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Stamford coach wins national championship

Stamford coach Bryan Spielvogel won his first USA Wrestling national championship recently in Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy Spielvogel family)

Stamford’s Bryan Spielvogel won a USA Wrestling national championship at the recent U.S. Open competition in Las Vegas.

Spielvogel, 54, won a best-of-three championship final against Dan Veer of Chicago Wrestling Club at 58 kilograms (127.8 pounds) to win the Masters D (ages 51-58) title.

Spielvogel has been one of the head coaches of the Stamford Junior Wrestling program for the past seven years. He has lived in Stamford for the past 15 years.

When he was younger, he was a three-time league champion at Commack South High School on Long Island and a two-time All-Suffolk County champion. He won the Empire State Games in 1985 and wrestled for two years at Wagner, a Division I program.

“I’ve been wrestling at the Nutmeg (State) Games for the past several years taking different places there,” Spielvogel said. “But the open division at the Games is 19 years old and above and I’m always the oldest guy there. Wrestling against 20-to-25 year old (athletes) is very difficult. They’re in perfect shape and much faster than me, so I decided to take a crack at going to (Las) Vegas to compete against guys my own age.”

Spielvogel won his first match with Veer by technical fall, building a 10-point lead in 1:51. In match two, Veer twice led by eight points and was close to forcing a decisive match three to win the best-of-3 series and the national title.

“I kept my focus and after four-point fireman’s carry, two-point push out and a few takedowns, I worked back to 12-10 and ended up pinning my opponent in the second period,” he said. Spielvogel won the match with a pin in 3:01.

Spielvogel thanked his training partners in Stamford for helping him to be ready for this championship moment.

“The coaching staff at (Stamford Junior Wrestling) really helped me train for this, along with the high school kids from Stamford, Westhill and Greenwich. They all attend post season practices at the Stamford Boys and Girls Club.”

Best of 3 national championship finals

Match 2: Spielvogel vs. Veer

Match 1: Spielvogel vs. Veer

 

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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