U.S. Olympic hopefuls in all three styles get busy at international events in January

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling | Jan. 14, 2016, 6:28 p.m. (ET)
Three-time World champion Adeline Gray, shown running a bar arm at the 2015 World Team Trials, is among the top U.S. wrestlers competing overseas in January.

January is traditionally a busy month for international wrestlers in all three styles to participate in training camps and prepare for the season ahead. It is also the start of the busy winter international tour season.

With the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in April and the Olympic Games in August, many top Olympic hopefuls in men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman will take to the mats for valuable international experience. In January alone, U.S. wrestlers are expected to hit the mats in Canada, Croatia, Russia, France and Brazil, as well as at a major international tournament hosted in the United States.

There may be Americans competing at the Guelph Open in Guelph, Canada, January 16, which has divisions in both men’s and women’s freestyle. Traditionally, U.S. athletes attend this event representing their club programs, and there should be some Americans there again this year.

The first Greco-Roman event of the season is the Grand Prix Zagreb Open, set for Zagreb, Croatia on January 23. Among the stars on this trip are 2012 Olympian Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., two-time World team member Bryce Saddoris (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., 2013 World Team member Jesse Thielke (Germantown, Wis./New York AC) at 59 kg/130 lbs., 2014 World Team member Joe Rau (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 98 kg/215 lbs. and 2015 World Team member Patrick Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP) at 85 kg/187 lbs.

The final weekend of January will feature three U.S. teams on tour, a men’s freestyle team in Russia, Greco-Roman and men’s freestyle team in France and a women’s freestyle team in Brazil.

A talented team of American men’s freestylers will compete at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, January 29-31. This is considered one of the toughest international tournaments held each year. 2012 Olympic champion Jake Varner (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) and 2015 World champion Kyle Snyder (Woodbine, Md./Titan Mercury WC) will enter at 97 kg/213 lbs. Four-time World Team member Brent Metcalf (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC) is expected at 65 kg/143 lbs. and two-time World Team member Tony Ramos (Iowa City, Iowa/Titan Mercury WC) will wrestle at 57 kg/125.5 lbs. Flowrestling will attend this event for a documentary project and will also provide reports from the competition.

Greco-Roman and men’s freestyle wrestlers will wrestle for the USA at the Paris International in Paris, France, January 30-31. The Greco-Roman team will include numerous members of the U.S. Marine Corps team, plus national team member Brian Graham (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. There are two men’s freestyle athletes, two-time World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) at 125 kg/275 lbs. and 2016 U.S. Open runner-up Chris Perry (Stillwater, Okla./Titan Mercury WC) at 74 kg/163 lbs.

The U.S. will send a full team with a top athletes in each of the six Olympic weight classes to the Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, January 30-31. The team will include three-time World champion and five-time World medalist Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 75 kg/165 lbs. and two-time World bronze medalist Alyssa Lampe (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. Four of the weight classes will not be determined until after a National Team training camp and wrestle-offs next week, and could include additional World and Olympic medalists. The Olympic Test Event will only feature women’s freestyle wrestling.

In addition to all of this international competition, the U.S. will host the annual Dave Schultz Memorial International in Colorado Springs, Colo., January 28-30, which features all three international styles. Rosters for this competition will be announced just prior to the event.

There will be U.S. tour teams competing in Hungary, Turkey, Ukraine, Belarus and Sweden in February. Rosters will be announced in advanced for these international tours at a later date.

GRAND PRIX ZAGBEB OPEN
At Zagreb, Croatia, January 23
U.S. Greco-Roman lineup

59 kg/130 lbs. - Jesse Thielke, Germantown, Wis. (New York AC
59 kg/130 lbs. - Aaron Kalil, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
59 kg/130 lbs. - Ruben Navejas, Camp LeJuene, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Bryce Saddoris (Camp LeJeune, N.C./U.S. Marine Corps)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Pat Smith, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
75 kg/165 lbs. - Michael Brant, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
85 kg/187 lbs. - Patrick Martinez (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army WCAP)
98 kg/215 lbs. - Joe Rau (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm)
98 kg/215 lbs. - Daniel Miller. Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
Assistant National Greco-Roman Coach - Momir Petkovic, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Referee: - Mark Mundy, Martinsville, Ind.

IVAN YARYGIN GRAND PRIX
At Krasnoyarsk, Russia, January 29-31

U.S. men's freestyle roster
57 kg/125.5 lbs. - Tony Ramos, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
57 kg/125.5 lbs. - Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
65 kg/143 lbs. - Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC/Hawkeye WC)
65 kg/143 lbs. - Logan Stieber, Columbus, Ohio (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
74 kg/163 lbs. - Andrew Howe, Norman, Okla. (New York AC/Sooner WC)
97 kg/213 lbs. - Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (Titan Mercury WC/Ohio RTC)
97 kg/213 lbs. - Jake Varner, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
125 kg/275 lbs. - Bobby Telford, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC/Hawkeye WC)
Team Leader - Paul Kieblesz, New York, N.Y.
Assistant National Coach Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach - Terry Brands, Iowa City, Iowa
Coach - John Peterson, Comstock, Wis.
Videographer - Del Hawkins, Nashville, Tenn.
Referee – Alan Merrill, Springfield, Ore.
Medical – Andy Peterson, Iowa City, Iowa

PARIS INTERNATIONAL
At Paris, France, January 30-31
U.S. Greco-Roman roster

59 kg/130 lbs. - Aaron Kalil, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
59 kg/130 lbs. - Ruben Navejas, Camp LeJuene, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Brian Graham, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
75 kg/165 lbs. - Michael Brant, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
75 kg/165 lbs. – Robby Neill, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
98 kg/215 lbs. - Daniel Miller. Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
130 kg/286 lbs. – Eric Fader, Camp LeJeune, N.C. (U.S. Marine Corps)
Coach - Jason Loukides, Camp LeJeune, N.C.
U.S. Men’s Freestyle roster
74 kg/163 lbs. – Chris Perry, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC)
125 kg/275 lbs. – Tervel Dlagnev, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids/Ohio RTC)
Coach – Tolly Thompson, Cedar Falls, Iowa
Referee:- David Pelsang, Jacksonville, N.C.
Medical - Aaron Bachert, Jacksonville, N.C.

OLYMPIC TEST EVENT
At Rio de Janiero, Brazil, January 30-31

U.S. women's freestyle roster
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) or Helen Maroulis, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
58 kg/128 lbs. – All Ragan, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) or Leigh Jaynes-Provisor, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
63 kg/138.75 lbs – Erin Clodgo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) or Elena Pirozhkova, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC)
69 kg/152 lbs. – Tamyra Mensah, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Titan Mercury WC) or Randi Miller, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
75 kg/165 lbs. – Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
National Women’s Coach - Terry Steiner, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach – Afsoon Johnston, San Diego, Calif.
Coach - Maksim Molonov, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Medical - Jodi Loecke, Windsor, Colo.
Referee - Zach Errett, Plainfield, Ind.