The toughest folkstyle tournament in the country took place this weekend at the Super 32 in Greensboro, NC. Michigan was well represented at the tournament with four wrestlers placing in the top five of their weight classes.
Freshman Alex Facundo was the highest finisher from Michigan, placing 4th at 145 lbs. Facundo was dominant in his run to the quarterfinals, winning by major or tech-fall in each of his first five matches. In the quarters, he knocked off Double Junior AA Tyler Eischens of Minnesota, 6-4.
Facundo's semifinal bout was subject to some controversy as he fell to eventual champ Mason Phillips of Washington, 6-5 in the ultimate tiebreaker. The two were in a flurry and went out of bounds with five seconds remaining, but after video review the officials determined Phillips had escaped. Then after knocking off nationally-ranked Kasper McIntosh of Indiana, Facundo fell to SDSU-commit Alex Lloyd, 6-4.
At 138, James Whitaker continued his strong fall with a 5th place showing. The GFC Champ dropped his first bout and went on to rattle off nine straight wins in the wrestlebacks. Impressively, in the first seven of those wins he allowed zero points against him. Whitaker defeated Indiana state finalist Kris Rumph, 3-2, and Flonational Runner-Up Ryan Vulakh (PA) 4-2 to make the consi semis before dropping to the 5th place match, where he picked up a forfeit.
DCC Junior Cam Amine turned in a stellar performance as well, taking 5th place in a deep 152 lb bracket. He marched to the semis with five straight decisions before falling to California state runner-up Joshua Kim in the ultimate tiebreaker, 2-1. After dropping another tight 2-0 match to #6 ranked Justin Ruffin of Georgia, he also received a forfeit in the fifth-place match.
Perhaps the most exciting wrestler to follow during the tournament was Dakota senior and MSU-commit Layne Malczewski. Relatively unknown on the national scene, Malczewski scored some major wins to advance all the way to the semis. During his run he defeated Illinois state runner-up Drew Hoselton, 3-1, 2x Florida state champ Erich Byelick, 9-8, and Junior Freestyle AA Carson Kharchilava of Ohio, 9-7. In the semis he would fall to GFC Champ Ryan Thomas 6-3 before dropping another meeting with Byelick, 5-3. In the 5th place match, he picked up a fall over Illinois state champ Danny Braunagel.
Other notable high school performances included Andrew Chambal (5-2), Ben Kamali (6-2), Branson Proudlock (5-2), and Tony Williams (5-2).
A pair of preps who'll be wrestling for Michigan colleges turned in great showings as well. Future Wolverine Joey Silva won his third Super 32 title at 132 lbs. Silva bonused his way to the Round of 16 where he then won four straight decisions over nationally ranked opponents.
At 120 Brendon Fenton, who is committed to EMU, placed 7th. Fenton made the quartefinals in a very deep weight and knocked off a couple high quality guys during his 6-2 performance.
At the middle school level, two Michiganders made the finals. 75 lber Braeden Davis scored two falls and won 5-3 in the semis before dropping a tight 6-3 match in the finals. At 105, 2x GFC HS placer Josh Barr was 2nd as well. After a first round tech, Barr won three straight decisions to advance to finals where he fell 5-2.
For full high school match-by-match results, click the tab above.
Super 32 HS Placers
138 - James Whitaker (St. Johns) 5th
145 - Alex Facundo (Davison) 4th
152 - Cameron Amine (Detroit CC) 5th
160 - Layne Malczewski (Macomb Dakota) 5th
Super 32 MS Placers
75 - Braeden Davis, 2nd
75 - Nolan Wertanen, 7th
80 - Dylan Gilcher, 3rd
105 - Josh Barr, 2nd
180 - Logan Badge, 3rd
Super 32 11U Placers
55 - Talan Parsons, 3rd
55 - Haydn Nutt, 4th
70 - Jackson Blum, 6th
HWT - Chase Brawley, 4th
The Preseason Nationals were also running in Cedar Falls, Iowa this weekend with a solid Michigan contingent in attendance. Six high schoolers and six middle school/elementary wrestlers came away with top-eight finishes.
The top high school finishes came from Niles senior Austin Franco and Brighton sophomore Greyson Stevens who both finished second in their respective divisions.
Franco was virtually untested in his march to the finals before falling to Iowa's Kyle Biscoglia 6-4 in OT. Stevens picked up a fall, a major, and a decision en route to his finals match. There he lost to Cadet Freestyle Champ AJ Ferrari of Texas, 15-5.
Stevens' teammate Eddie Homrock was 4th at 126 lbs in the 9th/10th grade division. He turned in a 6-2 record on the tournament.
Wrestling up in the high school division as he did for GFC, middle schooler Casey Swiderski placed at 100 lbs in the 9th/10th grade division. He had a dominant run to the semifinals before falling to sixth.
Other high school placers included Joe Harper (5th) and Andrew Hughes (8th).
Several youth wrestlers found success this weekend as well. Carter Smith won the 1st/2nd grade 45 lb bracket. Max Brown had an impressive run through the wrestlebacks, dropping his first match and winning eight straight matches to take 3rd. Drew Heethuis also had a great showing, going 5-2 and taking 4th place.
PS Nats High School Placers
9th/10th 100 - Casey Swiderski (Dundee 7th grade), 6th
9th/10th 113 - Andrew Hughes (Grand Ledge), 8th
9th/10th 126 - Eddie Homrock (Brighton), 4th
9th/10th 195 - Greyson Stevens (Brighton), 2nd
9th/10th 285 - Joe Harper (Imlay City), 5th
11th/12th 120 - Austin Franco (Niles), 2nd
PS Nats MS/Elem Placers
MS 77 - Drew Heethuis, 4th
MS 120 - Max Brown, 3rd
1st/2nd 40 - Cameron Smith, 6th
1st/2nd 45 - Carter Smith, 1st
1st/2nd 55 - Urijah Joostberns, 2nd
1st/2nd 65 - Andrew Moro, 3rd