This past week, Southern Columbia’s Patrick Edmondson competed in the 2019 United States Marine Corps (USMC) Junior National Wrestling tournament in Fargo, North Dakota.
The rising junior won his first two matches in the 132-pound freestyle championships — beating Luke Chaddock of Ohio by a score of 12-0 in the round of 128 and defeating Tyler Conley of Indiana in the round of 64, 11-5. Edmondson was ultimately knocked out of the championship bracket in the round of 32, then lost a tough matchup in the consolation bracket, finishing with a record of 2-2.
Edmondson initially qualified for the national tournament by his fourth place finish in the Northeast Regional tournament at East Stroudsburg University. He also earned a qualifying spot in the national tournament with his top three placement in freestyle competition.
The two-time PIAA state tournament qualifier hopes to use the opportunity to compete against wrestlers from all around the country as a learning experience.
“You definitely learn things just from watching other guys wrestle and being in matches, let alone being up against the best of the best,” Edmondson said.
Edmondson is coming off of a solid sophomore season that resulted in a first-place finish at districts second-place finish in regionals, giving him his second state tournament berth in just as many seasons. In his two high school seasons, he has a combined record of 86-22.
However, Edmondson hopes to place in the state tournament as a junior— as he did during his freshman year, when he grabbed sixth place — and feels he has what it takes to be among the best this coming season.
“The goal is to win a state title,” he said in regards to discussing his goals. “I’ve been going to a lot of tournaments, something I kind of got away from after my freshman season, and I think I have what it takes (to win a title).”
Over the course of the multi-day event, Edmondson had his 18th birthday while in Fargo. While most teenagers might celebrate this milestone in other ways, the wrestler assured he enjoyed being able to spend the day on the mat.
“There’s nothing better I’d rather been doing,” he said. “There’s been other times in the past where my birthday lined up with wrestling tournaments, so it wasn’t really out of the ordinary.”
Edmondson said another neat experience about the national tournament was that there were a handful of different college scouts in attendance. He hopes to wrestle at the collegiate level following his graduation in 2021.