by Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Six returning 2007 Cadet National champions have entered this year’s Cadet Greco-Roman Nationals at the FargoDome and all survived the first session without a loss.
2007 Cadet Greco-Roman national champions who will attempt to repeat include Hayden Zillmer of Minnesota (91), Valyen Rauser of Montana (98), Jesse Thielke of Wisconsin (112), Dylan Ness of Minnesota (130), Andrew Campalattano of New Jersey (189) and Evan Craig of Pennsylvania (285).
Zillmer, who was a Cadet Triple Crown winner in 2007, scored a first-round pin over Brandon Edwards of Montana in six seconds. Craig also had a very quick fall, putting away Thomas Lauer of Ohio in 11 seconds. Also winning by pin in his opening bout was Campalattano, who pinned Logan Barrett of Minnesota in the second period.
Thielke won two matches handily, scoring a pin and a technical fall. Ness scored two technical falls and Rauser.
Rauser is competing in the same weight class as his twin brother Jade Rauser, who was a Cadet National Greco-Roman runner-up last year at a different weight class.
2008 FILA Cadet national champions in the field include Mark Grey of New Jersey (98), Kevin Norstrem of Florida (105), Tony Pena of Colorado (112) and Spencer Brown of Utah (135). Grey, Norstrem and Pena were unbeaten in the session. Brown, however, dropped his second round match, losing to Kory Deberry of Arizona, 7-0, 3-1.
There are nine 2008 Cadet folkstyle national champions who have entered and are seeking Cadet Triple Crowns. Included are Rauser, Thielke and Ness, plus Colton Howell of Missouri (84), Cory Clark of Iowa (91), Drew Lexvold of Minnesota (125), Taylor Massa of Michigan (140), Scott Schiller of North Dakota (189) and Austin Blythe of Iowa (285)
Rauser and Thielke won their folkstyle national titles in different weight classes and have dropped down. Rauser won his folkstyle title at 105 pounds, while Thielke was a folkstyle national champion at 119 pounds.
Blythe opened with an impressive win, pinning 2007 USA Wrestling Schoolboy national champion Trystan Palmer of Oregon in 57 seconds.
The field included 850 athletes from 40 states, plus Puerto Rico.
The evening session will be begin at 3:30 p.m. Central time.