PHILADELPHIA – Earlier this month, a contingent of Penn wrestlers participated in the USA Wrestling World Team Training Camp held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Returning All-American Lorenzo Thomas was joined by teammates C.J. Cobb, Canaan Bethea, Brad Wukie and A.J. Murabito at the training camp as the Quakers helped Team USA train for the FILA World Championships Sept. 8-14 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
“Training at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado is quite the experience,” Roger Reina Head Coach of Wrestling Alex Tirapelle said. “Training at the OTC with current members of the World Team is even better. Having the entire thing orchestrated by a Penn Wrestling alum and Olympic gold medalist – USA Wrestling Freestyle Resident Coach Brandon Slay '98 – is unbelievable. You simply cannot duplicate that type of experience, our wrestlers will benefit greatly from it.”
The Quaker contingent was at the OTC from August 11-22 to train and help Team USA prepare for Worlds.
Two members of the group, C.J. Cobb and Lorenzo Thomas, shared their thoughts on training with the nation’s elite wrestlers.
C.J. Cobb – “The two weeks at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs were basically a full summer of training compressed into two weeks. I was able to learn from and scrap with several All-Americans and NCAA champions (Frank Molinaro and Jason Chamberlain, for example), all of whom were training for international competition. I had individual technique sessions with Brandon Slay and Terry Brands – both Olympic champions. I donned a singlet to wrestle five simulation matches in a day. Some of the best high school kids in the country were training with us,it really was a great opportunity to tangle with the past, present and future of American wrestling. It was a great experience that I hope to have every summer. How much better I got in such a short time was somewhat shocking. For example, having live goes with the same kid on the second day and second to last day of the camp. On the second day, he was beating me. On the second to last day, I was tech falling him. I am mindful of that improvement each day as I prepare for the 2014-15 season at Penn."
Lorenzo Thomas - "It was an amazing opportunity to train at the Olympic Training Center during the World Team camp. I am grateful for being able to train at such an amazing facility. Training with the top wrestlers in the country helped me realize not only where I am at, but what I need to do to get to the next level. I hope I have the opportunity to train there again and I am looking forward to the upcoming season."