Waddell places 8th in nation
Waddell finishes 8th in nation
by Robbie Bills
Many came, but only the best of the best were left standing at the end.
The top prep wrestlers in the country made their way to U.S.A. Wrestling’s Cadet and Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D., July 18-25. Gilmer grapplers Matthew Waddell and Ryan Crump were in attendance to test their skills against the nation’s elite.
Waddell (170 pounds) is a rising junior at GHS and lived up to his All-American billing by finishing eighth in the Greco-Roman portion of the junior division. His tournament began with first period pins versus Drew Hinkle, of Tulsa, Okla., and Zachary Tomac, of Plano, Ill.
He endured his first loss in the form of a 6-4 decision against Plattsburgh, New York’s, Jordan Bushey. In the consolation bracket, Waddell ripped off technical fall wins of 12-2 and 14-4. A victory by injury default pitted him against Beau Breske, of Pewaukee, Wis., in the consolation quarterfinals. Breske won the match 10-0 and went on to finish third overall. The loss sent Waddell to the seventh-place match where he met Bushey once again and lost, 12-8, to finish with a 5-3 record.
In freestyle, Waddell posted a 2-2 mark. Following a first-round bye, he defeated Michael Otomo, of Dover-Eyota, Minn., with an 18-8 technical fall. A 10-6 loss to Weston Dobbs, of West Fargo, placed Waddell in the consolation bracket where he won by pin. His freestyle tournament came to a close with a technical fall loss to Sergio Chavez, of Eloy, Ariz.
Crump, a rising sophomore at GHS, competed in the cadet division at 182 pounds. He followed a bye in Greco-Roman with a loss. In the consolation bracket, he toppled Tyler Barnes, of Rock City Falls, N.Y., 12-11. He lost his next match by pin and was defeated in his first two matches of the freestyle competition.
In late June, Waddell also competed at the Junior National Duals as a member of Team Georgia. In Greco-Roman wrestling, the Peach State grapplers finished fourth in both their pool and bronze bracket. Waddell was 6-2 in his matches at 170.
In freestyle, Georgia took sixth in pool wrestling and fourth in the red bracket. Waddell once again had a solid outing with an overall record of 7-2 in Georgia’s nine duals.
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