USA Wrestling

First Grappling World Team Trials to offer added entertainment in Las Vegas this weekend

By Gary Abbott | June 08, 2007, 6:11 p.m. (ET)
USA Wrestling is hosting its first U.S. Grappling World Team Trials at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nev., June 9-10. Competition will feature Senior-level men and women.

This new event will serve as the qualifier for the U.S. team to compete in the Grappling competition at the World Wrestling Games in Antalya, Turkey on Sept. 7-9. Grappling will be included in the competition, along with Beach Wrestling and Sombo.

FILA, the international wrestling federation, recently recognized Grappling as a form of international wrestling.

Grappling is a combat sport that combines elements of wrestling and jiu jitsu. Athletes are competing to earn submission holds against their opponents. There is also a system of points scored in each match to help determine the winner.

Grapplers compete in a different uniform than wrestlers. Within the FILA Grappling rules, athletes compete with competition shorts and a tight-fitting sleeveless shirt. Many of the competitors wear "board shorts" as part of their uniform. Wearing shoes is optional.

The U.S. Grappling World Team Trials will be held alongside the U.S. World Team Trials, which is the qualifying event for the U.S. World Teams in men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman and women's freestyle wrestling.

This will be the first time that USA Wrestling members and fans will have an opportunity to see top Grappling action alongside the Olympic wrestling styles.

The field at the U.S. Grappling World Team Trials come from a variety of Grappling competitions held in locations all across the nation.

Four USA Wrestling sanctioned events, using the FILA rules, were qualifiers for the event:
May 12 - Mid-Atlantic Grappling Championships, Virginia Beach, Va.
May 12 - No Limits West Coast Grappling Championships, Irvine, Calif.
May 19 - Team Quest World Team Grappling Qualifying Trials, Olympia, Wash.
May 26 - No Limits East Coast Grappling Championships, Alpharetta, Ga.

Five existing events that are presented that are hosted by other Grappling organizations have been recognized as qualifiers:
April 14 - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals of Grappling, and U.S. Pro Trials, Las Vegas, Nev.
April 21 - North American Grappling Association (NAGA) Worlds, Jersey City, N.J.
April 29 - World Grappling Games Best of the West, Long Beach, Calif.
May 26 - North American Grappling Association (NAGA) Midwest Champion-ships, Milwaukee, Wis.
June 4 - World Grappling Games Pan American Submission Championships. Los Angeles, Calif.

Competition at the Grappling World Team Trials will be at five weight classes for men and four weight classes for women. The weight classes are:
Men: 62 kg, 70 kg, 80 kg, 92 kg, 125 kg
Women: 48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg

Among the athletes who have qualified for the Grappling World Team Trials with strong wrestling backgrounds include past Greco-Roman Team USA members Kenny Owens and Keith Wilson along with past Women's Team USA member Tori Adams.

Adams, along with Kelsey Campbell, are registered to compete in both the U.S. World Team Trials in women's wrestling, as well as in the Grappling World Team Trials. Adams was third in the U.S. Nationals in women's freestyle, and won the USA Wrestling Grappling Qualifier in Irvine, Calif. Campbell was fifth at the U.S. Nationals in women's freestyle, and qualified for the Grappling event by placing second at the USA Wrestling Qualifier in Olympia, Wash.

Jeff Sato, a former NCAA qualifier from Columbia, has qualified and registered

Two of the qualifiers who have registered are athletes in the International Fight League (IFL), Brian Vetell, who competes for the New York Pittbulls and Matt Horwich, who competes for the Portland Wolfpack.

Dennis Hallman, who has won a number of major Grappling events and is active in Mixed Martial Arts, has also qualified.

Many of the other qualifiers may not be well known within the wrestling community, but many of them have substantial achievements in Grappling events and other combat sports. The wrestling community will soon learn who has what it takes when this group of all-star Grapplers take to the mats in Las Vegas.

Who will be on the first U.S. World Grappling Team? By the end of this weekend, we will know.

GRAPPLING WORLD TEAM TRIALS PRELIMINARY ENTRIES

Men

62 kg/136.5 lbs.
Matthew Betzold - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 2nd at Under 140
John Albert - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 1st at 136.5 pounds
Chris Holdsworth - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 2nd at 136.5 pounds
Jimmy Tang - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 3rd at 136.5 pounds
Jeff Sato - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 1st at 136.5 pounds
Alejandro DeLaPena - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 2nd at 136.5 pounds
Eric Luke - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 3rd at 136.5 pounds
Sonny Nohara - Grapplers Quest U.S. Pro Trials, 1st at Under 140 pounds
Ulysseys Gomez - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 1st at 129.9 pounds
Simpson Go - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 2nd at 129.9 pounds
Matt Sanchez - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 1st at 139.9 pounds
Brian Peterson - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 2nd at 139.9 pounds
Darin Uyenoyama - World Grappling Games Best of West, 1st at Under 140 pounds
Michael Cusi - World Grappling Games Best of West, 2nd at Under 140 pounds and Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 2nd at 149.9 pounds
James Kirkemo - World Grappling Games Best of West, 1st at Under 149.9 pounds
Shaine Jaime - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 3rd at 154 pounds

