USA Wrestling USA Wrestling boasts...

USA Wrestling boasts 12 strong athletes on Elite Accelerator Program (EAP) roster

By Shannon Daugherty, USA Wrestling | Dec. 18, 2018, 1:46 p.m. (ET)

Photo (left to right): Cole Stephenson of Greco-Roman, Tiare Ikei of women's freestyle and Gabe Tagg of men's freestyle. 

Inspired by the likes of Kyle Snyder and Henry Cejudo, the Elite Accelerator Program (EAP) is a progressive developmental movement based at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., aimed at molding young wrestlers into World and Olympic Champions.

EAP athletes train with our country’s top-ranked Senior-level athletes and receive direct instruction from the National and Olympic Team coaches on a daily basis.

It is the belief of USA Wrestling that the athletes training in this environment will be more comfortable and successful at World and Olympic competitions.

Currently, the Elite Accelerator Program is home to twelve athletes, who are either enrolled in high school or have recently graduated.

Six EAP athletes are training with the men’s freestyle program, including 2017 Cadet World champion and 2018 Junior World silver medalist Aaron Brooks, 2017 Cadet World champion and 2018 Cadet World silver medalist Daniel Kerkvliet, 2017 Cadet World Team member Julian Tagg, plus Gabriel Tagg, Job Greenwood and DJ Shannon.

The three women’s freestylers on campus include 2018 Cadet World bronze medalist and 2018 Cadet Pan American champion Tiare Ikei, 2018 Junior Pan Am champion Cameron Guerin and 2017 Junior Pan Am champion Emma Bruntil.

The Greco-Roman EAP athletes are Carter Stepheson, Cole Stephenson and Noah Wachsmuth.

Heading in to its second year as a program, the EAP athletes have already demonstrated the ability to successfully compete in an elite-level arena as shown by four age-group World medals and multiple continental championships medals.

This year, the EAP program includes young stars from nine different states. Five of the men’s freestyle athletes have already signed with NCAA Division I schools.

For more information on the EAP, contact Shannon Daugherty at or 719-598-8181.

Elite Accelerator Program roster