Norwin’s Kyle Martin leads national team to duals title in Fargo

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Saturday, July 23, 2022 | 9:01 AM


Called the “toughest wrestling tournament in the country,” the USA Wrestling National Championships represent a true test of talent for coaches and competitors.

To Kyle Martin, the event represents a grandiose stage that matches the competition level.

Martin found so much enjoyment and success in last year’s event, he couldn’t wait to revist Fargo, N.D. this summer.

The experience was just as pleasurable: The Norwin coach led the U.S. U16 team to a second straight national duals title.

Among those on Martin’s team were Jo Dollman, who competed in the women’s U16 division, Maddox Shaw (Thomas Jefferson), who took third individually, Rocco Welsh, Bode Marlow (Thomas Jefferson), Jake Conroy (Ringgold), and Mason Kernan and Logan Hartman (Bethel Park).

The wrestlers qualified through the USA Wrestling regionals or state championships. Brackets, Martin said, usually have more than 150 participants in each weight class and the top eight earn All-America status.

Martin, the Pennsylvania U16 director and freestyle coach since 2018, said none of his title wins followed the same game plan.

“This year was the tightest race and going into it last week, I would have said California was the favorite,” Martin said. “But, specifically (on July 18), our athletes knocked off some opponents ranked higher than them and squeaked out a (223-212) win over California. That point differential is literally two matches that go the other way and we lose.”

Martin, who runs the Knights Regional Training Center in North Huntingdon, said he has established a curriculum for his wrestlers to follow.

“Points of emphasis that all of our U16 athletes get throughout the year,” he said. “We focus on those points in training camps. A lot goes into it. It’s exhausting, frustrating, but incredibly fun and rewarding to watch our athletes compete at optimal levels. We were able to beat some tough opponents. We finished with 16 All-Americans.”

Martin also was selected to coach the U.S. World Team this week in Rome.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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