USA Greco

IT CONTINUES: US Seniors Are Heading to Utah Valley for Next Training Camp

utah valley, summer series training camp, patrick smith
Patrick Smith -- Photo: Tony Rotundo

The Utah Valley Regional Training Center will serve as the next site for a Greco-Roman camp catered towards US Seniors as the summer moves into its final month.

Since June, three such training opportunities have been made available. First was the hybrid co-op mission hosted by Eric Guerrero at the Oklahoma RTC in Broken Arrow; a few weeks later, Ivan Ivanov brought a group of Seniors into his Suples Wrestling Club in Boise, Idaho for an abbreviated stay; and last month, MWC in Nebraska welcomed the largest contingent yet with nearly 20 wrestlers showing up, including eight current National Team members.

Utah Valley was to act as a camp location immediately following Suples in Boise but wound up becoming scrapped due to low turnout. Timing was the culprit. Suples was the first “all-Greco” camp of the summer and only one attendee, G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist, world #8), had participated in the Oklahoma RTC gathering. The back-to-back nature of the scheduling — despite Utah Valley’s close proximity to Boise — was less than ideal for several athletes be it due to work, an extended stay away from home, or for “Wildman Sam” Sammy Jones (60 kg, NYAC/NTS), COVID testing.

But timing is no longer the issue for Utah Valley. In fact, it is likely a motivator. The 2020 US Nationals are slated for October 9-11 (in Coralville, IA, at the moment). And before that — actually, one day after practices wrap up in Orem — two-time Olympian Ben Provisor (77 kg, NYAC/BVRTC) and ’18 World Teamer RaVaughn Perkins (77 kg, NYAC) will meet in an exhibition match as part of the just-announced Wrestling Underground card set to be broadcast on UFC Fight Pass August 30. Both Provisor and Perkins are listed for camp in Utah.

More Names Involved

The Minnesota Storm will be responsible for a sizable camp influx in the form of six representatives led by reigning World Team member Patrick Smith (77 kg). Smith, who enjoys a top-5 spot on our list of the most accomplished US athletes this quadrennium, has recently signed on as a virtual clinician for a new venture called Fanatic Wrestling. Joining him in Utah will be two Storm reps of particularly high interest — Donny Longendyke (130 kg) and “The Gunslinger” Alec Ortiz (77 kg). Longendyke, a very skilled and experienced heavyweight, qualified for the US Olympic Trials in December after placing fifth at the Nationals. Ortiz is waiting for March and the Last Chance Qualifier. He just returned to action in February following a lengthy rehabilitation process that was the result of a massively-torn knee over a year-and-a-half ago.

Also making his ’19 “summer series” debut is ’19 Junior World bronze Peyton Omania (CYC/MSU). Omania is assured a bracket position in the Olympic Trials thanks to his medal, so that’s out of the way. The California product took an Olympic redshirt last season and spent time training under Coach Mark Halvorson at the Community Youth Center in Concord before heading back to Michigan State this past spring, where he remains.

Another intriguing name that may not be very well known to Greco people is Tanner Farmer (UA). A former lineman for the Nebraska Huskers, Farmer enrolled at Concordia University and — with very little collegiate experience, save for some mat time with Nebraska — carried a 26-0 record into the NAIA national final this past March where he came up just short of the title. Word is that Farmer now has his eyes on Greco, hence his presence at the upcoming Utah camp.

Utah Valley SR Greco-Roman Camp

August 23-29 — Orem, UT

Tentative Roster

*Qualified for 2021 US Olympic Trials

60 kg

Dylan Gregerson (UVRTC) — ’19 U23 World Team Trials runner-up
*Taylor LaMont (Sunkist/UVRTC) — ’16 Junior World bronze, US National Team
*Sammy Jones (NYAC/NTS) — Three-time US Open finalist, ’14 University World bronze, US National Team
Travis Rice (NYAC/IRTC) — ’18 U23 World Team

67 kg

*Nolan Baker (NYAC) — ’18 U23 World Team
Joe Dashou (CAN, Minnesota Storm)
Lenny Merkin (NYAC/NJRTC) — ’19 U23 World Team Trials runner-up
*Peyton Omania (NYAC/CYC) — ’19 Junior World bronze, ’19 U23 World Team

77 kg

*Kamal Bey (Sunkist) — ’17 Junior World Champion, ’18 World Team, four-time US National Champion, US National Team
Ryan Epps (Minnesota Storm)
Alec Ortiz (Minnesota Storm) — ’10 Junior World Team, two-time Dave Schultz Memorial bronze
*RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC) — ’18 World Team member, two-time US National Champion
Jesse Porter (NYAC/NTS) — Three-time U23 World Team
*Ben Provisor (NYAC/BVRTC) — Two-time Olympian, two-time World Team, US National Team
*Patrick Smith (Minnesota Storm) — Two-time World Team, ’19 Pan-Am Games gold, three-time Pan-Am Championships gold, ’14 University World silver, US National Team

87 kg

Marcus Finau (NYAC) — ’13 World Team Trials runner-up
*Patrick Martinez (NYAC/FLWC) — Three-time World Team, ’15 US National Champion, US National Team
Lukas Poloncic (Minnesota Storm)
*Joe Rau (TMWC/IRTC) — Two-time World Team, two-time US National Champion, ’21 Olympic Trials finalist, US National Team
Alan Vera (NYAC) — Three-time Granma Cup gold, ’19 Dave Schultz Memorial gold, ’19 Bill Farrell Memorial gold

97 kg

*G’Angelo Hancock (Sunkist) — ’16 Junior World bronze, three-time World Team, three-time World Team, ’19 Hungarian Grand Prix gold, ’21 Olympic Trials finalist, US National Team

130 kg

*West Cathcart (NYAC/IRTC)
Tanner Farmer (UA)
*Donny Longendyke (Minnesota Storm)

Age-Group

Josh Rassi
Luke Van Orden

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