Minnesota Storm rising Greco Roman star Barrett Stanghill flew to Belarus with a number of Team USA athletes last week to prepare for the upcoming U23 World Championships on November 21st in Bydgoszcz, Poland. The 23 year old Montana native, was one of seven U.S. wrestlers to compete in a goodwill dual against a strong Belarusian team. Stanghill defeated Belarussian National Team member, Andrey Mikailovsky in a hard fought 2-1 match, to capture one of the three wins for U.S. team. After showing promise at 80 kg last year, placing 3rd and 4th in the U.S. Senior Nationals and Senior World Team Trials respectively, he broke threw to make his first World Team earlier in October, defeating fellow Storm teammate Richard Carlson to make the team at 85 kg.
He caught up with Five Point Move Staff after the dual to share his thoughts on the win, the atmosphere of the dual, and the upcoming U23 World Championships. For the original article click here.
On the atmosphere inside the venue
“It was sweet. Obviously, I haven’t really participated in duals before. In high school, we didn’t do duals because it was a super small school, so we would have quads, and up at Northern we didn’t. So this was really the first time I got the chance to be involved in a dual and it was great. It was in a nightclub and they hyped it up, they had videos, pictures of Coach (Matt) Lindland, all of us, and other team photos, and everyone in the crowd had a Belarus flag and an American flag. Everyone was right there, it was awesome. They even had an upper deck where it seemed like the more important people were (laughs). But it was awesome.”
On using the dual as preparation for the World Championships
“I think for me, it just kind of gauged where I was at in terms of conditioning and it really showed me that I need to score on my feet. The passivity points came, but there were definitely opportunities to score and I talked to Coach Lindland about scoring more. But really, it’s just about fine-tuning stuff and feeling good. It was kind of a pretty big confidence booster for me to wrestle at an overseas event like this and get the win, so it felt good.”
On what earning a win at Saturday’s dual means in terms of confidence heading into next week
“It’s a huge confidence boost. On the whole ride back, I was just thinking about how it is more of a reality now. Like you were saying before, this is the biggest tournament of my life coming up, and it does kind of freak you out. But to get that win kind of relaxed me, like, Alright, you’ve got it. Keep going but don’t freak out, because you’re in it with those guys.”
Be sure to follow @MTCStorm on Instagram and Twitter. To know more about Barrett’s travels and competitions check his personal Instagram and Twitter.