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Kevin Schnepf, Published July 22 2009

USA wrestling: Brothers go to great lengths to watch each other compete for titles

They grew up wrestling together in western Montana. But twin brothers Jade and Valyen Rauser had to work extra hard Tuesday in the Fargodome to watch each other wrestle for national championships at the Asics USA Wrestling tournament.

While Jade was wrestling in the 105-pound Junior Greco-Roman championship, Valyen was on deck, pacing back and forth behind the blue-lit screen. He was able to sneak a peek of his brother’s match on one of the Fargodome’s video screens.

“I was just hoping I would be able to do the same thing he did,” Valyen said.

Jade claimed his national title in the second period. But moments later, Jade – shuffling back and forth from the interview area to the championship mat – saw his brother fall in the second period of the 112-pound championship.

“We were both hoping for national titles,” said Jade, who after winning a state high school championship earlier this year saw his brother lose in the state finals. “So it’s happened twice this year.”

The Rauser twins have been wrestling since the age of 4 in the small town of Townsend, nestled between the Big Belt and Elkhorn Mountains of western Montana. The town of 1,867 residents isn’t exactly a hotbed of activity.

“Nobody really stops there,” Jade said. “They just pass through.”

If they did stop, they would discover the Rauser wrestling tradition. The twins’ dad, Kurt, was a two-time state champion for Townsend. The twins, who will be juniors at Broadwater County High School this fall, have already combined for three state titles.

The twins have put together some impressive resumes with their summertime wrestling.

Last year in Fargo at Cadet Nationals, Valyen placed third in the Greco-Roman and fifth in the freestyle. He was a folkstyle national champion last year and a Cadet Greco-Roman champion in 2007.

After placing second in freestyle and fourth in Greco-Roman in last year’s Cadet Nationals, Jade is aiming to become the first Juniors triple-crown winner.

With folkstyle and Greco-Roman championships already in hand, he will shoot for a freestyle title later this week in the Fargodome. (USA Wrestling added folkstyle in 2007, giving Juniors a shot at the Triple Crown).

“I’m hoping to get that next championship,” Jade said. “My coach has been pushing me hard. My brother has too. I just have to go out there and wrestle.”

The Rauser twins have certainly gone out – logging nearly 100,000 miles on the family van to wrestle in tournaments across the country. Often taking 25-hour trips, the Rausers routinely park at a rest area and sleep in the van.

“We have to work our butts off to raise money to get to tournaments,” Valyen said. “You got to do what you got to do to get better.”

Sleeping in a motel this week, the Rausers now prepare for the freestyle competition. Ultimately, they’re both hoping to wrestle in the Olympics. For now, they want to win back-to-back championships.

“We share a lot of dreams,” Valyen said.

E Two wrestlers from Team North Dakota earned All-American honors. Joe Schumacher of Bismarck placed eighth at 130 pounds. Scott Schiller of West Fargo placed seventh at 189 pounds.

E Kendrick Sanders of Homestead, Fla., the 152-pound champion, was named the outstanding wrestler for the Junior Greco-Roman tournament. Illinois won the team title.

E Dylan Ness of Bloomington, Minn., a Cadet triple crown winner last year, saw his hopes for a Junior triple crown fall after losing to RaVaughn Perkins of Omaha. Ness’ brother Jayson wrestles at the University of Minnesota.

E Heavyweight Niko Bogojevic of Superior, Wis., ended the tournament by celebrating his championship with his version of the worm.

E Ryan Mango of St. Louis, who won last year’s Greco-Roman and freestyle titles, won the 119-pound Greco-Roman title. His brother Spencer was an Olympic wrestler.

E Justin LaValle of Burnsville, Minn., a state high school champ with a 49-0 record, won the 130-pound Greco-Roman title. He plans to attend Old Dominion University.

E Brock Gutches of Oregon, whose uncle was a national champion at Oregon State, won the 160-pound title. Gutches plans to wrestle at Boise State.

E Andrew Campolattano of New Jersey, a Cadet freestyle and Greco-Roman champ last year, won the 189-pound Junior Greco-Roman title.

