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|Strong young U.S. team set to take the mat for Junior Pan American Championships|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
A number of future American stars in the international styles of freestyle, women's freestyle and Greco-Roman are set to take the mat for the Junior Pan American Championships.
The event is set for June 22-24 in Maracaibo, Venezuela. The Greco-Roman competition will be held June 22, followed by women's freestyle on June 23 and men's freestyle on June 24.
The Pan American nations are from North, Central and South America.
The U.S. will send a combined freestyle and Greco-Roman squad with eight athletes competing in both styles.
Junior World Team Trials freestyle champion Tyler Graff and Junior World Team Trials Greco-Roman runner-up Nikko Triggas will compete at 55 kg/121 lbs. and 60 kg/132 lbs. in the event. Graff will wrestle at 60 kilos and Triggas at 55 kilos in Greco-Roman. They will then switch weight classes for the freestyle competition.
"This is a very good event and we are very optimistic about our chances," said Dave Bennett, USA Wrestling's Freestyle National Developmental Coach. "It's a great opportunity for some of our top young guys to gain some experience and get some tough matches in."
Junior World Team Trials champion Dom Bradley has been looking strong at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. The combined U.S. freestyle/Greco-Roman team also includes top wrestlers in Justin Forrest at 50 kg/110 lbs., Mario Mason at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., David Rella at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Jared Platt at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Forrest, Kelly and Rella each placed second at the Junior World Team Trials. Platt and Mason are talented young prospects from Blair Academy.
"The team we are sending is very good," said Ike Anderson, USA Wrestling's Greco-Roman National Developmental Coach. "I would be surprised if we don't win medals in most of the weight classes. Our guys should be very competitive."
The U.S. women's team includes Michelle Quiles at 44 kg/97 lbs., Jackie Stiles at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Katherine Fulp-Allen at 51 kg/112.25 lbs., Michaela Hutchison at 55 kg/121 lbs., Veronica Carlson at 59 kg/130 lbs., Amberle Montgomery at 63 kg/138.75 lbs., Amberlee Ebert at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. and Jamie Trentadue at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Quiles, Carlson and Montgomery each placed second at the FILA Junior Nationals while Stiles, Fulp-Allen, Hutchison, Ebert and Trentadue were each third.
"This is one of the most important tournaments of the year for our women," said Vladislav "Izzy" Izboinikov, USA Wrestling's Resident Women's Freestyle Coach. "It's a really good test for our athletes and gives another squad of our girls great international experience. There is nothing like traveling overseas and competing. I'm excited about the event."
U.S. Freestyle and Greco-Roman Team
50 kg/110 lbs. - Justin Forrest, Peculiar, Mo.
55 kg/121 lbs. - Tyler Graff, Loveland, Colo.
60 kg/132 lbs. - Nikko Triggas, Moraga, Calif.
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Mario Mason, Sewell, N.J.
74 kg/163 lbs. - David Rella, Akron, Ohio
84 kg/185 lbs. - Michael Kelly, Brooklyn, N.Y.
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Jared Platt, Blairstown, N.J.
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Dom Bradley, Blue Springs, Mo.
Coaches: Mike Hagerty, Dave Curby
U.S. Women's Freestyle Team
44 kg/97 lbs. - Michelle Quiles, Fredonia, N.Y.
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Jackie Stiles, Corpus Christi, Texas
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Katherine Fulp-Allen, El Granada, Calif.
55 kg/121 lbs. - Michaela Hutchison, Soldotna, Alaska
59 kg/130 lbs. - Veronica Carlson, Addison, Ill.
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Amberle Montgomery, Colorado Springs, Colo.
67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Amberlee Ebert, Reedsville, Wis.
72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Jamie Trentadue, Twin Lakes, Wis.
Coach: Donnie Stephens