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A Snapshot of the 2021 Freestyle and Greco Season

June 9, 2021
It feels like this week really kicks off the summer months of competition. Cadets and Juniors representing Team USA are in Oaxtepec, Mexico for the Pan Am Championships right now, and Team Wisconsin 14U and 16U wrestlers are in Indiana for National Duals—the 14U in Franklin and 16U in Westfield. 

Let’s backtrack to the beginning of the spring season to see how we got here, and where Wisconsin is at in the mix as various individuals, teams and the WWF wrapped up a string of incredibly successful tournaments and qualifying events. 

In the weeks following the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Wisconsin wrestlers (natives and transplants) hit the mats in multiple states pursuing various age-level World, Pan-Am and Fargo teams. 

Boys UWW Cadet, U15 and Futures Nationals—Wisconsin Dells, WI
USA Wrestling hosted the boys UWW Cadet, U15 and Futures Nationals in Wisconsin Dells, April 23-25. The event determined the Cadet World Teams in both 
Freestyle and Greco. Champions from both styles earned the right to represent the United States at the Cadet World Championships this summer in Budapest, Hungary (July). Connor MIrasola placed highest for Wisconsin with a second-place performance at 80kg. Koy Hopke (110kg) placed third and a number of other Cadets earned All-American status. 

In the U15 division, USA Wrestling determined that the highest placers across the Greco-Roman and Freestyle divisions will represent the United States at the U15 Pan American Championships in Mexico City, Mexico in October. Two Wisconsin wrestlers, Haakon Peterson (41kg) and Aeoden Sinclair (75kg), earned that right with their first-place performances in both styles. In post event interviews, Haaken said he’s excited about going to Mexico City to wrestle someone from a different country and to get a foreign feel. Sinclair noted his excitement and how cool it is to be part of an organization that builds its athletes up.

Below is the list of Wisconsin wrestlers that earned All-American status in the Dells at the Boys Cadet, U15 and Futures Nationals.

Freestyle: Cadet All-Americans

  • Connor Mirasola placed 2nd at 80kg
  • Koy Hopke placed 3rd at 110kg
  • Benjamin Bast placed 4th at 48kg
  • Braeden Scoles placed 4th at 71kg
  • Max Ramberg placed 5th at 92kg
  • Greyson Clark placed 7th at 60kg

Greco: Cadet All-Americans

  • Koy Hopke placed 3rd at 110kg 
  • Ryder Depies placed 4th at 92kg
  • Jake Hall placed 7th at 60kg
  • Gunnar Hamre placed 7th at 65kg
  • Turner Campbell placed 8th at 51kg
  • Jacob Hansen placed 8th at 80kg

Freestyle: U15 Nationals All-Americans

  • Haakon Peterson placed 1st at 41kg
  • Aeoden Sinclair placed 1st at 75kg
  • Garret Kawczynski placed 2nd at 85kg
  • Caleb Noble placed 3rd at 38kg
  • Espyn Sweers placed 3rd at 85kg
  • Joshua Francis placed 5th at 85kg
  • Tyson Martin placed 6th at 75kg

Greco: Wisconsin U15 Nationals All-Americans

  • Haakon Peterson placed 1st at 41kg
  • Aeoden Sinclair placed 1st at 75kg
  • Garret Kawczynski placed 1st at 85kg
  • Joshua Francis placed 5th at 85kg
  • Jesse Penchi placed 8th at 62kg
  • Treston Eckstein placed 8th at 68kg
  • Tyson Martin placed 8th at 75kg

Futures: The boys Futures Nationals was also wrestled alongside the Cadet and Freestyle events in the Dells. Check out USA Wrestling’s list of placers, here.

Boys Junior World Team Trials—Coralville, Iowa
The Boys 
Freestyle and Greco Junior World Teams were determined the following weekend in Coralville, Iowa alongside the 2021 Senior Nationals. Winners compete at the Junior World Championships in Ufa, Russia, August 16-22. Keegan O’Toole (74kg) put together a first-place performance in the freestyle division, and Braxton Amos (97kg) claimed the World Team spot in both freestyle and Greco. Payton Jacobson (67kg) and Tyler Hannah (87kg) placed second in Greco at their respective weights and are representing Team USA at the Junior Pan Am Championships this week in Mexico City. Jacobson and Hannah wrestle on Wednesday, June 9th and Hannah competes again in Freestyle on Sunday the 13th. 

Women’s Nationals—Irving, Texas
The next weekend, from May 7-9, more than a thousand women wrestled in Irving, Texas at Women’s Nationals—a three-day event equivalent to the series that determines World Teams for the men. The ladies were competing for a spot on the Cadet, Junior and U23 World or U15 Pan Am team. At the end of the weekend, Wisconsin wrestlers earned four World Team and one Pan Am Team spots. 

In the Junior division, Kylie Welker earned the 76kg World Team spot and the right to represent the United States in Ufa, Russia, in August. Josie Bartishofski (55kg) placed 5th, Sophie Smith (57kg) and Mateah Roehl (53kg) placed 6th. In the Cadet division, Hanna Errthum (61kg) placed 4th, Faith Bartoszek (65kg) placed 5thand Marisa Roth (65kg) placed 8th. 

