LOVES PARK, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Wrestling action is going strong at the USA Wrestling 16U Dual Team Nationals in Loves Park. Day three of the four day event unfolded Friday at the Mercyhealth Indoor Sports Center.
The tournament transitioned from Greco-Roman to Freestyle wrestling. 38 teams from 28 states are competing. Rockford East junior Lee Smith is one of two local competitors for Team Illinois. The other is Belvidere sophomore Brayden Teunissen. Both of them post impressive wins Friday.
This tournament is the first USA Wrestling national event that has been held in the Rockford area. Organizers say it has gone very well so far.
“The feedback has all been really positive,” said tournament organizer Gene Lee. “They (wrestlers and coaches) really enjoy the facility and the room that it provides. This tournament in the past has been held in some smaller places where they’re crammed together. We’ve got plenty of space here. Everybody is having a good time.”
“I think the tournament is going great,” said Pete Isais the director of national events for USA Wrestling. “Obviously it’s great to be in Illinois, a great facility here. A lot of space where the kids can spread out. As you can see we’ve got 38 teams and about 750 athletes just for freestyle alone, so we need the space.”
The tournament will run through mid-afternoon on Saturday.