Life can only become normal once you are able to do normal things. When it comes to the US Greco-Roman National program, “normal” means gathering shortly after the holidays and holding a massive training camp filled with high-level Seniors — as well as a few top age-groupers, just for good measure.
“Winter Camp 2021” began yesterday at Legends of Gold in Beresford, SD with 30 wrestlers on-board for what will be a nearly two-week excursion for most attendees. The repeat location is paramount to the operation. LOG hosted a lightweight camp this past fall that was best-known for its “bubbled” environment, which has become an important advantage for the training center these days. LOG’s sprawling campus and integrated work spaces allow for athletes to train, eat, and dorm without exiting the complex. There are still various COVID-related protocols involved, but the manner in which the camp in December was orchestrated unfolded as seamless as it gets. Nothing has changed for this month, with the exception of the roster.
This time around, each weight category is represented, from ’20 Junior National champ at 60 kilograms Chayse LaJoie, all the way up to ’18 World silver Adam Coon (130 kg, NYAC/Cliff Keen, world #6, 5PM #1). There is also a lot more opportunity for time on target: whereas all of the camps dating back to the summer had been week-long affairs, the goings-on at LOG will stretch all the way until January 22 (for most athletes).
“We have the space and there is a window here and it’s like, We’re going to start going overseas in February. I kind of want these guys in shape,” US National Team head coach Matt Lindland said Tuesday morning. “We have two mat sessions today (Tuesday). This morning, we have two six-minute matches but I broke it up into a minute on the feet and then :30/:30 just because I want to see a little more par terre action.
“I want to see guys get lifts, and keep the practices a little short but with high intensity. Push-outs, throws, that sort of stuff. So, we broke things up a little bit. We’re going to get after it this morning and the come back in the afternoon for some technical work. Yesterday afternoon, it was really high-paced with tons of reps. Lots of push, lots of energy. The first round I think was arm throws; second round was drags to a gut and then we worked some par terre. But everything was very time-efficient.”
Trials Qualified Participants
11 Seniors out of the group are already qualified for the US Olympic Team Trials in April, with most of whom having appeared on at least World Team. Three wrestlers, Cohlton Schultz (130 kg, Sunkist, 5PM #2), Alston Nutter (67 kg, Sunkist/NTS), and Andrew Berreyesa (77 kg, NYAC/Spartan), are prior Junior World medalists. Schultz was a Cadet World Champion in ’17 before earning bronze and silver at the Junior Worlds (’18 and ’19, respectively); Berreyesa took home silver in ’18; Nutter pinned his way to bronze last year.
The heavyweight side of things in SD includes quite the fearsome foursome. Along with Coon and Schultz are West Cathcart (NYAC/IRTC, 5PM #6) and newcomer Tanner Farmer (IRTC, 5PM #10). Cathcart placed third at the ’19 Nationals before falling to Schultz in the October finals; in his debut at the ’20 tournament, Farmer finished an impressive fourth.
Winter Camp 2021
* — US National Team member
** — Olympic Trials qualified
Payton Jacobson (Ringers) — ’20 Junior National Champion
Chayse LaJoie (Spartan) — ’20 Junior National Champion
Travis Rice (NYAC/IRTC, 5PM #9) — ’15 Junior World Team, ’18 U23 World Team
Carter Stephenson (EAP)
**Nolan Baker (NYAC, 5PM #7)
Morgan Flaharty (NYAC)
**Calvin Germinaro (Minnesota Storm, 5PM #8) — 2X US National runner-up
Logan Hatch (EAP)
Cael Kahle (Ringers)
Austin Morrow (NYAC/NTS, 5PM #10)
**Alston Nutter (Sunkist/NTS) — ’19 Junior World bronze
Benji Peak (Sunkist/NTS, 5PM #11) — ’20 US National Champion, ’18 Junior World Team Trials Champion
Robert Perez III (EAP)
Noah Wachsmuth (EAP)
Jessy Williams (NYAC/Spartan, 5PM #14) — ’18 US National runner-up
Andrew Berreyesa (NYAC/Spartan) — ’18 Junior World silver
Nate Grimes (USOPC)
**Brandon Mueller (Air Force/WCAP) — ’17 Military World Team
Burke Paddock (NYAC/Spartan)
**RaVaughn Perkins (NYAC, 5PM #4) — ’18 World Team, 2X US National Champion
Jesse Porter (NYAC, 5PM #14) — Three-time U23 World Team, ’20 U23 National Champion
*/**Ben Provisor (NYAC, 5PM #3) — 2X Olympian, ’17 World Team, 3X US National Champion
Tommy Brackett (USOPC) — ’20 U23 National Champion
*/**Patrick Martinez (NYAC, 5PM #3) — 3X World Team, ’15 National Champion
Alan Vera (NYAC, 5PM #1) — ’20 US National Champion
**Diante Cooper (Air Force/WCAP)
**West Cathcart (NYAC/IRTC, 5PM #6) — ’20 US National runner-up
*/**Adam Coon (NYAC/Cliff Keen, world #6, 5PM #1) — ’18 World silver, 2X World Team
Tanner Farmer (IRTC, 5PM #10)
*/**Cohlton Schultz (Sunkist, 5PM #2) — 2X US National Champion, ’19 Final-X runner-up, ’17 Cadet World Champion, ’18 Junior World silver, ’19 Junior World bronze