FARGO, ND — The matches were better and the final outcome still resulted in a podium finish for Orange Park rising senior Andrea Smith.
And that’s what will matter most, as Smith will take an eighth-place Fargo stop sign and all-American effort Wednesday after completing the US Marine Corps Junior women’s freestyle tournament at the Fargodome.
Smith didn’t get on the mats until well into the afternoon session, with a consi quarterfinal against Montana’s Omastewin Foster in the 225-lb weight class. Smith tied the match at 1-1 with 1:55 left to go, but Foster was able to secure two takedowns down the stretch, sending Smith into the seventh-place match.
There, against Colorado’s Stefania Jaramillo, Smith got into a 4-0 deficit on a pair of first-period takedowns, but was able to push the pace in the second period, with one point given after a second passivity warning to Jaramillo, followed by a Smith takedown with 1:38 left to make it 4-3. Smith tied the match with 11 seconds left, but Jaramillo found a takedown at the end.
While Smith completed her second day, Wednesday marked the first day of 16U Greco-Roman competition and an opportunity for rising Bartram Trail junior Ethan Vugman (113) to right the ship after a too-quick freestyle tournament last weekend.
But eventual quarterfinalist Reid Spurley, of Wisconsin, sent Vugman into the consis fairly quickly once again behind five takedowns and a turn for a 15-5 superior victory (3:58).
He would bounce back, though, with three straight one-sided victories. Vugman needed just 46 seconds to deck Wellington’s Evan Pena in his first consi-side match, then falled Nevada’s Nat’aani Prado in 1:04. Vugman picked up his third consi victory behind three takedowns and a turn for a first-period (1:49) 10-0 superior victory over Oklahoma’s Payton Zweifel, but couldn’t sustain the energy into the evening session, as an early 3-0 lead evaporated against Kansas’ Dillon Cooper, who had three takedowns and a turn in the second period, winning on points, 11-7.
At 285, rising Forest junior Cane Fernandez was just two matches short of an all-American finish, going 1-2 on the day. Fernandez lost by fall on the front side (round of 32) to Wisconsin’s Evan Gratz (3:16) and on the back to Wisconsin’s Griffin Empey (2:54) in the consis.
Fernandez’s lone victory came in the consis, with a 1-0 points victory when his opponent, Ohio’s Mustafa Woodi, was whistled for passivity. That was enough to get him a second consi-side match.
On Thursday, the final tournament staged at Fargo — the Junior Greco-Roman classification — will begin at 10 a.m., as will continuing 16U competition.
Results for each wrestler follow below.
Junior Women’s Freestyle
Consi quarters: Omastewin Foster (MT) VPO1 Andrea Smith, 6-1.
7th place: Stefania Jaramillo (CO) VPO1 Smith, 6-4.
Round of 128: Reid Spurley (WI) VSU1 Ethan Vugman, 15-5, 3:58.
Consi 64 #2: Vugman VFA Evan Pena (FL), :46.
Consi 32 #1: Vugman VFA Nat’aani Prado (NV), 1:04.
Consi 32 #2: Vugman VSU Payton Zweifel (OK), 10-0, 1:49.
Consi 16 #1: Dillon Cooper (KS) VPO1 Vugman, 11-7.
Round of 32: Evan Gratz (WI) VFA Cane Fernandez, 3:16.
Consi 16 #2: Fernandez VPO Mustafa Woodi (OH), 1-0.
Consi 8 #1: Griffin Empey (WI) VFA Fernandez, 2:54.