25 U S Olympic Team Trials berths up for grabs as University Nationals gets underway

By Elizabeth Wiley | April 11, 2008, 7:36 p.m. (ET)
AKRON, Ohio - In an Olympic year, everything seems to matter a little bit more. The 2008 USA Wrestling University National Championships are no different.

Set to take place in conjunction with the FILA Cadet National April 10-13 in Akron, Ohio, the University Nationals will offer up a total of 25 spots for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for wrestling. The event features Greco-Roman, men's freestyle and women's freestyle.

In men's freestyle and Greco-Roman, the champion of each of the seven Olympic weight classes qualifies for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Women champions and runners-up in the four Olympic weight classes qualify as well as the gold-medalists in the three non-Olympic weight classes.

The event has added importance, as it is also a qualifying event for other major events later this year.

For women's freestyle, champions in FILA weight classes qualify to participate at the 2008 World University Championships in Thessaloniki, Greece, July 9-13, 2008.

In men's freestyle and Greco-Roman, this event also is a qualifier for the University World Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo., May 23-24, 2008. The event in Colorado will determine the athletes in these styles who will compete in Greece at the World University Championships.

Some of the top collegiate wrestlers in the country are expected to take part in University Nationals. There are expected to be dozens of NCAA Div. I All-Americans and qualifiers in the tournament again this year. Among the athletes included in the pre-registration is Mike Tamillow of the Wildcat WC, who competes at Northwestern, and is the defending champion at 96 kg/211.5 pounds.

The University Greco-Roman field is also expected to be strong. Five returning champions from last year are in the pre-registration lists. Four compete for the U.S. Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan: Spenser Mango (60 kg/132 lbs.), Kerry Regner (63 kg/138.75 lbs.), Andrew Bisek (74 kg/163 lbs.) and Chas Betts (84 kg/185 lbs.). The other returning champion expected to wrestle is Robbie Smith of the New York AC at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

The Women's University Nationals returns to this event, after being held elsewhere in recent seasons. This women's division was originally held alongside the Men's University Nationals in Evanston, Ill. for five years (1998 - 2002). Since 2002, the women's division was part of the Body Bar Women's Nationals, an event that combined four age-group levels. This year, it will rejoin the men's division and be held in Akron.

At least five of the returning women's champions are expected to compete this weekend: Sara Fulp-Allen of the New York AC at 55 kg/105.5 lbs., Jessica Medina of the Univ. of the Cumberlands at 51 kg/112 lbs., Othella Lucas of California at 59 kg / 130 lbs., Alaina Berube of the New York AC at 63 kg/ 138.5 lbs. and Brandy Rosenbrock of the Michigan WC at 67 kg/147.5 lbs.

Wrestlers 18-24 years old who are U.S. citizens and whose class has graduated from high school are eligible to compete at University Nationals. This event showcases future stars of the sport and is an important stepping stone for Olympic hopefuls on their path to winning medals for the United States.

The event is hosted by The University of Akron in its state-of-the-art intercollegiate Athletics Field House. The event will be sponsored by the Kent State University wrestling program, along with USA Wrestling/Ohio.

The FILA Cadet Nationals showcases many of the best high school wrestlers in the United States. Cadets are 15-17 years old (Born 1990-91, and 1992 with a medical certificate).

The top three place winners at the FILA Cadet Nationals qualify for their state's Cadet Nationals team above the state limit (and must adhere to all state policies).

In the FILA Cadet Nationals, a number of top young stars may be entered in Akron.

Outstanding Wrestlers from the 2007 Accelerade Cadet Nationals were Ohio's Jamie Clark in freestyle and Wisconsin's Cole Schmitt in Greco-Roman. Clark repeated as FILA Cadet National champion in freestyle. He also was a Cadet National champion in 2006 in Fargo, N.D. Schmitt added the title to the Greco-Roman crown he won at the 2006 Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D.

In 2007, two FILA Cadet participants were double champions, winning their weight classes in both Greco-Roman and freestyle. They were Romero Cotton of Kansas (85 kg/187.25 lbs.) and Atticus Disney of Kansas (125 kg/275 lbs.).

All of the athletes who competed at the 2007 Accelerade Cadet Nationals in Fargo, N.D., are eligible to compete in the 2008 FILA Cadet National Championships.

The event's move to the University of Akron in 2007 marked an historic year for the ASICS University and FILA Cadet National Championships. Five event records were set including: largest University freestyle field (490), largest University field (freestyle and Greco-Roman combined) (604), largest FILA Cadet freestyle field (377), largest FILA Cadet Greco-Roman field (215) and largest FILA Cadet field (freestyle and Greco-Roman combined) (592).