Ronna Heaton (53kg), Michaela Beck (59 kg) and Kylie Welker (76kg) won their brackets in the U23 division and will represent the United States at the 2021 U23 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, Nov. 1-7. Heaton is originally from South Dakota, and Beck is from New York. Alisha Howk placed 2nd at 53kg, and Gabby Skidmore placed 4th at 57kg. 

Faith Bartoszek (66kg) won the U15 division with a 5-0 performance and will represent the United States at the U15 Pan American Championships in Mexico City, Mexico, Oct. 21-24. Carley Cesker placed 3rd at 50kg, (6-1). In the 12U division, Dilynn Albrecht placed 2nd at 75lbs, Harlow Skenandore placed 3rd at 100lbs and Alexa Thomas placed 5th at 70lbs. 

WWF Greco and Freestyle State Championships—Wisconsin Dells, WI
That very same weekend, May 8-9, the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation hosted its annual Freestyle and Greco State Championships. In the boy’s freestyle and Greco divisions the top three place-winners earned their place on Team Wisconsin for the upcoming 16U and Junior Nationals (Fargo). Check out the full results here: Girls | Boys Freestyle | Boys Greco

Northern Plains Regional Championships—Wisconsin Dells, WI
The following weekend, May 14-15, the WWF hosted Northern Plains Regional Championships—one of USA Wrestling’s six historic regional event series. States in the Northern Plains region are Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska, but wrestlers from across the nation can compete in any one of the six events. The top-4 place-winners earned the right to represent their state at the U.S. Marine Corps 16U and Junior Nationals (Fargo) this July. Wisconsin had a combined 23 champions between the boys and girls 16U and Junior divisions. 

16U Greco

  • Brett Back (145), 
  • Zachary Eliszewski (152), 
  • Ian Smith (182), 
  • Ryder Depies (195), 
  • Vanden Hoffman (220)
  • Evan Gratz (285) 

Junior Greco

  • Matthew Rogge (160), 
  • Jared Strickler (170) 
  • John Gunderson (195). 

16U Freestyle

  • Lincoln Flayter (94), 
  • Charlie Millard (152), 
  • Cole Mirasola (182), 
  • Koy Hopke (220), 
  • Jesus Gonzalez (285) 

Girls Freestyle

  • Bopasoreya Quintana (106), 
  • Rose Ann Marshall (112), 
  • Brooke Crawley (117), 
  • Larissa Kaz (127), 
  • Hanna Errthum (132), 
  • Alex Hofrichter (152)

Junior Freestyle

  • Connor Thorpe (145), 
  • Jared Stricker (170) 
  • John Gunderson (195)

Men’s U23 World Team Trials—Lincoln, Nebraska
The most recent qualifying event was the Men’s U23 World Team Trials that took place in Nebraska from May 27-29. Wisconsin had a number of wrestlers in contention for the U23 World Team for Belgrade, Serbia, in November. In the Greco Division, Alston Nutter (67kg) and Benji Peak (72kg) put together first-place performances and earned their spots on the 2021 U23 World Team. Brady and Dylan Koontz finished in second place at 55kg and 60kg, respectively. 

Over the last two months the WWF has been hosting 2021 Training Team Camps for the boys and girls teams in each style, acquainting Team Wisconsin with one another and preparing our team for past events and the upcoming summer season. 

After a year hiatus from a Freestyle or Greco season, Team Wisconsin is back in action! 

Up Next 
June 9-13: Boys 14U and 16U National Duals
June 15-19: Boys and Girls Junior National Duals
June 24-26: USA Wrestling Kids Nationals
July 16-23: Boys and Girls 16U and Junior Nationals (Fargo)

Junior World Championships Final Blog

That's a wrap for the US women's team at Junior Worlds in Slovakia.  Macey's silver, secured on Wednesday night after the semi-finals, is the only piece of hardware the women will bring back to the States.  

Tonight, Ali finished her week in 5th place.  She just didn't have enough in the tank to gather that bronze medal.  She came off the mat exhausted and said her entire body hurt.  I believed her.  It looked that way.  The combination of weight management, a two day event, an emotional setback the night before, the intense heat in the venue, travel back-and-forth to the hotel and we just couldn’t pull things together.  She was in great spirits and fought like crazy, but her legs, most of all, just didn’t respond.  It wasn’t an issue of mental toughness like it usually is for an athlete in her situation.  She left it all on the mat and was physically exhausted. 

So, we need to go back to the drawing board and look at how we prepared.  No excuses, just accountability and responsibility.  Don’t get me wrong, both of them gave everything they had and should have no regrets concerning their effort.  We can take this an opportunity to learn and look deeply at all things leading into the event.  A day ago, it looked like our preparation process was on point and Macey and Ali wrestled extremely well.  But that was on day one of the tournament.  Day two was a different story for both of them.  At this level, if teammates who train in the same environment respond the same way, it’s likely a product of that environment and I need to re-evaluate our physical preparation. 

