Seven National Champions
The weekend of April 17th through 21st was an amazing one for NYAC wrestling. The USA Wrestling National championships were held in Las Vegas, Nv. bringing together the top wrestlers in the country. Over the course of the weekend our team was crowned champion of the Women’s division (even without the help of our world champion, Adeline Gray who is sidelined with a broken collar bone), Men’s freestyle division, Overall team champions and finished an extremely close second behind Army, in Men’s Greco. The entire team did a fantastic job as all of our wrestlers showed up in Vegas ready to do battle. No less than seven athletes won individual championships including Alli Ragan (59kg) and Veronica Carlson (67kg) in the women’s category; Ellis Coleman (who moved up to 66kgs from his Olympic weight of 60kg) and Ben Provisor (a new addition for the AC, who was the US’s Olympian in London at 74kg) in Greco Roman and Reece Humphrey (60kg), Kellen Russell (66kg) and JD Berman (96kg) in Men’s freestyle. The men’s freestyle division was exceptionally gratifying as several pay backs were made from last year’s Olympic trials. At 60kg, Reece Humphrey defeated 2012 bronze medalist Coleman Scott in the finals. Last year, Humphreys lost to Scott in the final wrestle off in Times Square. The match last year went to 3 periods with Scott winning on 2 positive ball drops which gave him choice in the clinch. This year Humphrey did not allow the match to go that far as he shut out Scott 2 periods to 0, not requiring the coin flip to gain the upper hand. At 96kg, JD Bergman defeated Chris Pendleton, 2 periods to 0, as he avenged an upset victory by Pendleton in the first round of last year’s trials. Bergman, who has beaten Olympic gold medalist, Jake Varner 4 out of 4 times, missed out on his trip to London last year due to the loss to Pendleton. At 66kg, Michigan grad, Kellen Russell, upset the entire weight class. Russell was seeded 9th going into the weekend and as a result was forced to compete in the qualifying tournament the day before to make it to the Nationals. The qualifying competition proved to be an excellent warm up for him as he went 3-0, pinning or teching all 3 of his opponents. In the Open, he marched through like the champion he has become, defeating NCAA champ Jordan Oliver in 3 periods, 0-1, 2-1, 1-0.
For their performances, Humphrey and Ellis Coleman were voted their divisions Outstanding Wrestler award. The top 8 finishers in each weight class earn a shot at making the 2013 US World team. The WT trials will be held in Stillwater, Ok June 21st and 22nd. Our guys and gals will take a very short break following the nationals but then get right back to work preparing to make the World team, which will be competing in Budapest, Hungary September 16th to 22nd. To see all the results from nationals go to themat.com/results.
IOC Decision Update
By the time this article comes out, the IOC special committee will have meet again to decide which of 3 sports will be put in front of the general IOC membership in September to see which 1 of the 3 will be invited to join the 2020 Olympic games. USAW and FILA (the international governing body of wrestling) have been working none stop to convince the IOC that they made a huge mistake in voting wrestling out of the Olympics back in February. A dozen states across the US have issued resolutions, calling for wrestling to be brought back. The Presidents of Russia and Iran have sent personal memoirs to the IOC asking for wrestling to come back. People from countries all over the world have signed petitions and formed groups and coalitions to fight the decision made by the IOC, and are prepared to do whatever is necessary to bring back the world’s oldest sport. Let’s hope that the IOC clearly sees what is right and corrects the error that they made and makes sure wrestling is brought back to the games.
Thank you all again for your continued support of our team and all the teams of the NYAC.
For information about our program please contact:
Dave Foxen, NYAC Wrestling Chairman, Lfoxen@verizon.net