Amateur Update: Minnesota USA Wrestling returns to Mayo Civic Center in 2018

After a brief stint at Monticello High School, the Minnesota USA Wrestling State Freestyle and Greco Championships will be back in Rochester in the spring of 2018.

The Mayo Civic Center is a fitting location for this event, and we are pleased to bring it back. I did a lot of searching but could not find what year this tournament began its run in Rochester….it has been awhile.

As a parent of a Freestyle/Greco wrestler back in the mid-1990s, I observed huge brackets that each included up to 40 to 50 wrestlers from across the state, creating battlefields at each age and weight bracket. I recall wrestlers competing in the Mayo Civic Arena late into Sunday afternoon – these large brackets create a lot of great wrestling.

Some wonder what distinguishes "Freestyle" and "Greco" wrestling from other styles of wrestling. Currently, most youth, high school and college programs in our country wrestle what is referred to as "Folkstyle" wrestling. It is the standard method of scoring and the style most are familiar with. Over the past 20 years or so there have been numerous state Folkstyle tournaments created for youth to square off and determine the top state wrestlers. However, this was not always the case.

In the 1990s, the only real chance for youth to wrestle in a true state championship was in the "Freestyle" and/or "Greco" styles of wrestling. The best-known way that these two types of wrestling differ from Folkstyle is that Freestyle and Greco are the styles used in international wrestling.


In other words, if you ever want to wrestle to represent your country in the Olympics, World Games, Pan Am Games or other international events, you can only do so by being highly successful in Freestyle or Greco. There is no Folkstyle in international competition – it is practiced mostly in the U.S.

So while Folkstyle wrestling across the U.S. is booming, there still are a smaller number of "elite" wrestlers who also pursue the Olympic dream by wrestling Freestyle and Greco. In addition, those wrestlers who do Freestyle and Greco learn additional skills that make them more dimensional in the Folkstyle scene.

So, while the numbers of Freestyle and Greco wrestlers may not be what they once were, this type of competition still draws decent numbers of the state's elite wrestlers.

We are proud and happy to see MN USA Wrestling returning to the Mayo Civic Center next May. It should bring back memories of those huge brackets taped to the walls of the upper concourse in the Civic Arena.

No matter what the location, the state's top wrestlers will be dueling for a state championship. From 30-pound Peewees (born in 2011-2012) to the top-sized 285 Juniors (up to 12th grade), the action next May at the Civic Center will be intense and reminiscent of the battles that took place years ago.

Welcome home MN USA Wrestling!

Upcoming events:

Aug. 19-20:Swing 4a Cure Softball Tournament


Aug. 26:Scheels Healthy Human Race

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