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PAN AM JUNIOR WORLD JOURNAL: A thank you to volunteer coaches and officials on Pan Am trip



Tuesday, June 26th

As far as I can tell, everyone got where they were going, safe and sound. I know weather in Atlanta had a couple of us on the ground in Miami for a long time. I also know a couple of people had luggage problems. With groups our size, a bit of this is to be expected.

Some of our guys are not HOME yet, though. The guys that are still in High School, or just graduated, flew straight into Oklahoma City. There, they will represent their states in the Junior Duals. One more testament to the strength of character these athletes possess. Our developing athletes are truly an amazing breed of human quality!

I my first entry, I named the volunteer Coaches and Officials who were part of this delegation, but I haven't said much since. This is as it should be… our athletes are the stars of the show.

Still, I must take this opportunity to say, "Thank You", and brag about the grown ups, just a little. The Coaches of our 2007 Junior Pan Am teams were Donnie Stevens (Women's FS), Dave Curby (GR) and Mike Hagerty (Men's FS). Our officials were Tom Clark, Umberto Fasolino, Jerry Kuntz, Roy Scott, Toby Walker and myself.

Dave, Donnie and Hag got it right! The three worked together at every task. This is not as easy as it sounds. Scheduling work outs, managing paperwork, tracking down bottled water… all these routine chores make it easy to become territorial, looking out for yours at the expense of theirs.

These guys never folded. They hung together, helped each other, and produced the type of quality experience we hope for in our up and coming best. Not only did our athletes succeed on the mat. Our coaches made sure they got the best of the cultural, practical and travel education they will need as their careers develop.

The referees got it right, too. This is another area where it's easy to get into a dog-eat-dog mentality. We are all there to compete for a very limited opportunity to be selected for World Championship and Olympic spots.

All of us have been friends for countless years, working through the organization just to get this far. Each of us has enjoyed our day in the sun and each has suffered set-backs.

Working a Continental Championship with so much on the line brings on some tremendous pressure. The guys in Maracaibo managed that pressure by supporting each other during the competition and focusing on long established friendships in our leisure time. We had some great meals, some deep conversations, and came home stronger than we left.

There you go. My "Thanks" have been said. Some may consider it a little okie-dokie to heap praise on grown men and women and thank them publicly. That's OK, but I feel like I have to. My friends, it comes from the heart!

Sunday, June 24

A quick note to Amberle Montgomery: Your camera has been recovered and we are bringing it to you.

The great days for Team USA just keep coming, at the 2007 Pan American Juniors Championship in Maracaibo. Following a second place team finish in the Greco-Roman championship and team Gold for the Women, our freestyle men won the Team championship.

Jared Platt, of New Jersey's famed Blair Academy earned a rare achievement, becoming a double Gold Medalist in a continental championship.

Platt was joined on the top of the podium by Gold Medalists Justin Forrest, of Peculiar, Mo and David Rella, of Akron, Ohio. Forrest will be a high school senior this year. Rella and Platt will be teammates at Penn State University.

Coach Mike Hagerty, of Blue Springs, MO, spoke highly of the team's achievement.

"I'm very proud of these athletes and their ability to adapt to a somewhat stressful situation. Some of our stay has been a little difficult. Not only are our athletes performing on the mat, they're learning good life lessons… things that will make their careers richer. They are learning to overcome all types of adversity. These guys really stepped up, stayed focused on the task at hand, and got the job done," he said.

Tyler Graff, Mario Mason, and Dom Bradley added silver medals to the team's effort. Nikko Triggas earned a bronze.

Here are the individual results;

50 kg/110 lbs. Justin Forrest, (Peculiar, MO.) CHAMPION
WIN Luis Vasquez, Peru, 9-3, 3-0
WIN Joseph Nifasha, 7-0, Fall
WIN Luis Lockibi, Venezuela, 3-2, 6-0
GOLD = FORREST, USA
SILVER = LOCKIBI, VENEZUELA
BRONZE = LUIS VASQUEZ, PERU and ARIEL CUELLO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

