Ryan Sokol has just made a World Team. The Minnesota native blew through his bracket in Akron, Ohio to make USA Wrestling Cadet World Team at 65 kg.
Earlier this weekend Sokol managed a third place finish in the Greco-Roman competition with the only points he surrendered in the entire tournament being his 12-0 loss to Haiden Drury. As if that wasn’t impressive enough the Simley turned it up a notch in the freestyle bracket, giving up 11 points (six to Bryce Hepner and five to Derek Fields). And he made the world team at a weight higher than he competed for the Greco spot. All told this weekend Sokol outscored his competition 125-23.
Sokol pledged his commitment to the University of Iowa last October, becoming the first member of Tom Brands’s 2021 recruiting class. He was already considered a top ten recruit in his grade according to Flowrestling. Sokol will now compete later this summer in Bulgaria at for the red, white, and blue.
Another future Hawkeye almost joined Sokol on the World Team, but Arizona prep Jesse Ybarra’s bid to make the team at 55 kg was cut short by Robert Howard of New Jersey. Howard made history by defeating Ybarra, becoming the first wrestler ever to make three Cadet World Teams for the United States.
Four Iowa natives also managed to nab some hardware this weekend, with one of those wrestlers making the U.S. National team. Iowa City West freshman Hunter Garvin earned a third place finish at 55 kg in Greco-Roman. The top three finish qualifies Garvin for the Cadet National team and the potential for some international experience.
A pair of wrestlers each brought home a fourth place finish in freestyle in sophomores Drake Ayala (51 kg) and Caleb Rathjen (60 kg). According to Flowrestling Rathjen earned the tournament’s Biggest WOW Moment when he won by technical fall over #1 ranked Shane Van Ness in the first round of the tournament.
Rounding out the Akron medalists was another promising freshman Underwood’s Nick Hamilton, who was the sixth place medalist at 65 kg in Greco-Roman.
65kg – Ryan Sokol (Simley, MN – Iowa 2021 commit)
55kg – Jesse Ybarra (Sunnyside, AZ – Iowa 2020 commit)
51kg – Drake Ayala (Fort Dodge)
60kg – Caleb Rathjen (Ankeny)
55kg – Hunter Garvin (Iowa City West)
60kg – Ryan Sokol (Simley, MN – Iowa 2021 commit)
65kg – Nick Hamilton (Underwood)