June 20, 2012 - Grappler Nick Vandermeer is training and prepping after earning a spot on the Michigan USA Junior National Wrestling team.
Nick Vandermeer grabs a hold of a Davison wrestler. Photo by Wendi Reardon (click for larger version)
He is heading to the junior duals in Oklahoma City next week - a huge national team tournament.
"It is freestyle and Greco," he said. "Not exactly my favorite type of wrestling but I think it is pretty fun. I have been training really hard for this because I am not good at Greco, and I need to get better."
Vandermeer will compete in the 152-pound weight class - the same weight class he wrestled during his winter season at Clarkston High School.
He has never competed in the junior duals.
"It is known for being a hard tournament," Vandermeer said. "I have never wrestled Greco nationally or even in an actual match so that will be new to me. Lots of teams send their best kids there."
He has seen tough opponents after competing at the MHSAA Individual Wrestling State Finals in the beginning of March. He finished All-State with his seventh place finish. He finished 3-2 during the three day tournament.
"The competitiveness of the state finals helped me prepare for this," Vandermeer added. "I have been training all my life. I have wrestled since I was four."
Also, this year he took first place in the 155-pound weight class at the MYWAY State Wrestling Championships in March.
He also competed at the Junior Olympics with Team Michigan. The team finished in seventh place and Vandermeer finished with a 8-5 record in the 145-pound weight class.
"The Junior Olympics prepared me to compete freestyle nationally," he noted. "It has helped me out - I am a lot better than I used to be."
His goal is to win a lot of matches while he is at the junior duals and putting more in the win column then the loss column.
"I also want to make this a learning experience," Vandermeer added. "I am going to be going against some really tough guys."
The cost for the trip is $700.
"I am trying to fundraise for it," he said.
The team is accepting tax deductible donation to the MUSAW ID #38-3051820 with Nick Vandermeer in the memo line.
The family is also having a returnable bottle and can drive. Call his mom, Carol at 248-766-3407 to have them picked up.
"Any donations would be helpful," said Nick.
For more information, visit www.MUSAW.org.
Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.