Online registration for the event has closed. Athletes will be able to register onsite for a cost of $45. The event will be covered completely on TheMat.com.

2007 SCHEDULE FOR UNIVERSITY/FILA CADET NATIONALS

Thursday, April 10

6-8 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet Greco-Roman registration
8-8:30 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet Greco-Roman weigh-ins

Friday, April 11
9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet Greco-Roman preliminaries
3 p.m.-conclusion - University and FILA Cadet Greco-Roman preliminaries through finals
6-8 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet freestyle registration
8-8:30 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet freestyle weigh-ins

Saturday, April 12
9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. - University and FILA Cadet freestyle preliminaries
3 p.m.-conclusion - University and FILA Cadet freestyle preliminaries
7-8 p.m. - University women freestyle registration
8-8:30 p.m. - University women freestyle weigh-ins

Sunday, April 13
9 a.m.-conclusion - University women freestyle preliminaries to finals
9 a.m.-conclusion - University and FILA Cadet freestyle to completion

2007 CHAMPIONS FROM UNIVERSITY/FILA CADET NATIONALS

University Freestyle

55 kg/121 lbs. - Tanner Gardner (Advanced Training WC); 60 kg/132 lbs. - Todd Meneely (Marverick/Ironhawk); 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Jake Strayer (Penn State); 66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Teyon Ware (Underdog WC); 70 kg/154.25 lbs. - Ryan Morningstar (Hawkeye WC); 74 kg/163 lbs. - Harry Lester (USOEC); 79 kg/174 lbs. - Mike Galante (LVAC); 84 kg/185 lbs. - Ian Murphy (Titan WC); 96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Mike Tamillow (Wildcat WC); 120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Matt Fields (Hawkeye WC)

University Greco-Roman
55 kg/121 lbs. - Nate Engel (USOEC); 60 kg/132 lbs. - Spenser Mango (USOEC); 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Kerry Regner (USOEC); 66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Marco Lara (USOEC); 70 kg/154.25 lbs. - Harry Lester (Gator WC/USOEC); 74 kg/163 lbs. - Andrew Bisek (Minn. Storm/USOEC); 79 kg/174 lbs. - Jacob Fisher (NYAC/USOEC); 84 kg/185 lbs. - Chas Betts (Minn. Storm/USOEC); 96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Robert Smith (NYAC); 120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Kenneth Lester (Sunkist Kids)

University Women's Freestyle
55 kg/105.5 lbs. - Sara Fulp-Allen (Menlo College); 51 kg/112 lbs. - Jessica Medina (Univ. of the Cumberlands); 55 kg/121 lbs. - Brandy Rosenbrock, Mt.Pleasant, Mich. (Michigan WC); 59 kg / 130 lbs. - Othella Lucas (Univ. of the Cumberlands); 63 kg/ 138.5 lbs.- Alaina Berube (Univ. of the Cumberlands); 67 kg/ 147.5 lbs.- Elena Pirozhkov (Gator WC); 72 kg / 158.5 lbs.- Ashley Sword (unattached); 77 kg / 169.5 lbs.- Megan Goldsmith (Dinos)

FILA Cadet Freestyle
42 kg/92.5 lbs. - Hunter Stieber (Ohio); 46 kg/101.25 lbs. - Jamie Clark (Ohio); 50 kg/110 lbs. - Logan Stieber (Ohio); 54 kg/119 lbs. - Anthony Ramos (Illinois); 58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Dylan Alton (Pennsylvania); 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Jason Chamberlain (Utah); 69 kg/152 lbs. - Alex Meade (Delaware); 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Corey Peltier (New Jersey); 85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Romero Cotton (Kansas); 100 kg/220.25 lbs. - Andrew Tumlin (Ohio); 125 kg/275 lbs. - Atticus Disney (Kansas)

FILA Cadet Greco-Roman
42 kg/92.5 lbs. - Alex Kostenborder (Oregon); 46 kg/101.25 lbs. - Ryan Mango (Missouri); 50 kg/110 lbs. - Gabriel Ramos (New Jersey); 54 kg/119 lbs. - Jimmy Chase (Illinois); 58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Dylan Carew (Iowa); 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Cole Schmitt (Wisconsin); 69 kg/152 lbs. - Ben Provisor (Wisconsin); 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Derrick Yant (Ohio); 85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Romero Cotton (Kansas); 100 kg/220.25 lbs. - Dustin Meloche (Florida); 125 kg/275 lbs. - Atticus Disney (Kansas)
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