Some of America's top young wrestlers will be
showcased when the United States Olympic Education Center's men's
Greco-Roman wrestling team battles Japan in an international dual
meet on Tuesday (March 16) in UW-Oshkosh's Albee Hall.
The event begins at 6 p.m. with a motivational speech by Dennis Hall, head Greco-Roman wrestling coach for the United States Olympic Education Center in Marquette, Mich. Hall, a graduate of Hartford Union High School, won a silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Ga. The three-time Pan American Games champion also represented the United States at the 1992 and 2004 Summer Olympics.
Wrestling takes center stage with the opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Among the wrestlers on the United States Olympic Education Center squad are 2008 Olympian Spensor Mango of St. Louis, Mo., and 2009 World Team member Charles (Chas) Betts of St. Michael, Minn. The team is coming off a sweep of Norway on Feb. 22.
There will be a local flavor to the event as Japan is coached by former Fond du Lac Goodrich High School wrestler Yoshimaro Yanagawa. Yanagawa, who also serves as the head wrestling coach at Gunma University in Maebashi, Gunma, Japan, represented Fond du Lac Goodrich High School at the 1994 Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Wrestling Tournament in Madison. He was a high school wrestler for current UW-Oshkosh assistant coach Larry Marchionda.
In addition to wrestling in Oshkosh, Yanagawa will also take his Japanese squad to youth wrestling organizations in Fond du Lac, Freedom and Sheboygan Falls.
Tickets to the UW-Oshkosh event, which serves as
a fundraiser for the school's NCAA Division III wrestling program,
will be available at 5 p.m. in Albee Hall. Admission is $7 for
adults, $6 for senior citizens and $4 for students (K-12).
The United States Olympic Education Center, located on the campus of Northern Michigan University, is one of four Olympic training centers in the country and the only one located on a college campus. The United States Olympic Education Center is dedicated to providing educational opportunities for its resident athletes while offering world-class training.
With more than 100 resident athletes and coaches, the United States Olympic Education Center is the second-largest Olympic training center in the United States, in terms of residents, behind the one in Colorado Springs, Colo. In fact, the United States Olympic Education Center has more athletes than the Lake Placid, N.Y., and Chula Vista, Calif., sites combined. Over the years, it has grown into a major contributor to the U.S. Olympic movement.
Current resident training programs include boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, short track speedskating, weightlifting, and women’s freestyle wrestling. Athletes must be approved by the United States Olympic Education Center, their national governing body and Northern Michigan University to be admitted into the program.
United States Olympic Education Center athletes attend Northern Michigan University or Marquette Senior High School while training in their respective sports. The student athletes receive free or reduced room and board, access to world-class training facilities as well as sports medicine and sports science services, academic tutoring, and a waiver of out-of-state tuition fees by Northern Michigan University. Although athletes are responsible for tuition at the in-state rate, they may receive the B.J. Stupak Scholarship to help cover expenses.
On-campus United States Olympic Education Center athletes live in Northern Michigan University’s Meyland Hall, eat in campus dining halls, and train at the university’s Berry Events Center and Superior Dome, the world's largest wooden dome.