USA team features 13 top stars for Pan American Olympic Qualifier in Frisco, Texas, March 4-6

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Feb. 29, 2016, 12:35 p.m. (ET)
Texas native, Olympian and two-time World medalist Tervel Dlagnev, shown at the 2015 World Cup, will be among the 13 U.S. stars at the Pan American Olympic Qualifier this weekend.

The United States will send a talented and motivated wrestling team to compete in the 2016 Pan American Olympic Games Qualifer at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, Texas, March 4-6.

Teams from North, Central and South America will compete in the three Olympic disciplines, men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman.

This event serves as a major qualifier for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The top two place winners in each of the 18 Olympic weight classes will qualify their nation to compete at the Olympic Games. In total, 36 spots in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro are up for grabs.

The United States has qualified wrestlers for five weight classes for the Olympic Games so far. Therefore, the USA will enter athletes and seek to qualify at the other 13 weight classes in Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier, four in men’s freestyle, four in Greco-Roman and five in women’s freestyle.

The women’s wrestling event will be held first on Friday, March 4, and five U.S. women will wrestle. Two-time World bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) will compete at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. She is joined by three teammates from the 2015 U.S. World Team, Whitney Conder (Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP) at 53 kg/116.5 lbs., Alli Ragan (Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) at 58 kg/128 lbs. and Erin Clodgo (Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

The women’s team will feature a Texas native, Tamyra Mensah (Katy, Texas/Titan Mercury WC) at 69 kg/152 lbs. She was a two-time Texas girls state high school champion at Morgan Ranch High School, and won a WCWA college national title for Wayland Baptist University.

On Saturday, March 5, the men’s freestyle division will be held, with four U.S. athletes entered. Team USA will be led by a native Texan, two-time World bronze medalist and 2012 Olympian Tervel Dlagnev, at 125 kg/275 lbs. Dlagnev was a two-time Texas state high school medalist for Arlington High School. He won two NCAA Div. II titles for Nebraska-Kearney and has been one of the world’s best heavyweights for many years.

Also on the mat for Team USA is 2009 World silver medalist and 2012 Olympian Jake Herbert (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC/Cliff Keen WC) at 86 kg/189 lbs. Herbert won two NCAA titles for Northwestern and was a Hodge Trophy winner. The other two freestyle stars were NCAA champions at the Univ. of Iowa, Tony Ramos (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC) at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. and Brent Metcalf (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC/Hawkeye WC) at 65 kg/143 lbs. Metcalf, a two-time NCAA champion and Hodge Trophy winner, has been on four U.S. World Teams, while Ramos has been on two U.S. World Teams.

The final day of the Pan American Championships is Sunday, March 6, featuring the Greco-Roman competition. The USA will enter four athletes. Three-time U.S. World Team member Jordan Holm (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) is scheduled to compete at 85 kg/187 lbs. Wrestling at 59 kg/130 lbs. is 2008 Olympian Ildar Hafizov (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP). 2014 U.S. World Team member Joe Rau (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) will wrestle at 98 kg/213 lbs. Also scheduled to compete is RaVaughn Perkins (Omaha, Neb./New York AC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., winner of the recent Dave Schultz Memorial International.

The weight classes already qualified for the USA are 74 kg in men’s freestyle, 97 kg in men’s freestyle, 75 kg in Greco-Roman, 130 kg in Greco-Roman and 75 kg in women’s freestyle. Team USA will not have entries at those five weights at the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier.

Updates on the international team rosters will be announced later this week.

This will be the second major international wrestling event in Frisco on consecutive weekends. This past weekend, the Pan American Championships, the annual continental wrestling championships, were held at the Dr. Pepper Arena, Feb. 26-28. The United States won the team title in all three Olympic disciplines. Included were 11 gold medals, three silver medals and seven bronze medals won by U.S. athletes.

The final schedule for the Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier has been published. On all three days, there will be a 10:00 a.m. session with Qualification Rounds and Repechage, and a 5:00 p.m. session with the Medal Match Finals. The schedule for Friday, March 4 is slightly different than previously posted, as an Opening Ceremony has been removed, meaning the finals will start 30 minutes earlier than had been announced.

All-Session General Admission prices are $14.50 for a single day pass and $39.50 for a three-day pass. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.

Click here for direct link for tickets through Ticketmaster.

For more information, please visit the Pan American Championships and Pan American Olympic Games Qualifier website at:
http://usawevents.sportngin.com/panams

The event will be broadcast live on Flowrestling.

PAN AMERICAN OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFIER
At Frisco, Texas, March 4-6

U.S. women’s freestyle roster (to compete on March 4)

48 kg/105.5 lbs - Alyssa Lampe, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
53 kg/116.5 lbs. - Whitney Conder, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
58 kg/128 lbs. - Alli Ragan, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Erin Clodgo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
69 kg/152 lbs. - Tamyra Mensah, Katy, Texas (Titan Mercury WC)
Team Leader – Kyra Barry, New York, N.Y.
National Women’s Coach – Terry Steiner, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach – Maxim Molonov, Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. men’s freestyle roster (to compete on March 5)
57 kg/125.5 lbs. - Tony Ramos, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
65 kg/143 lbs. - Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Hawkeye WC)
86 kg/189 lbs. - Jake Herbert, Ann Arbor, Mich. (New York AC/Cliff Keen WC)
125 kg/275 lbs. - Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC)
National Freestyle Coach – Bruce Burnett, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Assistant National Freestyle Coach – Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Assistant National Freestyle Coach – Brandon Slay, Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. Greco-Roman roster (to compete on March 6)
59 kg/130 lbs. – Ildar Hafizov, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – RaVaughn Perkins, Omaha, Neb. (New York AC)
85 kg/187 lbs. – Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
98 kg/213 lbs. – Joe Rau, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
Team Leader – Kiki Kelley, Minneapolis, Minn.
National Greco-Roman Coach – Matt Lindland, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Assistant National Greco-Roman Coach – Momir Petkovic, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach – Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn.

Medical – Dr. Jason Holm, Stateline, Nev.
Medical – Randy Boswell, Newman Lake, Wash.
Massage Therapist – Amy Murry

PAN-AMERICAN OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFIER SCHEDULE (all are Central Time)
At Frisco, Texas, March 4-6


Friday March 4
Women’s Freestyle Wrestling (48kg, 53kg, 58kg, 63kg, 69kg and 75kg)
10:00 am - 2:00 pm - Qualification Rounds and Repechage
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm - Medal Match Finals

Saturday, March 5
Men’s Freestyle Wrestling (57kg, 65kg, 74kg, 86kg, 97kg, 125kg)
10:00 am - 2:00 pm - Qualification Rounds and Repechage
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm – Medal Match Finals

Sunday March 6
Greco-Roman Wrestling (59kg, 66kg, 75kg, 85kg, 98kg, 130kg)
10:00 am - 2:00 pm - Qualification Rounds and Repechage
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm – Medal Match Finals