Betterman (blue) wrestles Mango (red) at practice
MARQUETTE, Mich. – The United States Olympic Education Center’s Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle wrestling teams will compete at the New York Athletic Club’s Open Holiday International Wrestling Championships Nov. 17-19 in New York City.
Northern Michigan University junior Joe Betterman (Chicago, Ill.) will wrestle at 60 kilograms. He intends to use the competition to prepare him for future matches.
“It’s like a warm-up for nationals. It shows you where you are against the competition,” he said.
Assistant Greco-Roman coach Jim Gruenwald added, “We try to get the guys to as many competitions as possible to prepare their minds and bodies for bigger tournaments such as nationals, trials and world or Olympic championships.”
The Greco-Roman team has changed its practice routine leading into the competition.
“We back off a bit on longer training,” said Gruenwald. “The training gets short and intense. We do matches and then let the guys do what they need to do to get the weight off for the competition.”
Gruenwald hopes the wrestlers will apply the skills they learn at practice in their tournament matches.
“We [USOEC head coach Ivan Ivanov and I] hope they gain the experience and confidence necessary to defeat the older U.S. guys as well as becoming world and Olympic caliber athletes.”
Also competing for the men, Betterman at the competition include NMU junior Spenser Mango (St. Louis, Mo.) at 55 kg; freshman Chris Iorio (Holbrook, N.Y.), junior Kerry Regner (Darlington, Pa.) and senior Jake Swenson (Maroni, Utah) at 60 kg; freshman John Dibala (Silverton, Ore.), junior Tim Bleau (Ishpeming, Mich.), and seniors Jacob Curby (LaGrange, Ill.) and Marco Lara (Long Beach, Calif.) at 66 kg; sophomore Andy Bisek (Chaska, Minn.), junior Cheney Haight (Drem, Utah) and senior Jake Fisher (Platte City, Mo.) at 74 kg; freshmen Jake Plamann (Appleton, Wis.) and Talon Knox (Salt Lake City, Utah), and sophomore Charles Betts (St. Michael, Minn.) at 84 kg; freshmen Panayotis Peter Goundaridis (Leominister, Mass.) and Jeff Courtney (Fairmont, W.Va.) at 96 kg; and junior Jake Marquardt (Blair, Neb.) at 120 kg.
USOEC women competitors include senior Liz Short (Lombard, Ill.) and junior Sadie Kaneda (Honolulu, Hawaii) at 48 kg; sophomore Dany Hedin (Kailua, Hawaii) at 53 kg; senior Amy Borgnini (Terre Haute, Ind.) and graduate student Tina Pihl (Guilford, Conn.) at 55 kg and freshman Stefanie Shaw (Waterford, Conn.) at 63 kg.