You don’t know what you don’t know, so now that we have intel on our junior worlds experience, I need to make some important adjustments.  I think that’s how you learn from moments like these.

We’ll have a 10-hour flight back to the United States and that will give us time for some needed reflection and evaluation.  Win or lose, though, deep reflection would have been on the schedule any ways.  We must always be as critical in our assessments of  both "success" and of "failure."  Our posture really should be the same no matter the outcome because we want to keep moving forward in our progress.  

We all know the value of getting back up after getting knocked down.  It’s one of the biggest reasons successful athletes succeed.  Every once in a while, though, when you get knocked down, you need to stay down for a bit so you know exactly why you got knocked down.  When you finally do get back up, you do so planning on not getting knocked down again.

Junior World Championships Blog 6--Kevin Black

Well, I'm not sure where to start tonight.

I've really enjoyed writing updates throughout our trip, but this one is difficult.  I know there are a lot of people back home who are supporting these girls and hurting for them tonight.  We sincerely appreciate you.  I also believe I have a responsibility to keep our support system updated on my take from a heart wrenching evening in Slovakia. 

I don't want to write anything tonight.  I just want to take a long shower and go to bed.  But those who have our backs need to be in the loop on this one because it's important that they understand this side of the journey, too.  So, I'm just going to share my thoughts journal-style tonight and do some free flow writing so you might not get many sharable quotes this time.

Twice within an hour, we fell short of what we came here to do.  I fell short to deliver on a couple of unspoken promises and that hurts a lot.  Ali and Macey have been preparing to win gold medals at this event.  Nothing else.  We didn't prepare for any setbacks, but now we have to deal with them. 

Both of these girls have paid their dues, put in the time, made the investments and sacrifices.  They've worked hard, worked easy and worked smart.  They've been all over the world in order to put themselves in a position to win a gold medal at junior worlds.  They've spent over 12 months for this day and there have been several people and programs contributing to the process.  However, September 20, 2018 was not kind to us. 

The takeaway?  No one deserves anything in this sport and, damn it, life's not fair.

I've heard coaches and motivators talk about making the commitment to excellence and athletes answering or responding with that cliche statement about how, "no one deserves this more than so-and-so."  Well, I'm here to tell you that's not true.  It's a bunch of entitled bull crap.  No one really deserves anything.  Terry Brands spoke to this in his FloFilms documentary.  In wrestling, you don't get what you deserve, you only get what you earn.

I talked about this during an interview on Trackwrestling tonight.  You have to remember, we're dealing with the best in the entire world kind of stuff here.  This is no joke.  We're not trying to win a conference title or a state championship.  Not taking anything away from those accomplishments, but those are small potatoes.  You can't fake your way into winning a gold medal at the world championships.  It just doesn't happen.  And never will.  There's no guarantee that success is waiting for you.  Ever.  There are several people doing everything that they can to prepare for the opportunity to win that gold medal.  And at the end of the day, they will only hand out one. 

The standard is the best in the world.  That's 7.442 billion people.  This is a high stakes game.

What are the investments these two have made?  By the time they turned 17 and 18 years old, they had moved away from their families, sacrificed academic opportunities, invested in becoming the Total Athlete (body, mind and soul), lived clean lifestyles, adjusted diets and strength/conditioning programs and friend groups, traveled all over the globe and did everything within their entire being to become the best that they can be...and all of that only gives them the chance to reach their dreams. 

I don't think the "rest of the world" understands what that means.  It looks differently for each of these girls, but they have literally done everything in pursuit of this goal.  Every. Thing. Only for the chanceto reach it.

Isn't that a scary place to choose to live?  These girls put in a maximum amount of effort with no guaranteed return on their investment.  They bet the farm everyday.  They go all in.  Only so that they can have the opportunity to risk all of it.  There aren't many teenagers that can identify with this kind of life.

You cannot experience true satisfaction in reaching your goals unless you've dared so greatly that it might cost you everything in the pursuit of them.  However, it hurts so incredibly bad when you don't reach that goal.  The highs are high and the lows are low.

That's the real life that we're dealing with here, my friends.  And tonight our hearts are broken.

But it's worth it.  Because it's only in these moments that you gain the strength to persevere for the next opportunity and to be ready if the chance is there again.  Rising strong starts with accepting risk and being willing to fall time and time again (Brene Brown).  And it forces you to operate from a posture of humility and to gain a healthy perspective on the "big picture."

After all is said and done, it comes down to what God is doing in us and through us.  It always does.  Didn't we talk about that yesterday?  Things are sticky and teary, but our joy?  It's down in our hearts where it's always been.  That doesn't make the pain go away.  And the truth is, the hurt these girls are feeling tonight might never leave their hearts.  They might only gain tolerance for it and, if they're lucky and wise, be able to contextualize it some time down the road. 

