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Penn State Wrestling: UWW Cadet and University Nationals

We turn our eyes toward Akron Ohio this week.

Burrowes Road

The month of June brings us another bushel basket full of wrestling action. This week, Cadet and University Nationals gets wrestled at the Louis & Freda Athletic Center on the campus of the University of Akron.

Cadet is the official United World Wrestling (UWW) designation for ages 16 and under. Win your bracket in Akron, and you’re the Team USA representative for Cadet Worlds, which gets wrestled September 4 - 10, in Athens, Greece. (That’s pretty cool.) This, friends, is a good place to look for future PSU recruits. Of Cael’s current 2017 - 2018 haul, 6 of the 8 were Cadet World Team members, or runners-up. Might be 7 of 8, actually, with heavyweight Seth Nevills being the lone exception (summer is also for football, as we know).

Here are a few names to watch, including 2018 PSU commit and returning Cadet World Bronze medalist Travis Wittlake at 76kg (along with a kid named Edmond Ruth from Harrisburg).

WT Wrestler
46kg Kurt McHenry (MD)
50kg Jack Thomsen (IA)
50kg Khyler Brewer (MO)
54kg Brody Teske (IA)
58kg Andrew Alirez (CO)
58kg Beau Bartlett (PA)
58kg Carson Manville (MN)
58kg Nick Raimo (NJ)
63kg Carter Tuttle (New Ringgold, PA)
63kg Jason Kraisser (MD)
63kg Matt Milbrand (Bloomsburg)
69kg Cameron Amine (MI)
69kg Carter Starocci (Erie, PA)
69kg Justin McCoy (New Paris, PA)
76kg Aaron Brooks (MD)
76kg Edmond Ruth (Harrisburg, PA)
76kg Josh Stillings (Green Lane, PA)
76kg Travis Wittlake (OR)
85kg Gavin Hoffman (Montoursville, PA)
100kg Michael Doggett (Shavertown, PA)

One big notable entry from the above list is Montoursville’s Gavin Hoffman. The 2x PIAA state champ at 195 is registered at 85kg (187lbs), which at least makes it conceivable that he could wrestle 1 year at 184 in college, rather than being strictly 197 (or 285). That (potential) lineup flexibility will, unfortunately, benefit Tan Tom Ryan at Ohio State, as Gavin just committed to the Buckeyes last week. Congrats to Gavin, and good luck against everyone but PSU.

In a strange twist, University Nationals is exactly what you’d expect - college kids. The UWW rules are complex, of course, but two key takeaways are this: 1) you have to be enrolled in university classes within the last 12 months; and 2) you can’t be older than 26. Kinda makes sense.

What tends to happen here in the US of A, is you’ll get a ton of college redshirts. The super elite college wrestlers - Zain, Nolf, etc. - are trying to make the Senior World Team, and typically aren’t found in the registration list. Then, the already elite but still 20 or under college wrestlers - Mark Hall, Zahid Valencia - are trying to make the Junior World Team. You won’t find them at this event, either. But the next level of collegiate wrestlers, particularly those who sat out the 2016/17 college season, are getting itchy for a fight. Thus, University Nationals is a good place to look for your 2017/18 “breakout” NCAA wrestler, who makes the podium for the first time. (It’s also fun to see who might be moving weight classes). Here’s a list of registered wrestlers to keep an eye on:

57kg Ethan Lizak (MINN)
57kg Drew Hildebrant (CMU)
57kg Gage Curry (AMER)
57kg Kyle Norstrem (VATECH)
61kg Dennis Gustafson (VATECH)
61kg Nathan Boston (CAMP)
61kg Sean Nickell (CSUB)
61kg Taylor LaMont ()
61kg Will Erneste (MIZZ)
65kg Chad Red (NEB)
65kg Colt McCrystal (NEB)
65kg Jamal Morris (NCST)
65kg Mike Longo (OU)
65kg Mitch Bengston (NDSU)
65kg Russ Rohlfing (CSUB)
65kg Tommy Thorn (MINN)
70kg Beau Donahue (NCST)
70kg Christian Pagdilao (ASU)
70kg Jason Tsirtsis (ASU)
70kg Cole Hammond (CSUB)
70kg Josh Maruca (ASU)
70kg Josh Heil (CAMP)
70kg Max Thomsen (UNI)
70kg Ryan Blees (VATECH)
74kg Jon Schleifer (PRIN)
74kg Joey Lavallee (MIZZ)
74kg Josh Shields (ASU)
74kg Justin Thomas (OU)
74kg Lo De La Riva (CSUB)
74kg Tom Bullard (NCST)
74kg Tyrel White (COLU)
80kg Daniel Lewis (MIZZ)
80kg Daniel Bullard (NCST)
80kg Jon Jay Chavez (CORN)
86kg Myles Martin (OHST)
86kg Max Dean (CORN)
86kg Nicky Hall (NCST)
97kg Ben Darmstadt (CORN)
97kg Bobby Steveson (MINN)
97kg Eric Schultz (NEB)
125kg Andrew Dunn (VATECH)
125kg Austin Myers (MIZZ)
125kg Garrett Ryan (COLU)
125kg Malik McDonald (NCST)
125kg Mike Kosoy (NCST)
125kg Michael Boykin (NVST)
125kg Rylee Streifel (MINN)
125kg Tanner Hall (ASU)

You can watch the action with a Flo Pro subscription. Flo also puts up the brackets/results for free.


  • The Junior and Senior World Team Trials start next week, in Lincoln, NE (June 8 - 10). We’ll have a preview forthcoming.
  • Stanford’s 141 Joey McKenna might be looking to transfer off The Farm. PSU, Iowa, and Ohio State are considered possible destinations by Nomad.
  • Now we know why Alex Tirapelle “resigned” suddenly from UPenn. It’s because his replacement as the “Roger Reina Head Coach of UPenn Wrestling” will be - wait for it - Roger Reina. Reina led UPenn from 1986 - 2005ish, handing over his whistle to join an internet start up. Last year Reina returned to UPenn as an Associate Athletic Director in charge of creating revenue. And now he’s got his old job back, while Tirapelle appears to have gotten a raw deal.
  • UPenn also made news last week, unintentionally, all the way out in Lincoln, NE. There, as reported by Steve Sipple of the Lincoln Journal Star, the UPenn RTC offered Jordan Burroughs $800k over 4 years to join the UPenn RTC. Burroughs turned it down, of course. But apparently the days of $25 bake sales and $5k summer camps are long gone. There’s serious money getting thrown around at these RTCs. H/T to Tom McAndrew at BWI for finding the link.
  • Cody Sanderson joined TrackWrestling’s David Mirikitani on Dave’s “Mat Chat” podcast. Give it a listen, for two reasons: 1) Dave (and Track teammate Andy Hamilton) is the podcast for grown-ups, and Dave asks great questions; 2) Cody doesn’t answer like most wrestling coaches I’ve ever known. Some different philosophies coming out of State College, I think.
  • Sure, it’s 99% garbage and fake news. But every now and then, you get a total gem out of social media. Fun? That looks fun to me.