Trent Hidlay Steamrolls His Way Into Fargo Junior National Finals

FARGO, N.D. – Trent Hidlay is excited to be in the finals of the Marines Junior Freestyle National Championship, but he knows there’s one giant step left in achieving his goal at the Fargodome.

He’ll have Maryland’s Aaron Brooks in the 170-pound title match on Tuesday. And, just like he always does, he’ll write B2W – for “born to win” – on the tape that covers the laces on his shoes.

“I’ve been doing it for a while,” Hidlay said. “I think I started freshman year. It’s kind of a little ritual I do. Just in case I go out there and forget what I’m made of, this gives me a little reminder I’m out there to win.”

It’s hard to believe Hidlay has needed any reminders. He’s torched the competition in Fargo by a combined score of 66-0.

“That’s the goal every match – to go out there and dominate,” the Mifflin County rising senior said after an 11-0 dismantling of Illinois’ Zachary Braunagel in the semifinals. “I’ve been doing it all season. I feel comfortable. That’s how I like wrestling – getting out there, getting my ties, controlling the ties, just being really physical with the guy. Breaking him down, and then the shots will open up. Just score a lot of points. I really feel alive out there, getting my hooks, push him around, getting my stuff and getting my hand raised. It’s awesome.”

Awesome – that certainly could describe Hidlay’s performance thus far.

After earning All-American honors each of the past two years at Fargo, Hidlay had bigger goals in mind this time around.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said of his finals appearance. “The last two years I’ve come here I’ve got seventh and eighth. It really sits uneasy with me. I think about it all the time.”

He made Josh Ramirez pay in the quarterfinals, pushing the Louisiana wrestler around the mat before finishing off a 13-0 victory with an emphatic double-leg takedown. His performance in the semifinals might have been more impressive, as he built a 7-0 lead over Braunagel, then used an underhook to go feet-to-back for the 11-0 victory.

On Tuesday, Hidlay will look to complete his ridiculous run.

“This is one of these tournaments, you want to come, you want to get to the finals,” he said. “Great atmosphere. You want be on the big stage. I just live for that. I live for that moment.”

Hidlay said he might have faced Brooks when they were much younger, but he’s more worried about his own style than the Maryland wrestler’s.

“He’s pretty tough,” Hidlay said. “I just want to stick to what I’m good at. I don’t want to get caught up in what he’s good at or how he wrestles. I just want to stick to how Trent Hidlay wrestles. If I do that, I’m confident I’ll be a National champ here. I’ve still got a lot of business to take care of, but I’m excited. I’m really amped up for the opportunity. I’m ready to get going.”

If he needs a reminder about the task ahead of him, he can always look at his shoes.


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