The country’s most motivated Senior Greco competitors will still have a chance to get some valuable mat time in before Santa comes barrelling down the chimney.
Beginning this weekend at the Olympic Training Site on the campus of Northern Michigan University is the first annual “Joint Winter Training Camp.” The brainchild of NMU head coach Rob Hermann, the camp is designed to provide elite-level training during what is a sizable space in the schedule. The Dave Schultz Memorial, which concluded in early-November, is the last pseudo-domestic event until March, when the Bill Farrell Memorial enters the horizon. And since there is no January camp at the Olympic Training Center, the five-day stretch at NMU represents a stop-gap for those enticed by the concept of receiving some joint training alongside other established US athletes.
“Anyone who comes will get a lot out of it because there are plenty of bodies to pick from,” says Hermann, referring to the 50-plus NMU wrestlers expected to be in attendance. “You have to invest in your future. Staying home and doing the status quo isn’t going to work. You have to get out of your comfort zone.”
When Hermann says “bodies, he is being modest. Northern Michigan wrestlers are coming off of one of the program’s most successful years in a decade and the Superior Dome now boasts a who’s who of potential 2020 candidates, including three who represented the United States at the U23 World Championships last month — Dalton Roberts (59 kg), Alex Sancho (66 kg), and Jesse Porter (75 kg). In addition to those three are powerhouse talents like Sammy Jones (59 kg), Randon Miranda (59 kg), Colin Schubert (71 kg), and Curt Calovecchi (75 kg), a wrestler who has made noticeable strides as of late in his own right. But there are more where these names came from. Spencer Wilson (98 kg) and Anthony Riopelle (98 kg) have also demonstrated can’t-miss improvement, and young guns Alston Nutter (66 kg), Benji Peak (59 kg), and Carter Nielsen (80 kg) show that the future is even brighter.
As for what wrestlers shuffling off to Northern for the camp can expect, it’s simple — intensity. Technique and various drill sequences may be a part of the curriculum, but the overwhelming focus is going to be on live matches. After the first day of camp (Sunday), each day will consist of a morning and afternoon practice, so there will be ample opportunity for participants to get their fill of in-room competition under the watchful eyes of the coaches. “We’re going to have a lot of volume because the guys have time to recover after the camp,” explains Hermann. “We’re going to wrestle a whole lot.”
Joining Hermann as instructors next week are NMU assistant Andy Bisek and 1976 Olympic gold medalist/US National Team assistant Momir Petković. Ever since Bisek transitioned from competitive athlete to coach last year, many of the country’s most credentialed Greco-Roman wrestlers have expressed interest in hopping over to the Upper Peninsula to grab some insights from the two-time World medalist. Because of how busy things have been this fall, there hasn’t been a lot of wiggle room to do so. Petković, who oversees the resident program in Colorado Springs, might be a legendary figure to the wrestlers in Marquette, but one that operates at a distance. That distance is gone starting Sunday.
“Andy is going to run the bulk of the camp, but we’re going to have Momir mix in for a few days, and that is an added plus for the guys in our program who haven’t been around him much,” Hermann says. “We’re going to try to utilize Momir as much as possible.”
Although it’s close to the wire, beds are still available. Attendees have two options: either shell out $89 per night at the nearby Country Inn & Suites, or save big by securing a room in Meyland Hall on campus for a mere $25 a day. Meals are not included.
2017 Joint Winter Training Camp
Olympic Training Site at NMU
December 17th-21st (arrive the 16th, depart the 22nd)
Sunday — 3:30-5:30
Monday-Thursday — 9:00am (morning session); 3:30pm (afternoon session)
For more information contact:
NMU/OTS head coach Rob Hermann