is still a great heavyweight recruit.
Max Thomsen had a rough go at the 145 bracket much like Stroker did. Thomsen, also recently committed to Doug Schwab and the UNI Panthers earlier last month. Voss and Maruca both picked up wins over Thomsen, which again isn’t nothing to get ashamed about. Voss is headed to North Dakota State, and Maruca also handed Stroker his second loss of the weekend. Thomsen is still a really great recruit, and worthy of a top 30 class of 2015 ranking, but he didn’t do any work to move that number upward.
Not so hot
Nolan Hellickson (120) had the only “bad weekend” of the group, but his first loss to Hunter Marko was a pretty even matchup (ranking wise) going into the match, and then Hellickson ran into some bad luck on the backside. It’s not easy to bring “it” in a tournament with that many matches, especially when you have to wrestle so many in succession. My disappointment only extends to the fact that I wish he would have made the stand, but I am confident he will be back in the rankings before the year is done.
Underclassmen who had a good Fargo
Brock Rathbun (120) won a 2A state title at 113, and fell just one win short of reaching the podium. Going into his junior year I think Rathbun will see an uptick in interest.
Ryan Leisure (120) finished second to Rathbun in that 113 bracket, and put together a solid Cadet week finishing 4th in Greco, and he fell two rounds short in freestyle losing to the 7th place finisher. I will be interested to see how Leisure does in his sophomore campaign.
Bryce West (113) placed 3rd in 1A at 113 as a freshman, and put together double All-American honors in the Cadet classes at Fargo. He took home 2nd in Greco, and 4th in freestyle. This was after he already placed 5th out at Cadet Nationals in Ohio. The results of Bryce’s accomplishments was debuting at #19 in Flo’s rankings, and he is now up to 13 after Fargo.
Colton Clingenpeel (138) actually finished 7th in his bracket at 126 3A, but managed to put together a great weekend in the Cadet tournaments by bringing home 4th in freestyle at 138. Clingenpeel will be a junior this upcoming season.
Anthony Sherry is going to be a freshman, and I think everyone should be taking note of the youngster. He made the semifinals of both Greco and freestyle at 152, placing 2nd in Greco, and then 6th in freestyle. It’s always really impressive to see a wrestler who is not even in high school perform so well in the middleweights.
Gannon Gremmel (220) didn’t compete in Greco, but that was okay as he was the only Cadet to bring home a national title (and the only other Iowan to win a title was Junior division 220 Marcus Harrington)
**Also of note Ethan Anderson (220), Carter Happel (132), and Drew West (113) also had solid summers, as they each competed at Cadet Worlds last month, and West also brought home Greco All-American honors.