Park youth wrestling: Flaata helps Team Minnesota win titlesCottage Grove helped the Team Minnesota wrestling team win two USA Wrestling national championships recently.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, South Washington County Bulletin
Cottage Grove helped the Team Minnesota wrestling team win two USA Wrestling national championships recently.
Cory Flaata, who will be a freshman at Park High School this fall, and the Team Minnesota “A” team won both the 2011 USA Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling national championships at the 2011 Schoolboy Duals, held in Indianapolis, Ind., June 9-10. In addition, Cottage Grove’s Justin Sabin, a seventh grader, wrestled for the Team Minnesota “B” team.
“Once we won the Greco nationals I was blown away,” Flaata said.
The Team Minnesota “A” team went 10-0 in the Greco-Roman competition and 10-0 in the Freestyle contest to claim both national titles at the Schoolboy (ages 13-15) division.
In the Greco Roman division, Minnesota defeated Pennsylvania Blue 46-26 in the first place match. In the Freestyle division, Minnesota beat Pennsylvania Blue 37-36 in the championship game to earn a sweep of the titles.
“I had total confidence in my team knowing the wrestlers that we had,” Flaata said. “I knew most of them. There were a lot of really good teams at that tournament.”
Flaata went 10-0 in the Greco-Roman national tournament and was 5-4 in the Freestyle competition. After the tournament, he was honored as a member of the All-Tournament Team for Greco-Roman division.
“He’s ecstatic,” said Dale Flaata, Cory’s father. “He was home for four days before going off to another camp. I’m pretty sure he was on cloud nine the whole time he was home.
It’s a huge thing. I think it was really cool.”
Park assistant wrestling coach Scott Hallock said it was a big deal for Team Minnesota to win both tournaments.
“What a great experience for him,” Hallock said. “It’s well-deserved. He’s a hard worker. We’re really excited for him. It’s a different type of wrestling than high school wrestling. I wasn’t sure how good he would do. But, we’re very proud of him and what he did.”
In Greco-Roman, which is the original Olympic-style of wrestling, two wrestlers are scored for based on their performance in three two-minute periods, which can be ended by a pinfall at any time. The major difference between Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling — the other form of wrestling at the Olympics — is that Greco-Roman forbids holds below the waist. This restriction results in an emphasis on throws.
Freestyle, and collegiate wrestling, unlike Greco-Roman, allow the use of the wrestler’s or his opponent’s legs in offense and defense.
Flaata and Sabin were selected to the Team Minnesota team, mostly based on their performance at the Minnesota/USA State Folkstyle Wrestling Tournament, held March 11 to 13 at Rochester Community and Technical College. At state, Sabin was second in the heavyweight division and Flaata was third place at 152 pounds.
“We see big things in the future for him,” Hallock said. “He loves the sport and works hard at it. He’s got quite a few years before he graduates and he can really make a name for himself.”