Thompson gets 3rd in Fargo
By ALLEN GEMAEHLICH
Dylon Thompson didn’t accomplish his goal, but he believes he still became a better wrestler.
The Grand Junction 15-year-old placed third in the Fargo Nationals Cadet Greco-Roman 98-pound tournament last week in Fargo, N.D.
He was disappointed after taking second in the 84-pound cadet Greco-Roman division last year.
“I didn’t think I wrestled as good as last year, but it still turned out good,” Thompson said. “I was heartbroken. I wanted to be in championship again.”
In Greco-Roman wrestling, the legs may not be used in any way to obtain a fall and no holds may be taken below the waist. The cadet division is for wrestlers ages 15-16.
The Grand Junction High School sophomore received Fargo All-American honors by placing. Fargo Nationals is regarded as one of the top summer club amateur wrestling tournaments in the country.
“Last year was nerve-racking,” he said. “I was the smallest kid there. I felt a lot more comfortable this year.”
He won his first five matches, including two by pin over wrestlers from Wyoming, Maryland, New Mexico, Minnesota and Iowa.
He was pinned by Sam Brancale of Minnesota in the second round of elimination before securing third place with a decision over Jake Velarde of Washington.
“My second match, I started off good but I caught on my back trying a move and got pinned,” Thompson said.
Thompson competed in the freestyle tournament following the Greco-Roman, but didn’t place. Freestyle wrestling allows wrestlers to use arms and legs.
“I’m not sure,” said Thompson about not placing in freestyle. “I really like Greco. Freestyle, I was tired. I didn’t wrestle great. Plus, I had two really tough matches (in freestyle).
“There is a lot of technique in Greco. In freestyle, I feel comfortable.”
Thompson, though, is convinced he’s a better wrestler for competing in Fargo Nationals.
“It’s made a huge difference,” he said. “It made my wrestling better. I wrestled better competition.”