June 19, 2007

Bloomsburg Wrestlers to Take Part in Canada Cup of Wrestling

BLOOMSBURG-- Two Bloomsburg University wrestlers will be going “international” this weekend as they compete in the 2007 Canada Cup of International Wrestling in Guelph, Ontario.

Competing as members of the New York Athletic Club will be Mike Spaid (Perkiomenville/Boyertown) and Dennis Bermudez (Saugerties, NY/Saugerties).

Spaid, a senior, is coming off a season in which he finished 35-8 and earned Bloomsburg's All-American honor in 13 years with an eighth-place finish as the NCAA Division One wrestling championships. During the season the heavyweight recorded 14 wins by fall with 13 of those coming in the first period, including three in under a minute. He also had a streak of 19 straight wins and beat eight NCAA-qualifiers during the year. He also won his second straight Eastern Wrestling League (EWL) and PSAC championship and made his third trip to the NCAA championships. He capped the season by being named the winner of the school's Danny Litwhiler Award which honors the top male underclassman athlete of the year.

Bermudez, a sophomore, wrestled primarily at 157 pounds for the Huskies as a freshman and posted a mark of 23-18. He finished sixth at the EWL championships and was third at the PSAC championships.

The Canada Cup is one of the longest running International Olympic Wrestling events in North America, This year's Canada Cup is expecting another strong field, including teams from the United States, Germany, Korea, Australia, Greece, Brazil, South Africa, India, and Nigeria.

“The Canada Cup is the biggest FILA Tournament in North America,” said Bloomsburg University coach John Stutzman. “It is considered a FILA 1 event, which means if you win, you qualify for the 2008 Olympic Trials.  The guys will be facing Olympic hopefuls from around the globe.”

“Both Mike (Spaid) and Dennis (Bermudez) are looking forward to competing in a top tournament,” Stutzman said. “Hopefully through their off-season training and competitions, they are putting themselves in a position to win NCAA titles and possibly make future world teams.

The Canada Cup was first hosted in the fall of 1980. The event was conceived as an alternative to the 1980 Moscow Olympics which many western nations boycotted.