WRESTLING: Barnes wins USA Wrestling Triple Crown

Joseph Barnes, left, and training partner Adam Mena show off

Member of Gilroy Hawks Wrestling Club goes undefeated in three
It’s never too early to start a trophy collection.

Discarding state champions along the way, 10-year-old Joseph Barnes became one of just six wrestlers to capture the USA Wrestling Kids Triple Crown after going undefeated at the USA Wrestling Kids Freestyle and Greco-Roman Nationals last June in Utah.

To show for his efforts – aside from a combined 10-0 record in three events that make up the Triple Crown – Barnes is now decorated with three shiny new medals and a “pretty interesting” trophy.

“I like winning and feeling proud after and getting your award,” Barnes said.

After receiving a first-round bye, Barnes advanced in the 103-pound intermediate Greco division with a fall over Rylin Fields 37 seconds into the first round. Barnes won by technical fall to continue to the finals where he knocked off Sebastian Mordecai on points.

Barnes went 3-0 to earn his Freestyle title, handling Mordecai once again in the finals.

In April, Barnes recorded a 3-0 sheet at the USA Wrestling Folkstyle Nationals, notching the first gem in his Triple Crown chase by taking first in the 90-pound intermediate division. The final two pieces, in Utah, completed the puzzle.

Barnes said he has been wrestling since the age of four as a member of the Gilroy Hawks Wrestling Club.

“I have good partners and coaches there,” Barnes said, adding that he really enjoys being a part of the club.

Of the three wrestling disciplines – Greco, Freestyle and Folkstyle – Barnes is partial to Freestyle because it caters more to his throws.

“You can do anything, throws, shots, everything,” Barnes said.

His signature move: The over-under.

“You put your left arm under the other guys right and put your right over the left,” Barnes explained. “You throw him to his back. Use your hips, lots of hips.”

Despite being just 10, Barnes said he already understands the importance of hardwork and fine-tuning his blossoming skills.

“I have to practice every day,” he said. “I like it.”

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