Titan Mercury Wrestling Club to Send a Large Contingent of Grapplers to the Cerro Pelado/Granma Tournament

Published February 20th, 2019 by Jonny

Titan Mercury Wrestling Club to Send a Large Contingent of Grapplers to the Cerro Pelado/Granma Tournament

LA HAVANA, CUBA. – Thirteen grapplers from the always competitive Titan Mercury Wrestling Club are set to take part of the 52nd annual Cerro Pelado/ Granma Cup in Havana, Cuba. The Freestyle portion of the tournament is scheduled to take place starting Thursday 20th and conclude on Friday 21st with finals and award ceremonies of all weight classes.

Leading the way at 57 kg/125.6 for TMWC is Frank Perelli, a member of the Cornell University Class of 2012, Perelli he was a two-time Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) champion and became an All-American as a senior by placing 4th at 125. Internationally, Perelli was fourth at the Bill Farrell Memorial International, second at the Canada Cup, and most recently, was fifth at the Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial in Warsaw, Poland.

Cory Clark will be one of two athletes competing at 61 kg/134.4 for TMWC. Clark was a successful grappler for the Hawkeyes where he managed to garner All-American honors all four years of competition and capped of his collegiate career in 2017 by winning an individual NCAA Championship. In 2018, he was second at the Grand Prix of Spain and third at the Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial. Earlier this month he was second at the Henri Deglane Challenge in Nice, France.

The second 61kg/134.4. wrestler for TMWC is Ben Whitford. Whitford was a four-time state champion claiming his first two state titles in Illinois before moving to Michigan where he spent the last two years of his prep career ranked #1 in the country by most wrestling sites. His previous trip to Fargo he won both styles and the spring after his senior year he won a FILA Junior Freestyle National Title. He is having a great year as in January he placed third at the Dave Schultz Memorial International tournament.

Two wrestlers will represent TMWC at 65 kg/143.3. These wrestlers are Evan Henderson and Dean Heil. Henderson competed in the collegiate level for North Carolina where he twice reached the podium placing 6th and 4th. Henderson has placed in prestigious events including the Bill Farrell International, Dave Schulz Memorial International, US Open and World Team Trials.

A former Oklahoma State standout, Heil is a two-time National Champion and three-time All-American at 141 pounds. The Brunswick, Ohio native, captured back-to-back NCAA titles in 2016 and 2017, as well as three consecutive All-America campaigns from 2015-17. He finished his decorated career with 116 wins, ranking 22nd all-time in OSU program history.

At 70 kg/154.3, TMWC will enter three standout athletes in Brandon Sorensen, Joey Lavallee, and Anthony Collica.

Just like Clark as mentioned earlier, Sorensen was also a University of Iowa wrestler. As a high school wrestler for Denver-Tripoli High, he tied the record for most career wins in Iowa high school history. As a Hawkeye, Sorensen concluded his career as Iowa’s 20th four-time All-American, placing fifth at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships as a senior. In the international stage, Sorensen was third in 2018 at the Waclaw Ziolkowski Memorial and started the year strong as he has placed second at the Dave Schultz Memorial International and third at the Henri Deglane Challenge.

A University of Missouri wrestler, Joey Lavallee, was a beast of the mats. As a high school wrestler, he was untouched throughout his scholastic career as he won four consecutive Nevada state titles for Reno High. In 2011, he made noise nationally as he won the FILA Cadet National Freestyle title at 63 kilos. He then went on to compete for Team USA for the Cadet World title, where he took fifth. As a Tiger, he was a four-time NCAA Division I National Qualifier and an All-American as a junior. He concluded his collegiate career with a 104-26 career. He recently placed third at the Dave Schultz Memorial International competing at 74 kg/163.1.

The last wrestler at 70 kg/154.3 is former Oklahoma State standout Anthony Collica. Collica was a four-time NCAA Qualifier and All-American as a junior. Collica became the eighth Cowboy in school history to claim four Big 12 titles and compiled an overall career record of 107-33.

Wrestling at 74 kg/163.1 is former North Carolina State wrestler Tommy Gantt. Gantt went 35-10 as a junior in 2014 for the Wolfpack and was one win away from All-American honors. He redshirted in 2015, and the benefits paid off as he won his first ACC Championship and earned All-American honors at 157 pounds at the 2016 NCAA Championships. Gant has won titles at the Bill Farrell Memorial International and the Henri Deglane Challenge competing in the senior level.

Two athletes competing at 86 kg/189.5 for TMWC are Pat Downey and Kenny Courts. Downey was a three-time Maryland state champion and claimed a Fargo Junior Freestyle title at the conclusion of his senior campaign. A year after graduating high school, Downey won the FILA Junior Nationals to become a Junior World Team member where he took a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, the best finish of any American. In 2015, he went on to compete for Iowa Central where he won a Junior College National Championship at 197 and finishing undefeated on the year (43-0). During the 2015-16 college season, Downey transferred to Iowa State where he finished third at the Big 12 and fifth at the NCAA Championships for the Cyclones. In the international stage, Downey was third in 2017 at the Dave Schultz Memorial International and recently won the tournament during January.

The native from Central Dauphin, Pennsylvania, was an All-American for Ohio State and has recently started competing after a two-year hiatus. He started strong in 2018 by placing second at the Bill Farrell Memorial International at 92 kg/202.8. He dropped down to 86 kg/189.5 and placed second at the Dave Schultz Memorial International losing to Downey in the finals.

Two-time NCAA Division I qualifier for the University of Wisconsin, Timmy McCall will be the man competing for TMWC at 92 kg/202.8. He has been competing in the senior level since 2016 and made the best of his performance by placing second at the Bill Farrell Memorial International. Since then, McCall has garnered medals at the Dave Schultz Memorial International and the Henri Deglane Challenge.

Wrestling at 97 kg/213.8 is three-time NCAA Division I National Qualifier for the University of Northern Iowa, Blaize Cabell. Cabell is a two-time Dave Schultz Memorial International runner-up and had his best performance in 2017 when he took out 2014 World champion and 2015 World silver medalist Abdulsalem Gadisov of Russia in the semifinal round.

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