With only a small number of wrestlers competing in the Greco-Roman style out at the Asics/Vaughan Cadet and Junior Nationals we will be combing our Cadets and Juniors together in one preview.
Over the past few years Team Iowa has struggled in Greco-Roman at Fargo, especially in the Juniors division, but that is mainly due to a lack of participation. While the lack of numbers hurts Iowa as a whole in this particular style, what we have not had a shortage of is tremendous individual performances.
Starting with last year’s Junior runner-up Carter Isley (285) of Albia. From 2010 to 2013 Iowa has produced at least one Greco national champion and since then Iowa has produced three runner-ups with Isley being the most recent. In 2015 Isley’s performance was considered pretty dominant. He allowed just 10 points in his six matches, with four of those coming in a 15-4 TF win. The most recent action of Isley in Greco saw him go 3-1 out a Junior Duals, his lone loss coming to Michigan’s Trent Hillger, 3-1. Last summer Isley pushed himself to the top of the heavyweight rankings by earning All-American honors in both styles and looks to be a big threat once again this summer.
In terms of consistent production, it’s hard to find a better wrestler than Drew West (126) of (now) Solon, who has brought home All-American honors in each of the last three years out at Fargo. Back in 2013 West brought home a sixth place finish in Cadets and followed that up with a runner-up finish in 2014. During that same 2014 summer, West also won UWW Cadet Nationals (then known as FILA) and competed overseas as part of Team USA’s Cadet National team. In West’s first attempt in the Junior division he took third, with his only loss coming to the eventual runner-up. West is looking for his fourth All-American finish in as many years, as with his credentials he should figure to be in the thick of things once again.
That leaves Glenwood’s Anthony Sherry as one of Iowa’s highest finishing performers over the last two summers, as he took second back in 2014 at 152 pounds. Last summer Sherry stumbled a bit, falling to fourth at 160 pounds in the Cadet division. In his first crack at the Junior state tournament Sherry put in a solid performance, winning the Greco division and taking second in freestyle behind Max Lyon. No one should be sleeping on Sherry because the talent and potential is there, but he will need to string together a consistent tournament to get back to the finals.
After finishing in the round of 12 in his first Fargo, Alex Thomsen (126) earned his first All-American honor by taking fifth last summer at 120 pounds in Greco. Thomsen would go on to make an even bigger splash later that weekend, finishing second in freestyle. Since then Thomsen’s status has continued to grow, so much that he was invited to Colorado Springs to train at a national camp. This summer Thomsen didn’t compete at the state tournament, but he did win the Northern Plains Regional a few weeks later. Thomsen also took third at UWW Cadet Nationals avenging his only loss and then downing 2014 Cadet All-American Nathan Lendt for third.
An All-American in both styles, Colton Clingenpeel (160) continues to be a solid commodity at this weight, in every style. Already having reached All-American status last summer, Clingenpeel will look to improve on his eight place finish. Last summer Clingenpeel reached the quarterfinals of his bracket before being downed by phenom Mason Manville (eventual runner-up).
Iowa also has a trio of returning All-Americans Brenden Baker (120), Nathan Lendt (132), and Brandon Haas (170). Haas earned a seventh place finish in 2013 at 170 pounds, and will be in the hunt to return to the stand in his final campaign. Baker was a 2014 Junior All-American at 113 pounds, but was defeated by Iowan Drew West in the 2015 consolations. Baker was 4-3 as the 120 pound stater for Iowa Junior Duals team, while Haas was 4-0 at 170. As mentioned previously, Lendt took fourth to Thomsen at UWW Cadets and finished third at the Greco state tournament. Lendt was an eighth place All-American in 2014.
Ryan Leisure (145) got a little banged up at the Junior Duals tournament for team Iowa, though he still managed to go 6-1. Leisure is expecting to be back and healthy to compete in both styles at Fargo. Leisure was fourth at 120 pounds as a Cadet in 2014.
Additionally Keaton Geerts (132) is another interesting name to watch though admittedly we haven’t seen him compete in Greco outside of the state tournament. He was scheduled to compete at both UWW Cadets and for Team Iowa at Junior Duals, but never ended up taking the mat in Greco. Still as a Iowa state Greco champion over Triston Lara and Lendt, he definitely has the skill.
We have confirmed that 2015 Cadet All-Americans Aden Reeves and Garrett Kubovec, along with 2014 All-Americans Bryce West and Tristan Johnson do not plan to compete in Greco-Roman this summer.
The absence of Aden Reeves leaves Team Iowa with more of a group of unknowns. For starters Cullan Schriever, one of the nation’s top incoming freshman, has elected to compete in just freestyle this summer. In 2015, Schriever was a Schoolboy Triple crown winner, meaning he won national titles in folkstyle, freestyle, and Greco-Roman. Iowa does however have Cade DeVos, who was a Schoolboy Greco national champion last season, and may be the biggest title contender of the bunch.
106 Aden Reeves 5th
120 Alex Thomsen 5th
160 Anthony Sherry 4th
195 Garrett Kubovec 7th
113 Drew West 3rd
152 Colton Clingenpeel 8th
285 Carter Isley 2nd
106 Drew West 2nd
106 Nathan Lendt 8th
113 Bryce West 2nd
120 Ryan Leisure 4th
138 Tristan Johnson 8th
152 Anthony Sherry 2nd
113 Brenden Baker 6th
106 Drew West 6th
170 Brandon Haas 3rd
Sunday, July 17th
Cadet Greco-Roman: Session I – Preliminaries and Consolations
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Cadet Greco-Roman: Session II – 1/8 Championship, Quarterfinals and Consolations
3:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Monday, July 18th
Cadet Greco-Roman: Session III – Consolations, Semifinals and Consolation Semifinals
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Junior Greco-Roman: Session I – Preliminaries and Consolations
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Cadet Greco-Roman: Session IV – Finals, Medal Matches & Awards
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Junior Greco-Roman: Session II – Consolations and 1/8 Championship
6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Tuesday, July 19th
Junior Greco-Roman: Session III – Quarterfinals, Consolations, Semifinals and Consolation Semifinals
9:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Junior Greco-Roman: Session IV – Finals, Medal Matches & Awards
2:15 PM to 5:15 PM