It seems that you can count the first international competition of the year for the Northern Michigan-Olympic Training Site program as a fairly resounding success.
Five wrestlers from NMU did battle at the Eduardo Campbell Cup in Panama City, Panama yesterday and each one is returning to the US with a medal. Two-time Junior World Team member and 2016 University World Team Trials champion Dalton Roberts (59 kg) breezed through the field to collect gold, his second medal at the Campbell Cup in as many years. Corey Fitzgerald (75 kg) and Zack Bickford (80 kg) both grabbed silver while Andrew Ibarra (59 kg) and David Prado (75 kg) snagged bronzes.
Roberts, who has steadily become one of the more talked-about prospects in the country, will now set his sights on the Senior-level NYAC/Bill Farrell Invitational, which takes place next month in New York City. The event also doubles as the World Team Trials for the two current non-Olympic weight classes (71 kg and 80 kg). Fitzgerald and Prado, however, have considerable travel ahead before then, as both wrestlers will be part of the USA Greco Roman tour ticketed for Sweden in a couple of weeks. Whether or not either Fitzgerald and/or Prado will also be competing in New York (and what weight they may wrestle at) has not been confirmed as of yet.
The trip over to Panama represents a strong start to what is going to be a very busy stretch this fall for the Northern program. Despite not fielding a full compliment of athletes at the event, the fact each member is coming home with hardware is another sign that what is going on in Marquette is once again working. The pace speeds up a little next month but for those who were hoping to get good news this weekend, here it is. Northern guys are back at it again.
NMU-OTS at 2016 Eduardo Campbell Cup
Dalton Roberts, gold
Andrew Ibarra, bronze
Corey Fitzgerald, silver
David Prado, bronze
Zack Bickford, silver