West Jordan, UT — AAU Wrestling Utah will host the AAU Grand Nationals three-style wrestling championships June 15-17, 2017. The tournament was awarded to AAU Wrestling Utah following a presentation made at the 125th Annual AAU Convention held in San Antonio, Tex., in October.
"I have wanted to bring AAU Grand Nationals to Utah for years," said AAU Wrestling Utah Director Bill Kilpack. "We have great support for the sport of wrestling and I think that it will be a great opportunity for Utah athletes to have the only national championships in freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle in our back yard."
Kilpack submitted a written proposal to host the tournament, which was approved by the AAU Wrestling Executive Committee, after which Kilpack was invited to San Antonio to make a presentation to the AAU Wrestling National Committee. The bid was made based on the tournament being jointly run by AAU Wrestling Utah, Mountain Top Wrestling Club and the Copper Hills High School wrestling team. Following the presentation, the bid was approved unanimously by the 30-plus members in attendance.
AAU Wrestling National Director Bob Johnson said, "We are very excited to move the tournament to Utah. It will give us great exposure in the Southwest. It will expose us to a whole new clientele and increase exposure to our other great events. We know Bill will do a great job. We are so excited."
Some changes to the tournament will include Outstanding Wrestler awards in each of the seven youth categories in all three styles. A Fastest Pin award will be offered for each style. Champions in all three styles will receive a Triple Crown Award. The tournament is also part of the AAU Wrestling National Championship Belt Series. More promotion will be provided for the adult divisions. Finally, a Women's Division will be added in each style.
AAU Utah Governor Mike Killpack said, "Utah AAU is excited to have the 2017 Grand Nationals here in Utah. We hope it will push wrestling to go along with our 15,000 members in the volleyball and boys/girls basketball programs. We are confident that AAU Wrestling Utah will put on an awesome tournament."
After attending AAU Grand Nationals previously, former Mt. Crest High School Wrestling Coach Davie Swenson said, "I'm grateful that we [went] to Grand Nationals. One of my wrestlers had 24 matches ... that's a whole season's worth of mat time. What a great deal!"
For more information, go to www.AAUGrandsUtah.com, www.AAUWrestlingUtah.com or www.MountainTopWrestling.com.