Wrestlers learn from three-time champs

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MEEKER — Keenan Turner, Brandan Stewart and Joe LeBlanc, Meeker’s three, three-time state wrestling champions held a takedown clinic last Saturday for wrestlers in the exhibition hall at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds.
“I’m glad for the guys that showed up,” Meeker High School wrestling coach Joe Gutierrez said. “They had an opportunity to learn from some of the best and everybody got mat time, which is most important.”
The three clinicians covered stances, position, changing elevation and shooting through an opponent before takedown challenges were held.
“Our stance was the only thing we worked on during my first week at college,” Turner, who wrestled for Nebraska and competed in the Olympic trials in the late 1980s said. “It all starts with a good stance.”
Stewart spoke of believing in your preparation and abilities.
“If you go into a match believing you are going to win, 90 percent of the time you will,” Stewart told more than 20 young wrestlers from Meeker, two of Rangely’s best and others from Craig and Basalt.
The clinic was a fundraiser for the local wrestling club, which also added to the coffers by manning the concession stand for the mixed martial arts fights later that evening.
“Thanks to Keenan, Brandan and Joey for doing this for the kids, they have a lot of wrestling knowledge and live right here in our town,” Gutierrez said. “And thanks to all the parents and kids that stuck around and helped with the mats and concession stand.
Gutierrez said some of wrestlers were going to go camping this weekend and “do a little fishing.”