MARQUETTE—United States Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman wrestler Spenser Mango (St. Louis, Mo.) finished second at the ninth annual Dave Schultz Memorial International Tournament last weekend (Feb. 9-10) in Colorado Springs, Colo. The competition drew Olympic and world champions from more than 30 countries.
Mango defeated World University Championships bronze medalist Kouhei Hawegawa (Japan) and Velenin Petrov Venkov (Bulgaria) before meeting American Lindsey Durlacher (Colorado Springs, Colo.) in the gold medal match at 55 kilograms. The Northern Michigan University sophomore lost to Durlacher 3-2, 4-0 in the final round.
USOEC teammate and NMU freshman Chris Iorio (Holbrook, N.Y.) finished the tournament with a 2-2 record at 60 kg. Juniors Kerry Renger (Darlington, Pa.) and Joe Betterman (Chicago, Ill.) went 1-2 in the same class.
At 66 kg, junior Tim Bleau (Ishpeming, Mich.) wrestled to a 3-2 record, freshman John Dibala (Silverton, Ore.) finished 1-2, and seniors Marco Lara (Long Beach, Calif.) and Jacob Curby (LaGrange, Ill.) had 0-2 records.
In the 74-kg bracket, senior Jacob Fisher (Platte City, Mo.) wrestled his way to a 3-2 record. Juniors Cheney Haight (Drem, Utah) and Kevin Lozano (Jefferson, La.), and sophomore Andrew Bisek (Chaska, Minn.) finished 2-2. Freshman Chad Hemerson (Monterey Park, Calif.) went 1-2.
Sophomore Chas Betts (St. Michael, Minn.) and freshman Jake Plamann (Appleton, Wis.) wrestled to a 1-2 record in the 84-kg class.
Four USOEC women freestyle wrestlers also competed at the tournament.
Sophomore Dany Hedin (Kailua, Hawaii) ended the competition with a 2-2 record a 55 kg. She defeated two Americans before facing off against USOEC teammate and NMU freshman Nicole Darrow (Lanesboro, Mass.). Hedin pinned Darrow and advanced to the next round of the tournament where she fell to Jackeline Renteria (Colombia). Darrow finished with a 0-2 record while Renteria went on to place third in the tournament.
Like Darrow, seniors Liz Short (Lombard, Ill.) and Amy Borgnini (Terre Haute, Ind.) went 0-2 at 48kg and 55 kg, respectively.
Freestyle head coach Shannyn Gillespie felt the international competition was a learning experience.
“We learned a lot from this very tough tournament. We have some work to do before the national tournament and now we have the opportunity to look at film, assess our needs and practice what needs work,” said Gillespie.
The Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle wrestling teams will compete at the NMU Olympic Challenge Wednesday (Feb. 14) in Marquette. Admission is free for students and $2 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the event.