The Sophomore division concluded with 822 total entries coming to Virginia Beach from 44 states and one European country. There were a total of 130 State Champions, including 25 2x champs and 80 1x champ. There were also 345 state place finishers.
The state perceived by most as the best wrestling state in the country stood as the dominant force in the NHSCA Sophomore Nationals competition. Pennsylvania wrestlers earned All-American honors in twelve weight classes -- four won titles, two others finished runner-up, while another six (though three did so in weight classes also represented by a champion) took home third place. The Keystone State amassed 255 points for its performance.
Those championships were earned by Brian Courtney (Athens) at 120 pounds, Jake Hinkson (North Allegheny) at 132, No. 12 Jared Verkleeren (Belle Vernon) at 145, and Seth Janney (South Western) at 220. Of note among those titles was the one won by Verkleeren, as he upended state runner-up Stephan Glasgow (Bound Brook) 2-1 in the ultimate tiebreaker. Glasgow had won the freshman title last year at 132 pounds.
Runner-up finishes came from Jacob Dunlop (Belle Vernon) at 106 and No. 20 Michael Labriola (Bethlehem Catholic) at 152; while those fnishing third included Jake Riegel (Bethlehem Catholic) at 120, Brock Wilson (Nazareth) at 138, Travis Stefanik (Nazareth) at 145, Jacob Woodley (North Allegheny) at 160, Drew Peck (Chambersburg) at 170, and Zane Black (Wyoming Seminary) at 220.
A distance second in the team standings was New Jersey, which scored 198.5 points with medalists coming in eleven weight classes, including four finalists, led by lone champion No. 14 (at 182) Chase Singletary (Blair Academy) at 195 pounds. Finishing runners-up were Stephan Glasgow (Bound Brook) at 145, Brandon Kui (DePaul Catholic) at 160, and Nick Rivera (Brick Memorial) at 285.
The other state with multiple champions, along with Pennsylvania, was New York. The Empire State had a pair, Jonathan Gomez (Locust Valley) at 106 and No. 11 (at 132) Vitali Arujau (Syosset) at 126. Arujau won the tournamentï¿½s most impressive bout, 11-10 in the final over Jaden Enriquez (Mission Oak, Calif.).
Each wrestler is among the best sophomores in the country regardless of weight class, Arujau is 10th, while Enriquez is 21st. Headed into their finals matchup, Arujau had five major decision victories in five bouts, while Enriquez was on three pins and three major decisions from six bouts; Enriquez was also the freshman champion last year in this weight class.
The next most impressive champion in terms of opposition beat had to be Layne van Anrooy (Roseburg, Ore.), who is ranked No. 26 overall in the sophomore class. On the way to his title at 152 pounds, he beat two-time state champion Kaleb Romero (Mechanicsburg, Ohio) in the semifinal and then pinned No. 20 Michael Labriola (Bethlehem Catholic, Pa.) in the final; the Romero victory came 6-1 in overtime, and Romero is ranked No. 17 in that 2017 class.
Rounding out the champions were Jose Tapia (Capital, N.M.) at 113 pounds, Quentin Hovis (Seton Catholic, Ariz.) at 138, Anthony Falbo (Newton, Conn.) at 160, Noah Adams (Independence, W.Va.) at 170, Chasen Blair (Rancho Bernardo, Calif.) at 182, and Levi Seabolt (Gilmer, Ga.) at 285.
Something to note is that Seabolt wrestled five matches in the tournament, all were pins, and they came in a total of 6:16.
Below are the results from the Sophomore Nationals at the 26th annual NHSCA High School National Wrestling Championships in Virginia Beach, Virginia
106 - Jonathan Gomez (Locust Valley HS, NY) dec. Jacob Dunlop (Belle Vernon HS, PA) 3-1
113 - Jose Tapia (Capital HS, NM) dec. Dane Heberlein (Alexander HS, NY) 2-0
120 - Brian Courtney (Athens HS, PA) dec. Danny Bertoni (Middletown HS, MD) 7-2
126 - Vito Arujau (Syosset HS, NY) dec. Jaden Enriguez (Mission Oak HS, CA) 11-10
132 - Jake Hinkson (North Allegheny HS, PA) dec. Mason Wallace (Manhattan HS, KS) 4-3
138 - Quentin Hovis (Seton Catholic Prep, AZ) dec. Conor Melbourne (John Jay HS, NY) 9-2
145 - Jarod Verkleeren (Belle Vernon HS, PA) dec. Stephan Glasgow (Bound Brook HS, NJ) 2-1 (OT)
152 - Layne Van Anrooy (Roseburg HS, OR) pinned Mikey Labriola (Bethlehem Catholic HS, PA) in 5:00
160 - Anthony Falbo (Newtown HS, CT) dec. Brandon Kui (DePaul Catholic HS, NJ) 6-4
170 - Noah Adams (Independence HS, WV) dec. Andrew Berreyesa (Reno HS, NV) 6-5
182 - Chasen Blair (Rancho Bernardo HS, CA) dec. Casey Cornett (Simon Kenton HS, KY) 3-2
195 - Chase Singletary (Blair Academy, NJ) dec. Brian Andrews (Grapevine HS, TX) 8-4
220 - Seth Janney (Southern Western HS, PA) dec. Evan Ellis (Eastern HS, IN) 7-0
285 - Levi Seabolt (Gilmer HS, GA) pinned Nick Rivera (Brick Memorial HS, NJ) in 1:01