Big picture: we don't get what we deserve and I'm grateful for that.  Jesus suffered and died on a cross, taking upon Himself what we deserve.  "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all" - Isaiah 53:6

Big picture: life isn't fair (especially when awful calls don't go our way), and for that I'm thankful.  Fair?  We've made some ridiculous mistakes and it's not fair that God still sees me as pure and blameless, but that's my identity in Him.

So, I guess I'll end this stream of consciousness and try to get some sleep so we can give it one more push tomorrow to stand on that podium.  As I was writing, I listened over and over to one of my favorite songs of all-time, "Table for Two" by Caedmon's Call.  Here's how the song ends:

Well, this day's been crazy
But everything's happened on schedule
from the rain and the cold
to the drink that I spilled on my shirt.
'Cause You knew how You'd save me
before I fell dead in the garden,
And you knew this day
long before You made me out of dirt.

And You know the plans that You have for me
And You can't plan the end and not plan the means.
And so I suppose I just need some peace,
Just to get me to sleep.

Junior World Championships Blog 5--Kevin Black

Day 1 of competition is in the books for the women's team.  Macey stormed her way into the finals.  She started out a tad slow, but was in great position the entire day and pitched a shut out, outscoring her three opponents 24-0 with two technical falls and a pin.  She has her hands full tomorrow night against reigning world champion Khanum Velieva from Russia.  She won junior worlds last year and was a two-time Cadet world champion the consecutive years previous.  She's good - the longest arms you've ever seen for a 68 kg woman and incredible position.  She literally didn't give an inch the entire day, although her Japanese opponent did get to her legs a couple of times.  We've watched several of her matches, both live and on film.

After our team meeting, Macey said she knew what she had to do today to be successful: be stingy with points, stay in good position and keep the pressure on her opponent.  It was music to my ears.  Almost like it was rehearsed.  Well, actually it was.  It's what I've said everyday for the last 12 months in preparation for today.  I really believe it's what has separated her from the rest of her peers in the United States and has her in a place to be one of the best pound-for-pound young female wrestlers in the entire world.

Within fifteen minutes of Macey's semi-final victory, we had another huge victory from our little crew.  Ali had finished her final "weight cut" and stepped on the scale and received great news.  She had finally gotten down to 53 kgs (116.8 lbs).  Holy smokes, we have been eagerly anticipating the moment we saw that number on the scale. 

For several weeks we've adjusted life, as we know it.  Workouts, diet, tears,'s been a haul.  I'm so proud of her for persevering during this pursuit of managing her weight.  Obviously, we're here for a wrestling tournament and that's been number one on our minds, however, there have been a few instances when weight management has tried to steal our attention.  Last night she got pretty discouraged and vented a bit (actually, a lot).  I'm a good sounding board for her vents.  I turned it into an opportunity for an impromptu worship service and I played several of my favorite Christian songs and told her to focus on the lyrics.  It was a classic mental skills exercise - external focus vs. internal focus.  It got her through the workout and she woke up this morning in a much better mood and determined to get through that last bit of "suffering" to get down to weight.  What you put into your heart is what comes out. ;)

You know what's interesting about Truth (capital "T"/Bible)?  It's alway true, no matter what's going on.  The Bible says that our joy is not determined by our circumstances, it's determined by what Christ is doing in us and through us.  What we've found out to be true over the last few weeks during this descent to 53 is that when joy is mentioned in the Bible, it's often right alongside suffering, tears, heartache or troubles (John 16:20-24, 2 Timothy 1:4, etc.).  And what's cool about joy, is it's not "out there" somewhere.  It's already inside our hearts, so we just have to look in the right place.  It's been there all along!  Just like the Sunday school song:  I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!  Where?  Down in my heart!  Where?  Down in my heart to staaaayyyyy!

How's that for a mantra at the Junior World Championships?!

Ali is down to weight and weigh-ins cannot come soon enough in the morning.  Macey will weigh-in at 8:30 am and then Ali and the other four girls competing for the first time here will weigh-in at 8:45 am.  Wrestling will get underway at 10:30 am (3:30 am in Wisconsin and Missouri) and Macey will compete for the gold medal at 6:00 pm. 

Junior World Championships Blog 4--Lucas Steldt

It’s a early morning and weight is made and the guys are getting ready for warm ups.  We’ll adhere to the plan. More drilling and less running for warm ups to save their legs for matches. Both guys have matches early today, Alston is 4th and Dow is 6th, so it will be busy right away. 
Nutter loses a battle to the Armenian. Dow drops a hard fought battle to the Hungarian. The Hungarian drops a match later and Dow is eliminated from the World Championships.
Post Match: At this point in this environment you shake the athletes hands or maybe leave them to themselves. Later, much later, a conversation is had about what happened and what needs to be changed to be successful in the future. For myself, I immediately make notes in their files and also my personal journal. The notes range from match performance to what needs to be changed from the beginning of training. I usually just start throwing thoughts and idea down and later organize and refine them. 
All in all a good day. Colton Schultz takes the Bronze at 130kg.  Andrew Berreyesa 82kg is in the finals going for Gold for the United States of America. Tomorrow the girls hit the mat.  We’ll be watching and supporting them especially the Wisco girls!
Wednesday September 19, 2018

