Ben Aranda, one of four Barbs wrestlers set to wrestle in Fargo, returns as an All-American after fifth-place honors at 94 pounds last summer.
Aranda will wrestle at 100 pounds in the Freestyle and 106 Greco division in Fargo. Aranda is driven by the possibility of facing wrestlers he has taken on before and is hungry for the chance at revenge wins. He took third at 48 kilograms at Flo Nationals in Cadet Freestyle back in April.
“It’s fun. It’s also us getting known all around the country. It’s really bringing a name to DeKalb, Illinois,” Aranda said. “It’s fun. Fargo is a place to put your name on the map.”
Blake McGee, after going 3-2 at Fargo a year ago, is working to cut weight, where he will wrestle at 120 pounds. His goal is All-American honors in Greco and Freestyle.
“That’s my goal, and if I do better than that, national champ, then that’s my greater goal,” McGee said.
Rory Burright will compete at 100 pounds in Freestyle and Greco.
“What excites me about going to Fargo is the competition and the atmosphere,” Burright said. “And my goals and expectations for competing in this is obviously to place or win, but also go out there and have fun and try my best.”
Hiatt has seen the Barbs trend away from being intimidated about the heading to Fargo, to going into the event with expectations of All-American distinction.
“Ben’s a returning All-American … Bradley obviously just got second in the world, Rory’s been having a really good offseason and Blake’s been coming in wrestling the best I’ve ever seen him,” Hiatt said. “They’re all really confident, and lately we’ve had some All-Americans and stuff. This used to be something that our guys would come to like, ‘Oh man, Fargo.’ Now they come with higher expectations. Expect to do good out there.”