Buford’s Chip Ness joined rising Kennesaw Mountain sophomore Jonatan Rivera as All-Americans at 182 pounds in the cadet division, while rising Pope senior Brooks Climmons received the award at 182 in the junior flight.
Ness and Climmons each finished as national runners-up in their respective decisions, while Rivera was third.
Climmons posted an 8-2 record, losing 5-2, 2-0 to Washington’s Jordan Rogers in the final. It was the first All-America accolade for Climmons since he won two in 2010.
“This one was pretty special,” Climmons said. “I think I’m more proud of it than when I won the cadet championship, because winning at the junior level is so much tougher.
“Making it to the all-American rounds says a lot about you as a wrestler, and to make the finals is even more of an accomplishment. I’m really happy about my performance. Last year, I lost in the round right before placing, so my game plan was to come back strong, and I did.”
The accomplishments of Ness, Rivera and Climmons brought the total number of Team Georgia All-Americans to eight. Amy Hou won the women’s 97-pound junior division freestyle title, while Emily Pinson was fourth in the 108-pound cadet freestyle. Greco-Roman junior wrestlers Hunter Kelley and Jason Grimes finished fifth at 113 and eighth at 170, respectively.
Rivera finished 7-2, losing both of his bouts to eventual national champion Michael Pixley of Missouri. Pixley defeated Ness for the 182-pound title, while Rivera topped Illinois’ Tyler Johnson by pin in 1 minute, 45 seconds.
Rivera also collected cadet Greco-Roman All-America honors at 182 pounds, helping Team Georgia boast at least one double All-American at Fargo for the sixth consecutive season.
“To be a two-time all-American in his first time with Team Georgia takes a tremendous effort on his part,” said Rivera’s father, Roberto, who is also his coach at Kennesaw Mountain. “He wasn’t sure he wanted to wrestle for Team Georgia at first, but then, one day, he just changed his mind and said he was going to do it.
“I just encouraged him after that, and I’m surprised by his efforts. We don’t practice the Greco-Roman style, and for him to get all-American in it is something special. He’s a tremendous freestyler, so I’m really proud of him. He’ll get another chance to shoot for a national championship next year.”
Other Team Georgia members included rising juniors Jacob Murphy of Walton and Tyler Haskin of Pope. Murphy went 0-2 at 132 pounds in cadet freestyle, while Haskin finished 1-2 in cadet freestyle at 132. Rising Wheeler freshman Aslan Kilic was also 1-2 in cadet freestyle at 106 pounds.
Grimes, a Cobb County resident and recent graduate of Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School, went 3-2 at 170 pounds in the junior freestyle division.
Team Georgia scored 13 points and placed 17th of 47 teams in the cadet freestyle flight, which was won by Pennsylvania (66). Georgia was 24th with seven points in junior freestyle, won by Illinois (63).