Junior & Cadet Nationals

Published: Jul. 12, 2018 at 3:04 PM CDT
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They are the best high school aged wrestlers in North Dakota and they're trying to become the best in the United States.

That test starts this weekend in the Junior & Cadet Nationals at the Fargodome.

Hettinger's Kyle Burwick finished in 5th place when he was a Cadet. Last year, he was 5-2 in his first crack at the Junior Division. He says one of the biggest benefits to this elite summer program is who he gets to share the room with.

"The training partners I'm around, I can make small adjustments to my style and I can see it throughout my progression into the summer. I can go back and I can watch my film and I can say this is what I figured here, here, here and this is what I'm doing better and this is what I have to work on and having the partners for training is really the big intangible for me," said Burwick.

"It's nice to get new partners; different feels and not wrestling the same guy every day. It's nice to wrestler Kyle Burwick and Ryan Ripplinger, guys that make me a lot better," Reece Barnhardt, Bismarck.

For the boys, there is the opportunity to wrestle both freestyle and Greco. For college coaches, it's the ultimate recruiting stop.

"It's an opportunity to get better in the summer and kind of show off your skills to college coaches all around the nation and other people, and it's really a fun time to meet other kids around the state who wrestle and just be on the same team as them for a change," said Chase Dockter, Bismarck.

"They're looking and they want to see what your character is. How you're prepping for you matches, how you are dealing with adversity. What's your mindset? How you perform on the mat, how you carry yourself. Eyes are always on you," said Burwick.

Another growing segment of wrestling is girls and they will be competing at nationals as well.

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