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USA Wrestling awards 2002 and 2003 National Kids Freestyle and Greco Roman Championships to Enid Ok

By Gary Abbott | Nov. 28, 2001, 12 a.m. (ET)

USA Wrestling has awarded the 2002 and 2003 Kids Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships to Enid, Okla. The competition, which features the best youth wrestlers in the nation, will be hosted at the Chisolm Trail Expo Center in Enid, July 3-6, 2002. The dates of the 2003 event have yet to be finalized. This is the same venue that hosted the 2001 USA Wrestling National Junior Duals, which featured state national-level teams competing in a dual meet format in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. The 2002 National Junior Duals will return to the Chisolm Trail Expo Center in Enid, June 26-30. The event director will be Archie Randall, the USA Wrestling State Chairperson for Oklahoma, who is also the head wrestling coach at national power El Reno High School. "USA Wrestling is excited to award the 2002 and 2003 Kids Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships to Enid, Oklahoma," said Pete Isais, USA Wrestling Director of National Events. "We feel that the community of Enid and the USAW/Oklahoma state association, under the leadership of Archie Randall, will do a wonderful job with the tournament. They have a proven track record hosting successful USA Wrestling National events. The addition of an athlete/coaches clinic by the legendary John Smith will also be a valuable opportunity for the young athletes to learn and improve." The Kids Nationals is one of the largest and most prestigious youth wrestling events in the nation, attracting athletes from across the United States. Competition includes freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling, the two Olympic styles of wrestling. "We welcome the opportunity to host the 2002 and 2003 Kids Greco-Roman and Freestyle Nationals," said Event Director Archie Randall. "The tournament will give us a chance to showcase the facilities in Oklahoma, as well as our hospitality and quality competition. The Kids Nationals is a great tournament to host, and our goal is to double the entry numbers and make it the largest Kids National event. The competition will be run on 14 full-size mats." Enid is in the North Central part of Oklahoma, approximately 80 miles north of Oklahoma City, 112 miles west of Tulsa and 100 miles south of Wichita, Kan. The Chisolm Trail Coliseum opened in 1998. There is permanent seating for 6,000 fans during the wrestling competition. Enid becomes the third city to host the National Kids Freestyle and Greco-Roman Championships. The event, which was created in 1997, was previously hosted in Waterloo, Iowa and Fresno, Calif. "The Chisolm Trail Expo Center is proud to host such a great event," said Steven Barnes, General Manager of the Chisolm Trail Expo Center. "Working with people like Archie Randall and USA Wrestling makes for a spectacular couple of weeks. Enid is lucky to have two great wrestling tournaments come to town." Competition at the Kids Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships will be held in three age levels: Midget (9-10 years), Novice (11-12 years) and Schoolboy/girl (13-14 years). Hundreds of young athletes from USA Wrestling's state association programs will battle for the chance to become national champions and All-Americans. A training camp opportunity for participants will be hosted prior to the event, in cooperation with Hall of Fame wrestler and coach John Smith and his Oklahoma State wrestling program. The Kids Nationals is the final leg of the USA Wrestling Kids Triple Crown, which recognizes athletes who win all three USA Wrestling national titles in one year - folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman. Historically, many of the stars from USA Wrestling's national youth events have gone on to success on the college and international levels. Each of the competitors at the Kids Freestyle and Greco-Roman National Championships must have entered one of the six USA Wrestling Kids Regionals in order to attend this event.