April/May 1996

About Our Newsletter

This is our second edition of the 1996 season, and our seventh year of publication. The Capital Area Wrestling News is published by Southern Maryland Wrestling Club in coordination with the Capital Area Wrestling Council, a group consisting of AAU and USAW wrestling clubs located in the Washington D.C. Region.

Maryland Age-Weight Folkstyle States

SMWC hammered the competition at the annual Maryland Age-Weight Folkstyle State Championships and Club Championships at Hammond HS in Columbia March 23 & 24. Entering a small roster on only about 40 wrestlers, SMWC managed 18 individual champions, plus many other place winners. Of interest is the fact that SMWC had five schoolboy age, five HS age and two masters age champions. Who says SMWC is a young kids club?

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Association Eastern Folkstyle Nationals

Only a few local wrestlers made it to the second day of the Eastern Nationals at Penn State April 14th. Rudy Rueda was the only local wrestler to defend his 1995 title while several locals managed second place finishes.

AAU Grand National Trip

SMWC assembled a group of 21 Maryland, Southern Pennsylvania, and Northern Virginia wrestlers for the 1996 AAU Folkstyle Grand National Championships April 5 and 6 in Tulsa. Over 2000 wrestlers participated in this largest ever folkstyle event, creating several draws, especially in the cadet and schoolboy weight classes, of over 50 wrestlers. Only one long time club member, Chris Balancia, captured a gold, although several members made it into finals matches. Placers we know of are listed below:

Matt Jones--Bantam 65--2nd
Nick Alley--Cadet 95--6th
Bryan Long--Cadet 105--2nd
Jason Gabrielson--Elite 112--2nd
Jimmy Foster--Elite 119--2nd
Eric Miller--Elite 119--3rd

Ohio Tournament of Champions

The third and final major event of the folkstyle season for local wrestlers was held at the Ohio Fair Grounds in Columbus April 20. About 1700 entries, each of whom placed 1st-3rd in the various qualifying events spread throughout the Mid-West and East, were in competition. A small number of Maryland and Pennsylvania wrestlers made the trip, although several locals were notably absent after burning out from the previous few weeks of competition. Also, many wrestlers are well into freestyle activities. SMWC pacers included Ryan Forman and Nick Alley.

SMWC Hosts Clinic

World Champion and NCAA Champion Wade Schalles presented a freestyle clinic at Southern Maryland Wrestling Club's practice on Tuesday, April 16th. Working with several large and small members, Wade went through various knee pinch counters, lifts, and hip positioning techniques that allowed him to set the all time win record and the all time pin record for wrestling. The clinic lasted a full two hours, with club members held spellbound until the very end. He finished the clinic with a talk about how he was motivated to succeed. He told how he set his goals, and how he was able to accomplish what he did. Although only about 50 members showed for the clinic, it was considered by many as one of the best clinics the club has sponsored in recent years.

Four Locals to Attend USAW National Championships

Four local wrestlers will travel to the US Championships in Las Vegas April 26 &27 to face the best in the nation. Six in freestyle and eight in Greco-Roman qualify for the final Olympic Trials from this event, so competition will be intense. 92 Olympian Buddy Lee has spent the last two weeks prior to the tournament at the Olympic Training Camp in Colorado training to defend his Olympic slot. Bill Royer, Jim Howard and Jason Gabrielson have spent the previous few weeks practicing at local clubs and entering a series of tune-up tournaments. Of the four, only Jason is making his first trip to the nationals. Jim Howard is a previous 3 time winner in Greco-Roman. The tournament will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Gabrielson Qualifies for US Olympic Trials

SMWC's Jason Gabrielson won the USAW Northeast Regional Olympic Trial in Brockport, NY, April 12 & 13. In doing so, he has qualified for the final Olympic Trials to be held June 7 and 8 in Spokane. Wrestling at 52 kg (114.5), Jason defeated Chris Vitagliano of Harvard in the finals by a score of 12-7.

Upcoming Tournaments Set

4--Exeter Twnship HS, Reading, PA, AAU FS, Bill Thomas, 610- 779-6976
5--McDonough School, MD, FS, All-ages, USAW, 410-581-4651
11--Tasker Middle School, Bowie, MD, AAU, Bill Harless/Bruce Gabrielson, 301-855-4565
17/19--NE Regionals, K/C, USAW, FS/GR, Syracuse, NY, 518-695- 5507
14--Friends School, Baltimore, MD, FS, USAW
25--USSA Sombo National Championships, Annville, PA, all- ages
31/1--MAWA FS/GR Championships, Lakewood HS, NJ, 215-757-7884

2--Friends School, Baltimore, MD, FS, all-ages, USAW, 410- 435-2800
8--Potomac Valley Challenge Cup, FS, State Teams Only
15--Hammond HS, Columbia, MD, FS, USAW, 301-776-8467

Potomac Valley All-Star Challenge Cup

The 12th Potomac Valley All-Star Challenge Cup will be held June 8th at Bishop McNamara High School in Forestville, Maryland. This annual multi-state event features the regions top freestyle competitors in a relaxed round-robin tournament format. From I- 495 take Pennsylvania Ave (MD Rt 4) towards D.C. about 2 miles, turn right on Donnell Drive then left on Marlboro Pike. The school is 1/4 mile on the right. Gym entrance is in the back. For information about team tryouts or selection, call the state coach at the following: Maryland-Bruce Gabrielson 301-855-4565; Pennsylvania-Josh Boger 717-726-8883; Virginia, Karl Spinnenweber 703-266-8728; New Jersey-Tony Galante 609-390-3904; Delaware-Lou Sneed, Ohio-Bart Fredenberg (Ohio All-Stars), North Carolina-Dick Bell 919-676-0903.

MSWA Naval Academy Tournament

A reasonable size entry showed up for the MSWA freestyle tournament held Sunday, April 21, at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. Several HS age wrestlers faced tough competition, with a number of matches drawing large numbers of spectators. In the 180 lb Open, two SMWC Hall-of-Fame members, Steve Arslanian and Jeff Rosenberg squared off in an exciting 4-4 match which was finally won by Jeff in overtime with a gut wrench. In another match, SMWC's Todd Beckerman and Scott Munsey had a super shoot- out. Todd had been to one practice since laying off after the season, and was wrestling up against Scott. Todd won with a series of quick takedowns, but may have damaged his knee in the process. During the match he was thrown in front of Coach G who definitely heard a pop from Todd's knee. We'll know more after he gets it looked at. Two other SMWC champions included Jason Gabrielson at 123 and Eric Miller at 130. This was Eric's first freestyle tournament.

Wade Hughes Clinic

NCAA Champion Wade Hughes will put on a technique clinic at the SMWC practice Thursday, May 16th. The clinic will start at 7:30 pm and last about 1 hour. There is no charge and guests are welcome.

AAU Officials Clinic

Maryland and Potomac Valley AAU Head Official Bruce Gabrielson will hold an officials training clinic during the SMWC practice on Thursday, May 2nd. This is a great opportunity for new freestyle and Greco-Roman officials to learn the latest rule book interpretations and officiating procedures.