One of the biggest high school wrestling events of the season in recent years has become the Who's #1 event hosted by Flowrestling. Who's #1 features the #1 and #2 ranked wrestlers (as determined by Flo and based on their performances at several other events over the course of the year) at several weights. Think of it like a dual meet between the #1 ranked wrestlers and the #2 ranked wrestlers, although there's no dual meet scoring involved; this is strictly for individual glory (and the ability to establish your bona fides as the top-ranked wrestler at your particular weight). And this year's Who's #1 event is coming to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.
For the first six years of its existence, Who's #1 was held at Grace Hall (aka, "The Snake Pit") at Lehigh University. But citing desire to try something new, Flo decided to try moving the event to a new location this year. With the match-ups featuring a heavy Midwestern flavor, a location in the Midwest made the most sense. And there's no better wrestling venue in the Midwest than Carver-Hawkeye Arena. So an excellent match was made and CHA will play host to the 2019 iteration of Who's #1 on October 5, 2019 at 5 PM.
One of the reasons that made CHA such an appealing venue for the event this year is that there are several current Iowa commits scheduled to compete -- Jesse Ybarra (#1 at 120 lbs), Ryan Sokol (#2 at 138 lbs), and Patrick Kennedy (#2 at 170 lbs). So this is a great opportunity to get an early look at some future Hawkeye hammers against top-notch age-level competition. Ybarra, Sokol, and Kennedy will all be wrestling folkstyle matches, which is the same style they'll compete in at Iowa. (The top-ranked wrestler in each match-up was able to choose whether he'd prefer to compete under folkstyle or freestyle rules.) It's also a chance to see some recruits who are considering Iowa, most notably Paddy Gallagher (#1 at 160 lbs, and a Top 10 overall recruit in the Class of 2020). Perhaps getting to compete in front of a large crowd of black-and-gold clad fans will be what it takes to get him to commit to Iowa.
This could (should) be the best-attended Who's #1 event as well -- by a huge margin. The Snake Pit only held around 1800 people; CHA seats around 15,000 for wrestling. I certainly don't expect this event to sell out CHA, but if it draws 5-6000 fans, that would still triple the best ever attendance at Who's #1 in the past.
Aside from the future Hawkeyes factor, Who's #1 is a great event just to see some of the future stars of amateur wrestling. Per Flo:
In its brief history, Who's #1 alumni have made a World Team over 50 times, winning nearly two dozen medals, 14 of them Gold. Six of this year's Cadet World Team Members are on the Who's #1 card, while four WNO alum made this year's Junior Team.
So there's a good chance that someone (or perhaps multiple someones) that you see on the mat at CHA on October 5 will be suiting up for the U.S. in international competition in a few years.
FULL EVENT LINEUP
|1||132 lbs||#1 Jesse Mendez||IN||uncommitted||vs||#4 Ryan Jack||CT||NC State||Freestyle|
|2||132 lbs||#2 Dom Serrano||CO||Nebraska||vs||#3 Shayne Van Ness||NJ||uncommitted||Freestyle|
|3||120 lbs||#1 Jesse Ybarra||AZ||Iowa||vs||#2 Jakason Burks||NE||Oklahoma St||Folkstyle|
|4||113 lbs||#1 Richard Figueroa II||CA||Arizona St||vs||#2 Stevo Poulin||NY||uncommitted||Folkstyle|
|5||145 lbs||#1 Victor Voinovich||OH||uncommitted||vs||#2 Jesse Vasquez||CA||uncommitted||Folkstyle|
|6||65 kg||Joshua Sanders||MO||Cornell||vs||Anthony Echemendia||AZ||uncommitted||Freestyle?|
|7||152 lbs||#1 Sonny Santiago||CA||Arizona St||vs||#2 Travis Mastrogiovanni||NJ||uncommitted||Folkstyle|
|8||160 lbs||#1 Paddy Gallagher||OH||uncommitted||vs||#2 Keegan Daniel O'Toole||WI||Missouri||Freestyle|
|9||182 lbs||#1 Dustin Plott||OK||Oklahoma St||vs||#2 Rocky Elam||MO||Missouri||Folkstyle|
|10||126 lbs||#1 Robert Howard||NJ||Penn St||vs||#2 Trevor Mastrogiovanni||NJ||Oklahoma St||Freestyle|
|11||138 lbs||#1 Beau Bartlett||PA||Penn St||vs||#2 Ryan Sokol||MN||Iowa||Folkstyle|
|12||170 lbs||#1 Alex Facundo||MI||uncommitted||vs||#2 Patrick Kennedy||MN||Iowa||Folkstyle|
|13||132 lbs||winner Match #1||vs||winner Match #2|
Full information on this event (including how to buy tickets) is available at Flo. This event could be a great showcase of CHA and Iowa wrestling fans, which could be a huge boon to recruiting, both this year and in the future.