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Local grapplers improve skills with Olympian advice

Published On: Jun 14 2013 02:34:38 PM MDT

The wrestling season is still a ways away, but inside Shec Community Center in Missoula, grapplers are working on their skills and techniques, while getting a little help from some big names in the wrestling community.

This week Sudden Victory Wrestling Academy put on an intensive camp for wrestlers of all ages. The camp helps wrestlers get in shape and ready for upcoming and future tournaments. The camp also features Division-1 All-Americans, National Champions, and even Olympians.

"It's great to see both sides of the 8-ball you know," said 2012 Olympian Jake Herbert. "I remember growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with Kurt Angle, the 1996 gold medalist coming in and I went to his camp and had pictures in the paper of him doing it, I thought it was the coolest thing ever, and I'm just glad to be able to reciprocate that."

Rick Moreno runs the wrestling camp which is in its second year now, he says having a group of decorated wrestlers helping instruct the class makes all the difference in the world.

"To get guys like this, who have been to that level, done all this before, talked about the technique, the physical aspects of it, and more importantly, I think the mental aspects of it, this is a group of guys that we want to come in and get these guys ready" said Moreno.

Several wrestlers from Iowa State volunteered their time and say working with the kids at the camp is a satisfying feeling.

"Being here and just helping the kids, it's just great because it helps you know that you're giving back, and maybe you just changed that kids goals just by being here," said Iowa State wrestler Kyven Gadson. "Now he might want to be a national champ or to be an All-American."

Recently, there's been talk of wrestling being dropped from the Olympics, but one thing is for sure, this sports will be around for a long time.

"Wrestling has a great support system underneath it, and I think we're going to end up being all right," said Iowa State wrestler Michael Moreno.

"It's gotten a lot of publicity wrestling has that it never really has, so were taking this negative and making it a positive," said Herbert.

"Just doing things like this to keep the sport alive and keep the fuel in the fire for those kids is really big," said Gadson.

Sudden Victory's next wrestling camp will begin July 7th, and will feature 2012 Olympic gold medalist Jake Varner.