MARQUETTE– United States Olympic Education Center wrestler Paul Tellgren placed second in the 55 kilogram division at the 2011 U.S. Open (Senior Nationals) in Cleveland, Ohio April 7-9. The Northern Michigan University senior is one of ten USOEC Greco-Roman wrestlers who placed in the top seven to qualify for the U.S. World Team Trials in June.
Tellgren (Anoka, Minn.) was defeated in the championship match by former USOEC resident Spenser Mango (Army) 6-0, 6-0.
“Paul wrestled hard,” said coach Rob Hermann. “He’s ranked number two going into the World Team Trials, so now he has to work harder to be number one.”
Tellgren defeated Tyler Erdman (Modern Day Gladiator) 2-0, 1-0, Max Nowry (NYAC) 2-0, 1-0, and fellow USOEC teammate Dmitry Ryabchinskiy (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 0-1, 1-0, 1-0 on his way to the championship match.
Ryabchinskiy, a freshman, went on to place sixth after being defeated by Nikko Triggas (NYAC) 0-1, 4-1, 1-0 in the fifth-place match.
At 66 kg, senior Ben Sanchez (Leominster, Mass.) defeated Pat Smith (Minnesota Storm) 1-0, 1-0 before losing to John Cox (Marines) 3-3, 1-0. Sanchez won three matches in the consolation bracket, including wins over Cox and USOEC teammate and sophomore Tanner Andrews (North Aurora, Ill.), to take fifth place.
Junior Bo Beckman (Orem, Utah) defeated Andrews 3-2, 0-1, 1-0 in the first round and was defeated by CP Schlatter (Minnesota Storm) 2-0, 1-0 in the second round. After wrestling through the consolation bracket, Beckman and Andrews met again in the seventh-place match. Andrews took the match 2-0, 1-0 placing Beckman in eighth.
“We knew we had a qualifier in this match, but there would also be someone who didn’t make the cut. Andrews won and Beckman will have another chance to qualify at World Universities,” said Hermann.
At 74 kg, freshman Kendrick Sanders (Miami, Fla.) reached the bronze-medal match. Sanders lost to former USOEC resident Andrew Bisek (Minnesota Storm) 4-0, 0-3, 3-0 and finished fourth.
“Kendrick was in a tough weight class and he’s the young buck. There’s definitely room for improvement, but he shows a lot of promise placing fourth at this level,” said Hermann.
Sanders defeated Anton Gottfredson (Sunkist Kids) 6-0, 1-0, Jess Hargrave (Army) 0-2, 1-0, 5-0, Jonathon Anderson (unattached) 7-0, 1-0, and was defeated by Jake Fisher (NYAC) 0-2, 1-0, 3-0 in the semi-final round before facing Bisek.
Junior Chad Hemerson (Monterey, Calif.) placed sixth in the 74 kg division. He was defeated by Aaron Sieracki (Army) 0-1, 1-0, 3-0 in the fifth-place match. Hemerson won two matches before losing to Bisek and placed in the consolation bracket.
Junior Aaron Briggs (Tuscon, Ariz.) finished one place behind Hemerson. Briggs defeated Taylor Doan (Team Delaware) 5-0, 2-0 and Timothy Bleau (Army) 3-0, 1-0 before losing to future champion Ben Provisor (Sunkist Kids) 1-0, 2-0. In the consolation bracket, Briggs defeated Bleau 1-0, 2-0 to finish seventh.
At 84 kg, sophomore Mark Stenberg (Lockport, Ill.) finished fourth. He defeated Jake Waste (Minnesota Storm) 1-0, 4-0, Paul Casey (Hammerhead) 1-0, 7-0, and Don Simmons (Marines) 0-3, 4-0, 2-0 before losing to Cheney Haight (NYAC) 1-0, 2-0 in the semi-final. Stenberg defeated Cameron Duckworth (unattached) to reach the third-place match. He placed fourth after losing to Peter Hicks (Army) 7-0, 1-0.
Freshman Ethan Dondlinger (Slinger, Wis.) placed seventh in the 84 kg division. Dondlinger was defeated by his former Marine teammate Jeremy Pederson (Marines) 0-2, 1-0, 2-0 in the second round and was placed in the consolation bracket. Dondlinger won four straight matches to reach the seventh-place match where he faced Pederson again. Dondlinger won the match 1-0, 3-0.
“I figured out his technique and was able to stop him. There was no way I was going to make the same mistake twice,” said Dondlinger. “My goal was to qualify for Team Trials and that was added motivation to wrestle back.”
At 96 kg, junior Zac Nielsen (Zimmerman, Minn.) defeated Pete Gounaridis (Leominster, Mass.) 0-2, 3-0, 1-0 and Justin Millard (Army) 4-0, 1-0 before falling to Justin Ruiz (NYAC) 1-0, 1-0. Nielson defeated Kenyon Walsh (NYAC) 1-0, 3-1 to reach the bronze-medal match where he fell to John Lorenze (Army) 1-0, 1-0 to finish fourth.
“If I had to pinpoint one guy who had a great tournament, it would be Zac,” said Hermann. “He beat Millard, who was ranked number two, and Ruiz, a previous World Team member, just got by him.”
Wrestlers who didn’t make the cut for the World Team Trials have another shot to qualify at the University National Championships April 21-24 in Akron, Ohio.
“I’m happy with how we did at the U.S. Open, but now it’s time to focus on the next competition and improving individually before Team Trials,” said Hermann.