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|Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup looking to start new tradition, Dec. 13-15 in Rochester, Minn.|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
The Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup is a new Senior-level international competition available for wrestlers of all three Olympic styles. The event is scheduled for the UCR Regional Sports Center in Rochester, Minn., from December 13-15.
The tournament is being hosted by the Minnesota Storm, one of the nation’s most successful wrestling clubs, and the volunteer leaders from Minnesota USA Wrestling. The idea is to start a new event which will support Senior-level wrestling in the nation, and provide another top opportunity for U.S. athletes to compete and improve.
“Minnesota USA Wrestling, our state association, is extremely talented at tournament operations. During the height of our season from March through June, we run 2-4 events every weekend. We have a lot of volunteers who have asked, why don’t we host a Senior international tournament? This event comes from their desire to help make a difference,” said Dan Chandler, coach of the Minnesota Storm and an inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame this summer.
Chandler said that with the Sunkist Kids not hosting its international tournament this season, that it was a perfect time for the Minnesota Storm to start its new Senior-level event.
The competition will be in the three Olympic styles. Many people think of the Minnesota Storm as a Greco-Roman club, because it has placed at least one member on every U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman team going back to the 1960s. Olympic medalists in Greco-Roman from the club have included Brandon Paulson and Garrett Lowney.
However, Minnesota Storm athletes have also won World medals in both men’s and women’s freestyle. Brandon Eggum won a World silver medal in men’s freestyle, and Ali Bernard, who has won a World medal in women’s freestyle, also competed for the club during her career.
Men’s freestyle competition will be held Friday, December 14, with Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle competition on Saturday, December 15. The weighins are the previous day for each style.
“We decided – let’s hold this. You have to get started somewhere. This event will send a message that we are want to host a Senior event. We will run a class tournament, and we are in this for the long haul.
Chandler is excited that the Minnesota Storm Cup will be held alongside one of the nation’s most respected high school wrestling holiday tournaments, the 26th Jennie-O Turkey Store Minnesota Christmas Tournament.
“The Minnesota Christmas Tournament has about 35 teams and is traditionally one of the strongest tournaments in the nation. We usually get a good crowd there, with more than 3,000 fans. We thought it would be a good match for our international event. The University of Minnesota runs the Christmas Tournament, and they have graciously extended their help to us,” said Chandler.
Chandler has spoken to USA Wrestling’s National Coaches and club leaders, and says that there is support for hosting a competition for Senior athletes prior to the holiday season. It is an opportunity to get another chance to wrestle before the wrestlers take a break from the mat later in the month.
Athletes who wish to compete can still register online through Wednesday, December 12 at 5:00 p.m. Central time.
Online registration for Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup
There will also be onsite registration available for athletes who did not sign up online.
There will be a $500 prize to the athletes who earn the Most Outstanding Wrestler Award in each style, according to Chandler.
The Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup, along with the finals of the Minnesota Christmas Tournament will be webcast on TheMat.com and its video portal, TheMat.tv. Chris Moen will handle the commentary.
For those who plan to attend, the Best Western Soldier’s Field Towers and Suites is the official host hotel.
For those who are organizing the Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup, they are hoping to create a new showcase event which will become part of the wrestling community’s holiday traditions.
Minnesota Storm Holiday Cup website
MINNESOTA STORM HOLIDAY CUP
At Rochester, Minn., Dec. 13-15
Thursday, December 13th
2:00 p.m. - Men's Freestyle Registration and Weigh-in at RCTC Regional Sports Center Wrestling Room
Friday, December 14th
9:00 a.m. - Conclusion - Men's Freestyle Preliminaries/Finals (on 4 Mats)
2:00 p.m. - Greco-Roman and Women's Registration and Weigh-ins at RCTC Regional Sports Center Performance Court
Saturday, December 15th
9:00 a.m. – Conclusion - Greco Preliminaries/Finals (on 2 Mats)
9:00 a.m. – Conclusion - Women's Preliminaries/Finals (2 Mats)