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More than 4,000 high school wrestlers competed in July in the 41st annual ASICS/Vaughan Cadet and Junior Nationals?the world?s largest wrestling tournament, held at the FargoDome in Fargo, ND.

When it was all said and done, none of them achieved the success that Apple Valley High School wrestler Gannon Volk achieved.

Volk captured Cadet National freestyle and Greco-Roman titles at 91 pounds. In April, he won the Cadet Nationals Folkstyle title in Cedar Falls, IA, to win the coveted USA Wrestling Triple Crown in the Cadet division, meaning he won national titles in all three styles of wrestling.

Folkstyle is the style in which American youth and high school wrestlers compete. Freestyle is a more open style, while Greco-Roman involves only upper-body moves. Freestyle and Greco-Roman are styles used throughout the world and in international and Olympic competition.

Volk was the only wrestler in the nation to achieve the feat this year; in the history of USA Wrestling, only 10 wrestlers have achieved triple-crown status.

?The nation?s best high school wrestlers put it on the line in Fargo,? said Andrew Hipps. ?It?s a grind. ? Champions have to win 10 or more matches over three days. The arena is filled with college wrestling coaches who are looking to land recruits, so it?s a great opportunity for high school wrestlers to get noticed by college coaches.?

Volk was losing 2-0 to Miquel Silva of Plainfield, IL, in his final match, but picked up the pin and the win in the first period.

?Volk has ? a never-say-die attitude,? Hipps said. ?He is a mat rat who loves to compete, and competes virtually everywhere. He has improved tremendously in the last year.?

Volk was happy that hard work paid off.

?I?ve been training hard and in the room practicing a lot,? said Volk, 15, who went 38-0 and won a ninth-grade state championship last year. He?ll challenge to compete in the 106-pound weight class on the Apple Valley Eagles varsity wrestling team this coming season as a sophomore.

?I went into the tournament hoping to do my best,? he said. ?As I kept winning it was in the back of my head that I could win it all, but I tried not to think about that and instead focus on each match.?

Another Apple Valley wrestler, Seth Gross, claimed a freestyle national title at 112 pounds. Gross took third in state last year as a freshman on the Apple Valley team that won a state championship and was named the No. 1 team in the nation. He too, won by pin.

?Both Gannon and Seth have paid their dues,? said Apple Valley wrestling head coach Jim Jackson. ?They?ve trained 11 months a year for quite awhile now. They certainly earned it. The sky is the limit for them.?

Hipps said Gross?s performance in Fargo should give him a lot of confidence going forward because he placed ahead of some very accomplished wrestlers.

?Gross has a lot of tools,? said Hipps. ?His length causes fits for his opponents. Seth Gross is a name people will be hearing a lot in the coming years.?

Three other Apple Valley wrestlers earned All-American status, which means they finished in the top eight in their respective weight class.

Matt Kelliher, who will wrestle at the University of Wisconsin-Madison next year and was this year?s Mr. Minnesota of wrestling, finished fourth in 135. Brandon Kingsley, who will be a senior at Apple Valley High School next year and has verbally committed to wrestle at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, finished fourth at 140. Steve Keogh, a Minnesota recruit, finished fifth in freestyle at 160 and Jake Waste, who won a state title for Apple Valley last year and will wrestle at the University of Buffalo next year, finished second in Greco-Roman competition at 189.

Other Apple Valley wrestlers who competed include Maolu Woiwor, Dylan Bethke, Daniel Woiwor, Ben Sullivan and Corbin Farrell.

As for Volk, he still has some competition left. He is one of two Minnesotans heading to Colorado Springs, CO, to train at the Olympic Training Center, and then he will be off to Hungary for the World Cadet Championships next month.

?It?s a great opportunity to keep wrestling and to compete against wrestlers from throughout the world, it should be fun,? said Volk.

For Complete Article by Matt Krumrie, Apple Valley Patch