Every 4 years, one night separates 7 freestyle wrestlers from the rest of the country.
The 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials are right around the corner, beginning April 21 in Iowa City, Iowa. The New York Athletic Club (NYAC) has been a prevalent club on the Olympic Level for years. Although the club is based out of New York City, sponsored wrestlers from all over the country compete with pride in the NYAC singlet. Since most of the wrestlers representing the NYAC do not train in NYC, this means that the athetes are divided amongst the NYAC coaching staff.
For several years, many NYAC wrestlers have been coached by Iowa’s Steve Knight, who is closing in on 20 years of running Excel Wrestling, a USA Wrestling Olympic Development Program that operates throughout the country. Since 2004, Excel Wrestling has partnered with the New York Athletic Club on the US Senior Olympic Freestyle circuit, which is the competition level that prepares post graduate wrestlers to compete internationally.
So how did this Iowa based program ever join forces with the New York Athletic Club? Two words, Sonny Greenhalgh.
Knight, who has served on two Olympic staffs said, “Years back, I think right after the trials in ’04, New York Athletic Club Chairman Sonny Greenhalgh ask me to join the NYAC Freestyle coaching staff. Up to that point, we had competed on the senior level just as Team Excel. Needless to say, eight years later, it is a strong partnership and a long friendship. Sonny has been great to work with over the years along with Dave Foxen. The NYAC is producing some of the best in the country right now.”
Knight has spent this past week working with NYAC wrestlers at Cornell University.
NYAC Wrestlers competing in the Olympic Trials that Knight will be coaching:
Frank Perrelli – Cornell – 55kgs/121lbs
Tyler Graff – Wisconsin – 60kgs/132lbs
Ryan Morningstar – Iowa – 74kgs/163lbs
Kyle Dake – Cornell – 74kgs/163lbs
Mack Lewnes – Cornell – 84kgs/185lbs
Tyrel Todd – Michigan – 84kgs/185lbs
Max Askren – Missouri – 96kgs/211.5lbs
Trevor Brandvold – Wisconsin – 96kg/211.5lbs
The 2012 US Olympic Trials take place in Iowa City, Iowa on April 21st and 22nd. For ticket information, please go to http://iowacitytolondon.com. For more information on the NYAC and Excel Wrestling visit http://excelwrestling.com.