2021 Senior & Junior Nationals Recap

The kings of 70KG reside in Blacksburg! The 2021 Senior & Junior Nationals were held in Coralville, IA and the SERTC put on a strong showing throughout the weekend highlighted by two first place finishes and all six of our guys placing in the Top-6!

James Green is back up at his World Championship weight of 70KG and found himself in a familiar place: at the top and once again taking home another stop sign. Joining Green – dominating the field in the Junior division – the newly minted 70KG Junior National champion, the dynamite that is Bryce Andonian who not only electrified the field, but also earned himself a trip to Ufa, Russia to represent the US in the 2021 Junior World Championship!

Juniors Division

Andonian was electric through the whole weekend en route to finishing at the top of the podium and capturing the opportunity to represent the US in Ufa, Russia this coming August at that 2021 Junior World Championship. Hokie fans are well-aware of the “throw-caution-to-the-wind” firepower that Andonian possesses, but a new facet to his game that was on display was sound defense and disciplined attacks throughout the weekend. He put on scoring clinics on his way to the finals where he would eventually meet ACC foe Ed Scott of the Wolfpack RTC (NC State) in a best-of-three finals series for the Junior World Team spot.

The first match lasted under a minute as Andonian hit his signature high-amplitude attacks via double-over throw to go out in front 4-0 then added the exclamation point with an over-under hip toss that put Scott on his back and secure the fall. Match two of the series proved to be more dramatic as Andonian jumped out to an early 8-0 lead again less than 1:30 into the match before Scott came back with a four-point move of his own to cut the deficit. There was more back and forth action throughout the match before Andonian sealed the bout – and subsequently a trip to Russia – with a crotch-lift to pull away with the 12-9 victory. With a berth on the Junior World Team, Andonian joins 2018 Junior World Champion and 2019 NCAA National Champion, Mekhi Lewis, as only the second Junior World Team member since the SERTC’s inception.

Clayton Ulrey – the only other Junior division wrestler on the Hokies roster – put forth a great effort throughout the weekend finishing fifth in a loaded bracket. Ulrey’s motor was on full display and was a takedown machine – finishing with two technical superiority victories along with two falls. His final fall of the tournament was in dramatic fashion in the fifth-place match as he was trailing 8-2 early in the match then mounted a surging comeback to pick up the fall off a power double with just thirty seconds remaining in the bout and still trailing 13-7.  

World Championship weights are back and so is the king of 70KG. James Green has ruled the weight domestically for the last five years and this year looks to be no different as he dispatched the field on his way to a 7-2 victory in the finals against Cliff Keen’s Alec Pantaleo. Green showed flashes of why he’s been the keeper of the weight with crisp re-attacks and savvy mat wrestling throughout the tournament – picking up three victories via technical superiority, showed his experience in a 4-2 victory in the semifinals, and capping it off with a dominant showing in the finals. James Green is back and all roads to the World Championships go through the champ.

The other SERTC athletes in the Senior division put on Top-6 finishes in a strong showing. Andy Smith went on a tear after dropping his first bout, winning four straight en route to a third-place finish in his Senior-level debut. Hokie heavyweight legend, Ty Walz placed fourth as made his return to heavyweight after wrestling at 97KG since starting his freestyle career. Nahshon Garrett placed sixth, defaulting out of the tournament after a thrilling semifinal match that saw him drop by criteria.

Juniors

Bryce Andonian, 70KG (7-0)

  • Round of 64: W vs Brayden Roberts (West Virginia RTC); VSU, 10-0
  • Round of 32: W vs Nicholas Stoltenberg (Nebraska WTC); VSU, 13-2
  • Round of 16: W vs Ridge Briggs (Wyoming Wrestling RTC); VSU, 12-2
  • Quarterfinals: W vs Caleb Henson (Georgia); VPO1, 16-9
  • Semifinals: W vs Jack Thomsen (Jackrabbit WC); VSU, 10-0
  • Finals 1 of 2: W vs Ed Scott (Wolfpack WC); VFA, 8-0
  • Finals 2 of 2: W vs Ed Scott (Wolfpack WC); VPO1, 12-9

Clayton Ulrey, 74KG (5-2)

  • Round of 64: W vs Ben Durocher (Wisconsin); VSU, 12-1
  • Round of 32: W vs Drake Smith (Victory Wrestling); VFA, 13-6
  • Round of 16: W vs Brady Henderson (Iowa); VSU, 12-2
  • Quarterfinals: W vs D. Gilcher (Michigan); VPO1, 7-3
  • Semifinals: L vs Cade DeVos (Jackrabbit WC), VSU 0-10
  • Cons Semifinals: L vs Julian Ramirez (Spartan Combat RTC); 0-7
  • Fifth Place: W vs Derek Fields (Arsenal WC); VFA, 7-13

Seniors

Nahshon Garrett, 61KG (2-2)

  • Round of 16: W vs Jack Wagner (Panther WCRTC); VPO1, 11-7
  • Quarterfinals: W vs Ethan Lizak (NYAC); VSU, 10-0
  • Semifinals: L vs Josh Kramer (Sunkist Kids WC); VPO1 13*-13

James Green, 70KG (5-0)

  • Round of 32: W vs Austin Braun (Minnesota); VSU, 10-0
  • Round of 16: W vs Cameron Harrell (Georgia); VSU, 11-0
  • Quarterfinals: W vs Elroy Perkin (Gopher WCRTC); VSU, 12-2
  • Semifinals: W vs Brayton Lee (Gopher WCRTC); VPO1, 4-2
  • Finals: W vs Alec Pantelo (Cliff Keen WC); VPO1; 7-2

Andy Smith, 97KG (4-1)

  • Quarterfinals: L vs Austin Schafer (NYAC); VPO1, 9-4
  • Cons of 8: W vs Charles Swiggett (North Carolina); VSU, 11-0
  • Cons of 4: W vs Austin Stith (Patriot Elite WC); VSU, 17-7
  • Cons Semifinals: W vs Isaac Trumble (Wolfpack WC); VPO1, 10-3
  • Third Place: W vs Jacob Boyd (Oklahoma RTC); VPO1, 5-3

Ty Walz, 125KG (3-2)

  • Round of 16: W vs Zachary Knighton-Ward (Blue & Gold WC); VSU, 11-0
  • Quarterfinals: W vs Demitrius Thomas (Pittsburgh WC); VPO1, 5-2
  • Semifinals: L vs Anthony Cassioppi (Hawkeye WC); VSU, 1-11
  • Cons Semifinals: W vs Matt Stencel (Central Michigan WC); VPO1, 5-4
  • Third Place: L vs Dom Bradley (Sunkist Kids WC); VPO1, 1-2

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