Every year there are several big high school tournaments which bring in some of the top high school teams in the country to compete, but out of all of those tournaments, the Walsh Ironman in Ohio might be the biggest. That’s not even hyperbole, with last season’s St. Paris Graham (OH) winning the tournament and then later were crowned InterMat’s high school national champions. This year the tournament features 15 of InterMat’s Fab 50 teams, including #1 Blair Academy (NJ), #2 Wyoming Seminary (PA), #4 St. Paris Graham, #7 Oak Park Forest (IL), and #10 St. Edward (OH).
This year Alex Marinelli of Graham will look to join the history books as he will try and make his fourth trip to the Ironman finals while looking for his second title. Last season was a big moment for Marinelli, as he went through a loaded bracket that ended with him defeating Cadet World Champion Mason Manville in sudden victory to claim the 160 pound title.
The Manville victory propelled Marinelli to the top of the 160 rankings by every publication, a spot he hasn’t dropped from in what is coming up on a full year. The nation’s #1 ranked 160 pound wrestler is committed to wrestle at the University of Iowa.
Marinelli obviously will enter with the #1 seed this weekend and his next closest competition will be #10 ranked Wyatt Sheets at the #2 seed. An additional three top 20 ranked wrestlers will appear in his bracket, but Marinelli is arguably the strongest favorite of any weight class this weekend. For a reference point in October Marinelli dismantled the former #5 ranked Drew Hughes at the Night of Conflict 17-6.
Hawkeye junior verbal Luke Troy (Martin Luther King) will make his first attempt at an Ironman title and to do so he will have to go through a familiar face. Entering this weekend as the #3 seed, Troy would have to face his old high school teammate, Evan Wick (San Marino), in the semifinals if seeds hold up. His bracket also features #12 ranked Trace Carello, #16 Georgio Poullas, and #19 Max Wohladbaugh. The biggest obstacle at this weight however, will be the #2 ranked Mason Manville.
Jason Renteria, another future Hawkeye, will unfortunately not be back to challenge for an Ironman title. In 2014 fans saw Renteria storm his way to the 113 pound finals, but was then upset by freshman Mitch Moore. Renteria told us he hopes to be back on the mat as early as next week.
The Ironman tournament starts today, with brackets and results found on Trackwrestling.com, and live video can be found on Flowrestling.