Up early to the grocery store then to event center to watch the repechage greco matches to make notes and support the girls. 
Macey walks through her first two opponents. 
Working on this Blog and then to lunch with Nutter. The conversation is about future changes and the immediate tasks at hand. Also just enjoying our time here after years of work and breaking barriers. I am of course beyond proud and very motivated to get back to work and continue this awesome journey. 
What a night! Great Greco!!!! The Greco has been high level and very exciting. 
Andy Berreyesa 82kg brings Silver back to the States. Macey Kilty dominates in Freestyle and is in to the finals against Russia. I really wish I could stay to see that match. The energy in the air when facing Russia is electric. I respect them but at the same time despise the way they wrestle and the way they are so short sided. But that isn’t for this blog. 
Late night pizza with a some of coaches and trainers. The typical talk of how to improve our sport (greco) also the response to calls made during competition. We laugh as three Japanese Greco athletes walk by because we're outside of a restaurant that’s no longer serving. There is a large portion of our pizza left and we gladly give it to the athletes. 
The stories created on the tours I go on and at each World Championship are priceless.  I love Greco and the world of greco. I meet and associate with people all over the world that share a common interest. The greatest thing about Greco, and I’m sure Freestyle, is it’s a world sport and language is never a barrier. We fight, we train, and build the sport together. 
As a coach, trainer, and mentor I’ve always had goals and aspirations. State National Team Members, State Champions, Fargo All Americans, Fargo Champions, World Team Trials All Americans,  and World Team Members. The goal of World Medals and World Championships is next on the list besides the holy grail; Olympic accomplishments. With the ever changing landscape of wrestling and Greco I am always on the move looking how to accomplish my vision. 
It is a fact if you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result, it is insanity. 
Me and my athletes need different results. Changes will be made, not just in training but also the environments, which is needed to accomplish our goals. 
Thank you for following these blogs and supporting the athletes.  This blog was a new experience for me and I enjoyed sharing it with everyone.  My goal is to do this again during another World Championships.  I regret not doing this in my past World Championship assignments. I hope you enjoyed it. 
Our car arrives to pick us, Jamie Nutter and myself. Then to Vienna, Austria International Airport (VIE) and on a plane to London. Then over the pond and jump on our next flight to the Chicago International Airport (ORD). 
WI Wrestling: State-Nationally-Internationally 
#teamusa #wwf #wiscogreco #gogreco #womensfreestyle #worldmedals #teamtrophy

Junior World Championships Blog 4--Kevin Black

We finished our morning mat workout and then took a team picture by the lake.  We now have access to two mats right here in our hotel in Senec.  Yesterday we had to drive about 30 minutes to Trnava to get on the mat at the host hotel next to the venue.  There are warm-up mats at the venue, too.  Remember, UWW placed the female athletes in a separate hotel (a wise decision).

Our hotel is considered a "resort."  It's on a small recreational lake - canoes, paddle boats, tether ball, bowling alley, etc.  There are several youth boy's soccer players staying here.  The best I can understand is they're a Slovakian development team, however, I don't think they're here to play soccer.  It seems like a team building camp, of sorts.  They're typical 12-14 year old boys in matching clothing, meaning the girls have found them to be quite obnoxious.  They're full of energy and silliness and they think it's pretty cool that they're surrounded by elite women.  The girls' state of mind is not in a position to tolerate endless giggling, so they're annoyed by their presence.  I give them high fives and fist bumps and act like a big, strong, cool American and they get a kick out of it.

The hotel provides us with three meals each day.  It's all been pretty standard to what we're accustomed to at UWW events.  I always say each item is some shade of tan or yellow - mostly chicken, potatoes and breads.  Breakfast is the only time the coffee/latte machine is available...unless your Clarissa.  Two days in a row she opened the machine and turned it on during dinner.  She was strongly reprimanded each time.  It's become an inside joke that will likely be discussed for a few years among the coaches.

I'm sharing a room with Sam Schmitz (McKendree University) and Matt Stevens (Oklahoma City).  We're in an apartment style room with bright red carpet and nice porch overlooking the lake.  We've left our mark at Hotel Senec, that's for sure.  Sam pulled the handle off the patio door, Clarissa sat on a chair and broke it in half and I stepped on the coffee table to kill a spider on the ceiling and that also broke.  We have several days left and I'm certain Matt will break something soon enough.  It looks like we've been regularly wrestling right here in our room, but I assure you that we are actually very calm.  I can just imagine what the employees must be saying about us.

Our athletes have mined their p's and q's at the hotel, so that's good.  The first half of our group will compete tomorrow morning.  We're all excited for weigh-ins and for the women's competition to begin.  These girls are planning on doing a different kind of damage compared to what the coaches have been up to.  They're ready to wreck some athletes, break some hearts and crush dreams.  That will be fun to talk about, too

Junior World Championships Blog 3--Lucas Steldt

Acclimating to the time change overseas  is always a test of will. I did pretty good this time. I stayed up for the most part and went to bed around 23:00:00. I had to wake up to attend a weight check at 7:00:00. Everyone was on and no additional workouts were needed. This is a good gauge of training, meal plans and focusing on the task at hand.