55 kg/121 lbs. Tyler Graff (Loveland, CA) 2nd
WIN David Tremblay, Canada, 1-2, 3-1, 2-0
WIN Alexander Dubon, El Salvador, 7-0, Fall
LOSS Alejoandro Valdez, Cuba, 1-7, 0-1
GOLD = VALDEZ CUBA
SILVER = GRAFF, USA
BRONZE = TREMBLAY, CANADA and CARLOS VASQUEZ, ECUADOR

60kg/132lbs. Nikko Triggas, (Moraga, CA) 3rd
LOSS Luis Portillo, El Salvador, 6-0, 2-7, Fall
WIN Moises Soto, Panama, 10-2, 6-1
GOLD = PORTILLO, EL SALVADOR
SILVER = JEAN CANCHUMANTA, PERU
BRONZE = TRIGGAS, USA and GUSTAVO HERNANDEZ, VENEZUELA

66 kg/145.5 lbs. Mario Mason, (Sewell, N.J.) 2nd
WIN Marcos Bultran, Panama, Fall
WIN Pool Ambrosio, Peru, 3-1, 4-0
LOSS Pedro Ceballo, Venezuela, 2-2, 0-1
GOLD = CEBALLO, VENEZUELA
SILVER = MASON
BRONZE = AMBROSIO, PERU and CJ HUDSON, CANADA

74 kg/163 lbs. David Rella, (Akron, OH) CHAMPION
WIN Albis Almendra, Panama, 8-2, 7-0
WIN Jose Diaz, Venezuela 0-1, 2-1, 1-0
WIN Daniel Oliver, Canada 2-0, 5-1
GOLD = RELLA, USA
SILVER = OLIVER, CANADA
BRONZE = DIAZ, VENEZUELA and JOSE MERCADO, ECUADOR

84 kg/185 lbs. Michael Kelly, (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 5th
WIN Eric Ramos, Panama, 7-1, Fall
LOSS Reineris Salas, Cuba, 0-6, 0-5
LOSS Yuri Majer, Argentina, 0-7, 0-5
GOLD = REINERIS, CUBA
SILVER = JESUS GONZALEZ, VENEZUELA
BRONZE = MAJER, ARGENTINA and ODALIS PACONIA LOPEZ, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

96 kg/211.5 lbs. Jared Platt, (Blairstown, N.J.) CHAMPION
WIN Luis Olivarez, Venezuela, Fall
WIN Bharon Saez, Panama, 6-0, Fall
WIN Francisco Serrano, El Salvador, 7-0, 1-0
WIN Dustyn Fisher, Canada, Injury
GOLD = PLATT, USA
SILVER = OLIVAREZ, VENEZUELA
BRONZE = SAEZ, PANAMA and SERRANO, EL SALVADOR

120 kg/264.5 lbs. Dom Bradley, (Blue Springs, MO) 2nd
WIN Albert Canturreal, Dominican Republic, 5-0, Fall
LOSS Elier Romero, Cuba, 4-0, 0-1, 1-6
GOLD = ROMERO, CUBA
SILVER = BRADLEY, USA
BRONZE = CANTURREAL, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC and FREIBERL FERNANDEZ, VENEZUELA

This is pretty much going to wrap it up from Maracaibo. I may post a follow up, after we are all home safely. We leave the hotel tomorrow at 5:30am for an 8:50 flight to Miami. Most of us will be home by dark.

Saturday, June 23

Another great day! The U.S. Women put together what can only be called a dominating performance. We produced four gold, one silver and two bronze medals, bringing the total U.S. medal count to 13 after two styles. The men's freestyle begins competition Sunday morning.

The champions were Katherine Fulp-Allen at 51 kg, Michaela Hutchison at 55 kg, Amberle Montgomery at 59 kg and Amberlee Ebert at 67 kg.

Coach Donnie Stevens (Los Angeles, CA), was elated with his team's performance. "This is my first international experience", Stevens said, "and I wasn't sure what to expect. These women really performed awesome. I am so happy for them and their families.

