Marquette— The United States Olympic Education Center has selected Beijing-bound Greco-Roman wrestler Spenser Mango (St. Louis, Mo.) as the 2007-08 athlete of the year.
“It’s great to be recognized,” said Mango. “The USOEC has given me great support. This is one of my best years and training here helped me get to where I’m at now.”
The Northern Michigan University junior earned a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team last month. He defeated Sam Hazwinkel 2-0 in the championship round at 55kg.
Another significant achievement for Mango this season included his first U.S. National Title. He defeated 2006 World bronze medalist Lindsay Durlacher 1-3, 3-0, 7-0 and was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler. He previously won gold at the NYAC International Championships, with a 3-3, 7-0 decision over Virgil Munteanu of Romania.
Mango was named TheMat.com’s wrestler of the week for April 29-May 5 and one of the USOEC’s athletes of the semester for winter 2008. He also earned a spot on the University World Team.
After training in Colorado Springs through July 19, Mango will leave for Beijing on Aug. 1.