Warm up at our host hotel consisted of a traditional run, stretch, drill with added hard goes to prepare for the day. Tomorrow I will have Alston shorten this to about 20 min. Less running more drilling. Mainly to get him flowing in his offense. This way he will also have more rest time before his first match, which is early.  Due to tournament time adjustments warm-ups are one hour earlier tomorrow. I’ll have Tyler use a little longer warm up since he had today off and competes later in the day.


Competition starts and Alston Nutter is up early. He is competing against Erbol Bakirov (KGZ).  It’s a scramble and the opponent ends up scoring 4 points from a headlock. They’re back on their feet and Alston hits a beautiful duck under to a trapped arm body lock only to be countered and the closing 4 points is scored for the opponent to end the match.

Alston loses the match by tech fall 0-8.

We sat the rest of the day watching and hoping his opponent would make it to the finals so Alston could be pulled back in.

Brady Koontz suffers a heart breaker. Winning for most the match then is defeated 7-6. He opponent is beat later and Brady is eliminated.


Alton’s opponent makes the finals beating a very talented Russian via pin from a headlock. Alston is back in! Now it's time to come here for what he’s been training for these last several years, World Medals for the United States of America. He will compete Tuesday at 9:30. He weighs in at 7:30 with a 2kg allowance. He will face an athlete from Armenia.


Team meeting. Weights are checked and everyone is good to go. Alston and Tyler are dialed in. A short talk about Tuesdays itinerary and adjustments that need to be made. After I spoke with Alston and Tyler about tomorrow’s individual plans they were off to bed.


What is said after a loss?

With Alston at this level I don’t say anything immediately. I let him walk off and we talk later. When we did talk it was simple and to the point advice, “stay within yourself”. “Sometimes the match has to come to you”. We outlined the offense, positioning and controls of choice we knew he needed to adhere to be successful. He is to write it down and then send it me so I can put it in his file. It’s system we have that serves several purposes.

Tyler hits the mat a little later since it is his first day. He is ready. His attitude is great and he’s in tremendous shape. I’m very excited to see him wrestle tomorrow.

I am currently researching his opponent online. Tomorrow at warmups we will discuss my notes.

Tuesday is a new day and it is ours to make.

Junior World Championships Blog 3--Kevin Black

Yesterday was a nice relaxed day as we acclimated to the surroundings.  We got to the hotel in the morning, hung out for a while then did a little shake-out in the early evening.  I had anticipated being able to watch the Packers-Vikings game on the NFL Sunday Ticket app, but it wasn't available outside of the US.  I settled for listening to Larry and Wayne on WTMJ online and following on ESPN Gamecast.

Our hotel is located on a quaint lake that seems to be used for recreation.  I walked around the grounds for a bit with Macey and we found some trampolines.  No way would a hotel in the US have trampolines for guests.  We broke a little sweat in the warm sun and then a random couple challenged us to a game of tennis on the courts behind the hotel next to the pool.

We both have general athletic skills, but tennis is not a preferred sport for either of us.  We would have done Mr. Forde proud, though.  We were in athletic clothing and our opponents were in swimsuits and sandals.  I kept telling her to hit the ball to "Bikini" (the nickname I gave our opponent).  She couldn't keep herself from laughing and missed the ball entirely once or twice.  Mind you, it was about 10:00 AM and I'm pretty sure Bikini had been drinking alcohol since the night before.  We definitely won.  The other team wasn't keeping score and we never actually served the ball or followed the rules, but Macey and I walked off the court feeling victorious after Bikini and her husband had enough of our powerful forehands.  They broke, so we won.  That's the story we're going with.

We used those tennis courts later in the day for our small team workout.  There was a little "crack the egg" on the trampoline (see Ali's video post...), some sand volleyball and a combination of soccer and basketball then we walked next door to use the sauna and called it a night.

Today we're heading over to the venue for a mat workout and to watch some Greco-Roman wrestling.

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Junior World Championships Blog 2--Lucas Steldt

Today started out with my wife taking me to Jamie Nutter’s residence to catch a ride to the Chicago International Airport. Checked in through security and then boarded the plane.

Next stop: Vienna, Austria then private driver to Trnava, Slovakia. Riding with me will be Jamie Nutter and Pat Kilty. It’s just over an hour drive.

Update: It’s Sunday Sept 16. We landed in Vienna and had a little scare. Our luggage never appeared on the carrousel. Most of the passengers received theirs.  We all lined up at the luggage claim just to have them send us back to the carrousel and start it back up. Finally everyone’s luggage arrived and we were back on track. That was very relieving and too close for comfort.

Note: All people interested in traveling internationally have to have two things, patience and problem solving skills. Patience is not my personnel strong suit but I am a problem solver!

The car ride through the countryside was beautiful.  Very similar to the terrain in Wisconsin.

