NMU-OTS Greco wrestlers head to Latvia for training and tourney

By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling | Dec. 12, 2014, 7:10 p.m. (ET)
Photos of Isaiah Varona and Nick Alvarez courtesy of Northern Michigan Univerity Olympic Training Site.

Northern Michigan University’s Olympic Training Site will participate in an upcoming international Greco-Roman camp and competition in Riga, Latvia this month.

It is one of the largest group of NMU-OTS athletes ever to travel on a tour. The team will travel to Latvia on Dec. 14, and participate in a camp featuring four other top international teams.

The wrestlers will enter the Memorial H. Kogan Tournament in Riga, Dec. 20-21, for an outstanding test of their skills and abilities.

“This will be a great camp with three to four foreign teams, which will be followed by a great tournament. You can never get enough international competition,” said Rob Hermann, NMU-OTS head coach.

Among the athletes on the tour are two-time Junior World Team member Isaiah Varona of Miami, Fla. at 59 kg/130 lbs. and past Junior World Team and University World Team member Nick Alvarez, Miami, Fla. at 71 kg/156 lbs.

NMU-OTS Greco-Roman assistant coach Aghasi Manukyan, a 1993 World champion, will be coaching this tournament.

“Any time you can go overseas, train and get competition where the guys are better than you, you become that much better. It is during our Christmas break, and we know the competition will be tough. We will see four or five teams in the training camp, then another 14 teams in the tournament. You will really have to wrestle to win it,” said Hermann.

For athletes across the nation who missed this tournament, there will another opportunity when a FILA-Junior level team will travel to Austria for a tournament and training from Feb. 24-March 7. The tour is being organized by NMU-OTS head coach Rob Hermann, who is inviting top FILA-Junior Greco-Roman athletes from across the nation. For information, contact Rob Hermann at rhermann@nmu.edu.

MEMORIAL H. KOGAN TOURNAMENT
At Riga, Latvia, Dec. 20-21

U.S. Greco-Roman roster

55 kg/121 lbs. – Dalton Roberts, Fowlerville, Mich.
55 kg/121 lbs. – Andrew Ibarra, Santa Maria, Calif.
55 kg/121 lbs. – Alec Noa, Lombard, Ill.
59 kg/130 lbs. – Isaiah Varona, Miami, Fla.
59 kg/130 lbs. – Ty Pelot, Two Rivers, Wis.
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Travis Rice, Washington, Ill.
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Paul Rodriguez, San Jose, Calif.
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Jessy Williams, Windsor, N.Y.
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Braydon Akeo, Waianae, Hawaii
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Joey DeNova, Fortson, Ga.
71 kg/156 lbs. – Nick Alvarez, Miami, Fla.
71 kg/156 lbs. – Colin Schubert, Brussel, Wis.
71 kg/156 lbs. – Jacob Deutschlander, Carver, Minn.
71 kg/156 lbs. – Shehryar Ali Khan, Elk Grove, Calif.
75 kg/165 lbs. – Vinny Torres, Bay Shore, N.Y.
75 kg/165 lbs. – Nick Tarpley, Colorado Springs, Colo.
80 kg/176 lbs. – Curt Calovecchi, Marquette, Mich.
85 kg/187 lbs. – Brandon Marshall, Keystone Heights, Fla.
130 kg/286 lbs - Jheryl Makaiau, Kahuku, Hawaii
NMU-OTS assistant coach – Aghasi Manukyan, Marquette, Mich.