Recent History: Minnesota won five of the first six matches last year and edged Illinois 40-38 in the title dual, ending Illinois’ run of five consecutive Cadet Greco titles.
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Outlook: The two teams that tangled in last year’s championship dual figure to be in the mix again. Illinois had 16 Fargo Cadet Greco All-Americans in 2016 and 20 last year, including finalists Danny Curran and Fabian Lopez, who are on this year’s Cadet Duals entry list. In addition to winning last year’s title, Minnesota’s second team went 6-1 and won the Bronze/Copper pool. Minnesota is once again bringing two teams and there’s enough depth and Greco acumen in the state for both squads to be competitive. Six wrestlers on the Minnesota roster won Northern Plains Greco titles last month. The roster also includes Fargo Cadet Greco All-American Kanin Hable.
Fargo champ and top 2021 prospect Carson Manville helped Minnesota claim last year’s title, but he’s on the Pennsylvania roster this time around and part of a roster that could be in the title mix on Thursday. The Pennsylvania squad also includes 2017 Fargo Greco All-Americans Sheldon Seymour and Colby Whitehill.
Don’t rule out Georgia and Washington making runs, either. Those two squads placed first and second, respectively, at last year’s Schoolboy/girl National Duals.
Wrestlers to Watch
Robert Avila (Iowa) — 126 — Won a Folkstyle Nationals title this spring. Followed that up by winning an Iowa state Greco title, outscoring his opponents by a combined 31-0 count with a pair of wins over Folkstyle Nationals All-Americans.
Drake Ayala (Iowa) — 106 — His resume is dotted with freestyle and folkstyle accomplishments that include a Fargo Cadet title and a runner-up finish at Folkstyle Nationals, but he’s skilled in Greco, too. He went 6-1 last year in Greco at the Cadet Duals and won Northern Plains Regional titles in both styles this spring.