Cathcart heads to Jr. Nationals

Amy Carton
West Cathcart (bottom) takes down his opponent at the Junior Greco-Roman Nationals.

Geneseo’s West Cathcart is already preparing for his senior wrestling season by hitting the mats this summer and doing so with success.

Cathcart recently returned from the 2010 Junior Greco-Roman National Duals in Oklahoma City, Okla. June 24-26 where he competed for Team Illinois at 215 pounds and a couple heavyweight matches.

Cathcart finished the tournament with a record of 6-1 with his lone loss coming in the final match against Team Wisconsin for the National Championship. Team Illinois ended up with the National Greco runner-up honors.

“It was an awesome experience not just to be on a great team, but the awesome friends I made,” said Cathcart. “Team Illinois was three-time defending champs.

“These tournaments are mostly helping me with my confidence. The big thing is how your mind is set when you are on the mat. It will also help with my confidence when I get into something and I need to use my upper body.”

He also qualified for the USA Wrestling Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.?D. July 20-24. This tournament is the largest high school tournament in the world and Cathcart will be competing in Greco and Freestyle at Nationals at 215-lbs.

“To qualify for Jr. Nationals you have to win state in that style or qualify in the top 3 at regionals,” said Cathcart. “I qualified for nationals on May 13 at regionals in Waterloo, Iowa in both Greco-Roman and Freestyle.”

Cathcart will train for a week at the University of Illinois with members of Team Illinois before heading to Fargo. 

“I am really hoping to be an All-American and get into the placing round. A goal is to get to the finals in both,” said Cathcart of his expectations for the Jr. Nationals. “I think I have a good shot.

“Next year I hope to win a state title and the more time I spend on the mat the more comfortable I will be. (The tournaments this summer) will help me for state and then in the future for college.”

Cathcart is the son of Lance and Sue Cathcart of Geneseo  and will be a senior at Geneseo High School in the fall.

To help defray his training and tournament costs, Cathcart is selling $5 raffle tickets. The raffle will be drawn at the Junior National Meet July 20 to July 24. First prize is $300, second is $200 and third is $100.

To purchase a raffle ticket, contact Cathcart at (309) 714-2432 or Sue Cathcart at (309) 714-2431.

West Cathcart (back row, third from right) is joined by members of the Team Illinois squad at the Junior Greco-Roman Nationals in Oklahoma City, Okla.