Madison WI to host freestyle World Team Trials, May 31-June 1

By Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

USA Wrestling has announced that the 2014 U.S. World Team Trials in men’s and women’s freestyle wrestling will be hosted at the Coliseum at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis., May 31-June 1.

Numerous World and Olympic medalists, and past U.S. World and Olympic Team members are expected to compete including 2012 Olympic wrestling medalists Jordan Burroughs, Jake Varner, Clarissa Chun and Coleman Scott.

usa-wrestlingThe U.S. World Team Trials will determine men’s and women’s freestyle athletes who will compete at the 2014 World Wrestling Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, September 8-14, as well as the U.S. national teams for the 2014-15 campaign in men’s freestyle and women’s freestyle.

“USA Wrestling is pleased to bring its top Senior-level domestic event of the year to Wisconsin, one of the hotbeds for our sport,” said Pete Isais, USA Wrestling National Events Director. “We are also excited to showcase our top FILA Junior athletes, who are expected to be the stars for Team USA on the World and Olympic level in the future.”

The U.S. World Team Trials in Greco-Roman, the third Olympic style, will not be hosted in Madison. It is set for June 10-14 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The FILA Junior World Team Trials in men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman, also held in Madison on May 30, will feature the nation’s top men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers between the ages of 17-20 competing for a chance to represent the U.S. at the FILA Junior World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia, August 5-10.

The U.S. World Team Trials, on both the Senior and FILA Junior level, is expected to include numerous athletes who are natives of Wisconsin, or are current or past student-athletes at Wisconsin colleges. Included in this list of those with Wisconsin roots include NCAA All-American Tyler Graff, a current star at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Andrew Howe, who won an NCAA title for Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. Athletes training at the Wisconsin Regional Training Center, including past Badger star Kyle Ruschell, are also expected to qualify to enter.

This will be the first World Team Trials that USA Wrestling has ever hosted in Madison. There has been one past U.S. World Team Trials hosted in the state of Wisconsin, the 1994 Greco-Roman World Team Trials held in LaCrosse, Wis.

Madison has hosted some major USA Wrestling events in the past, including the 1976, 1979 and 1983 U.S. Freestyle National Championships and the 2012 FILA Junior Nationals in freestyle and Greco-Roman.

The local organizing committee for the event will include the Wisconsin Regional Training Center, the Madison Area Sports Commission (MASC), the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation and the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association.

“Bringing the World Team Trials to Madison is truly a combined effort of groups that bring a variety of assets to the table. The Wisconsin Regional Training Center is the local sponsor for the Trials but without the support and commitment from the leaders of the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association, the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation and the Madison Area Sports Commission we would not be able to pull this off. Wisconsin’s Wrestling legacy in the World and Olympic efforts of the USA is exemplary. There has been at least one Wisconsin athlete on nearly every Olympic Wrestling Team since 1972. We all hope this event will inspire more of our young athletes to pursue their Olympic Dreams. For the rest of us that no longer have the Olympic Games as a goal-we just get to watch the best wrestlers in the USA fight it out for a spot on the USA World Team,” said Mitch Hull of the Wisconsin Regional Training Center.

“The Madison Area Sports Commission is honored to partner in hosting the World Team Trials at the Alliant Energy Center. Wisconsin and the greater Madison area enjoys an illustrious history with the sport of wrestling, and we are excited to share and add to that legacy with this prominent event. The Madison area is excited to deliver a memorable experience for the elite athletes and great fans of the sport,” said Jamie Patrick, Director of Sports Sales and Development for the Madison Area Sports Commission.

“The Wisconsin Wrestling Federation is excited and honored to be part of the 2014 World Team Trials that is being held in Madison. As USA Wrestling’s state affiliate and the grassroots organization for Wisconsin, we see this as a great opportunity. This gives our member athletes, coaches, officials and fans a chance to see this nation’s best men and women freestyle wrestlers. The WWF board of directors is anxious and willing to assist any way possible to make this an event the wrestling community is proud of. To all wrestling fans, please put this on your calendar and plan to attend to witness the USA’s finest freestyle wrestlers,” said Dave Black, Wisconsin Wrestling Federation state chairman.

“The Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association is excited to have the 2014 USA Wresting World Team Trials held in Wisconsin. Our association and membership believes this is a unique opportunity for Wisconsin Wrestling and Wisconsin Wrestling supporters. Wisconsin has a rich history in all styles of wrestling and this gives our fans, coaches, and younger athletes an opportunity to see some of the best in our nation compete for a spot on our country’s World Team. Members of the WWCA are excited to be a part of host group. We have worked with the Wisconsin Regional Training Center, the Wisconsin Wrestling Federation, and the Madison Area Sports Commission during the planning process and looking forward to helping staff and organize a great event. Wrestling enthusiasts, make your arrangements now to be a part of this great event,” said Dave McCarthy, President of the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association.

The exact schedule for the U.S. World Team Trials and the FILA Junior World Team Trials will be announced shortly, along with information on how to purchase tickets.

1983 – Iowa City, Iowa
1985 – Baton Rouge, La.
1986 – Indianapolis, Ind.
1987 – Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
1989 – Stillwater, Okla.
1990 – 1995 – Philadelphia, Pa.
1997 – Las Vegas, Nev.
1998 – Waterloo, Iowa
1999 – Seattle, Wash.
2001 – Cincinnati, Ohio
2002 – St. Paul, Minn.
2003 – Indianapolis, Ind.
2005 – Ames, Iowa
2006 – Sioux City, Iowa
2007 – Las Vegas, Nev.
2009 – 2010 – Council Bluffs, Iowa
2011 – Oklahoma City, Okla.
2013 – Stillwater, Okla.
2014 – Madison, Wis.

1990 – San Francisco, Calif.
1991– Toledo, Ohio
1992 – 1994 – Las Vegas, Nev,
1995 – Norman, Okla.
1996 – Las Vegas, N.M.
1997 – Roseville, Calif.
1998 – Colorado Springs, Colo.
1999 – Rochester, Minn.
2000 – Battle Creek, Mich.
2001 – Cincinnati, Ohio
2002 – St. Paul, Minn.
2003 – Indianapolis, Ind.
2004 – (for non-Olympic weights) Colorado Springs, Colo.
2005 – Ames, Iowa
2006 – Colorado Springs, Colo.
2007 – Las Vegas, Nev.
2008 – Colorado Springs, Colo.
2009 – 2010 – Council Bluffs, Iowa
2011 – (for Olympic weights) Oklahoma City, Okla.
2011 – (for non-Olympic weights) Colorado Springs, Colo.
2012 – Colorado Springs, Colo.
2013 – (for Olympic weights) Stillwater, Okla.
2013 – (for non-Olympic weights) Colorado Springs, Colo.
2014 – Madison, Wis.