September 30, 2009
MARQUETTE – Members of the United States Olympic Education Center’s Greco-Roman wrestling team competed in the 2009 World Wrestling Championships September 25-27 at the Messecenter Herning in Herning, Denmark.
Athletes competing included Northern Michigan University post-baccalaureate students Spenser Mango (St. Louis, Mo.) and Harry Lester (Akron, Ohio) and NMU senior Chas Betts (St. Michael, Minn.).
Mango finished ninth in the 55 kilogram weight class. He lost his first match to Hamid Soryan (Iran) in a 1-0, 6-0 decision and won his next match against Joaquin Martinez (Spain) in a 1-0, 1-0 decision. After a loss in the following match, Mango won his last match of the championship, beating Anar Zeinalov (Estonia) in a 0-1, 1-0, 1-0 decision.
“It was a learning experience,” says head Greco-Roman wrestling coach Dennis Hall. “He’s [Mango] capable of getting into the top three or five position. He will be willing to look at tapes and make those changes to do what it takes.”
Lester wrestled against Mark Madsen (Denmark), who was favored to win the 76 kg weight class. Lester lost in a controversial three-period match, according to themat.com. He was brought back into medal contention during the wrestle-back rounds, but lost, becoming ineligible to medal at the event.
Betts was eliminated during the first round on Saturday by Antti Hakala (Finland) in a 2-0, 4-0 match.
“They represented the USA well,” said Hall. “Now we’ll train hard, look at performances and make changes. We’ll try to get into the same position next year.”
USOEC Greco-Roman wrestlers who were sent as training partners were NMU post-baccalaureate student Nate Engel (St. Helena, Calif.), senior Andy Bisek (Chaska, Minn.) and facility user Jake Fisher.