TEAM CHAMPIONS - U.S. Women's Freestyle Team
2ND = CANADA
3RD = VENEZUELA

44 kg/97 lbs. - Michelle Quiles, (Fredonia, NY) DNP
LOSS Giana Pizza, Ecuador 0-1, Fall
LOSS Thalia Mallqui, Peru 0-1, 0-4
LOSS Eglis Sivira, Venezuela 0-2, 0-4
LOSS Tessa Gallinger, Canada 6-0, Fall
GOLD = MALLQUI, PERU
SILVER = PIZZA, ECUADOR
BRONZE = GALLINGER , CANADA and SIVIRA, VENEZUELA

48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Jackie Stiles, (Corpus Christi, TX) 3rd
WIN Lissette Valerio, Dominican Republic 6-0 Fall
LOSS Katuiska Toaza, Ecuador 0-7 Fall
GOLD = TOAZA, ECUADOR
SILVER = ZARENY PINTO, VENEZUELA
BRONZE = STILES, USA and CAROLIE DIXON, CANADA

51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Katherine Fulp-Allen, (El Granada, CA) CHAMPION
WIN Diana Ford, Canada 2-0 5-0
WIN Viviana Moro, Ecuador 7-1 6-1
WIN Yenifer Gonsales, Venezuela 1-2 5-0 Fall
GOLD = FULP-ALLEN, USA
SILVER = GONSALEZ, VENEZUELA
BRONZE = FORD, CANADA and MORO, ECUADOR

55 kg/121 lbs. - Michaela Hutchison, (Soldotna, Ak) CHAMPION
WIN Pam Ewanishin, Canada Fall
WIN Pierina Luz, Peru Fall
WIN Yosmar Acuña, Venezuela 6-0 6-0
WIN Leticia Garcia, Ecuador Fall
GOLD = HUTCHINSON, USA
SILVER = LUZ, PERU
BRONZE = ACUÑA, VENEZUELA and EWANISHIN, CANADA

59 kg/130 lbs. - Amberle Montgomery, (Colorado Springs,CO) CHAMPION
WIN Ginneth Lopez, Venezuela Fall
WIN Avalon Doyle, Canada Fall
GOLD = MONTGOMERY, USA
SILVER = DOYLE, CANADA
BRONZE = LOPEZ, VENEZUELA

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Veronica Carlson, (Addison, IL) 2nd
LOSS Nikita Chocoine, Canada Fall
WIN Yotzelis Rojas, Venezuela 5-3 Fall
WIN Luz Vasquez, Argentina 5-4 Fall
GOLD = CHOCOINE, CANADA
SILVER = CARLSON, USA
BRONZE = ROJAS, VENEZUELA and VASQUEZ, ARGENTINA

67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Amberlee Ebert, (Reedsville, WI) CHAMPION
WIN Erica Wiebe, Canada 1-1 2-2 3-0
WIN Anibel Diaz, Venezuela 6-0 5-0
WIN Yoheidi Solano, Dominican Republic 7-0 Fall
GOLD = EBERT, USA
SILVER = WIEBE, CANADA
BRONZE = SOLANO, DOMINCAN REPUBLIC and DIAZ, VENEZUELA

72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Jamie Trentadue, (Twin Lakes, WI) 3RD
LOSS Emma Brigtwell, Canada Fall
LOSS Yakelin Hernandez, Venezuela 0-4 Fall
LOSS Wendy Carrillo, El Salvador Fall
GOLD = BRIGTWELL, CANADA
SILVER = HERNANDEZ, VENEZUELA
BRONZE = CARRILLO, EL SALVADOR and TRENTADUE, USA

U.S. DRAWS FOR THE PAN AMERICAN JUNIORS FREESTYLE CHAMPIONSHIP
MARACAIBO, VENEZUELA


Here are the U.S. draws for the men's freestyle tournament.

At 50 kg/110 lbs. Justin Forrest (Peculiar, MO.) will wrestle Peru first. There are eight in the bracket.

At 55 kg/121 lbs. Tyler Graff (Loveland, CO) will wrestle Canada. There are 10 in the bracket.

At 60 kg/132 lbs.the U.S. has no Entry. Nikko Trigas, (Moraga, CA). will wrestle El Salvador. There are nine in the bracket.

At 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Mario Mason (Sewell, N.J.) will wrestle Panama. There are seven in the bracket.

At 74 kg/163 lbs. David Rella (Akron, OH) will wrestle the winner between Venezuela and Argentina. There are seven in the bracket.

