FARGO, N.D. – Carson Manville and Luke Stout both come from strong wrestling backgrounds, but they’re different in many ways.
The one common bond? They each won Cadet National Freestyle Tournament championships on Monday as Team Pennsylvania captured the team title.
Manville, who won freestyle and Greco-Roman titles for Minnesota last year before his family moved to Pennsylvania, was expected to win. An eighth-place finisher at the 2018 UWW Cadet World Championships in freestyle and a double Cadet Pan American champion in both styles, he’s one of the most accomplished young wrestlers in the United States.
Stout was much more of an unknown on the national scene when he arrived in Fargo. A PIAA fourth-place finisher as a sophomore at Mount Lebanon, he had never competed in the national freestyle tournament, so his performance likely opened some eyes.
“He kind of had a little bit of a coming out party for a kid who was a state qualifier as a freshman and just placed in the state as a sophomore,” said Team PA coach Bryan Pearsall, who is an assistant at Penn. “Coming out and winning this thing is pretty impressive. I think he’s going to be on a lot of people’s radar now.”
Manville already had been, for quite a while. The younger brother of Mason Manville, who is a member of Senior Greco-Roman World Team and will be a redshirt freshman at Penn State in the fall, Carson has has moved around to benefit his wrestling career. Originally from Virginia, he won a Minnesota state title in eighth grade before enrolling at Wyoming Seminary last year. He won a National Prep Title there – and found some middle ground as far as the climate goes.
“The winter’s colder than in Virginia, but nowhere close to Minnesota,” he said with a laugh after beating West Virginia’s John Martin Best 14-4 in the 145-pound championship on Monday.
Best actually threw Manville for four in the first minute, but it was all Manville after that.
“After I gave up the four, I just looked at it like, ‘whatever,’ ” he said. “I wrestled dumb. I tried an arm spin that I shouldn’t have. It bite me in the butt, so I was like, ‘All right whatever.’ ”
With so much experience in the international styles, he knew he could quickly overcome the deficit, and he did.
“Carson is a very scrappy freestyle and Greco wrestler,” Pearsall said. “He’s wrestled overseas, so we had total confidence in what he was able to achieve. He fulfilled his goal, and he’s going to try to win it in Greco as well here in a few days.”
A takedown and leg lace by Manville tied the match at 4. Another takedown gave him the lead and put him in the driver’s seat.
“Same move, dragged him this time and got a trap-arm and just gutted him out,” he said.
Manville said he knew he could end it with four trap-arm gut wrenches – which he did, in just 1:52.
“I could feel it. I had it locked up, elbows deep,” Manville said.
Stout’s championship match took a bit longer, but it also ended via technical superiority. He used a go-behind to take the lead about a minute into his 170-pound title bout with Wisconsin’s Sam Skillings, and a snapdown a minute later made it 4-0. Skillings got two points with a crotch lift, but Stout finished the period strong, scoring on a nice double-leg and turning Skillings at the buzzer to make it 8-2 entering the break.
“I always want to be scoring,” Stout said. “I wasn’t even sure if I gave those (two points) up or not. I didn’t even see the score. I just kept on wrestling, pushing him. I knew he’d be tired, especially by the second, if we even made it out of the first.”
They did, but it didn’t go the distance. Stout added two takedowns – the first off a counter, the second coming on a quick shot – to finish off the match and capture the title.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “(I’m) really excited. First time out here, a lot of people don’t know who I am.”
They will now.
Stout, whose older brother Kellan will be a redshirt junior at Pitt in the fall and whose father, Bryan, was a four-time All-American at Clarion, said his performance is product of his offseason training.
“It shows how much I’ve grown since the state tournament in March,” he said. “All the hard work is paying off.”
Pearsall said Stout stood out in the pre-Fargo workouts.
“I was really impressed with him throughout the whole camp as far as his demeanor and his work ethic,” he said.