FARGO, ND — Dru Ayala didn’t get what he came for at Fargo Nationals, but it’s a building block for Fort Dodge’s future junior.
Ayala placed third in the junior freestyle division at the FargoDome at 106 pounds.
The 2022 Dodger State runner-up defeated Arizona’s Damian Moreno in the placement game 11-8.
He defeated Oregon’s Gage Singleton 19-17 to advance to the medal fight.
Ayala suffered a tough 7-6 loss to Idaho’s Mack Mauger in the semifinals. Ayala was 5-1 in the tournament.
“It’s a great atmosphere at the FargoDome,” said Ayala. “There are great wrestlers from all over the country and the competition is crazy good.
“Obviously finishing third hurts a bit but it is what it is and I have to keep going.”
Defending champion Alexis Ross competed in the Fargo Nationals last year and won 2-2.
This time she went 4-2 and was just one game away from a medal.
She defeated Ohio’s Abigail Mozden (8-0), Kansas’ Jailynn Taylor (4-0) before losing to Rhode Island’s Kryssceah Ravenelle (9-4) in the round of 32.
Ross bounced back with a 4-0 win over Washington’s Annika Lee and a narrow 11-10 win over Mississippi’s Bella Wazny.
She lost her last match 10-0 to Oregon’s Alice Rickett.
“It’s not what I wanted, but given the circumstances of my injury and not being able to train as much as I wanted, I was fine,” Ross said. “It’s really helping me to recharge my batteries for next year as it’s my last year of finally making a difference at Fargo.”