SOFIA, Bulgaria -- The first four U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers have weighed in and received their first round draws at the FILA Junior World Championships which begin on Tuesday.
"Training went really well. They are mentally prepared and they did their homework. Motivation is really high. They got the weigh-in done, which is half the battle. Now they have to get the mind frame to come out hard in that first match. They did a wonderful job getting ready for this tournament" said U.S. Junior World Team Coach Rodney Smith.
Competing at 74 kg/163 lbs. is Geordan Speiller, who placed seventh at the 2012 Junior World Championships and was a member of the World University Games team. Speiller opens with Lasha Gobadze of Georgia.
"Geordan is really slick. His level changes are really sharp. He looks fresh. He has a nice bounce to his step. He is really mentally ready" said Smith.
Also among the most experienced athletes on the team is Hayden Tuma at 60 kg/132 lbs., who opens with F. Gunderson of Norway. Tuma has been on the FILA Cadet World Team, and was a Junior Nationals Greco-Roman champion in Fargo this year.
"My expectation is his goal is to be in the top three. He's been here before. He knows what it takes. He understands, has the experience and trained really hard" said Smith.
Kevin Beazley, who competes for Old Dominion, has his first Junior World experience at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., where he will face F. Bazkov of Turkey in the first round.
"He is just a gunslinger. He has improved. He has a mental toughness and a physical toughness that is the quintessential American style. He brings that to the table here" said Smith.
Also wrestling Tuesday is Tirso Lara, another first-time Junior World Team athlete, who faces Bence Juhasz of Hungary in his first match at 50 kg/110 lbs.
"He is new to international wrestling, but his tenacity and his eagerness to get out there and mix it up will be an asset for him" said Smith.
Tuesday is the first day of competition in this six-day event, featuring the World's top 17-20 year old wrestlers in the Olympic styles.
FILA JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sofia, Bulgaria
U.S. Greco-Roman draws for Tuesday
50 kg/110 lbs. - Tirso Lara, Poway, Calif. (Ultimate Warrior)
Vs. Bence Juhasz (Hungary), 8th in 2012 Junior World Championship
60 kg/132 lbs. - Hayden Tuma, Boise, Idaho (Suples WC)
Vs. F. Gunderson (Norway)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Geordan Speiller, Oviedo, Fla. (Florida Jets)
Vs. Lasha Gobadze (Georgia), 3rd in 2013 Junior European Championships, 3rd in2011 Cadet World Championships
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Kevin Beazley, Howell, Mich. (HRWA/VBRTC/Old Dominion University)
Vs. F. Bazkov (Turkey)