Marines US Open Western Regional Championships
The Golden Eagles had 4 wrestlers competed last weekend in Las Vegas, NV at one of the toughest tournaments in the United States. The Western Regional is comprised of wrestlers from mostly the Western Half of the United States. However, wrestlers come from all over as this tournament is well known for some of the toughest competition in the country. At the same time, the Men’s & Women’s U.S Open Nationals is occurring which offers youth wrestlers the opportunity to compete alongside some of the best wrestles in the world including Olympic & World Champions. This is the only tournament which offers youth wrestlers the opportunity to compete and watch these wrestlers over a four-day period.
Two of our wrestlers, Henry McDoniel and Taylor Miess competed in Greco-Roman, Freestyle, and Folkstyle. Emmett and Lance Alexander competed only in Freestyle & Folkstyle.
Taylor Miess placed second in Schoolgirl Freestyle and had the opportunity to compete on the same stage as the Senior Men’s & Women wrestlers. Half the battle is showing up and being able to compete. What was cool as watching Taylor warm-up on the mat adjacent to 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist and 3x World Champion; Jordan Burroughs!! Taylor won her semi-final match by injury default which advanced her to the finals. In addition, Taylor placed 4th in Folkstyle.
Henry McDoniel placed 4th in Greco-Roman and was one match away from placing in Freestyle. His record in both styles was 4 wins and 4 losses. However, if you ask Henry what was the highlight of his tournament he will tell you it is being neighbors (room across the hotel hallway) to Olympian and World Team Member Robbie Smith and getting autographs from Cael Sanderson, Darian Cruz, John Smith, Jordan Burroughs, & Kyle Dake!
Emmett and Lance Alexander had a good experience with understanding the pace of wrestling is much faster with Freestyle compared to Folkstyle. We do not just lose a match but we learn and this provided an invaluable experience to better learn what is needed to perform at national tournaments.
Jackson McDoniel was unable to compete due to an injury but a good assistant with mat side support.
The wrestlers were able to have some fun as well by visiting some local attractions on the Las Vegas Strip and hitting the pool.
Pictures with Kyle Dake, Cohl Schultz, & Robbie Smith
Off Day from Competition
Overall, we had some positive outcomes but also have areas of improvement for these competitors and club wrestlers. This tournament will help these wrestlers prepare for Colorado State and USA Wrestling's Southern Plains Regional Championships.