Cyclone Wrestler Competes in National Prep Competition
Senior Nick Armoudian won the Southwest Preparatory Championship on Feb. 16 and then competed in the National Prep Championship this past weekend.
In this year’s season, Nick won the SPC championship over the No. 3 seed and beat the reigning, nationally ranked state champion from St. John’s Episcopal School of Houston. Nick is a national qualifier, 2-time state medalist, 2-time SPC champion, and 3-time SPC finalist. Nick participated in the National Prep Championship at Lehigh University to compete against the best for All-American Honors.
Nick entered the tournament this year as the ninth seed after a stellar SPC Championships performance where he defeated the current All-American by a score of 21-10. In the first round of nationals Nick faced Travis Chu of Poly Prep. The first period ended 0-0 with Nick pushing the pace. Nick and Chu traded escape points making the score 1-1 with 0:45 remaining in the match when Nick attacked for the win. Chu countered on the edge of the mat and was awarded 2 points. The scramble continued with Nick reversing and turning Chu to his back momentarily, yet no lasting control was established and no points were awarded. Chu advanced with the 3-1 decision. It was a very tactical match wrestled superbly by both wrestlers.
In the next match, Nick's next opponent was a familiar one, James Ogunrin from Houston Episcopal. It was another close one with Nick being the aggressor and Ogunrin running for most the match. Ogunrin scored first with an escape and continued to evade Nick's attacks. The referee awarded Nick with a point due to his opponent’s "stalling," knotting them at 1-1. Nick escaped in the third and advance with a score of 2-1. Nick then needed two wins to become Casady's third All-American. His next opponent Dakota Grover of St. Thomas More (NE) advanced with a score of 8-5 after a match that could easily have been another 1- or 2-point event.
“Nick competed in a way that would make us proud,” said Varsity Wrestling Coach and Dean of Freshman Students, James McHargue.
The National Prep Competition is the longest-running wrestling tournament in the nation. "National Preps" has been the platform for the best of the best private school wrestlers from around the country, whose schools do not compete in their respective state's public school championships. Casady has been traveling to the event since 1989 when Chris Bowles became the Cyclones’ first All-American, making the finals in his first attempt. In 2003, as a junior, Turner Rooney became Casady's second All-American placing third. Two other Casady wrestlers have finished in the top 12, just one match short of All-American, Reed Roush (2007) and Jared Rader (2008).