USA Wrestling

2010 U S Grappling World Team set for Grappling Worlds in Poland March 26 27

By Gary Abbott | March 02, 2010, 12:17 p.m. (ET)
Brian Mahecha (left) and Tom LeCuyer (right) compete at the 2009 World Grappling Championships in Florida. Mahecha will compete in Gi and LeCuyer will compete in No-Gi at the 2010 Grappling Worlds in Poland. Max Fry photo

USA Grappling has announced its team for the 2010 Grappling World Championships, which will compete in Krakow, Poland, March 26-27.

The U.S. is the reigning World team champions in No-Gi and Gi Grappling for both men and women, which it won in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. in December 2009.

The USA was also the team champions in No-Gi Grappling and Gi Grappling at the 2008 Grappling World Championships held in Lucerne, Switzerland, where the men's and women's team scores were combined.

FILA will allow only one athlete per weight class in the 2010 World Championships.

Because of the short time of just over three months between the 2009 World Championships in Florida and the 2010 World Championships in Poland, USA Grappling did not host a qualifying event for the U.S. team. The event was opened to all participants from the 2009 and 2008 World Championships, and spots were available based upon performance. A three-person committee decided any weight classes that did not fit the specific criteria for the team selection.

The U.S. team will be led by USA Grappling National Coach Ricardo Liborio, along with assistant coach Sheldon Marr, who has been a coach for every U.S. Grappling World Team the last three years.

"Our expectations are to be the best team again, to try to win everything again," said Liborio. "In reality, it was very short notice. We don't have the time to prepare everybody. It is very close to the last World Championships. It complicated things a little bit. We won't have a training camp. Some of the athletes have some kind of conflicts and can't compete. However, we will battle for first place, like we always do, and do the best that we can."

The U.S. Men's No-Gi team will feature 2009 Grappling World champions Zachary Makovsky (Philadelphia, Pa./Philadelphia Fight Factory) at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Tom LeCuyer (Plano, Ill./Atlas XT/Torres MA) at 70 kg/154 lbs., along with 2008 Grappling World champion Jeff Monson (Olympia, Wash./American Top Team) at 110 kg/242 lbs.

The team also features 2009 World silver medalists Dennis Prokopos (Milbrae, Calif./10th Planet Jiu Jitsu) at 65 kg/143 lbs. and Mario Rinaldi (Port St. Lucia, Fla./American Top Team) in the Open division.

The U.S. Men's Gi team is led by 2009 World silver medalist Din Thomas (Coconut Creek, Fla./American Top Team) at 70 kg/154 lbs. Also on the team is 2009 World bronze medalist Brian Mahecha (Coconut Creek, Fla./American Top Team) at 65 kg/143 lbs.

The U.S. No-Gi women's team will feature 2009 World champions Felicia Oh (Valencia, Calif./Big John McCarthy's UTA) at 50 kg/110 lbs. and Jessica Aguilar (Coconut Creek, Fla./American Top Team) at 55 kg/121 lbs. Also competing is 2009 World silver medalist Tara LaRosa (Woodstown, N.J./Philadelphia Fight Factory) at 60 kg/132 lbs.

Both Oh and LaRosa will also compete in the Gi division, after winning 2009 World gold medals in the Gi discipline. LaRosa was actually a World champion in Gi in two divisions in 2009, adding the gold medal in the Open division to go with her win at 59 kg.

2010 U.S. GRAPPLING WORLD TEAM

No-Gi Men
60 kg/132 lbs. - Zachary Makovsky, Philadelphia, Pa. (Philadelphia Fight Factory)
65 kg/143 lbs. - Dennis Prokopos, Milbrae, Calif. (10th Planet Jiu Jitsu)
70 kg/154 lbs. - Tom LeCuyer, Plano, Ill. (Atlas XT/Torres MA)
75 kg/165 lbs. - Michael Kelly, Hebron, Ill. (Gilbert Grappling)
80 kg/176 lbs. - Scott Garcia, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration)
90 kg/198 lbs. - Jeff Funicello, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration)
110 kg/242 lbs. - Jeff Monson, Olympia, Wash. (American Top Team)
Open - Mario Rinaldi, Port St. Lucia, Fla. (American Top Team)

Gi Men
65 kg/143 lbs. - Brian Mahecha, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)
70 kg/154 lbs. - Din Thomas, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)
75 kg/165 lbs. - Michael Kelly, Hebron, Ill. (Gilbert Grappling)
80 kg/176 lbs. - Scott Garcia, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration)
90 kg/198 lbs. - Jeff Funicello, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration)
110 kg/242 lbs. - Gabe Barahona, New Orleans, La. (American Top Team)
Open - Mario Rinaldi, Port St. Lucia, Fla. (American Top Team)

No-Gi Women
50 kg/110 lbs. - Felicia Oh, Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Jessica Aguilar, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Tara LaRosa, Woodstown, N.J. (Philadelphia Fight Factory)

Gi Women
50 kg/110 lbs. - Felicia Oh, Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Tara LaRosa, Woodstown, N.J. (Philadelphia Fight Factory)

Coaches
Ricardo Liborio, Coconut Creek, Fla.
Sheldon Marr, Aurora, Colo.

2010 GRAPPLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE (by weight class)
At Krakow, Poland, March 27-28


Saturday, March 27
No-Gi Men 60 kg, 70 kg, 80 kg, 90kg
No-Gi Women 50 kg, 60kg, 75 kg
Gi Men 65 kg, 75 kg, 110kg, Open
Gi Women 55kg 65 kg, Open

Sunday, March 28
No-Gi Men 65 kg, 75 kg, 110 kg, Open
No-Gi Women 55 kg, 65 kg, Open
Gi Men 60 kg, 70 kg, 80 kg, 90kg
Gi Women 50 kg, 60 kg, 75 kg
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