IAwrestle’s WNO Preview

Mark Beshey – The Guillotine

This Saturday will be a big weekend in the national high school wrestling scene when Flowrestling hosts their Who’s Number One event inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. The event is annually billed as the top high school all-star dual meet in the country. The athletes competing in the event are all vying for, you probably already guessed it, the number one spot in the country in Flowrestling’s rankings.

The event will feature 11 high school bouts, with the 132-pound weight being a four man bracket. Also featured are two freestyle matches between two recently graduated high school wrestlers, and recent World Team member Pat Downey will face Nicky Rodriguez in the finale.

Competing in the event are two wrestlers who have verbally committed to wrestle for the University of Iowa, and recent Iowa State signee Anthony Echemendia. Several other high level targets by both programs will also be in the field.

For the Hawkeyes we will see Arizona prep Jesse Ybarra defend his number one ranking Jakason Burks of Nebraska at the 120-pound weight class and fellow verbal Patrick Kennedy will attempt to knock of the top ranked wrestler at 170 pounds, Alex Facundo later on. With both recruits prominently featured in the Class of 2020 rankings many of the Hawkeye faithful will be looking forward to what may be the first of many wins inside Carver.

Iowa State fans will get their first look at Echemendia since the Arizona native announced his signing to the Cyclones. His match will be a freestyle meeting at 65 kg against former Missouri standout Josh Saunders. Echemendia is expected to join the Cyclone team this fall. Echemendia is a Cuban national who defected to America roughly a year ago. This past summer his stock blew up when he took Fargo by storm winning a freestyle and Greco-Roman national titles.

Speaking of Iowa State flavor, while Hawkeye fans will be rooting for Kennedy to win the 170-pound bout, Cyclone fans will likely be cheering against their instate rivals as Facundo is considered one of, if not the, highest priority for the 2021 recruiting class. Ranked the top overall prospect in his grade, Facundo was recently on campus in Ames for his official visit.

There is a reason they are saving this matchup toward the end as these two wrestlers are among the best in the country, with both wrestlers featured in Flo’s top 10 of their pound-for-pound rankings. This meeting has all the potential of being the match of the night.

The Hawkeyes have their share of recruiting targets competing this weekend as well. At 145 pounds the Hawkeyes have been announced as featuring in the #2 ranked Jesse Vasquez top five schools list. The California native is the nation’s top uncommitted wrestler in the class of 2020.

Iowa is also in contention to land the talents of 2021 standouts Paddy Gallagher, who recently named Iowa in his top five schools, and Ryan Sokol, who was previously an Iowa verbal for nearly a year before changing his mind this summer. Gallagher will face #1 Keegan O’Toole of Wisconsin, and Sokol will face #1 Beau Bartlett of Pennsylvania.

Wrestling will get underway at 6:00 PM CT on Saturday. For fans not in attendance they will be able to stream the dual live on Flowrestling.

Match Order
132: #1 Jesse Mendez, IN vs #4 Ryan Jack, CT
132: #2 Dom Serrano, CO vs #3 Shayne Van Ness, NJ
120: #1 Jesse Ybarra, AZ vs #2 Jakason Burks, NE
113: #1 Richard Figueroa, CA vs #2 Stevo Poulin, NY
145: #1 Victor Voinovich, OH vs #2 Jesse Vasquez, CA
65 kg: Josh Saunders, MO vs Anthony Echemendia, AZ
152: #1 Sonny Santiago, CA vs #2 Travis Mastrogiovanni, NJ
160: #1 Paddy Gallagher, OH vs #2 Keegan O’Toole, WI
126: #1 Robbie Howard, NJ vs #2 Trevor Mastrogiovanni, NJ
138: #1 Beau Bartlett, PA vs #2 Ryan Sokol, MN
170: #1 Alex Facundo, MI vs #2 Patrick Kennedy, MN
132: Mendez/Jack vs Serrano/Van Ness
Supermatch: Pat Downey vs Nicky Rodriguez

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