By Jason Bryant, MTC Storm
Wrestlers for the Minnesota Storm will begin their 2015-2016 competitive season jetting around the world for training and competition. Storm athletes will look to build on Andy Bisek’s bronze medal performance at the 2015 World Championships that capped a successful end to last season.
Greco-Roman athlete Patrick Carey (pictured, left) has already left the Land of 10,000 wrestlers for a training camp and competition in Oslo, Norway.
Dr. John Wechter will also depart for Europe this afternoon, but travel to the Baltics to compete this weekend at the Kristjan Pausalu Memorial in Tallin, Estonia. He will remain in Estonia for a week after he competes to train with area national teams.
The start of November will see the traditional beginning of the U.S. international calendar with the New York Athletic Club again hosting the Bill Farrell International. Last year, the event moved from Manhattan to Long Island’s Hofstra University, but the event will be back at the iconic NYAC, which sits in the heart of Manhattan Island, across the street from Central Park.
Expected to compete in Greco-Roman at the Bill Farrell are Jake Fisher, Jake Clark, Brian Graham, Jordan Holm, Julian Gunnels (pictured, lower right), Justin LaValle, Dylan Ness, Alex Ortiz, Joe Rau, Pat Smith and Devin Scott. In freestyle, the Storm will have Zach Sanders, Chris Dardanes, Nick Dardanes, Jayson Ness (pictured, top right), Scott Schiller and Tony Nelson hit the mats.
The Bill Farrell International will run November 6-7. A LIVE stream will be available via TheMat.com.
The Bill Farrell is crucial because the top American placewinner at each weight class qualifies for the Olympic Team Trials in Iowa City in April.
Following the NYAC tournament, Storm athletes will disperse to various locations around the world. The freestyle team will travel to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for a week of training.
In Greco, Julian Gunnels will join Carey in Norway for two weeks before they travel to Finland to compete on November 28.
Graham will depart directly to Finland from New York to compete in both the Vantaa Cup and Arva Haavisto events. Graham was recently spotted helping a family move a new weight bench into their car at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Roseville, Minn. Graham is one of numerous Olympic hopefuls who have capitalized on Dick’s Olympic vision of employing hopefuls for part-time work, allowing athletes the time they need to earn a wage and prepare for their Olympic goals. The Vantaa Cup takes place on November 21 in Vantaa, Finland, with the Arvo Haavisto taking place a week later in Ilmajoki, Finland.
The month will conclude with two-time World bronze medalist Andy Bisek joining Jordan Holm, Smith, Fisher, and Joe Rau in Baku, Azerbaijan. They will train for three weeks in the oil-rich capital of Baku on the western bank of the Caspian Sea, and compete in the prestigious Golden Grand Prix on November 29. The event is one of the pinnacle events on the United World Wrestling calendar and athletes have the opportunity to win some serious prize money in addition to medal bonuses provided by USA Wrestling. The Golden Grand Prix is November 27-29.
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