Three members of Team Maryland earned All-America honors at the 2014 USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior Greco-Roman National Championships in Fargo, N.D., which concluded Tuesday.
Ryan Friedman (St. Paul's), Marty Margolis (La Plata) and Breandon Coughlin (Northern-Calvert) all earned All-America honors in the three-day event for finishing among the top eight in their age and weight classes.
"We finished off with three great matches," said Jay LaValley, Team Maryland's head coach. "Those guys got it done."
Friedman went 8-1 and placed third at 120 pounds in the three-day competition. He lost only in the quarterfinals, by fall to eventual finalist Anthony Cefolo of New Jersey.
Margolis opened his tournament with five straight wins — three by technical fall and two by fall — to reach the semifinals at 132 pounds. There he lost to New Jersey's William Kui by fall but won twice more in the wrestlebacks to finish third.
"Losing in the semifinals was kind of a bummer," Margolis said. "But I was really shocked with myself. I don't really consider myself a Greco guy."
Coughlin turned in perhaps the most impressive performance of any Maryland wrestler. He lost his first match of the tournament to Jordan Aquino of California, but strung together sevenconsecutive wins — three by fall, three technical falls and another by forfeit — in the wrestlebacks to finish third at 106pounds.
"I definitely wrestled like I wanted to after my first match," Coughlin said. "I don't think I was ready for my first match. I came out, got stuck, but I definitely wrestled like I wanted to the rest of the tournament."
This was somewhat of a repeat performance from all three of Team Maryland's medalists, as they all have earned All-America status in the past.
Friedman and Margolis each brought home hardware from Greco-Roman nationals a year ago. Friedman placed sixth at 113 pounds as a junior, while Margolis placed seventh as a cadet at 126 pounds.
"This one carries a lot more meaning," Friedman said. "I got beat kind of early, and was able to win my last four matches or so. I'm extremely happy."
Coughlin earned a second-place finish in 2012 at Greco-Roman nationals as a cadet at 88 pounds.
Two other juniors on Team Maryland — Austin Kraisser (145) and Mansur Abdul-Malik (220) — made the tournament's quarterfinals, and each came within one win of All-America status.
Team Maryland's cadet wrestlers didn't have nearly the success the juniors had.
Joseph Thomas (100), Shawn Orem (126) and Brady Daniel (170) all came within one win of making the podium. Thomas and Daniel made runs to the quarterfinals in their brackets but lost consecutive matches and were bounced from the tournament.
"Really, the inexperience is what it boils down to. That's primarily what I saw," LaValley said. "We didn't have any All-Americans for the first time, for as long as I can remember being involved in the program."
The team now turns its attention to the Cadet and Junior Freestyle National Championships, which are set to begin this morning and run through Saturday.email@example.com
twitter.com/codygoodwinCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun