After a wild quarterfinal round inside the Fargodome, Team Pennsylvania has advanced six wrestlers into the 2019 Fargo Junior National Freestyle Semifinals. Additionally, eleven wrestlers are still alive in the consolation round and sit just one win away from All-American honors.
At 138 pounds Pennsylvania saw two wrestlers advance into the semifinals – sort of. Lachlan McNeil is from Canada, has lived in New York, and goes to Wyoming Seminary. He is competing for Team PA out in Fargo while his younger brother Gregor is competing for New York. Regardless, McNeil, who represented Canada at the Cadet World Tournament and Pan-American Tournament multiple times, is a stud and he teched his way by superiority into the semifinals where he will face the top ranked wrestler in the Nation by Flo, Josh Saunders of Missouri. Saunders, a Cadet and Junior World Team member for the USA, has also teched his way into the semis.
On the bottom half 2-time PIAA State Champion and #2 in the Nation Sammy Hillegas (North Hills) is showing his opponents why they’re lucky he just now started competing in Freestyle. The Virginia Tech commit racked up four tech-falls and a narrow 11-9 win over #6 in the Nation Joshua Edmonds (Michigan) in the Round of 64. Sammy will face Ridge Lovett (Idaho), who already graduated high school and has advanced into the Fargo Finals twice before, in the semifinals.
2019 Pennsylvania State Champion Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon-McMillan) is competing at 170 pounds and in the quarterfinals he took out California’s Trent Munoz who ended his senior season ranked #7 in the Nation by Flo. Nijenhuis went ahead early and the two exchanged takedowns in a 9-6 win for the Big Mac. Nijenhuis, a Purdue commit, will meet Georgia’s Gavin Kane who is ranked #13 in the Nation by Flo in the semifinals.
At 182 pounds, no doubt the most difficult bracket in Fargo, Pennsylvania is represented by Mount Lebanon’s Luke Stout. The 2018 Cadet National Champion is up to Juniors in 2019 where he finds himself in the semifinals against Abe Assad of Illinois. Assad, who competed in the 2019 Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic for Team USA, is a stud who owns a Cadet World Bronze medal in Freestyle. He is heading to Iowa in the fall and ended his senior season ranked #3 in the Nation by Flo. These two both fell victim to Pennsylvania’s 2-time State Champion Carter Starocci (Cathedral Prep). Stout lost to him in the State Finals while Assad lost to him at the PWC.
One of the more surprising semifinalists for Team PA came at 195 pounds where Cole Urbas (State College) won a quarterfinal match against Matt Cover of Ohio 10-8 despite being down 4-0 early. Urbas, a UPenn commit, had a collapse at the PIAA State Tournament in 2019, coming in ranked #1 in the State and being undefeated after a runner-up finish in 2018. He ended up taking fourth place in Hershey to end his career. He now faces Isaac Tremble of Nebraska who defeated fellow Pennsylvania wrestler Austin Walley (Ellwood City) in the quarterfinals by fall. At 220 pounds Cadet Fargo All-American and Bucknell recruit Dorian Crosby looks big for the weight and used his length en route to four push-out points and a 4-2 win in the quarterfinals against California’s Guillermo Escobedo. The good news for Crosby is that he is on the opposite side of superstar Braxton Amos (West Virginia) and instead faces Cade Lautt of Kansas.
With 18 points Pennsylvania is tied for second with Ohio in the Fargo Junior Freestyle Nationals after action in Session III. They trail leader Illinois (24) by six points.
FloWrestling will be streaming the entire Tournament live for subscription members.
They are updated on the FloArena
All times shown are Central
Monday, July 15th
5 PM to 8:30 PM – Junior Men’s Freestyle Session IV – Semifinals, Consolations and Consolation Semifinals
Tuesday, July 16th
9 AM to 10 AM – Junior Freestyle Session V – Consolation Semifinals (IF NEEDED)
1 PM to 4 PM – Junior Freestyle Session VI – Finals, Medal Matches & Awards
PA Wrestlers in the Championship Semifinals
Lachlan McNeil (Wyoming Seminary)
Sam Hillegas (North Hills)
Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon-McMillan)
Luke Stout (Mount Lebanon)
Cole Urbas (State College Area)
Dorian Crosby (Cathedral Prep)
PA Wrestlers in the Consolation Round 8 #2
Hunter Sloan (Malvern Prep)
Robert Gardner (South Williamsport)
Sheldon Seymour (Troy Area)
Ben Monn (Cumberland Valley)
Gabe Miller (Pequea Valley)
Ed Scott (DuBois Area)
Aurelius Dunbar (Mercersburg Academy)
Michael Kistler (Northampton Area)
Angel Garcia (Mariana Bracetti Academy)
Austin Walley (Ellwood City)
Julian Gorring (Fort LeBoeuf)