By Sal Marandino, Special to TheMat.com
As a prelude to the 2013 National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic, two members of the United States National Team competed in a pair freestyle exhibitions matches.
Helen Maroulis, a Rockford, Md. native, returned home to participate in the All-Star Classic. Maroulis earned an 8-0 victory over Venezuela’s Marcia Andrades, ending the match in a tech fall with 0:15 left to go in the first period.
“I was excited to wrestle her, I wanted to try stuff out. I was pleased with my wrestling.”
Maroulis was a 2012 World Silver Medalist and has placed several times at the Senior World Championships. She currently studies and competes at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, MO.
Kyle Snyder, a Woodbine, Md. native, also made a triumphant return to his home region
Snyder, the future Ohio State Buckeye who earned himself a gold medal at the 2013 FILA Junior World Championships, took on Canada’s YiannisNarlidis at 96kg/211.5 lbs, earning a 10-0 tech fall in the first period. Narlidis was a Canadian Junior World Team member, but had never faced Snyder before.
“It was pretty fun. I prepared hard for the match and wanted to score some points,” said Snyder.
Snyder, who won three Prep National titles for Our Lady of Good Council in Maryland, decided to spend his senior year of high school to move to Colorado Springs, Colo., to continue his training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
“The transition from home to Colorado was pretty good. I am adjusting well and enjoy having the Olympic Team coaches help me get to the next level.”
This past year was a constant struggle for the wrestling community, as it had to prove to the International Olympic Committee that wrestling deserved a spot on the Olympic program. The freestyle bouts held prior to the collegiate challenge matches was another way to promote the international styles to a large audience.
“Not many people get a chance to watch freestyle wrestling or women’s freestyle wrestling, so it is good to expose people to this side of the sport,” said Kyle Snyder.
Helen Maroulis was also very excited to showcase her talents, as well as women’s wrestling, to her home crowd.
“I think it is good for people to see that women are wrestling and that the caliber is increasing. I think it definitely helps for the future of wrestling,” she said.
Both Snyder and Maroulis are hopefuls to make the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team which will compete in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
96kg/211.5 lbs. - Kyle Snyder, USA tech. fall YiannisNarlidis, Canada, 10-055kg/121.5 lbs.- Helen Maroulis, USA tech. fall Marcia Andrades, Venezuela, 8-0