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Strong U.S. teams to compete in Junior World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, July 26-31

Victoria Anthony will be seeking her third straight Junior World title, and will compete at 48 kg this year. Larry Slater photo

The United States will send strong teams in all three Olympic styles of wrestling to compete at the 2011 FILA Junior World Championships in Bucharest, Romania, July 26-31.

FILA Juniors are athletes who are 17-20 years old. Many of the athletes who are successful at the Junior World Championships go on to win World and Olympic medals for their nations.

The competition starts with Greco-Roman, set for Tuesday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 27. The United States team includes wrestlers with past international experience.

Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) returns after winning a Junior World bronze medal at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Also back from last year’s Junior World Team is Jesse Thielke (Germantown, Wis./Sunkist Kids) who will be wrestling in his third Junior World Championships. Thielke will compete at 60 kg/132 lbs. after wrestling at 55 kg/121 lbs. in previous seasons.

Also on the team is Toby Erickson (East Helena, Montana/Bronco WC), who was a 2010 Pan American Junior champion in both Greco-Roman and freestyle at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Josh Castellano (Wood Dale, Ill./USOEC), who is competing at 74 kg/163 lbs., was a 2009 Pan American Junior champion in Greco-Roman.

The USA is looking to improve on its ninth-place finish in Greco-Roman at the 2010 Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The women’s freestyle competition will follow on Thursday, July 28 and Friday, July 29. The United States team features three past Junior World medalists, as well as another past Junior World Team member.

Two-time Junior World Champion Victoria Anthony (Huntington Beach, Calif./New York AC) returns at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., seeking an unprecedented third straight Junior World title. Anthony will be on her fourth Junior World team, after also placing fifth at the 2008 Junior World Championships.

2008 Junior World champion Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) will be wrestling in her third Junior World Championships.

Two-time Junior World bronze medalist Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./New York AC), like Anthony, will be wrestling in her fourth Junior World Championships.

Both Gray and Maroulis are also members of the U.S. Senior World Team which will compete in Istanbul, Turkey in September. Both have competed at the Senior Worlds before, with Gray fifth at the 2009 World Championships and Maroulis eighth at the 2008 World Championships.

Competing at 44 kg/97 lbs will be Erin Golston (Lake in the Hills, Ill./New York AC/USOEC), who was also a member of the 2010 U.S. Junior World Team.

The USA is looking to improve on its sixth-place finish in women’s freestyle at the 2010 Junior World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The men’s freestyle competition will be held Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31. The team is a mix of top young college stars as well as some of the nation’s best high school talents.

The only U.S. freestyle team athlete with previous Junior World experience is Nick Roberts (Hooversville, Pa./Young Guns) at 50 kg/110 lbs. Roberts placed fifth at the 2010 Junior World Championships at this weight class.

Four members of the team competed in the 2011 Junior World Cup in Germany. Winning a bronze medal was Taylor Massa (St. Johns, Mich./Massa’s Maniacs) at 74 kg/163 lbs. Placing fourth was Tanner Hall (Meridian, Idaho/Warrior WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Placing sixth were Roberts and Josh Kindig, Auburn, Pa. (Cowboy WC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

Two team members were 2009 Pan American Cadet champions: Hall and Mark Grey (Rockaway, N.J./Blair Academy) at 55 kg/121 lbs.

College stars on the team include Logan Stieber (Monroeville, Ohio/New York AC) at 60 kg/132 lbs. who wrestles for Ohio State, Kindig who is from Oklahoma State, Lee Munster (Fox Lake, Ill./Wildcat WC) at 84 kg/185 lbs. who is from Northwestern and Daniel Miller (Berlin, Md./U.S. Naval Academy) at 120 kg/286 lbs.

At Bucharest, Romania, July 26-31

U.S. Junior World Greco-Roman Team
50 kg/110 lbs. – Jake Bellis, Bloomington, Ill. (USOEC)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Mike Fuenffinger, Hibbing, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Jesse Thielke, Germantown, Wis. (Sunkist Kids)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Ellis Coleman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Josh Castellano, Wood Dale, Ill. (USOEC)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Joel Bauman, Kerkhoven (Minnesota Storm)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Marcus Finau, Ewa Beach, Hawaii (USOEC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Toby Erickson, East Helena, Montana (Bronco WC)
Coach: Eric Wetzel, Chicago, Ill.
Team Leader: Greco-Roman Developmental Coach Ike Anderson, Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. Junior World Women’s Freestyle Team
44 kg/97 lbs. – Erin Golston, Lake in the Hills, Ill. (New York AC/USOEC)
48 kg/105.5 lbs. – Victoria Anthony, Huntington Beach, Calif. (New York AC)
51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Carlene Sluberski, Fredonia, N.Y. (New York AC/USOEC)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (New York AC)
59 kg/130 lbs. – Jenna Burkert, Rocky Point, N.Y. (New York AC/USOEC)
63 kg/138.75 lbs. – Alli Ragan, Carbondale, Ill. (New York AC/King College)
67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Adeline Gray, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)
72 kg/158.5 lbs. – Anneliese DeAragon, Sandpoint, Idaho (New York AC/USOEC)
Coach: Alex Conti, Fredonia, N.Y.
Team Leader: Assistant National Women’s Coach Izzy Izboinikov, Colorado Springs, Colo.

U.S. Junior World Freestyle Team
50 kg/110 lbs. – Nick Roberts, Hooversville, Pa. (Young Guns)
55 kg/121 lbs. – Mark Grey, Rockaway, N.J. (Blair Academy)
60 kg/132 lbs. – Logan Stieber, Monroeville, Ohio (New York AC)
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Josh Kindig, Auburn, Pa. (Cowboy WC)
74 kg/163 lbs. – Taylor Massa, St. Johns, Mich. (Massa’s Maniacs)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Lee Munster, Fox Lake, Ill. (Wildcat WC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Tanner Hall, Meridian, Idaho (Warrior WC)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Daniel Miller, Berlin, Md. (U.S. Naval Academy)
Coach: Dr. Dave Bennett, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Coach: John Stutzman, Bloomsburg, Pa.
Team Leader: Freestyle Developmental Coach Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo.

Referees – Tom Clark, Fishers, Ind.; Cody Hesser, Gonzales, La.; Danny Blackshear, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Sam Julian, Schuylkill Haven, Pa.


Tuesday, July 26 – Greco-Roman 50 kg, 60 kg, 74 kg, 96 kg

Wednesday, July 27 – Greco-Roman 55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg, 120 kg

Thursday, July 28 – Women’s Freestyle 44 kg, 51 kg, 59 kg, 67 kg

Friday, July 29 – Women’s Freestyle 48 kg, 55 kg, 63 kg, 72 kg

Saturday, July 30 – Men’s Freestyle 50 kg, 60 kg, 74 kg, 96 kg

Sunday, July 31 – Men’s Freestyle 55 kg, 66 kg, 84 kg, 120 kg

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