Anyone who believes Geneseo is just a quiet, sleepy small town, may get a wake-up call when 250 athletes and their 1000 fans turn this quiet, small town into an acclaimed wrestling destination this weekend.
The Geneseo Wrestling Invitational, which has become known as one of the premier high school wrestling tournaments in the nation, takes place this Friday and Saturday, January 16-17 at the high school. Last year‚Äö√Ñ√¥s event included eight state champions and this year looks to be shaping up with the same level of competition. Six state ranked teams will be in attendance and four of the wrestlers taking the mat are currently ranked number one in their weight class.
Coach Jon Murray knows that this weekend is a prime opportunity for his team to get the level of competition that will help prepare them for the state tournament.
‚Äö√Ñ√∫Our pre-season goal was to send 10 individuals to state,‚Äö√Ñ√π said Murray, ‚Äö√Ñ√∫so for most of our guys, this is a great opportunity to see the level of competition they will see at the state level.‚Äö√Ñ√π
With this being the 40th year Geneseo has hosted the tournament, Athletic Director Travis Mackey, is proud of how the event has developed and the attention it receives. ‚Äö√Ñ√∫Wrestling fans in the Midwest have heard of the Geneseo Invitational,‚Äö√Ñ√π said Mackey. ‚Äö√Ñ√∫We get people calling to get on the waiting list every year. This is a great competition with great wrestlers and has become one of the best in the nation, drawing college recruiters from all over. Even Dan Gable, one of the most well-known wrestling personalities in the world knows about the tournament and has attended in the past.‚Äö√Ñ√π
This year‚Äö√Ñ√¥s competition will feature 18 teams from across Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa, with preliminaries getting underway Friday afternoon at 4:00 and wrapping up Saturday afternoon with the finals at 2:30. ‚Äö√Ñ√∫It‚Äö√Ñ√¥s just a fantastic weekend of wrestling,‚Äö√Ñ√π Murray commented. ¬¨‚Ä†‚Äö√Ñ√∫At the end of the day our guys are fans too and just love watching good wrestling like all other fans. We take a lot of pride in our tournament and will continue striving to make it more and more competitive.‚Äö√Ñ√π
We hope you‚Äö√Ñ√¥ll join us in welcoming these athletes and fans to town this weekend. We also encourage you to stop by the high school and watch some great wrestling!