Iowa—Riley Vanik of Sugar Grove nearly pulled off a championship victory in the USAW Pre-Season Nationals at the University of Northern Iowa inside the UNI-Dome Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Nov. 4.
The tournament drew 2,594 wrestlers from 38 states. Vanik entered the 152-pound weight bracket in the Seventh/Eighth-grade Middle School Division.
Because of Vanik’s performance the previous year, he earned a first-round bye in this year’s tournament. He took a tight match, 3-2, in his second-round opener.
Vanik found himself in another hard-fought battle in the next round, taking his Iowa opponent into overtime. He secured the 5-3 victory with just 19 seconds remaining in the overtime period.
He battled the eventual tournament champion into the second period, where he lost by pin, securing second place in the tournament.