USA Wrestling First six U.S. wrest...

First six U.S. wrestlers get draws for CISM World Military Championships in New Jersey

Oct. 02, 2014, 5:57 p.m. (ET)

Two-time World Team member Whitney Conder, shown at the 2014 U.S. Open, will compete on the first day of the CISM Military World Championships at Fort Dix, N.J. Photos by Tony Rotundo, Wrestlers Are Warriors.

FORT DIX, N.J. – The first eight sets of weight classes have weighed in and received their draws for the CISM World Military Wrestling Championships in New Jersey, which begins on Friday.

The USA will have six wrestlers on the mat, four in men’s freestyle and two in women’s freestyle.

Two of the U.S. men’s freestylers drew opponents from Mongolia in their opening match.

At 57 kg , 1stLt Aaron Kalil of the U.S. Marine Corps will face Tsogbaatar Damdinbazar of Mongolia, who was third in the 2008 Junior World Championships.

At 61 kg, PO3 Sheldon Wilder of the U.S. Navy opens with Lkhamgarmaa Narmandakh of Mongolia.

The other two American men’s freestylers also drew athletes from Asian nations.

SGT Jamel Johnson of the U.S. Army will open at 65 kg against OD Chamara Perera of Sri Lanka, who was fifth in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Johnson was a University World bronze medalist in Greco-Roman.

At 70 kg, Cpl Joseph Foreman of the U.S. Marines Corps will battle Nadir Khan of Pakistan, who was third in the 2013 World Military Championships.

“It is going to be tough for our younger guys. All of the males we have going tomorrow have not wrestled in a major Senior World competition. You have to go out and swing for the fences. There are a lot of people who go out in their first Military World Championships and get a medal. We are hoping the first group gets us rolling and it continues throughout the tournament,” said U.S. coach Shon Lewis.

Two-time U.S. World Team member and 2007 Junior World champion SGT Whitney Conder of the U.S. Army will compete at 53 kg/116.5 lbs. She will open with a bye, in a five-athlete roundrobin. Conder will wrestle all four of the others in her weight class.

“She came up a little short in Tashkent. She is motivated and she knows it’s a great opportunity to enter another World Championships and get a medal. She is going to come out of the blocks and set the stage for the rest of the USA team,” said Lewis.

At 58 kg, Cpl Melissa Apodaca of the U.S. Marine Corps, a past U.S. Open runner-up, will also compete in a five-athlete round-robin. She will battle Feng Huimin of China), a 2012 Junior World bronze medalist.

“It’s a stress reliever. We are getting it started now. We had Opening Ceremonies already. We came out here on the 25th of September to start our training camp. A lot of guys and gals were carrying stress. We got the first weighins out of the way. We have to lace it up and get after it tomorrow,” said Lewis.

There will be a live webcast of the competition on for all four days of the tournament. Session times are 8:30 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. ET.

At Joint Base McGuire – Dix – Lakehurst, N.J., October 3-6

U.S. Men’s Freestyle draws

57 kg - 1stLt Aaron Kalil, U.S. Marine Corps
Vs. Tsogbaatar Damdinbazar (Mongolia), 3rd in 2008 Junior World Championships, 2nd in 2014 Asian Championships

61 kg - PO3 Sheldon Wilder, U.S. Navy
Vs. Lkhamgarmaa Narmandakh (Mongolia)

65 kg – SGT Jamel Johnson, U.S. Army
Vs. OD Chamara Perera (Sri Lanka), 5th in 2014 Commonwealth Games

70 kg – Cpl Joseph Foreman, U.S. Marines Corps
Vs. Nadir Khan (Pakistan), 3rd in 2014 World Military Championships

U.S. Women’s Freestyle draws

53 kg - SGT Whitney Conder, U.S. Army
In five-athlete round-robin
Bye in first round

58 kg - Cpl Melissa Apodaca, U.S. Marine Corps
in five-athlete round-robin
Vs. Feng Huimin (China), 3rd in 2012 Junior World Championships