MARQUETTE—Thirty-seven wrestlers from the United States Olympic Education Center will hit the mat in search of national titles at the Las Vegas/ASICS United States National Championships and Qualifying Tournaments Thursday through Sunday, April 9-11. Twenty-five Greco-Roman and a dozen women’s freestyle wrestlers from the center are slated to compete.
Both national competitions are double-elimination tournaments. On the Greco-Roman side, athletes who have not automatically qualified will compete at Thursday’s (April 9) Qualifying Tournament to round out field. On the women’s freestyle side, four wrestlers are automatically selected to advance to the finals in each weight class while the rest of the field competes through the bracket rounds.
Greco-Roman assistant coach Jim Gruenwald said there are high expectations for national meet. “We want at least six guys to win,” he said.
Gruenwald added that the USOEC coaches usually pull back the work load the closer it gets to a competition as a way to prepare the wrestlers for the big meets. “We want our guys to be fresh and well prepared when going into a tournament,” says Gruenwald. “We want them going into the tournament hungry.”
USOEC men competing include: 50 kilograms - Northern Michigan University freshman Max Nowry (Wheeling, Ill.); 55 kg -- junior Spencer Mango (St. Louis, Mo.), sophomore Paul Tellgren (Anoka, Minn.) and graduate student Nate Engel (St. Helena, Calif.); 66 kg -- sophomore Bo Beckman (Orem, Utah), junior Ben Sanchez (Leominster, Mass.), senior Kerry Regner (Darlington, Pa.) and graduate student Jacob Curby (LaGrange, Ill.); 74 kg -- sophomores Jon Drendel (North Aurora, Ill.) and Aaron Briggs (Tuscon, Az.); junior Marco Toledo (Foley, Ala.); seniors Cheney Haight (Orem, Utah) and Andy Bisek (Chaska, Minn.); and graduate students Jake Fisher (Platte City, Mo.) and Harry Lester (Akron, Ohio); 84 kg -- senior Chas Betts (St. Michael, Minn.); 96 kg - sophomore Zac Nielsen (Zimmerman, Minn.) and junior Peter Gounaridis (Leominster, Mass.).
Facility-use competitors include Tim Bleu and Alex Flemming, competing at 66 kg; Corey Hope, Ryan Hope and Kevin Lozano at 74 kg; Chad Hemerson at 84 kg and David Arendt at 120 kg.
The USOEC women competing include Marquette Senior High School seniors Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md.), Veronica Carlson (Addison, Ill.) and Adeline Gray (Denver, Colo.); NMU freshmen Emily Martin (Frisco, Texas), Amy Whitbeck (Duanesburg, N.Y.), Beth Johnson (Garden City, Kan.), Schuyler Brown (Montpelier, Va.), Melissa Apodaca (Chugiak, Alaska) and Erin Clodgo (Richmond, Vt.); sophomores Amber Miracle (Berlin, Wis.) and Lindsey Brooks (Houston, Texas); and junior Alyssa Lampe (Tomahawk, Wis.).