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By Shannyn J. Gillespie
Copyright © 2004-2013, by Shannyn J. Gillespie, All rights reserved
Recently, the U.S. Olympic Education Center (USOEC) resident athlete program has traveled the globe to enhance the quality of performance leading to the Olympic Games. To be the best, you must train and compete with the best in the world!
During the Northern Michigan University spring break, March 2008, the USOEC resident athlete program traveled to Japan for their annual training camp at Chukyo Women's University (CWU). CWU is home of 2 Olympic Champions, 1 Olympic Silver medallist, and over 50 world and continental champions. To be the best, you must train and compete with the best in the world!
This year or 2008 also saw the USOEC freestyle coaching staff of Shannyn J. Gillespie and Tony DeAnda leading Team USA to world and continental championship team titles. Gillespie took Team USA to the World University Championships (WUC) in Thessaloniki, Greece July 10-11, 2008 and brought home 3 golds, 1 silver, and 2 bronze medals to capture Team USA's first WUC team title and first Team USA women's freestyle world championship title at all levels in nearly a decade.
DeAnda orchestrated 2 successful trips to Latin America bringing home 2 continental team title championships by winning the Jr. Pan American Championships team title held in Cuenca, Ecuador June 21-22, 2008 and the Cadet Pan American Championships team title held in San Salvador, El Salvador July 11-13, 2008.
Winning medals for Team USA at the 2008 Jr. Pan American Championships were USOEC resident athletes Whitney Conder (51kg); Jr. Pan Am Gold, Beth Johnson (55kg); Jr. Pan Am Gold, Nikki Darrow (59kg); Jr. Pan Am Gold, and Lindsey Brooks (72kg); Jr. Pan Am Bronze.
USOEC newcomer, Erin Golston 40kg, also won a Gold medal at the Cadet Pan American Championships and will be sophomore at Marquette Senior High School this fall (2008).
July 14-22 2008 saw the USOEC coaches traveling to Fargo, ND to scout the up and coming talent for future prospective U.S. Olympic Education Center resident athletes at the Women's Junior Freestyle Nationals. This trip is also annual and is the one of the ways talent is identified for the USOEC program. USA Wrestling Folklstyle Nationals, Body Bar Nationals, and several state tournaments round out the other selection tournaments for prospective USOEC freestyle resident athletes.
During the 2008 the Women's Junior Freestyle Nationals, USOEC veterans and newcomers had much success: Helen Mouralis 116 lbs. champion, Beth Johnson 124 lbs. champion, Schuyler Brown 139 lbs. champion, Erin Clodgo 146 lbs. champion, Adeline Gray 153 lbs. champion, Katie Crouch 165 lbs. 2nd pl., Amy Whitbeck 124 lbs. 3rd pl., Melissa Apodaca 146 lbs. 3rd pl., Erin Golston 95 lbs. 5th pl., and Emily Martin 109 lbs. 5th pl.
The USOEC will have 4 representatives for Team USA at the Jr. World Championships to be held later this summer in Turkey. Returning for the second time to the Jr. World Championships is Alysaa Lampe (48kg) who will battle to better her mark of Jr. World Bronze medallist for 2007. Schuyler Brown (63kg), USOEC's 2008 freestyle wrestler of the semester, made her first Jr. World Team this year and will be joined by USOEC newcomers Helen Maroulis (51kg) and Adeline Gray (67kg) rounding out the U.S. Olympic Education Center resident athletes representing Team USA at the 2008 Jr. World Championships. Maroulis and Gray will both be high school seniors at Marquette Senior High School this fall (2008).
This winter or December 13-23, 2008, the USOEC resident athlete program will travel to Austria for a training camp with Austria, Czech Republic, and Sweden to enhance the performance of Team USA. To be the best, you must train and compete with the best in the world!
In February, 1989, the U.S. Olympic Committee named Northern Michigan University (NMU) as the nation's only United States Olympic Education Center. The USOEC's main focus is the resident athlete training program, where athletes actively train for the Olympic Games while also continuing their education.
Generally, athletes in this program must be nationally ranked and also approved by their national governing body (NGB), the USOEC, and NMU. The USOEC has resident athlete training programs in freestyle wrestling, short track speedskating, Greco-Roman wrestling, and weightlifting.