GAYLORD – A pair of Gaylord High School wrestlers had the chance to compete in the 2022 USA Wrestling Junior and 16U National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota last month.
Senior Brayden Gautreau and incoming freshman Jaron Bensinger traveled to Fargo to compete in the premier high school wrestling tournament in the country.
“We had a good run this year,” Gaylord head wrestling coach Jerry Lajoie said. “Our team finished fourth and we had two state champs and six medalists. The kids that do the extra in the offseason, the Olympic style, freestyle and Greco, we had two All-Americans in Brayden Gautreau and Jaron Bensinger.”
Gautreau and Bensinger said they went into the tournament just looking to get better against some of the best in the country.
“I was a young cadet so I’m 14 wrestling 16U,” Bensinger said. “I went out there just to wrestle and really no expected outcome.”
“It’s the biggest tournament in the country. It’s awesome,” added Gautreau. “But when you get down to it, all those national tournaments, you really can’t get a bigger stage. Like at the end of the day, you’re just on a wrestling mat, it’s just you two.”
The Blue Devils are traditionally one of the best teams in the state. They lost in the Div. 2 state semifinals to Lowell this past season. Lowell has won nine consecutive state championships in Div. 2.