The dream of winning a World medal will unfortunately not be taking place for Iowa’s two Greco-Roman wrestlers, as both Drew West and Ethan Andersen fell to their opponents in Slovakia today. West’s opponent, Aleh Zhuikou of Belarus, was able to defeat him by shutting him out 8-0 to eliminate him from competition.
Andersen was facing off against Lithuania’s Povilas Danilevicius, who was the 8th place finisher at the Cadet’s European Championships. Andersen lost 11-2 in his international debut.
Rob Prebish, who is part of the USA coaching staff has been writing a blog, which Jason Bryant has been posting over at The Open Mat. Something that I found very interesting from his blog was this nugget: “We are clearly in better shape than our opponents, but there’s lack of international experience at this level. How I would love to start a USOEC program at the middle and high school levels to get our kids up to speed in Greco…There is so much parity in Greco Roman wrestling outside the U.S.; our kids need more exposure to European wrestling in order to be successful. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.”
It’s not like we didn’t know most of this information, Americans have always been known for being in phenomenal shape, and if you look at the two Iowans (adopted) on the World Team freestyle team you can see that Tony Ramos and Brent Metcalf were always highly regarded – and still are – for their amazing ability to push the pace in matches, while never seeming to tire. Metcalf touched on this in a radio interview as well, you can scout all you want by watching video, but the only way to truly get better is by actually going overseas and wrestling the competition to get familiar.
It appears that the USA coaching staff have similar opinions to Metcalf, in that if we want to start showing up at International events, we need to do more of them to get the experience abroad, not just domestically. I know it is easier said than done, but it is some food for thought.
50 kg/110 lbs. – Drew West, Riverside, Iowa
LOSS Aleh Zhuikou (Belarus), 0-8
100 kg/220 lbs. – Ethan Andersen, Des Moines, Iowa
LOSS Povilas Danilevicius (Lithuania), 2-11
Joe Slaton (Happel’s and West’s Club coach) tweeted out this photo of the Cadet freestyle team:
That’s Happel first from the left in the back row.