Junior Greco-Roman results

98 pounds

1st Place Match

Joey Moita (California) over Ruben Navejas (Washington) Dec 1-0,1-0

3rd Place Match

Michael Dauterive (Texas) over Devon Graville (Illinois ) Dec 10-3,4-2

5th Place Match

Javier Guillen (Arizona) over Jesse Smith (Alabama) Dec 0-1,5-1,2-0

7th Place Match

Manny Marin (California) over Brad Lander (Oregon) Fall 5-9,0:33

105 pounds

1st Place Match

Jade Rauser (Montana) over Chris Bostic (Arizona) Dec 2-0,7-0

3rd Place Match

Jake Bellis (Illinois ) over Kevon Powell (Illinois ) ID

5th Place Match

Jack Hathaway (Iowa) over Austin Trott (Georgia) Dec 6-1,7-0

7th Place Match

Joe Andrews (Texas) over Jacoby Bergeron (Minnesota) FF

112 pounds

1st Place Match

Ryak Finch (Arizona) over Val Rauser (Montana) TF 6-0,7-0

3rd Place Match

Tyler Cox (Wyoming) over Max Mejia (Arizona) Dec 4-0,8-0

5th Place Match

Ben Willeford (Louisiana) over Tanner Moon (Alabama) Dec 0-7,3-1,5-1

7th Place Match

Matt Correa (California) over Jeff Vesta (Kansas) Dec 0-6,1-0,1-0

119 pounds

1st Place Match

Ryan Mango (Missouri) over Jerry Huff (Colorado) Dec 5-0,1-0

3rd Place Match

Alan Waters (Missouri) over Rossi Bruno (Florida) Fall 1:21

5th Place Match

Brock Banta (Idaho) over Michael Nakagawa (Hawaii) Fall 2-0,1:31

7th Place Match

Mike Rhone (Pennsylvania) over Patrick Mucha (Washington) TF 7-1,6-0

125 pounds

1st Place Match

David Klingsheim (California) over Patrick Myers (Pennsylvania) Dec 7-0,3-2

3rd Place Match

Frank Goodwin (Maryland) over Joseph Denova (Georgia) Dec 2-0,3-0

5th Place Match

Nick Wilcox (New York) over Aaron Runzo (Virginia) Dec 6-4,1-0

7th Place Match

Pat Scully (Illinois ) over Robert Otterness (Minnesota) Dec 2-5,4-0,2-1

130 pounds

1st Place Match

Justin Lavalle (Minnesota) over Tucker Ray (Utah) Dec 1-0,7-0

3rd Place Match

Kade Moss (Utah) over Travis Himmelman (Colorado) Dec 6-0,1-0

5th Place Match

Tyler Liberatore (Florida) over Alex Kostenborder (Oregon) Fall 0:37

7th Place Match

Brandon Rice (Illinois ) over Joe Schumacher (North Dakota) Dec 1-0,1-0

135 pounds

1st Place Match

Ellis Coleman (Illinois ) over Joseph Locksmith (Florida) TF 6-0,7-0

3rd Place Match

Josh Kindig (Pennsylvania) over Robert Fisher (Minnesota) Dec 7-0,2-0

5th Place Match

Daniel Osterman (Michigan) over Acton Pifer (Georgia) Dec 2-0,3-1

7th Place Match

Bo Schlosser (Illinois ) over A J Zemke (Wisconsin) Dec 3-0,1-3,3-0

140 pounds

1st Place Match

RaVaughan Perkins (Nebraska) over Dylan Ness (Minnesota) TF 6-0,6-0

3rd Place Match

Blake Roulo (Virginia) over Chris Gonzalez (Illinois ) Dec 0-4,4-1,1-0

5th Place Match

Elijah Sullivan (Iowa) over Matthew Nereim (Florida) Dec 5-3,5-3

7th Place Match

Luke Vaith (Minnesota) over Shohei Takagi (California) TF 0-1,7-0,7-0

145 pounds

1st Place Match

Josh Castellano (Illinois ) over Kory DeBerry (Arizona) Dec 0-1,3-0,2-1

3rd Place Match

Steven Hernandez (Nevada) over Chase Gordon (Florida) Dec 0-1,3-0,1-0

5th Place Match

Kevin Maelfeyt (California) over Patrick Smith (Minnesota) ID

7th Place Match

Nick Tourville (Minnesota) over Jason Gray (Washington) Fall 2-0,1:07

152 pounds

1st Place Match

Kendrick Sanders (Florida) over Kalvin York (Wisconsin) TF 6-0,6-0

3rd Place Match

Joey Moorhouse (Illinois ) over Zachary Skates (Oklahoma) Dec 1-0,0-1,1-0

5th Place Match

Joseph Cozart (Florida) over Seth Thomas (Oregon) Dec 2-1,6-0

7th Place Match

Tyler Sheridan (California) over Kenny Boyles (Delaware) Fall 0:28

160 pounds

1st Place Match

Brock Gutches (Oregon) over Ronnie Balfour (Oklahoma) Dec 3-1,6-0

3rd Place Match

Kyle Detmer (Kansas) over Stephen West (California) Fall 1:08

5th Place Match

Kyle Crain (Wisconsin) over Erin O`Dell (Florida) Dec 7-3,12-6

7th Place Match

Frank Cousins (Florida) over Shane Stark (Pennsylvania) Dec 4-0,1-0

171 pounds

1st Place Match

Mark Stenberg (Illinois ) over Tyler Beckwith (New York) Dec 1-0,1-0

3rd Place Match

Ethen Lofthouse (Utah) over Stephen McPeek (Texas) Dec 1-0,2-0

5th Place Match

Michael Evans (Pennsylvania) over Nate Brown (Pennsylvania) Dec 3-0,1-0

7th Place Match

Pat Martinez (California) over Joel Bauman (Minnesota) Dec 1-0,1-0

189 pounds

1st Place Match

Andrew Campolattano (New Jersey) over Tyler Lehman (Minnesota) Fall 1:06

3rd Place Match

Jake Swartz (Washington) over Reid Chivers (Washington) Dec 2-0,1-0

5th Place Match

Jacob Dempsey (West Virginia) over Austin Morehead (California) Dec 2-0,3-1

7th Place Match

Scott Schiller (North Dakota) over Josh Greer (Alabama) TF 5-0,6-0

215 pounds

1st Place Match

Josef Rau (Illinois ) over Trevor Rupp (Idaho) Dec 1-1,1-0,1-0

3rd Place Match

Connor Medbery (Colorado) over Aaron Pavlenko (Arizona) Fall 0:14

5th Place Match

Harrison Honeycutt (North Carolina) over Charles Lewis (Illinois ) Dec 1-0,2-0

7th Place Match

Alex Polizzi (Wisconsin) over Kyle Caylor (Kansas) Dec 3-0,8-0

285 pounds

1st Place Match

Niko Bogojevic (Wisconsin) over Donovan Green (Florida) Dec 2-0,2-0

3rd Place Match

Jacob Mitchell (Oregon) over Karl Green (Maryland) Fall 1:10

5th Place Match

Jake Kettler (Minnesota) over Scott Helton (Illinois ) Dec 3-0,3-0

7th Place Match

Evan Craig (Pennsylvania) over Kyle Kober (Iowa) Dec 6-0,1-0


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kevin Schnepf at (701) 241-5549

Schnepf’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com