Local youth wrestlers continue to shine at Rocky Mountain Nationals

Submitted photos – Chey Gensaw celebrates his national championship with Cannon Renner.

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.

And he wasn’t the only local wrestler to impress at the three-day tournament, which featured 3,500 kids from 40 states.

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.”

Despite their young age, all three are well used to big tournaments, and that’s something that helped them at such a huge event.

“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.

Mason Evanow and Cannon Renner both placed at the Las Vegas tournament.

Chey Gensaw, right, alongside father and coach James Gensaw.

He finished 3-1 in Freestyle and 3-2 in Folkstyle, while Evanow also was 3-1 on his way to second in his Freestyle bracket.

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.”

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