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In the House: Olympic medalists Monday, Dlagnev, Paulson plus World champion Stieber here today

by Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

Olympic champion Kenny Monday with the author in the Fargodome. Photo by Austin Bernard.


Day one in Fargo featured the Senior-level World Team Trials Last Chance Qualifier, which meant a number of wrestling celebrities in the FargoDome were there as part of the competition, mostly in a coaching capacity.


After setting up in the media area this morning, before the tournament started, somebody came from behind me and put on a chokehold. After working my way out of danger, I was able to turn around and see 1988 Olympic champion Kenny Monday. With the Tokyo Olympic Games just a few days away, we will lead this week with those who have strong Olympic connections.


Kenny Monday won two Olympic medals in freestyle, a gold in 1988 and a silver in 1992, and was also a 1996 Olympic team member. Monday also won a 1989 World title. He is added to the list of NCAA champions, which he earned for Oklahoma State. Monday was most recently named wrestling coach for SPIRE Institute in Ohio, where he will be building an elite high school team.


A pair of other Olympic medalists were in the house, Olympic silver medalist in Greco-Roman Brandon Paulson and Olympic bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev in freestyle. Both check the box as World medalists as well. Dlagnev recently took an assistant coaching job at Nebraska after many years with Ohio State. Paulson works with youth and high school athletes at the Pinnacle Club and with Minnesota USA Wrestling.


A few past Olympians to add to the list , Greco-Roman wrestlers Ike Anderson, Andy Bisek and Shawn Sheldon. Anderson, a 1988 Olympian and past World Team member, coaches with the Sunkist Kids as well as with high school wrestlers in Colorado. Bisek, who adds two-time World medalist to his achievements, is the head coach at the U.S. Olympic Training Site at Northern Michigan. Sheldon, who was fourth in the 1992 Olympics, and was a 1991 World silver medalist, is a top coach in Florida.


You can’t talk about Olympians without including the referees. We spotted Rick Tucci, one of the greatest Olympic referees in history, who is president of the U.S. Wrestling Officials Association. Stacey Davis, another Olympic referee, is involved at this event as a coach out of Georgia. Sammy Julian will be one of the Olympic referees in Tokyo, Japan in a few weeks.


You can’t talk about Senior wrestling stars without mentioning those who won World Championships medals as well. Monday wasn’t the only past Senior World champion in the FargoDome today. Freestyle World champion Logan Stieber was also here today, doing a bit of coaching himself. Stieber is on another one of our lists as an NCAA champion for Ohio State, but of course, is on the very short list of four-time NCAA champions.


Other World medalists on the list with Stieber, Monday, Bisek and Dlagnev is Alli Ragan, a two-time World silver medalist in women’s wrestling. Ragan checks a few other lists as a past WCWA college national champion, as well as a women’s college assistant coach for Grand View.


Two other past Senior World Team members were in the house, Greco-Roman World Team members Joe Betterman and Max Nowry, plus World Team member Obe Blanc in men’s freestyle. All three are coaching. Blanc is an assistant coach at North Dakota State. Nowry, a member of the Army WCAP program was coaching their athletes. Betterman is state chair in Colorado and a high-level coach in the state.


We saw a pair of Junior World champions out there coaching, Mark Hall and Dom Bradley. Hall, who won two Junior World titles, was an NCAA champion at Penn State and is now an assistant coach at the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Bradley is an assistant coach at Missouri.


Part of what we do here is document the numerous college coaches who come to Fargo during the week. We saw our first men’s Div. I college coach here, Roger Kish from host North Dakota State. There were also two women’s college head coaches here today, Angelo Crinzi of Grand View and Jason Moorman of King.


Assistant college men’s coaches we saw include Dlagnev, Howe, Blanc, Hall, plus Jordan Leen and Drew Headlee of Pitt, Zach Esposito of Oklahoma State and Gary Wayne Harding of North Carolina. On the women ‘s side, assistant college coaches we saw were Julia Salata of King and Dominic Adams of Lourdes. Leen (Cornell) and Esposito (Oklahoma State) were NCAA champions and Salata was a WCWA champion (King)


We will also look out for Veterans World medalists and team members, many who are coaches. We saw three of them today, Jordin Humphrey, James Medieros and Bruce Moe.


More to come tomorrow.

IN THE HOUSE SCOREBOARD (through Friday)

Olympic champions: Kenny Monday

Olympic medalists: Tervel Dlagnev, Brandon Paulson,

Olympians: Kenny Monday, Tervel Dlagnev, Andy Bisek, Ike Anderson, Brandon Paulson, Shawn Sheldon

Olympic referees: Rick Tucci, Stacey Davis, Sam Julian


World champions; Logan Stieber, Kenny Monday

World medalists: Kenny Monday, Tervel Dlagnev, Andy Bisek, Alli Ragan. Brandon Paulson, Logan Stieber, Shawn Sheldon

Senior World Team members: Kenny Monday, Tervel Dlagnev, Andy Bisek, Logan Stieber, Brandon Paulson, Obe Blanc, Joe Betterman, Alli Ragan, Max Nowry, Ike Anderson, Alli Ragan, Shawn Sheldon

Junior World champions: Mark Hall, Dom Bradley,

Head Men’s College Coaches: Roger Kish (North Dakota State)

Head Women’s Coaches: Angelo Crinzi (Grand View), Jason Moorman (King)

Assistant Men’s College Coaches: Tervel Dlagnev (Nebraska), Andrew Howe (Northwestern), Zach Esposito (Oklahoma State), Obe Blanc (North Dakota State), Mark Hall (Penn), Gary Wayne Harding (North Carolina), Dom Bradley (Missouri), Jordan Leen (Pitt), Drew Headlee (Pitt)


Assistant Women’s College Coaches: Julia Salata (King), Dominic Adams (Lourdes),

NCAA champions: Kenny Monday, Tervel Dlagnev, Logan Stieber, Andrew Howe, Mark Hall, Jordan Leen, Zach Esposito

WCWA champions: Julia Salata, Alli Ragan

Veterans World medalists: Jordin Humphrey, James Medieros, Bruce Moe


National Wrestling Hall of Fame Distinguished Members: Kenny Monday, Rick Tucci, Brandon Paulson

Note: Those helping identify folks for this column include Joe Wedra, Koral Sugiyama and others.
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