AAU Wrestling will host the 2013 AAU World Folkstyle Championships this weekend at Black Hills StateUniversity in Spearfish, SD. This year’s event will feature between 600-1,000 athletes, who will compete across 9 divisions ranging from 6 and under to a Masters division - for grapplers 30 years old and older.
Ten years ago, the Black Hills Nationals, established a successful partnership with AAU to host their World Folkstyle Championships in conjunction with the Black Hills Nationals.
“Black Hills Nationals is different from other national championship events in how it draws from a very diverse hot bed of wrestling,” says Tournament Director Frank Pavich. “Not only is it set in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota but it’s also a well-run event that is designed for our wrestlers to the highest quality of wrestling competition possible.”
Wrestlers from as far away as South Carolina, Nebraska, Colorado and Montana will travel to South Dakota with the hopes of capturing an AAU World Folkstyle Championship.
Leading the way in the schoolboy division is 105-pound David Opheim. Opheim recently finished in 3rd place during the Colorado State Championships and also owns a bronze medal from the 2013 Georgia Grind.
Nathan Goddard from Columbus, Montana will come back to this year’s event to try and improve upon his 2nd place finish in last year’s World Folkstyle Championships.
The main objective of this tournament is to provide quality wrestling to all age levels of competition and the Black Hills Nationals has redesigned the event to help complete this task.
New to this year’s event is the opportunity for wrestlers to compete in their age specific division, based on the age they are the day of the event. “This will allow wrestlers to compete against wrestlers their age and not have to wrestle up and wrestler older competition due to birthday or grade,” states Pavich.
The 2013 AAU World Folkstyle Championships will also serve as a qualifying tournament for officials who want to be evaluated for an opportunity to officiate the Disney Duals. Pavich says, “Out of our 18 Black Hills Nationals officials, 9 will be selected to work the 2013 Disney Duals in Orlando this coming June.”
Pavich is looking forward to this year’s event as he enjoys the fact that he is doing is part in keeping the sport of wrestling alive and well. “I love nothing more than giving an opportunity of competition to our future champions, to the ones that will help keep the sport alive and well in the future.”
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