2016 Junior World bronze medalist Taylor LaMont (Sunkist) picked up a gold in Italy on Friday. Competing at 60 kilos, the Utah Valley student appeared to not have too much trouble in trouncing through the City of Sassari International Tournament, defeating Giuseppe Liarto (ITA) in the finals via a 10-1 tech. LaMont has been a very active Greco-Roman competitor despite being enrolled at a folkstyle college. In December, he placed fourth at the US Senior Nationals. A month and a half later LaMont went 2-2 at the Dave Schultz Memorial. A sixth-place finish at the World Team Trials in April is where he left off prior to the event on Friday. He’ll continue to stay busy with Greco throughout the summer as a member of the 2017 Junior World Team. Stud.
Oregon World Team Camp ends
The 2017 US Greco-Roman Senior World Team has completed its two-week base training camp in Eagle Creek, Oregon. As we have covered here, this wasn’t supposed to be a non-stop 13 days of intense live wrestling and brutal conditioning sessions. Certainly, workouts were conducted, with the physical goal being to lay the foundation for the harder work coming in the months ahead. There was circuit training, some drilling, and other wrestling-related activities mixed in according to the schedule. But what got the most attention during the two weeks were the moments off the mat. Plenty of photos and videos managed to emerge on various wrestlers’ social media accounts showing a different side to the athletes the public maybe doesn’t get to see as often. Fishing trips, airplane rides, forays to the gun range, and some guitar playing all made the rounds.
With the dawn of a new quad, US National Team head coach Matt Lindland made team-building a priority for the program and the formation of this year’s World Team stands as the first opportunity for that concept to take hold. The whole “guys in the boat” philosophy, everyone working towards the same objective. It was something 2012 Olympian and now-two-time World Team member Ellis Coleman (66 kg, Army/WCAP) discussed at length. Athletes feed off of each other. Therefore, fostering a family-like environment for the two-week stay in Oregon was deemed very important and judging by the pics of the guys out there, it looks like the experience was a successful one.
Next up for the US Greco-Roman Seniors will be the Tblisi Grand Prix in Tblisi, Georgia June 10th-11th. We will have more on that leading up.
Akron this coming weekend
The 2017 University Nationals/Cadet World Team Trials take place this weekend. The event, to be held at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, is not a Trials tournament for the University age group. Also, the much-talked about wrestle-off for the 74 kilogram spot on the Junior World Team between Kamal Bey (Sunkist) and Jesse Porter (NYAC-OTS) won’t be happening, as it has been pushed back to the freestyle World Team Trials in Lincoln, Nebraska a week later.
There are practically dozens of Cadets who could make a name for themselves in Akron, and many of them are either going to the Superior Camp at Northern Michigan immediately following the event or traveling over to Croatia and Serbia. In other words, a new breed is on the horizon. Several of these Cadets are pushing to become full-time Greco-Roman athletes, making what goes down in Ohio relevant towards the long-term future, which isn’t always the case for that particular age division.
As for the University side of things, a whole lot of the country’s most established Junior and Senior stars are, at least according to pre-registration, showing up. Geordan Speiller (80 kg, Florida Jets, world no. 9) has signed on coming off of his upset loss to John Stefanowicz (Marines) at the Senior Trials. Fresh off of World Team camp is G’Angelo Hancock (98 kg, NYAC, world no. 18). NMU always brings an extremely strong presence to this tournament and is once again coming in strong this year. Two-time Junior World Team members Dalton Roberts (NYAC-OTS) and Randon Miranda (NYAC-OTS) are in at 59 kilos. Sammy Jones (NYAC-OTS) is in at 63. Jessy Williams (66 kg, NYAC-OTS), Austin Morrow (71 kg, NYAC-OTS), and the aforementioned Porter are also registered. 2017 US National Team member Jon Jay Chavez (NYAC) is showing up at 80 kilograms and Malcom “Thunderstruck” Allen (Minnesota Storm) checks in at 130 kilos.
What’s coming up here
- A preview of the University Nationals.
- We will have Coach Lindland for a new report. Seriously.
- A fresh athlete interview.
- More news on the Seniors.