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USA Wrestling

U S seeks to defend Grappling World titles in Krakow Poland March 27 28

By Gary Abbott | March 27, 2010, 4:10 p.m. (ET)
Zach Makovsky competes against U.S. teammate Matt Betzold at the 2009 Grappling World Championships in Florida. Max Fry photos.

The 2009 Grappling World Championships in Florida were just 15 weeks ago, but the world's best Grapplers are coming together again this weekend for another World Championships.

The 2010 Grappling World Championships will be held in Krakow, Poland, March 27-28, with competition in both No-Gi and Gi Grappling.

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.

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

It will be a difficult task for the U.S. to defend its team titles this weekend, mainly due to the short time between World Championships. The 2010 U.S. Grappling World Team consists of athletes who competed in the World meet in Florida, and were able to raise enough money and free up their time to be able to compete.

The U.S. lineup is slightly different than originally announced, due to some injuries and schedule conflicts to athletes. The U.S. delegation will include 13 athletes and two coaches. Nine of the U.S. Grapplers will compete in both the No-Gi and Gi divisions in their weight class.

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. 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 2008 World champion Lisa Ward (Lacey, Wash./Victory Athletics) at 50 kg/110 lbs. and 2009 World champion 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.

All three women will also compete in the women's Gi division. Ward was a 2008 World champion in Gi Grappling, and LaRosa was a 2009 World champion in Gi Grappling in two divisions, adding the gold medal in the Open division to go with her win at 59 kg. Aguilar did not compete in Gi Grappling at the 2009 Worlds in Florida.

Coaching the U.S. delegation will be Sheldon Marr of Aurora, Colo. and Shawn Sheldon of West Palm Beach, Fla., both who were members of the 2009 U.S. Grappling World Team coaching staff.

The U.S. team did not have a pre-competition training camp this year. The athletes and the coaches take great pride in the quality of American Grappling, and seek to bring home a number of medals from Poland this weekend.

2010 U.S. GRAPPLING WORLD TEAM (updated)

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. - Gabe Barahona, New Orleans, La. (American Top Team)
Open - Mario Rinaldi, Port St. Lucia, Fla. (American Top Team)

Gi Men
60 kg/132 lbs. - Zachary Makovsky, Philadelphia, Pa. (Philadelphia Fight Factory)
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. - Lisa Ward, Lacey, Wash. (Victory Athletics)
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. - Lisa Ward, Lacey, Wash. (Victory Athletics)
55 kg/121 lbs. - Jessica Aguilar, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)
60 kg/132 lbs. - Tara LaRosa, Woodstown, N.J. (Philadelphia Fight Factory)

Coaches
Sheldon Marr, Aurora, Colo.
Shawn Sheldon, West Palm Beach, Fla.

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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