Three athletes representing the Vacaville Wrestling Club and the USA California National Team just arrived back in town after finishing up their season wrestling at the U.S. Marine Corp USA Wrestling 16U and Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D.
This national championship is the largest Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling tournament in the United States, with 49 states represented and 2,525 athletes competing in Freestyle and 1,895 competing in Greco-Roman wrestling.
The nation’s best high school wrestlers compete over eight days to see who can claim All-American honors, often having to fight through brackets with over 100 other athletes in their weight classes. Wrestlers make this tournament through a series of qualifying events throughout the United States. Representing Vacaville was Chris Island at 220 in the junior division, Isaiah Kainoa Medina at 113 in the 16-and-under age group and Ethan Birch in the 16U bracket at 138 pounds.
Island went 7-2 in Freestyle to finish in the top 12. He beat Blake Moss of Illinois 15-3, Jake Noon of Ohio 7-3, Raphael Masella of Arizona 5-4, Falemalama Weggen of Washington 10-0, Jackson Dahm of Arkansas 4-0, Cody Pinkerton of Wyoming 4-0, and William Jarrell of Massachusetts 11-7. His losses were to Justin Jaeckin of Ohio 7-3 and Cody Fisher of Iowa 11-1.
In Greco, Island bested Colton Quantz of Ohio 10-0, Cole Gripka of Missouri 16-6, and Michael Moussa of Arizona 6-0. Island lost to Ramin Abraham of Illinois 10-0 and Falemalama Weggen of Washington 13-5.
Birch went 4-2 in Freestyle to place in the top 16. His wins were over Braeden Scoles of Wisconsin 15-11, Fin Nadeau of Montana 12-8, Allen Cantour of Ilinois 10-0, and Brady Thompson of Nebraska 11-0. Birch lost to Justin Bartee of West Virginia 2-2 and Logan Ours of Ohio 16-5. In Greco-Roman, Birch went 6-2, placing in the top 12. He defeated Jacob Gonzales of Michigan 10-0, Kage Lenger of Missouri 11-1, Baylor Kaup of Nebraska 10-0, Carter Schubert of New York 12-0, Lj Davenport of Missouri 9-0 and Ramiro Guerrero of Michigan 10-0. Those wins were bookended by losses to Fin Nadeau of Montana 8-6 and James Johnston of Michigan 8-2.
Kainoa Medina was 5-2 in Freestyle. His wins were over Hayden Rofkahr of Arkansas 10-0, Corey Haney of Ohio 12-1, Christopher Moore of Illinois 10-4, Oscar Wilkowski of Wisconsin 10-0, and Ty Whalen of New Jersey 10-4. Kainoa’s two losses were to Brady Hankin of Colorado 10-0 and Keyer Shapiro of Maryland 10-0.
Medina then caught fire in the Greco-Roman tournament, running off five straight wins and advancing to the finals. His beat Jesus Alcala of Washington, Ricky Bell of Oregon, Joseph Robinson of Georgia, Stevie Barnes of Iowa, and Trae Mcdaniel of Tennessee at a combined total of 46-8.
Although Medina lost in the finals to Brock Bobzien of California, his All-American status was already secured. Only 12 percent of the 4,420 athletes at this tournament achieve All-American honors. This marks the second year in a row that the Vacaville Wrestling Club has had a finalist in the national championships in Fargo. Last year Island was second in the 16U 220 Freestyle division.
This tournament marks the end of another successful spring season for the Vacaville Wrestling Club.
New sign-ups for any beginning or advanced youth wrestlers will be held on Aug. 20 and Sept. 17. There is information about the club on its Facebook page or questions could be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.