Wrestling season will officially kickoff this weekend when wrestlers from across the country will head to the UNI-Dome on the campus of Northern Iowa to compete in the 2014 USA Wrestling PreseasonNationals. One of the largest preseason events in the country, the Preseason Nationals will play host to over 2,700 wrestlers.
The 7th Annual Cliff Keen USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals is one of the largest youth and high school wrestling tournaments in the world. With some of the top wrestlers in the country attending the event each year, it’s a breeding ground for college coaches to get a look at some of the top talent in the country.
The event features three age groups starting with high school boys. The high school event will begin on Saturday at 9am. To close out the event on Sunday, the 8th grade and below division as well as the high school girls division will hit the mats, looking for their first notable championship of the season.
“From having a few hundred kids in the first year to having over 2,700 kids here this year; it’s very exciting,” said Tournament Director Brian Keck. “It’s mind blowing to see how the tournament has grown over the last few years and how the competition has grown with it.”
In this year’s event, wrestlers from 38 states will travel to Iowa to compete in. The states are most represented include Iowa (566), Illinois (565), Minnesota (329), Wisconsin (296), and Texas (123). Wrestlers have the ability to participate in up to 10 matches depending on how deep into the event they make it. “This is a great opportunity for wrestlers to get some matches,” Keck said. “Many of them will face off versus talent from across the country and compete against kids they never wrestled before. It’s a great opportunity for them to get ready for their regular season by getting rid of the mat rust.”
Headlining this year’s Middle School division are ten wrestlers who will aim to defend their 2013 Cliff Keen USA Wrestling Preseason National Championships. They include; 77-pound Kellyn March, 84-pound Tyler Sung, 91-pound Trey Crawford, 91-pound Jaxon Smith, 98-pound Dylan D’Emilio, 105-pound Sage Walker, 112-pound Albert Ferrari, 136-pound Anthony Glauser, 136-pound Wyatt Strain, and 190-pound Jacob Kaminski.
Other wrestlers to keep an eye on this weekend include Iowa State Champion Cullan Schriever, Minnesota State Champion Paxton Creese, Colorado State Champions Mosha Schwartz and Patrick Allis, Illinois State Champion Juan Bazaldua, Missouri State Champion Devin Schwartzkopf, and Oklahoma State Champion Dustin Plott.
Each bracket, from top to bottom, is loaded with talent and we expect great wrestling to take place throughout the event. For the ten wrestlers hoping to defend their titles, they are going to have to bring their “A” games to have a shot at standing atop the podium one again.
Youth1.com will be following the action all weekend. Be sure to check out Youth1.com next week for a compete recap and a list of Top Performers!
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