State Runner-up Carter Starocci Wants a Stop Sign in Fargo

ERIE, PA – Last year at this time Carter Starocci was coming off an eighth place finish in his first trip to the PIAA State Tournament and the Cathedral Prep rookie eyed more. He placed third at the PAWF Freestyle Cadet State Tournament and earned a trip to Fargo, ND. Competing at 152 lbs. Carter tallied a (3-2) record missing a spot in the top eight. After placing second in the PAWF Greco State Tournament Carter earned his first USAW honor when he took eighth in Fargo.

“My freshman year after the State Tournament I was upset for a couple of months for not finishing as well as I wanted to. That is when I started doing Freestyle, taking it seriously, and training hard. I wanted to start Freestyle to help improve my Folkstyle.”

Prior to his freshman season Carter participated in several other sports so wrestling Freestyle and Greco in the off-season was tough to squeeze in. Fast forward a year and Starocci is in a much different place. For starters, the sophomore improved on his PIAA State eighth place finish from 2016, advancing into the State Finals at 152 lbs. where he fell to 3-time PIAA State Champion Cameron Coy (Penn Trafford).

In April 2017 he was third at the prestigious FloNationals and weeks later won the Ohio Tournament of Champions title. Starocci again improved when he competed in the PAWF State Tournament dominating his way to the 160 lbs. State Championship with three tech-falls.

Carter can’t really remember taking off his wrestling shoes they have been on so much since his State Finals appearance. “When I got back from States I rested for a few days but then I got into the practice room as soon as possible, hitting everything to try and get better, and working hard.”

With all the hard work and success Carter has had in the last four months – the mature Starocci feels confident. “I belong here – I said to myself, I’m second in the State, I did well at Flo, and down in Disney I had a win over #9 in the Nation Jake Brindley.” 

Obviously Carter’s Freestyle skills are improving with every match; he went (4-1) at the Cadet Freestyle National Duals and competed in the Cadet World Team Trials where he placed fifth.  At the Cadet World Team Trials Carter wound up with a tough draw. “In my first match I wrestled the guy who ended up winning it, Will Lewan, I was beating him (6-2) with eight seconds left before losing.” Lewan ended up winning his next five matches to claim a spot on the USA Cadet World Team.

“It’s been fun but challenging as I am still in the learning stages of Freestyle. I started really liking Freestyle.”

When asked point blank what his goals are for Fargo in 2017, Carter Starocci was very clear in his answer.

“My goal this year is to win it.”

Starocci, who will be competing at 152 lbs. again in 2017, said he has been training hard and feels good going into Fargo. He plans on taking a much deserved break following the trip. 

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