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Top U.S. stars at the Pan American Youth Olympic Games Qualifier in Monterrey, Mexico, May 3-6

The Pan American Youth Olympic Games (YOG) Qualifier will be held in Monterrey, Mexico, May 3-6.

A talented group of U.S. athletes will compete against athletes from North, Central and South America to earn a spot at the Youth Olympic Games which will be held in Singapore, August 14-26.

The YOG is a unique competition which will bring in young athletes from all over the world to compete in a variety of sports. This event will feature Olympic-level competition in Greco-Roman, men’s freestyle, women’s freestyle, and Beach wrestling.

USA Wrestling held qualifying events to determine the athletes who will compete in Monterrey, Mexico this weekend.

The FILA Cadet Championships in Akron, Ohio held on April 8-11 served as the trials for men’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestlers. Athletes were only able to qualify to participate in the YOG in one style. The women’s qualifier was held in Oklahoma City, Okla., March 26-28.

There are five Greco-Roman, five men’s freestyle, and four women’s freestyle weight classes in the Youth Olympic Games. These are the only weights being contested at the Pan American qualifier.

The most wrestlers that any nation may qualify for the Youth Olympic Games is five. This would include a mazimum of two men’s freestyle wrestlers, two Greco-Roman wrestlers and one women’s freestyle wrestler.

The results of the Pan American qualifier will determine which athletes from the Pan American nations can compete in YOG. The quota which has been allotted to the Pan American qualifier is two freestyle athletes per weight class, one Greco-Roman athlete per weight class and one women’s freestyle wrestler per weight class.

In the event that USA Wrestling qualifies more participants in a specific discipline than is allowed for each nation, a set of criteria has been established to determine which athletes will represent the United States at the Youth Olympic Games.

All four of the women’s freestyle competitors on the U.S. team won titles at the YOG qualifier in Oklahoma City: Erin Golston of Lake in the Hills, Ill. at 46 kg:, Kayla Brendlinger of Slippery Rock, Pa. at 52 kg, Jenna Burkert of Middle Island, N.Y. at 60 kg and Julia Salata, Canton, Mich. at 70 kg.

Three of the five men’s freestyle participants won gold medals at the FILA Cadet Nationals in Akron: Nathan Tomasello of Parma, Ohio at 46 kg, Jordan Rogers of Spokane, Wash. at 76 kg:and Tanner Hall of Meridian, Idaho at 100 kg.

Two of the four Greco-Roman participants were champions at the FILA Cadet Nationals in Akron: Colton Howell of Ozark, Mo. at 42 kg and Kevin Norstrem of Tampa, Fla. at 58 kg.

The athletes who qualify for the Youth Olympic Games will have all of their costs to travel and compete in the event covered by the International Olympic Committee.

The Beach wrestling competition at YOG will be open to all athletes in all sports, and the U.S. wrestlers are expected to participate in this tournament as well.

Below is the roster for USA athletes expected to compete at the 2010 Pan American YOG Qualifier and their coaches:

42 kg: Colton Howell, Ozark, Mo.
50 kg: No U.S. entry
58 kg: Kevin Norstrem, Tampa, Fla.
69 kg: Burke Paddock, Warsaw, N.Y.
85 kg: Luke Sheridan, Concord, Calif.
Coach: Mark Halvorson, Brentwood, Calif.

Men’s Freestyle
46 kg: Nathan Tomasello, Parma, Ohio
54 kg: Nathan Kraisser, Ellicott City, Md.
63 kg: Quinton Murphy, Holley, N.Y.
76 kg: Jordan Rogers, Spokane, Wash.
100 kg: Tanner Hall, Meridian, Idaho
Coach: Sam Portillo, Tucson, Ariz.
Coach: David Bennett, Coaldale, Colo.

Women’s Freestyle
46 kg: Erin Golston, Lake in the Hills, Ill.
52 kg: Kayla Brendlinger, Slippery Rock, Pa.
60 kg: Jenna Burkert, Middle Island, N.Y.
70 kg: Julia Salata, Canton, Mich.
Coach: Celso DeAnda, Marquette, Mich.

At Monterrey, Mexico, May 3-5

Monday, May 3
1:00 pm ��" 7:00 pm: Qualifications rounds for Greco-Roman
7:00 pm ��" 7:30 pm: Opening Ceremony
7:30 pm ��" 9:30 pm: Greco-Roman finals

Tuesday, May 4
1:00 pm ��" 7:00 pm: Qualification rounds for women’s freestyle
7:30 pm ��" 9:30 pm: Women’s freestyle finals

Wednesday, May 5
1:00 pm ��" 7:00 pm: Qualification rounds for men’s freestyle
7:30 pm ��" 9:30 pm: Men’s freestyle finals

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