A successful year for local wrestling continued this past weekend, with three more young grapplers placing at the Rocky Mountain Nationals in Las Vegas.
Leading the way was 13-year-old Chey Gensaw, who was crowned national champion in his age group in Folkstyle.
The Del Norte seventh-grader won all three of his matches on the way to the national championship, beating wrestlers from Texas, Idaho and Southern California.
Fortuna High standout Mason Evanow placed second in his Freestyle division, while 9-year-old Cannon Renner of Ferndale followed his recent California state championship with a second-place finish in Freestyle and a fourth-place in Folkstyle.
And for all three local standouts, it all began in their family garage.
“The cool thing about the these three is they all have dedicated parents,” coach James Gensaw said. “Mason started out wrestling in his garage and now he’s a part of the high school program, and Cannon and my son (Chey) started out wrestling in their garage.”
“There was some really, really tough competition there, and the kids took that pressure and went with it and succeeded,” James Gensaw said.
This was the second big win for Renner this year after he also won a state title in Greco-Roman in April.
The Fortuna standout also competed in Folkstyle, finishing 2-2 and losing by just one point to the two wrestlers who would place second and third.
“I just think they went out there and wrestled with their hearts,” the coach said of the trio. “And they represented their community in a great way.”