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By Paul Garcia
USA Wrestling offers wrestlers who are past 30 years of age a chance to continue to compete in the Greco-Roman & Freestyle Veteran National Championships. This year’s events was held on April 16th & 17th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Three local wrestling coaches earn the coveted USA Wrestling “Stop Sign” award this year and two of them were sponsored by a well known comedian.
The following local high school wrestling coaches competed in the National event: Brett Clark (Mira Monte), Paul Garcia (Bakersfield Christian) and Ryan Meloche (Bakersfield Christian). Coach Meloche and Garcia competed as “TEAM FLUFFY”. That’s right, well known worldwide comedian Gabriel Iglesias was their sponsor for the event.
Coaches Meloche and Clark competed in both wrestling styles, Greco-Roman and Freestyle, in Division B (the 34-42 years of age group). Meloche competed in the 76kg/167.5lbs weight class earning the Freestyle title and placed 3rd in Greco. Clark competed in the 130kg/213.75-286.5lbs weight class earning the Freestyle title and placed 2nd in Greco.
Coach Garcia also competed in both wrestling styles in Division C (the 42-50 years of age group). Garcia competed in the 76kg/167.5lbs weight class placing 3rd in Greco and fell short of placing in Freestyle.
All coaches enjoyed competing in the event and are looking forward to competing in next year’s championships. Mr. Iglesias was also excited about helping Meloche and Garcia this year1 and looks forward to assisting the “TEAM FLUFFY” wrestling team to another successful event in 2015.