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U.S. Grappling World Team set for the FILA Grappling World Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dec. 12-13



U.S. Grappling World Team members Zachary Makovsky and Brian Peterson tangle during the U.S. Grappling World Team Trials. Larry Slater photo

Order tickets for Grappling World Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.- USA Grappling is pleased to announce the 2009 U.S. Grappling World Team, which will compete in the FILA World Grappling Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Dec. 12-13.

The team includes more than 50 of the best men and women Grapplers in the nation who live and train all across the nation. The United States is the reigning World Team Champions in both No-Gi and Gi Grappling.

Up to three athletes per weight class qualified for the U.S. team based upon their performance at the 2009 U.S. Grappling World Team Trials in Phoenix, Ariz., October 23-24. The final positions on the U.S. team were determined through a petition process which was evaluated by a special USA Grappling committee.

Among those on the U.S. men's roster are three 2008 FILA Grappling World champions in No-Gi: Ricky Lundell (Salt Lake City, Utah/Grappler's Edge) at 66 kg, Jacob Volkmann (White Bear Lake, Minn./MMMA) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Jeff Monson (Olympia, Wash./American Top Team) in the Absolute division.

Featured on the women's roster is a 2008 FILA Grappling World champion in both No-Gi and Gi, Lisa Ward (Lacey, Wash./Victory Athletics) at 50 kg/110 lbs.

Also on the team are five athletes who won No-Gi Grappling World titles at the 2007 World Wrestling Games: Lundell, Monson, Ward, plus Felicia Oh (Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA) at 50 kg/110 lbs. and Tara LaRosa (Woodstown, N.J./Philadelphia Fight Factory) at 59 kg/130 lbs.

There are two past Olympic team members in freestyle wrestling who are on the U.S. Grappling World Team competing in No-Gi: Sara McMann (Gaffney, S.C./Sunkist Kids) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Ben Askren (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 84 kg/185 lbs. McMann won a silver medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Askren competed at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Also on the team is a World silver medalist in women's freestyle wrestling, Stephanie Murata (Minden, Nev./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs.

On the Gi Grappling team, in the women's division, are past USA Judo World Team members Jeanette Rodriguez (Davie, Fla./USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Carrie Chandler (Wakefield, Mass./NYAC-USA Judo National Team Force) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.

The U.S. team will be led by National Grappling Coach Ricardo Liborio (Coconut Creek, Fla.), a legend in Grappling and Mixed Martial Arts. Liborio will have three veteran assistant coaches on his World Team staff: Sheldon Marr, (Aurora, Colo.), Shawn Sheldon (W. Palm Beach, Fla.) and Anthony Califano (Santa Barbara, Calif.)

2009 U.S. Grappling World Team

Men's No-Gi Grappling


60 kg/132 lbs.
Zachary Makovsky, Philadelphia, Pa. (Philadelphia Fight Factory)
Matt Kucala, Frankfort, Ill. (Gilbert Grappling)
Brian Peterson, Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA)
Matt Betzold, Phoenix, Ariz. (Gracie Barra Lions Den)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Tom LeCuyer, Plano, Ill. (Atlas XT/Torres MA)
Dennis Prokopos, Milbrae, Calif. (10th Planet Jiu Jitsu)
Bryan Caraway, Goldendale, Wash. (Victory Athletic)
Ricky Lundell, Salt Lake City, Utah (Grappler's Edge)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Alex Pacheco, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration)
Ian McAlpine, Chandler, Ariz. (American Pankration)
Michael Kelly, Hebron, Ill. (Gilbert Grappling)
James Dinette, Golden, Colo. (Grappler's Edge)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Ben Askren, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
Jacob Volkmann, White Bear Lake, Minn. (MMMA)
Shane Cross, Denver, Colo. (Grappler's Edge)
Jeff Funicello, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Ryan Gillespie, San Diego, Calif. (Takedown Elite)
Largus Brock, Oklahoma City, Okla. (USAStars)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Kelly Anundson, Columbia, S.C. (Black Knight WC)
Kenny Lester, Longwood, Fla. (Sunkist Kids)
Brandon Ruiz, West Jordan, Utah (Grappler's Edge)
Bruce Hoyer, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Next Edge Academy)

Absolute
Mario Rinaldi, Port St. Lucia, Fla. (American Top Team)
Jeff Monson, Olympia, Wash. (American Top Team)

Women's No-Gi Grappling

50 kg/110 lbs.
Felicia Oh, Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA)
Lisa Ward, Lacey, Wash. (Victory Athletics)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Stephanie Murata, Minden, Nev. (Sunkist Kids)
Danielle Hobeika, Naperville, Ill. (Overtime MMA)
Shasta McMurry, Tempe, Ariz. (American Pankration)
Bahar Shahidi, Denver, Colo. (Grappler's Edge)

59 kg/130 lbs.
Tara LaRosa, Woodstown, N.J. (Philadelphia Fight Factory)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Shayna Baszler, Sioux Falls, S.D. (CSW/Next Edge)
Miesha Tate, Tacoma, Wash. (Victory Athletics)
Sara McMann, Gaffney, S.C. (Sunkist Kids)

67 kg/147 lbs.
Tori Adams, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)

Men`s Gi

60 kg/132 lbs.
Brian Peterson, Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA)
Jason Patino, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Tom LeCuyer, Plano, Ill. (Atlas XT/Torres MA)
Rudy Fischmann, Glendale, Calif. (Wander Braga)
Din Thomas, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)

74 kg/163 lbs.
Matthew Scott, Brockton, Mass. (American Top Team)
Michael Kelly, Hebron, Ill. (Gilbert Grappling)
Derrick Darling, Kansas City, Mo. (Welcome Mat)
Cole Miller, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Scott Garcia, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration)
Jeff Funicello, Mesa, Ariz. (American Pankration)
Kyle Bracey, Amarillo, Texas (Roughrider Wrestling)
Joshua Henges, Kansas City, Mo. (Welcome Mat)

96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Andre Coleman, Kansas City, Mo. (Welcome Mat)
Largus Brock, Oklahoma City, Okla. (USAStars)
Sam McCoy, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)
Miles Porter, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USA Judo National Training Site at OTC)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Kenny Lester, Longwood, Fla. (Sunkist Kids)
Bruce Hoyer, Sioux Falls, S.D. (Next Edge Academy)
Charles McCarthy, Coconut Creek, Fla. (American Top Team)

Absolute
Kenny Lester, Longwood, Fla. (Sunkist Kids)
Robert Redman, San Jose, Calif. (San Jose State WC)

Women's Gi

50 kg/110 lbs.
Felicia Oh, Valencia, Calif. (Big John McCarthy's UTA)
Veronica Prado, Coral Springs, Fla. (USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)

55 kg/121 lbs.
Jeanette Rodriguez, Davie, Fla. (USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)

59 kg/130 lbs.
Angelica Delgado, Miami, Fla. (USA Judo National Training Site at North Miami)

63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Shayna Baszler, Sioux Falls, S.D. (CSW/Next Edge)
Carrie Chandler, Wakefield, Mass. (NYAC-USA Judo National Team Force)

Head Coach - Ricardo Liborio, Coconut Creek, Fla.
Assistant Coach - Sheldon Marr, Aurora, Colo.
Assistant Coach - Shawn Sheldon, W. Palm Beach, Fla.
Assistant Coach - Anthony Califano, Santa Barbara, Calif.
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