MARQUETTE–United States Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman wrestler Paul Tellgren (Anoka, Minn.) won the championship in the 55 kilogram weight class at the 2010 Sunkist Kids International Open Oct. 22-24 in Tempe, Ariz. He clinched the top spot with a 3-0 tournament record and scored a pin over his last opponent.
“I felt really good,” said Tellgren. “I felt prepared, quick, and strong; overall my experience paid off. I need to keep wrestling hard through the full six minutes; the more I wrestle the more confident I am with my moves.”
Another standout was NMU senior Pete Gounaridus (Leominster, Mass.), who finished second at 96 kg. “Pete wrestled very well but lost in the final match to a former USOEC athlete,” said assistant coach Willie Madison, who coached the wrestlers on the trip.
Other members of the squad who competed were NMU senior Ben Sanchez (Leominster, Mass.), fourth at 66 kg; NMU sophomore Tanner Andrews (North Aurora, Ill.), fifth at 66 kg; and NMU junior Chad Hemerson (Monterey, Calif.), fifth at 84 kg.
“This was the first tournament of the year and it was a great opportunity for our athletes to test their skills,” said Madison.
USOEC freestyle wrestlers also competed at the event: Marquette Senior High School senior Jenna Burkert (Rocky Point, N.Y.) placed fourth in the 59 kg weight class, finishing 4-2 in her first senior-level competition and NMU senior Laura Conway (Traverse City, Mich.) finished sixth at 67 kg.
Next up for the Greco-Roman team, 13 wrestlers will compete in Norway’s Kolbotn Cup Oct. 30-31. The women’s freestyle team is training for either the Can Am Invite (Jamestown, N.D.) or the New York Athletic Club International, both on Nov. 20.