At 84 kg/185 lbs. Michael Kelly (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will wrestle Panama. There are eight in the bracket.

At 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Jared Platt (Blairstown, N.J.) will wrestle Venezuela first, in a five man round robin.

At 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Dom Bradley (Blue Springs, MO) will wrestle Peru. There are eight in the bracket.


Friday, June 22
with updated results


A great day for Team USA! We got our last straggler in last night. Michelle Quiles had problems with delays and missed her original flight and ended up a day late. She got here late last night, along with Tom Clark's luggage. Tom looked much better today!

The day finished with the United States placing second in the Greco Roman team race, behind Venezuela and ahead of Cuba. What I have, at this point, are partial results. I will fill in the blanks in Saturday's blog. Please understand all the logistics involved in getting our information together and processed. I promise I will get you the total.

Personally, I have to tell everyone how much I admire these young men! The day seems almost gone when the great heroes of our sport were the guys who wrestled both styles. This team was asked to do so, simply out of a spirit of representing the United States with dignity. They have done so, admirably with a smile. They are my heroes!

50 kg/110 lbs. Justin Forrest, (Peculiar, MO.) Silver Medal
WIN Pablo Gomez, Peru 6-0, 3-0
WIN Yancarlos Mesa, Panama 5-0, 6-0
WIN Jefferson Mayea, Ecuador 7-0, Fall
LOSS Jose Rodriguez, Venezuela Fall
GOLD = RODRUGUEZ, VENEZUELA
SILVER = FORREST, USA
BRONZE = (50kg final results unavailable)

55 kg/121 lbs. Nikko Triggas, (Moraga, CA) Champion
WIN Freddy Pylco, Ecuador, 6-1, 6-1
WIN Jose Guevara, Venezuela, 3-0, Fall
WIN Mandiez Hidalgo Cuba, 3-2, Fall
GOLD = TRIGGAS, USA
SILVER = MANDIEZ, CUBA
BRONZE = PYLCO, ECUADOR and FRANCISCO ENCARNACION,DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

60kg/132lbs No U.S. Entry
GOLD = MAIKEL ANACHEL, CUBA
SILVER = PEDRO MOYA, VENEZUELA
BRONZE = MARIO MOLINA, PERU and MOISES SOTO, PANAMA

66 kg/145.5 lbs. Mario Mason, (Sewell, N.J.), 3rd
LOSS Francisco Barrios, Argentina, 0-6, 1-2
WIN Nicolas Sierra, Colombia 2-1, 4-1
GOLD = REINER LESCAY, CUBA
SILVER = FRANCISCO BARRIOS, ARGENTINA
BRONZE = MASON, USA and ENRIQUE GUALPA, ECUADOR

74 kg/163 lbs. David Rella, (Akron, OH) Silver Medal
WIN Erick Ramos, Panama, 6-0, 6-0
WIN Nanuez Fernandez, Argentina, 7-0, 2-1
LOSS Alexis Vareza, Venezuela, 1-2, 0-6
GOLD = VAREZA, VENEZUELA
SILVER = RELLA, USA
BRONZE = JOSE ROSARIO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC and NAHUEZ FERNANDEZ, ARGENTINA

84 kg/185 lbs. Michael Kelly, (Brooklyn, N.Y.) DNP
WIN Alfredo Ovando,Chile, 4-1, 3-5, 4-4
LOSS Jorge Cova, Venezuela, Fall
LOSS Samuel Concercion,Dominican Republic, 5-4, 4-7, 1-2
GOLD = COVA, VENZUELA
SILVER = MARCO GIRON, ECUADOR
BRONZE = CONCERCION, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC and GUILLERMO MOTICA, PANAMA

96 kg/211.5 lbs. Jared Platt, (Blairstown, N.J.) Champion
WIN Bharon Saez, Panama, Fall
WIN Enyerber Rodriguez, Venezuela, 6-0, 4-1
GOLD = PLATT, USA
SILVER = RODRIGUEZ, VENEZUELA
BRONZE = SAEZ, PANAMA

120 kg/264.5 lbs. Dom Bradley, (Blue Springs, MO) Champion
WIN Juan Camacaro, Venezuela, 4-0, 3-1
GOLD = BRADLEY, USA
SILVER = CAMACARO, VENEZUELA

Volunteer Greco-Roman Coach Dave Curby spoke highly of the team's performance.

