USA has the Pan American Games coming up next week, but taking place just before that is the Spanish Grand Prix in Madrid, Spain on Saturday, July 11th. Among the competitors traveling will be former wrestlers who completed their college careers in Iowa in Dan Dennis and Jordan Holm.
Dennis was one of the biggest stories of the 2015 World Team Trials, as he went from living out of his truck to making the National Team at 61 kg. Dennis took fourth at the U.S. Open, losing to Coleman Scott to end his tournament. The Hawkeye Wrestling Club was able to convince Dennis that he was not only good enough to be one of the guys at this weight, he could be “the guy”. With the confidence from his coaching staff Dennis was able to beat Scott at the Trials, and then beat Kendric Maple in the challenge finals to secure his spot on the National Team. Dennis will be the only 61 kg American competitor in Spain.
USA will also be sending a few Juniors to the tournament. Aaron Pico will compete at 70 kg (as opposed to 65 kg where he wrestled Brent Metcalf at AGON and 66 kg that he will compete at Junior Worlds), high school senior Mark Hall will wrestle 74 kg, Zahid Valencia will compete at 86 kg, and Nathan Butler will wrestle at 125 kg. This should be great experience for the Junior Team.
With the Pan American Games taking place in Toronto, USA is sending a limited Greco-Roman squad to Madrid, but former UNI Panther Jordan Holm will be among the competitors at 85 kg.
The entire event takes place in one day, and all three styles will be wrestled to completion.
U.S. Men’s freestyle roster
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Obe Blanc, Raleigh, N.C. (Titan Mercury WC)
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Nico Megaludis, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
57 kg/125.5 lbs. – Frank Perrelli, Stillwater, Okla. (Titan Mercury WC)
61 kg/134 lbs. – Daniel Dennis, Iowa City, Iowa (Titan Mercury WC)
65 kg/143 lbs. – Frank Molinaro, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
70 kg/154 lbs. – James Green, Willingboro, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC)
70 kg/154 lbs. – Aaron Pico, Whitter, Calif. (Titan Mercury WC)
74 kg/163 lbs. – David Taylor, State College, Pa. (Nittany Lion WC)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Mark Hall, Apple Valley, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Anthony Valencia, Pico Rivera, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
86 kg/185 lbs. – Zahid Valencia, Pico Rivera, Calif. (Sunkist Kids)
97 kg/213 lbs. – Wynn Michalak, Champaign, Ill. (Titan Mercury WC)
125 kg/275 lbs. – Nick Gwiazdowski, Delanson, N.Y. (New York AC)
125 kg/275 lbs. – Nathan Butler, Leavenworth, Kansas (California RTC)
Assistant National Freestyle Coach and Team Leader – Brandon Slay, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach – Valentin Kalika, Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Coach – Mark Manning, Lincoln, Neb.
U.S. Greco-Roman roster
59 kg/130 lbs. – Nikko Triggas, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
80 kg/174 lbs. – Patrick Martinez, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army WCAP)
80 kg/174 lbs. – Joe Rau, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
85 kg/187 lbs. – Jordan Holm, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
98 kg/215 lbs. – Patrick Carey, Minneapolis, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
Assistant National Greco-Roman Coach – Ahad Javansalehi, Colorado Springs, Colo.
(Madrid time, which is 7 hours ahead of U.S. Central Time)
Saturday, July 11
All styles, All weight classes
9:00 a.m. – Preliminaries
1:00 p.m. – Semifinals and Repechage
5:00 p.m. – Finals (1st place, 3rd place, 5th place)