It didn’t quite happen under the cover of darkness, but it was close.
As the Seniors were busy banging heads in Denmark at Thor Masters over the weekend, a group of United States age-group Greco-Roman athletes were flexing their muscles at the 2019 Grand Prix Chomutov. Held in the Czech Republic, the Chomutov is a vast tournament loaded with wrestlers from Europe and elsewhere, with many of whom boasting World-level experience.
For the US, Tyler Hannah (97 kg) and Cole Stephenson (60 kg) both earned bronze medals on Saturday — and both athletes are gathering significant experience of their own. Stephenson, who is a member of the US Olympic Training Center’s Elite Accelerator Program, picked up a bronze at the Malar Cupen in Sweden this past fall and also competed at the Austrian Open last month. Hannah had wrestled overseas before this weekend, too, but he has also been a beast back home, having won the Fargo Cadet Nationals last year after placing second in 2017.
Along with Stephenson and Hannah were five other promising young competitors: 2018 Cadet World Teamer Cale Anderson (51 kg, Combat WC), Payton Jacobson (51 kg, Ringers), Carter Stephenson (55 kg, OTC), Logan Hatch (63 kg, Combat WC), and Noah Wachsmuth (63 kg, OTC).
The fun isn’t over yet. The US athletes have just begun a week-long training camp in Chomutov presided over in part by Lucas Steldt, founder of Combat Wrestling Club and two-time US Cadet World Team coach.
2019 Grand Prix Chomutov
March 16th — Chomutov, Czech Republic
Cale Anderson (Combat WC, WI)
Payton Jacobson (Ringers, WI)
Tyler Hannah (Combat WC, WI) — bronze
Carter Stephenson (OTC)
Cole Stephenson (OTC) — bronze
Logan Hatch (Combat WC, WI)
Noah Wachsmuth (OTC)