Fargo Nationals is considered by many wrestlers as the granddaddy of all tournaments in the United States. Many of the elite wrestlers from the golden state were successful in capturing stop signs before embarking on their collegiate careers. Just the word Fargo brings great memories for those that were fortunate to compete in the tournament.
While the official name of the most prestigious summer tournament in Freestyle and Greco-Roman is the U.S. Marines Corps Junior and Cadet Nationals, those with wrestling knowledge call it by the city in which it takes place — Fargo, North Dakota.
In total, the golden state has had 28 wrestlers that have captured individual championships in the Junior Division. Roger Roberts was the first to do it in 1974 at 132-pounds, while Nic Aguilar was the last to win the tournament in 2016 at 113-pounds.
The Junior Freestyle tournament is set to begin on Sunday, July 15th, with the I and II sessions being wrestle. They will continue the event on Monday the 16th with session III and IV, with the finals, medal matches, and awards being given on Tuesday, July 17th.
Wrestlers to watch at Fargo
Timothy Levine (106) – Former Bosco wrestler, Timothy, competed for Wyoming Seminary last year and garnered All-American honors at the National Prep tournament. He is a rugged wrestler that has achieved All-American honors twice in Fargo. Timothy will be expected to make another run at Fargo and become a three-time place winner in the tournament.
Tristan Lujan (113) – Just as his uncle Gary Quintana won an NHSCA title in 1991, Tristan accomplished the same feat by capturing a title of his own in March. The soon to be junior was also a state medalist for the first time for the Bears and gathered All-American honors at the UWW Cadet tournament in Ohio. Becoming an All-American at Fargo is not a far-fetched idea for Tristan.
Blake Fredrickson (120) – Blake made his dream come true during March as he was able to place at the CIF state tournament. Before being an All-State participant, Blake was causing trouble for wrestlers at Fargo. He is a 2017 Double Fargo All-American and will be looking to accomplish the same feat up two weight classes.
Jaden Abas (138) – Jaden has done it all in his short scholastic career. The only thing missing is winning a coveted stop sign from Junior Freestyle Nationals. He will get this opportunity this week and attempt to win one just like his father Gerry did in 1990 and his uncle Stephen in 1996. Jaden was an All-American in 2016 as he placed second in the Cadet Division. He should get a high seed and work his way to a tournament title.
Chase Zollmann (138) – The University of Wyoming signee will be embarking on his quest to become an All-American for the second time. Last summer, Zollmann was fifth in the Junior Division at 132-pounds. Zollmann made history for Poway High as he became the first Titan to placed in the state tournament in all four years of competition. Along with Abas, Kyle Parco, and Teddy Okada, California could have many wrestlers earning All-American honors at 138-pounds.
Luka Wick (145) – Wick has a great freshman season that saw him placed at the CIF state tournament for San Marino High. He is a strong grappler that has the potential to be a state champion just like his elder brothers (Evan and Zander) did in 2016. Luka is a 2017 Fargo Cadet All-American which will be looking to now become an All-American in the Junior Division.
Sonny Santiago (152) – Another Bosco grappler looking to achieve All-American honors at Fargo will be Sonny Santiago. Santiago became a CIF state medalist for the first time last year despite wrestling with an injury. He, along with a strong contingent of Bosco wrestlers, wrestled at UWW Cadet in Akron, Ohio, and managed to obtain All-American status. Santiago should get seeded in the tournament and advance far in the event.
Izaak Olejnik (152) – Olejnik is back in Fargo attempting to garner All-American honors just like he did in 2014 and 2015 in the Cadet Division. Aside from being a great wrestler in the international style of wrestling, Olejnik is a great wrestler in Folkstyle as he was a two-time CIF state medalist while competing for Bakersfield High. We should expect a great run towards a stop sign for Olejnik.
Jace Luchau (152) – Along with Lujan, Luchau was a first-time place winner at the CIF state tournament for the Bears during the 2017-18 season. Luchau is known for his aggressive style of competing in Folkstyle. However, he is even a better grappler in Freestyle and Greco-Roman. Luchau was a 2017 Double Fargo All-American in the Cadet Division and recently accomplished the same feat at UWW Cadet Nationals in Akron, Ohio. A high seed and becoming a champion is possible for Luchau.
Victor Jaquez Jr. (220) – Jaquez Jr. has become one of the top best upper weight wrestlers in the golden state due to his track record. Last summer, he was a Cadet All-American by placing fourth at 220-pounds. Aside from being a Fargo All-American, Jaquez Jr. is a CIF state medalist and was third at Flo Nationals. It could be an excellent opportunity for Jaquez Jr. to win the tournament and climb in the national rankings.
Junior Freestyle Roster
100 – Dylan Hidalgo
106 – Devin Garcia, Timothy Levine, Blake Van Laar
113 – Tristan Lujan, Andrew Silva
120 – Adam Arenas, Blake Fredrickson, Matt Vinci
126 – Christian Nunez, Riley Hilt, Cole Gregerson, Elijah Sanchez
132 – Marcos Polanco, Jose Fernandez, Devin Holman, Benny Martinez
138 – Jaden Abas, Kyle Parco, Dawson Sihavong, Chase Zollmann, Teddy Okada
145 – Luka Wick, Andrew Bloemhof, Michael Erazo
152 – Sonny Santiago, Izzak Olejnik, Julian Beltran, Jace Luchau, Bernie Truax, Nathan Hart
160 – Collin Nicholson, Troy Mantanona, Miguel Gallardo
170 – Jarad Priest, Noah Blake, Maximilian Plotzeneder, Jonovan Smith
182 – Ivan Hernandez, Denzel Mabry, Guillermo Escobedo, Carlos Gomez
195 – Ryan Reyes, Morris Chavez
220 – Victor Jaquez Jr., Damian Wake, Moses Trujillo, Dane Martinez
285 – Justin Ramos, Joseph Chacon, Alan Aleman