70 kg/154 lbs.
Jeremy Umphries - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 1st at Under 159
Saul Mitchell - NAGA Midwest Championships, 1st at Light Weight (159.9)
Brent Stover - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 1st at 154 pounds
Dave Jansen - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 2nd at 154 pounds
Alberto Crane - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 1st at 154 pounds
Martin Bautista - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 2nd at 154 pounds
Chris Elliot - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 1st at 154 pounds
Simon Cooke - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 2nd at 154 pounds
Jose Aguilar - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 3rd at 154 pounds
Scott Bieri - Grapplers Quest U.S. Pro Trials, 2nd at 140-159.9 pounds
Cub Swanson - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 1st at 159.9 pounds
Dave Edwards - NAGA World Championships, 1st at Welter Weight (169.9)
Ricky Lundell - Grapplers Quest U.S. Pro Trials, 2nd at Under 140 pounds

80 kg/176 lbs.
Mark Vojovic - NAGA Midwest Championships, 1st at Middle Weight (179.9)
Dennis Hallman - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 1st at 176 pounds
Cory Devela - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 3rd at 176 pounds
Don Ortega - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 1st at 176 pounds
Keith Wilson - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 2nd at 176 pounds
Joseph Gutierrez - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 3rd at 176 pounds; World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 2nd at Under 189
Corey Williams - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifier, 1st at 176 pounds
Shawn Gutridge - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifier, 2nd at 176 pounds
Jeff Funicello - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 3rd at 176 pounds
Sean Spangler - Grapplers Quest U.S. Pro Trials, 3rd at 160-179.9 pounds
Dustin Akbari - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 1st at 169.9 pounds
Michael Kelly - World Grappling Games Best of West, 2nd at Under 179.9 pounds
Matt Horwich - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 1st at 202.5 pounds

92 kg/202.5 lbs.
James Brasco - USA Wrestling Alpharetta Qualifer, 1st at 202.5 pounds
Nick White - USA Wrestling Alpharetta Qualifer, 2nd at 202.5 pounds
Jeffrey Anderson - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 1st at 202.5 pounds
Alex Cetina - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 2nd at 202.5 pounds
Malcom Havens - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 3rd at 202.5 pounds
Timmy Bond - World Grappling Games Best of West, 2nd at Under 189.9 pounds
Greg Breir - World Grappling Games Best of West, 2nd at Under 199.9 pounds
Robert Gerrits - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 2nd at 209.9 pounds
Ryan Gillespie - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 1st at 209.9 pounds
Jimmy Sanchez - World Grappling Games Best of West, 2nd at Under 209.9 pounds

125 kg/275 lbs.
Bobak Rarijbaran - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 2nd at 275 pounds
Travis Bell - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 3rd at 275 pounds
Aaron Hayes - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 1st at 275 pounds
Steve Grode - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 2nd at 275 pounds
Daniel Pollaccia - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 3rd at 275 pounds
Bryan Vetell - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 1st at 275 pounds
Jeff Monson - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 1st at 210 and Over

Women

48 kg/105.5 lbs.
Van Do - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 1st at Under 105
Hillary Witt - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 2nd at 119.9 pounds and Under
Cristina Rodriguez - NAGA World Championships, 1st at Fly Weight (119.9)
Angela Magana - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 2nd at Under 120; USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 3rd at 121 pounds and World Grappling Games Best of West, 2nd at Under 120 pounds
Lisa Ward - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 2nd at 121 pounds

55 kg/121 lbs.
Carla O'Connell - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 1st at Under 120;
USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 2nd at 121 pounds
Josephine Jackson - USA Wrestling Alpharetta Qualifer, 1st at 121 pounds
Felicia Oh - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 1st at 121 pounds
Bahar Shahidi - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 1st at 121 pounds
Bethany Marshall - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 2nd at 121 pounds
Niki Garcia - Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 1st at 119.9 pounds and Under
Michelle Martin - NAGA World Championships, 2nd at Light Weight (134.9)
Tara LaRosa - USA Wrestling Virginia Beach Qualifer, 1st at 138.75 pounds and NAGA World Championships, 1st at Light Weight (134.9)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Crystina Coates - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 1st at Under 134; USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 2nd at 138.75 pounds and Grapplers Quest U.S. Pro Trials, 1st at Under 140 pounds
Christine Philips - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 2nd at Under 134;
Ginele Marquez-Lee - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 1st at 138.75 pounds
Kelsey Campbell - USA Wrestling Olympia Qualifer, 2nd at 138.75 pounds
Tori Adams - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 1st at 138.75 pounds
Gazzy Parman - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 3rd at 138.75 pounds
Michelle Mills - Grapplers Quest U.S. Pro Trials, 2nd at Under 140 pounds
Shayna Bazler - NAGA Midwest Championships, 1st at Middleweight (159.9)

72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Milda Shibontis - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 2nd at Under 150; Grapplers Quest U.S. Nationals, 2nd at 135-149.9 pounds
Valerie Worthington - World Grappling Games Pan Am Submission, 1st at Under 149
Shannon Hooper - USA Wrestling Irvine Qualifer, 1st at 158.5 pounds
Elaina Maxwell - World Grappling Games Best of West, 2nd at 150 pounds and above

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