After checking into the hotel it was time to walk around and get some groceries. This is always an adventure when traveling internationally.

After checking weight we took a walk to the grocery store.  World Team Coach Nate Engle, Tyler Dow and Alston Nutter are with me this time. With this being my second trip to the grocery store I felt confident navigating the city.  We ran into Tyler Dows parents and they joined us as well.

After returning from the store it was time for supper. A buffet type style is the layout for the  World Championships it included chicken, pork, fish, rice, potatoes, pasta, veggies, salads, and a small desert selection.

At this time coaches are focused on researching our match ups.

With a short talk (1-2min max.) to Alston about his first round match up we both are left feeling like “this is business as usual”. Then our handshake and he’s off to bed. Nothing dramatic here or dissertation like in this conversation, we're in the implementation phase.

Brady Koontz has his coaches preparing him as well.

Tyler Dow awaits his competition start date on Tuesday. His “draw” will be Monday.

Nightcap: Post supper and our last team meeting, we were able to find the Packer vs Viking American football game on in the lobby. It was the perfect ending to the day spent watching the game with several people from the USA delegation.

Bedtime: 22:00:00

Monday September 17, 2018


Weigh ins


Round 1 -GO TIME-

Stay tuned for updates from Trnava, Slovakia. Please comment on social media to show support for our WI athletes and all of the US World Team Members.  

WI Wrestling: State-Nationally-Internationally

#teamusa #wwf #wiscogreco #gogreco #womensfreestyle #worldmedals #teamtrophy

Junior World Championships Blog 2--Kevin Black

It’s business as usual here. We arrived in Vienna around 7:30 AM (12:30 AM in River Falls).  The flight was nice and smooth.  I watched The Avengers: Infinity Wars and gave some of the snacks Liz packed to Ali and Macey to be sure they weren’t eating the airplane meals.  Then I took the opportunity to get some sleep. Sleep will likely be at a premium over the next week with the schedule demands, weight management and time zone change.  
I didn’t check any luggage. I’ve experienced too many “lost luggage” moments during my travels overseas, both personally and with teammates. I spent an entire week in Baku, Azerbaijan at the World Championships wearing Troy Steiner’s dirty clothes because I only had my USA warm-up top.  My clothes were in another European city that was not hosting a wrestling tournament. Another time I had to borrow workout gear from a young wrestler while in Moscow when my luggage didn’t make it on the same flight as me.  Needless to say, I stuff everything into a lumberjack print carry-on and put my computer, books and snacks in a backpack adorned with five “backpack charms” that my boys attached to the zipper.
On this flight, more than half of our flight spent an hour at the turnstyle waiting for their bags.  Frustration led many of them to the arrival service desk. The panic turned into relief when it was announced that they skipped over an entire wagon of luggage on the tarmac. Everyone was relieved when their bags finally arrived.  To say there was stress in the baggage claim is an understatement, but it all worked out.
One of the most important things that our athletes need to be prepared for when they travel overseas is for unexpected things to occur.  This is not the United States.  We’re pretty spoiled, in a sense, but mostly we’re just really comfortable with the way things operate back home.  Life is just different outside of the States.  Not bad, just different.  We all value different things and pay attention to different things.  Things that are important to us in the States are sometimes not on the radar of people in other places in the world, and vice-versa. Ethnocentrism is not a favorable trait when traveling to different parts of the world.  To be successful on the international sports scene, you have to be able to roll the punches a bit.  
Schedules might change last minute, shuttle rides might fill up or randomly disappear and workout facilities might be closed and unavailable when you want them.  There's usually a lot of waiting around and a language barrier.  That’s all very manageable, though.  It’s important that we’re not so rigid that we can’t adapt on the fly.  For example, we were scheduled for a bus ride from the Vienna airport to our hotel, however, United World Wrestling put the women’s delegation in a separate hotel in Senec (about 10 miles from Trnava), so we got our own microbus.  
The drive from Vienna to Senec is an hour and the scenery looks like the Midwest with corn fields, wind turbines and cyclists on the rural roads.  Once we crossed the border into Slovakia, the Eastern European look took over the landscape as we drove through Bratislava, the capital city.  It’s a bit of a mix between a modern Westernized city and old tenement-style living.  Think cement apartment complexes with cream pantones surrounding newly constructed buildings with big tinted windows.
So far, everything is pretty standard for a trip like this and the girls are in good spirits.  We’ll spend the day acclimating and then get to business.  Many of us are missing a week of school to spend time in Europe, but this is no vacation. It’s a business trip.

Junior World Championships Blog 1--Lucas Steldt

I am currently packing and noticing those last few items I need that I have to run back to the store for. With the joy of that, I thought this would be great time to write my 1st “Blog” and to give me a chance to sit down for a second.


Wisconsin Greco Junior World Team wrestlers include, Alston Nutter, Tyler Dow, and Brady Koontz.  I am attending the Junior Worlds as a “Personal Coach” to Alston Nutter and Tyler Dow.


Life is always busy for everyone. Everyone has their own definition of “busy”.  The life of an athlete and for myself as a coach is very busy but strategic.