"With Five in the finals, we obviously wrestled well. What really impressed me was the wide variety of technique we got to see from our athletes. Clearly, there's a lot of great coaching going on in clubs and schools back home," he said.

U.S. Women's Freestyle Draws for Saturday

44 kg/97 lbs. - Michelle Quiles (Fredonia, N.Y.) has a first round bye. She will wrestle Ecuador in the second round of a five woman round robin.

48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Jackie Stiles (Corpus Christi, TX) will wrestle the Dominican Republic in the first round. There are seven in the bracket.

51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Katherine Fulp-Allen (El Granada, CA) will wrestle Canada in the first round of a four woman round robin.

55 kg/121 lbs. - Michaela Hutchison (Soldotna, AK) has a first round bye. She will wrestle Canada in the second round of a five woman round robin.

59 kg/130 lbs. - Veronica Carlson (Addison, IL) wrestles Venezuela in the first round of a three woman round robin.

63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Amberle Montgomery (Colorado Springs, CO) wrestles Canada in he first round of a four woman round robin.

67 kg/147.5 lbs. - Amberlee Ebert (Reedsville, WI) will wrestle Canada in the first round of a four woman round robin.

72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Jamie Trentadue (Twin Lakes, WI) wrestles Canada in the first round of a four woman round robin.

The men's freestyle team weighs in and draws immediately following the women's competition.

Thursday, June 21st

At the end of our first full day together, all is well. Our Greco guys made weight pretty easily. The Venezuelan organizers have been great, helping us with transportation and facilities. We did have to overcome some room problems, (the hotel was seriously overbooked) but we survived and kept smiles.

Coaches Dave Curby, Mike Hagerty and Donnie Stevens have made it easy for our athletes to stay on task. This makes it much easier to stay happy.

Our officials' delegation spent the morning in clinic, led by FILA instructor Kim, from South Korea. The rules of wrestling have settled quite a bit in the last year. We don't expect any big shocks or surprises here.

Here are the U.S. draws for the Greco-Roman tournament of the Pan American Juniors Championship in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

At 50 kg/110 lbs. Justin Forrest (Peculiar, MO.) will wrestle Puerto Rico, then Ecuador, in a five man round robin.

At 55 kg/121 lbs. Nikko Triggas, (Moraga, CA) will wrestle Ecuador. There are seven in the bracket.

At 60 kg/132 lbs. the U.S. has no entry. Tyler Graff (Loveland, CO) has chosen to wrestle in the freestyle tournament only. There are four in the bracket.

At 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Mario Mason (Sewell, N.J.) will wrestle Argentina. There are 10 in the bracket.

At 74 kg/163 lbs. David Rella (Akron, OH) will wrestle Panama. There are six in the bracket.

At 84 kg/185 lbs. Michael Kelly (Brooklyn, N.Y.) will wrestle Chile. There are six in the bracket.

At 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Jared Platt (Blairstown, N.J.) will have a bye in the first round, then wrestles Panama and Venezuela in a three man round robin.

At 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Dom Bradley (Blue Springs, MO) will wrestle Venezuela in the finals, as they are the only two in the bracket.
Female athletes weigh in Friday afternoon and compete Saturday. The men's freestyle weigh ins are Saturday afternoon, with competition Sunday.

Wednesday, June 20th

I arrived alone, first one in, last night. The other 26 Americans are on their way in. I will take the bus to pick them up at the airport.

I spent the day just scouting out the area. I was here in 2002, as Coach of the Women´s Pan American Team. (We won it... Seven Women, Seven Medals!) We are at the same hotel, so the area is familiar. Maracaibo is not necessarily an easy environment, but we wll be treated to all they have to offer.

The organizing committee is led by a young man, Freddy Rios. He and all his assistants seem excited to have this Championship. They are doing a great job attending to details.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is the Officials´ Clinic and the first weigh ins. I hope to be able to transmit as much information as possible. I have already learned that the internet cafe closes at 9:00 p.m. This means will have to hit it hard (and have some luck) to get here in time to correspond each day after competition. I will do my best.
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