What's the big deal about Fargo?
Held during the month of July, this event is a week-long competition that is made up of several divisions (i.e. Junior and Cadet for Freestyle, Greco, and Women's). By the end, National Champions are crowned and awarded with an Octagon-shaped plaque, better known as the Stop Sign. (Although each All-American receives a similar plaque, albeit smaller, the term "Stop Sign" is reserved for National Champions!)
While historically not always hosted in Fargo, ND it has become synonymous with the highest level of wrestling for Junior and Cadet-aged wrestlers during the "offseason". As demonstrated by the intensity at Nationals, all athletes are very much in their peak wrestling form because after all, Fargo is a big deal! Held in the Fargodome, most brackets feature 60-100 wrestlers that must qualify to attend, and it is not uncommon for top ranked wrestlers to meet up in the first few rounds. In years' past, Fargo used Vertical brackets. However, the tournament is now operated with standard bracketing and it is much easier to understand where an athlete is at in the tournament.
Being crowned a National Champion at Fargo is the most prestigious award in wrestling, particularly when you factor that there are numerous postseason Folkstyle National tournaments. At Fargo, it is a who's who of wrestling and simply placing in either style assures conversation for a scholarship and possibly, being nationally ranked. Wrestlers must qualify to compete at the USAW Cadet & Junior Nationals by placing in the Top 3 of their regional; for New Mexico the region is Southern Plains. There are a couple other ways to qualify, most of which are conducted through NMUSAW.
Junior Nationals started in 1971 and Cadets began in 1986. For a historical listing of New Mexico wrestlers that placed at Cadet/Junior Nationals and became Freestyle or Greco All-Americans, please see below:
Louis Trujillo - Cadet Freestyle Champion & All-American, Junior Freestyle All-American
Junior Freestyle All-Americans
Junior Greco All-Americans
Cadet Freestyle All-Americans
Cadet Greco All-Americans
Cadet Junior Women All-Americans