FARGO, ND — Jake Keller, a junior to be at Curwensville Area High School, recently competed in the 2010 ASICS/Vaughan Cadet and Junior National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota. The championships ran from July 18-24.
Competing at 125 pounds, Keller was a member of the national team champions in the Cadet division of Greco-Roman. Team Pennsylvania scored 60 points to squeak by Team Illinois’ 56 points. Team Florida was third with 42 points.
The Cadet division, basically underclassmen in high school, is the younger of the two age-groups that were contested at the FargoDome. The high school upperclassmen competed in the Junior Division.
Keller went 3-2 plus a bye to miss out on the medal round by one win. The 60-man bracket was won by Ben Whitford of Illinois, who eliminated Keller in the sixth round of wrestling. Whitford also went on to win the Freestyle national championship later in the week. Keller beat Seth Rowell of Maryland in his opening match, then was dropped into the consolation bracket of the double-elimination tournament by Brenden Goldup of New York. Keller then beat Colby Decleave of Oregon before receiving a bye in the fourth round. Keller then beat Idaho’s Tomaz Gonzalez before running into the eventual champ Whitford.
National champions in the Cadet Greco-Roman Division for Pennsylvania were Patrick Coover at 140 and Brooks Black at 285. Black, however, wrestles for prep school powerhouse Blair Academy of New Jersey during the high school season.
The PA team that competed in the Junior division placed 13th. They were paced by Tyrone standout Ronnie Garbinsky, who was the national runner-up at 130 pounds.
Team Pennsylvania and Keller didn’t fair as well in the freestyle competetion, which was held the day after the Greco-Roman Junior national titles were handed out.
Keller won his opening match over Carson Reimer of Wyoming, but then was knocked out with two consecutive losses to Alex Smith of Colorado and Josh Bennett of Missouri.
Team PA couldn’t duplicate it’s success in the Greco-Roman tourney, placing sixth in the Cadet Freestyle.
Freestyle National Champions for Team PA were 145 pound Chance Marsteller, the next “big thing” in PA high school wrestling, and earning his second Cadet national championship was Black at 285.
The Junior freestyle team from Pennsylvania placed a disappointing 16th. The top finisher was 125 pounder Zach Horan who placed second.