The 26th annual National High School Coaches Association’s High School National Wrestling Championships had another record-breaking year attendance-wise with 3,498 wrestlers from 47 states and one European county descending on Virginia Beach, Virginia.
There were a total of 613 senior wrestlers. There were a total of 377 state champions, including 13 4x champs, 23 3x champs, 71 2x champs, 114 1x champs. There were also 485 state place finishers
Despite just crowning just one champion on Sunday evening at the NHSCA Senior Nationals in Virginia Beach, New York wrestlers earned the team title, as Empire State wrestlers earned medals in nine of the 13 contested weight classes. That included a top-three finish in five weight classes. The effort was led by No. 16 Mike D'Angelo (Commack), who won the 138-pound weight class. Adding runner-up finishes were No. 13 Ben Lamantia (St. Anthony's) and Jordan Bushey (Peru) at 126 and 170, while Jesse Dellavecchia (East Islip) and David Hamil (Deer Park) finished third at 132 and 182.
The lone state to have multiple champions at the senior level was California, as Angel Velasquez (Pittman) and Joey Alvarez (Selma) stood on top of the podium at 132 and 285 respectively. However, the Golden State finished 19.5 points behind New York (165 to 145.5), as only eight weight classes saw a California wrestler medal, with just four of them a finish in the top three. Third-place finishes came from No. 19 (at 106) Jordan Aquino (Vacaville) in the 113 competition and Austin Flores (Clovis North) at 195.
Arguably the most impressive performance of the tournament came from No. 8 Bryce Parson (Lewiston, Idaho), who dominated a pair of nationally ranked opponents in the semifinal and final at 145 pounds. In the semifinal, it was a pin over No. 17 (at 152) Jake Adcock (Pope, Ga.), before an 18-2 technical fall over No. 11 (at 152) Patricio Lugo (South Dade, Fla.) in the final.
Another champion that beat a pair of nationally ranked wrestlers was Chris Debien (Cleveland, Tenn.) at 126 pounds. In the semifinal, Debien beat No. 11 Markus Simmons (Broken Arrow, Okla.) 5-4 in the tiebreaker, while it was followed by a 3-1 championship match victory over No. 13 Ben Lamantia (St. Anthony's, N.Y.)
The most anticipated bout of the tournament came in the 220-pound final, where No. 3 Austin Myers (Campbell County, Ky.) was able to avenge his loss from last year's Junior Nationals final in upending No. 2 Kenneth Brinson (Marist, Ga.). That result denied Brinson grade-level titles in all four years of his high school career. However, that accomplishment was able to be achieved by Ben Schram (Bellbrook, Ohio), who beat state champion Jordan Bushey (Peru, N.Y.) 6-3 in the final at 170 pounds.
While Myers vs. Brinson featured a pair of nationally ranked wrestlers, the same was the case at 152 pounds, where No. 5 (at 160) Myles Amine (Detroit Catholic Central, Mich.) beat No. 8 Neal Richards (Matoaca, Va.) 3-1 on a late takedown. That result precluded Richards from becoming a four-time NHSCA Nationals champion.
Other nationally ranked wrestlers to earn titles on Sunday were No. 6 Dayton Racer (Bettendorf, Iowa) at 160 pounds, No. 10 Dylan Wisman (Millbrook, Va.) at 182, and No. 16 Jacoby Seely (Fruita, Colo.) at 195. Rounding out the champions were Jarrett Reisenbechler (Jackson, Mo.) at 113 and Ryan Friedman (St. Paul's, Md.) at 120.