Alston and Tyler’s training has been organized and focused.  After winning the World Team spot in June they both took some time off to get ready to endure the training needed to win a World Championship.


In July, we started our training by analyzing past mistakes.  We used DartFish to help identify their strengths and weaknesses. Then we organized offensive strategies for them to remain in scoring positions and improve upon deficits.  By the time they participated in the Las Vegas World Team Camp in August they had offensive schemas in place and their weakness were accounted for.


In August, our WI athletes attended the World Team Camp in Las Vegas that included the U23 and Senior Teams.  Two other Wisconsin athletes were invited to attend, Cadet Greco World Team Member Cale Anderson and junior athlete Nick Rogge. After the Las Vegas camp the Junior World Team traveled to the Colorado Olympic Training Center (COTC) for additional training.  After returning from the COTC the athletes were off to their respective colleges. Alston Nutter returned to Northern Michigan Olympic Training Site at Northern Michigan University and Tyler Dow started at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Brady Koontz headed out to Ohio State University.

The guys training started tapering down early this week. The Junior Greco World Team traveled to Trnava, Slovakia on Thursday.  They are currently in Trnava getting acclimated to the area. I will arrive Sunday midday and am looking forward to the colimatnation of this journey.


WI also have a strong presence on the Junior Women’s Freestyle Team.

Stay tuned for updates from Trnava, Slovakia. Please comment on social media to show support for our WI athletes and all of the US World Team Members.  

WI Wrestling: State-Nationally-Internationally

#teamusa #wwf #wiscogreco #gogreco #womensfreestyle



Junior World Championships Blog 1--Kevin Black

We're only a few days away from leaving for the Junior World Championships in Trnava, Slovakia.  We leave this Saturday and will take a quick flight from Minneapolis to Chicago before hopping on a direct flight to Vienna, Austria.  Once the entire women's team arrives in Vienna, we'll take a shuttle to Trnava.

The Junior World Championships will take place September 17-23.  The women will compete on September 19-21 and I'll do my best to update everyone back in the States with a daily blog.  We have two River Falls girls (Alisha Howk and Macey Kilty) and a third Wisconsinite (Jayden Laurent) on Team USA plus a handful of Greco-Roman wrestlers and coaches/leaders who reside in Wisconsin.  Additionally, Lakeland University student-athlete Alex Liles and Sunkist athlete Ronna Heaton are on the team, too.  We have a lot of connections to this team.

During this final week of preparation in River Falls, we're focused on general maintenance and making sure each of our girls are feeling good (about themselves, life, wrestling, etc.).  We spent a lot of time over the summer putting them in uncomfortable positions and situations and focusing on trouble areas.  They attended training camps in River Falls, Colorado Springs and Fresno, CA.  They also spent some time in Fargo, at the lake and then here again as we brought in some of the best workout partners from the US. 

They're prepared to compete.  Right now practices are short and to-the-point, making sure we get to the end of practice in good spirits and feeling fresh.  Our warm-ups are fun and active (this week we played a lot of soccer) and we try to focus on our strengths and do quick inventory checks.  There's no need to spend an abundance of time in the wrestling room this week.  "Less is more" because it's imperative that they're excited about wrestling and eager to be on the mat when we get to Trnava and not worn down and looking for a break.  Obviously, we didn't wait until this week to start focusing on this event.  It's been on the calendar all year and we've spent nearly 12 months preparing for it.  They need to be hungry when we touch down over seas, so we want them to stay focused on their goals, fan those flames in their hearts and take advantage of the opportunity in front of them. 

Often times, athletes and coaches try to fit too much into the final stages of preparation and unintentionally create stress, tension or a feeling of being overwhelmed.  They try to add to the process, get that extra push or work harder than the rest, but it's too late to begin that mindset.  That's how you should approach the entire season.  We're confident in our preparation and the process, so we choose to taper before a major competition.  It's all very intentional, though.  It's not a week off.  The pace is high during practice and we hold them accountable to the details, however, we know we can't add much to the product right now.  Usually, the results of this approach is a few happy campers who love wrestling and still have enough ornery that they can't wait to compete and perform.

Stay tuned for updates from our trip.  Please, feel free to comment below or on social media so our athletes know you're supporting them and cheering them on from the United States!

Wednesday, September 19
10:30 am - Qualification rounds Women's Wrestling (WW) - 50-55-59-68-76 kg
5:15 pm - Semifinal WW - 50-55-59-68-76 kg

Thursday, September 20
10:30 am - Qualification rounds WW - 53-57-62-65-72 kg
10:30 am - Repechage WW - 50-55-59-68-76 kg
5:15 pm - Semifinal WW - 53-57-62-65-72 kg
6:00 pm - Finals WW - 50-55-59-68-76 kg

Friday, September 21
10:30 am - Repechage WW - 53-57-62-65-72 kg
6:00 PM - Finals WW - 53-57-62-65-72 kg

Scott Kluever

Scott Kluever

State Coach

Phone: 920-639-9376