All-American Brandon O’Brien will help anchor a talented Cadet squad

Team Iowa is headed west this weekend to Spokane, Washington as Iowa’s USA Wrestling Cadet team gets ready to compete in the National Duals. The tournament will take place over four days beginning with Greco-Roman on June 13th through the 14th before ending in with the freestyle competition on June 15th and 16th. The action can be streamed live on Trackwrestling.

This year’s squad will definitely have their work cut out to replicate the success built a year ago where Iowa managed top ten finishes in both styles. Team Iowa opened the Greco-Roman portion with a fourth place finish and then saw the Gold team take ninth in freestyle and Iowa Black finishing 21st overall. The good news is that Iowa is returning several key names from the 2017 squad that should help guide Iowa to another pair of top finishes.

The big three anchoring team Iowa are all returning Fargo All-Americans Brandon O’Brien (88), Drake Ayala (106), and Caleb Rathjen (120). Last summer Ayala tore through Fargo to win the national title at 88 pounds and hasn’t looked back. He was the state’s runner-up at 106 pounds during the regular season and he is expected to be a big contender when he gets to Fargo later this summer. O’Brien was a sixth place finisher at 88 last summer and will be a large favorite to win the national title at that weight later this summer (which would make it three years in a row with Iowa at the top of the podium at that weight), and Rathjen finished seventh up at 106 pounds.

The list of names doesn’t stop there for Iowa. In addition to Ayala this past season also saw Rathjen, Ben Monroe (132), and Jack Gaukel (132) each finish runner-up during the regular season. Other state medalists include Trever Anderson (100), Jack Thomsen (126), Matthew Doyle (152), and Griffin Liddle (285). The team also has a trio of AAU state champions in Stevie Ray Barnes (106), Hunter Garvin (113), and Robert Avila.

Brandon OBrien
Carter Fousek
Trever Anderson
Lane Cowell
Drake Ayala
Stevie Ray Barnes
Hunter Garvin
Hayden Taylor
Caleb Rathjen
Robert Avila
Jack Thomsen
Jack Gaukel
Ben Monroe
Cael Rahnavardi
Adam Ahrendson
Matthew Doyle
Ethan Vetterick
Spencer Mooberry
Jared Voss
Will Hoeft
Cael Knox
Evan Rosonke
Cade Parker
Gavin Bascom
Luke Walker
Griffin Liddle
Keith Donnelly
Michael Doyle
Brent Metcalf
TJ Sebolt

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, June 13
Greco Roman Session 1: (16 mats)
Rounds 1 & 2 Preliminary Championship Match, Championship Semi-Finals, & Consolation Quarterfinals
9:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Greco-Roman Session 2: (16 mats)
Rounds 3, 4 & 5 – Consolation Semi-Finals & 1st Place Match, Placement Match 3rd, 5th, 7th, True 2nd place Match
1:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Thursday, June 14
Greco-Roman Session 3: Color Pools (Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue, Green/Yellow)
Rounds 1 & 2 Preliminary Duals (All 16 Mats)
8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Greco-Roman Session 4: (All 16 Mats)
Rounds 3 & 4 Preliminary Duals & Finals Placement Match Dual
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Friday, June 15
Freestyle Session 1: (16 mats)
Rounds 1, 2, & 3– Preliminaries, Consolations, & Semifinals
8:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Freestyle Session 2: (16 mats)
Rounds 4, 5 & 6 – Consolations, Placement (1st-8th), & True 2nd
Round 1 – Preliminary Duals Color Pools (Gold/Silver, Bronze/Copper, Red/Blue, Green/Yellow)
1:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Saturday, June 16
Freestyle Session 3: (16 Mats)
Rounds 2, 3 & 4 – (16 mats) Preliminary Duals and Finals Placement Match (Awards to follow)
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle