MARQUETTE, Mich.— Tanner Andrews, a United States Olympic Education Center Greco-Roman wrestler was recognized as one of two recipients of the 2012 Jacob Curby Memorial Award at Saturday’s (May 19) Curby Cup in La Grange, Ill. where Team USA took on the Georgia national team. The USOEC team did not compete at the event, but was there to hold a clinic for area youth.
The Curby Award is presented annually to recognize a wrestler from each of the USA Wrestling’s Olympic Training Centers for displaying strong personal character and commitment. It is named after Jacob Curby, who trained at the USOEC and graduated from Northern Michigan University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history. Curby was a Team USA member who unexpectedly passed away at the age of 25 in January 2010.
Andrews, of North Aurora, Ill., placed fifth at the U.S. Open last December in Arlington, Texas. He was a 2011 University Nationals champion at 70 kg, and placed seventh at the 2011 U.S. Open in Cleveland, Ohio in April. Andrews, a criminal justice major at NMU, also won a bronze medal at the 2011 Dave Schultz Memorial International Championships.
“Tanner has been with the USOEC program for three years. He knew Jake Curby directly, and like Jake, he is from Chicago. He has had a great year on the mat. Because of his work ethic and because he does well in the classroom, he deserves this award,” said USOEC coach Rob Hermann.
Chas Betts of St. Michael, Minn. was the recipient from the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. Betts is a former USOEC wrestler and a 2010 NMU graduate with a bachelor’s degree in electronic imaging. He qualified for the 2012 London Games at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City, Iowa last month. Betts also won the 2011 U.S. Open Championship and captured the gold medal at the 2012 Dave Schultz Memorial International Championships and the 2012 Pan American Games.
The award program is sponsored by the 2007 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team, which captured the first U.S. team World Championship title. Said Hermann, who had the opportunity to coach Curby, “I still use Jake as an example for new athletes. He started out at the USOEC with no scholarship and through hard work and dedication ended his stay at NMU as a national team member.”