The event featured competition in Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestling, pitting teams from different states against each other in a duals format. Twenty-seven teams competed for the Greco-Roman championship, while 32 faced off for the freestyle title.
Some states, such as Georgia, had two teams participating.
“This was the second straight year we’ve been able to bring two junior teams to the national duals,” said Josh Porter, a Team Georgia assistant and head coach at Parkview High School. “Having enough for two teams is a great commitment from Georgia and from the coaches around the state. It’s a sign that we’re continuing to rise on the national stage, and we want to get better.”
Twenty-four individual medals were awarded, and eight All-America plaques were handed out to the top eight teams in both styles.
There were 15 weight classes, and wrestlers who posted undefeated marks garnered all-tournament accolades.
Climmons, a rising Pope senior and the 2011 Class AAAA state champion at 160 pounds, is in his third straight season as a Team Georgia member. He went 6-3 with Georgia Black in Greco-Roman and finished 7-1 in freestyle at 182 pounds.
“Brooks had a great tournament and beat at least three kids ranked in the top 15 nationally,” Porter said. “He’s a talented wrestler, a former cadet all-American, and is very experienced with these styles. He’s been a great addition to the team since he started.”
Climmons’ accomplishments helped Georgia Black finish second in Pool A at 4-1.
They defeated Indiana 51-8 in the quarterfinals before losing to Illinois in the semifinals. The team topped Kansas Red (50-9), Missouri (33-26) and Colorado (44-21) in the consolation round for its second-place finish and qualified for the championship in the Gold/Silver pool.
Georgia Black went on to finish seventh out of eight in the pool, qualifying for team All-America status.
Georgia Black’s performance was only the second time one of the state’s junior teams earned All-America status at the national duals, following the 2010 junior team, which also placed seventh in Greco-Roman.
Georgia Black took home the consolation trophy in freestyle wrestling. The team finished 2-2, fourth in Pool D, but went 4-0 to win the Bronze/Copper pool, beating Kansas Blue 28-20 in the final and signifying a ninth-place finish in freestyle.
“We won all of our matches in bronze/copper to land just outside All-America,” Porter said. “That’s one of the best finishes in freestyle we’ve ever had.”
Cook, a rising Sprayberry senior, wrestled Greco-Roman and freestyle for Georgia Red. A third-place finisher at 152 pounds at this winter’s Class AAAA state tournament, Cook went 1-1 at 160 pounds in Greco-Roman and was 2-5 in freestyle at 160 and 170 pounds.
Georgia Red placed sixth in Pool D and fifth in the Blue Pool in Greco-Roman. The squad ranked eighth in Pool B and placed fourth in the Green Pool in freestyle.
“The Red team was young, but they got some mat time in, which was important,” Porter said. “They learned how to wrestle at that level.
“It was Cook’s first big event like this, and I think he wrestled well.”
Grimes, a Cobb County resident and Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School standout, went 7-2 in Greco-Roman for Georgia Black and finished 10-5 overall at 170 pounds.
The tournament served as preparation for the wrestlers who plan to compete at the weeklong USAW Cadet/Junior National championship, which begin next Sunday in Fargo, N.D.
“Getting guys prepped for Fargo is huge,” Porter said. “That’s the biggest stage, and we want them to be ready.”