Local area Middle School wrestlers competed in the USA Heartland National wrestling duals held in Council Bluffs, IA; April 14-16, 2022. The South Dakota USA Wrestling organization put together five total teams that competed in the Elementary, Middle School and Girls divisions. Between all five teams there were approximately 80 boys and girls competing against some of the best youth teams from around the country. There were roughly 72 total teams from roughly 15 states.
Friday was the first day of wrestling where each team gets put into “pool” placement to determine their pool placement on Saturday. Pool placement on Saturday ranged from “Diamond-Platinum-Gold-Silver.”; with Diamond being the top pool placement.
South Dakota Elementary Blue: Wrestled 5 duals the first day, made it into the Platinum pool on Saturday and won all three matches and beating Iowa Black to win the pool on Saturday.
South Dakota Elementary Red: Wrestled 5 duals on the first day, made it into the Silver Pool on Saturday, and won all matches to win the pool, beating Kansas Cheyenne in the final dual. Cayden Swaney from Belle Fourche (70lbs) went 3-7 record.
South Dakota Elementary White: Wrestled 5 duals on the first day, made it into the Silver pool on Saturday and lost to USA Vision to Place 6th.
Middle School: Had 4 duals on the first day, made it into the Platinum pool on Saturday, went 2-1 on Saturday duals and placed 6th out of 24 other Middle School teams. Asher Peil of Spearfish (195lbs) went 6-1 record AND Luke Tonsager of Belle Fourche (HWT) went 3-5.
We had three other wrestlers that were filling in extra spots on the Middle School team, that were fortunate enough to form another team called “USA Vision.” This MS team wrestled four duals on the first day, made it into the Silver Pool on Saturday; won all three duals, beating Texas in the final dual and winning their pool. Garet Huston of Belle Fourche (102lbs) shared this weight class with another wrestler, and wrestled three really good, tough matches and got a lot of really good experience. Riley Dighton of Belle Fourche (125lbs) went 5-2 record AND Parker Graveman of Spearfish (132lbs) went 5-2 record.
Girls: Wrestled 5 duals on the first day, and made it into the Gold pool on Saturday, went 3-1 and placed second in the Gold pool. Sydney Badwound of Spearfish was signed up to wrestle on the girls team but had to pull out due to a shoulder injury she suffered towards the end of the HS wrestling season.
These kids were in grades 1st through 8th from all throughout the state of South Daakota. We had 11 coaches from around the state that helped coach these kids. The only local coach that helped coach the Middle School boys team was Shane Graveman of Spearfish.
We had four kids earn All American honors. To earn AA honors, a wrestler must wrestle a minimum of six matches and must go undefeated. This is a great accomplishment to be able to do this at this caliber of a tournament!
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