Titan Mercury Wrestling Club Unites the Nation’s Best to Take on the World
By: Jonny Ruggiano
The world of Olympic wrestling has a new juggernaut and its name is the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club. Founded in 2012 by wrestling philanthropist Andrew F. Barth and trend setter Wayne Eric Boyd, the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club hit the national scene full steam, winning the U.S. Open the past three consecutive years. However, being National Champions was just the tip of the iceberg for TMWC. This past Olympic games, Titan Mercury boasted five of USA’s Olympians in Elena Pirozhkova, Daniel Dennis, Frank Molinaro, J’Den Cox and Kyle Snyder of whom Cox earned bronze and Snyder claimed gold: an impressive start to any sports organization.
However, the mantra, penned first by founder Andy Barth is to, “Stay hungry for more.”
That is exactly what the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club offers the world of wrestling. While the sport faced the catastrophic fate of being cut from the Olympic games in 2013, it also opened the room for healthy change and fervent development. Titan Mercury was a major partner in efforts to “Save Olympic Wrestling,” along with USA Wrestling, United World Wrestling and other dedicated organizations that wanted to see wrestling not only survive, but thrive. Since it’s inception Titan Mercury has helped unite efforts and improve wrestling’s position in the world of sport.
And unite it has done. Titan Mercury sent a star studded cast of the nation’s best wrestlers to the World Freestyle Wrestling Clubs Cup in Kharkov, Ukraine. Wrestlers from the country’s best programs joined Titan Mercury for the event. Leading the squad was Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder at 97 kg. While Snyder is the most accomplished of all the team members, he is also the youngest member of Team TMWC and the youngest wrestler to win an Olympic title for the United States. Furthermore, Snyder is the only wrestler to win an Olympic, World, NCAA and Big 10 championship in a single year.
Snyder was joined by NCAA Champion Nico Megaludis of Penn State at 57 kg., BJ Futrell at 65 kg. and Nazar Kulchytskyy at 70 kg. Nazar was one of two 3X NCAA Champions for TMWC. While Kulchytskyy won his titles in Division III, Oklahoma State standout Alex Dieringer claimed his three college titles at Division I. Dieringer wrestles for TMWC at 74 kg. Along with this already impressive cast, David Taylor was added to the roster at 86 kg. Taylor claimed two Dan Hodge trophy awards while wrestling for Penn State in college. The Dan Hodge award in wrestling is the equivalent to the Heisman trophy in football. Finishing up at the heavyweight spot, 2X NCAA Division I champ and NC State standout Nick Gwaizdowski competed at 125 kg. Titan Mercury boosted their power line up with one international wrestler: Olympic gold medalist Vladimir Khinchegashvili at 61 kg. The Titan Mercury squad was poised to dominate and wrestling fans were eager to see how well the team would do.
This week is a perfect example of its impact, not only on the national scene, but on the World stage. While most people in the USA lay asleep, the wrestling faithful hit Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to catch a glimpse of America’s team at work. There was over 300K impressions on twitter alone throughout the night as the nation’s wrestling fans rooted the team on. That support seemed to pay off as the team earned its place in the finals against reigning champions Bimeh Razi of Iran. It seems as the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club team keeps evolving, its fans too, “Stay hungry for more.”
However, the road to the finals was no easy journey for this power squad. In pool competition Titan Mercury defeated host team Ukraine 7-1 in match competition. In their second dual, TMWC witnessed Olympic Champion Kyle Snyder loss a close rematch from the Olympics against Georgia’s Elizbar Odikadze. Never the less, the team came through and won the dual 5-3. In the semifinals TMWC’s other Olympic champ Vladimir Khinchegashvili was downed by Vasyl Shuptar of Ukraine’s A team. At the end of the dual TMWC came away victorious in a 4-4 dual in which they won on criteria.
At the end of the day’s competition only two wrestlers remained unscathed: Nico Megaludis and Alex Dieringer. Founder, Wayne Boyd, who also serves as the club’s Director of Development reflected upon the team’s path to the finals, “Of the three years TMWC has competed at the WCC, this year is by far the toughest. When two Olympic Champions lose in the same day the other guys have to step up! They did, Dieringer, Megaludis, Taylor and Gwiazdowski stepped up to put is in the finals against Iran’s Razi team. Tomorrow night will be a war.”
While tomorrow’s dual pits the two best wrestling teams in the World against each other, you can bet that America’s wrestling faithful will be rushing to social media sites @titanmercury and @titan_mercury for live updates, video feeds and more.
For more information on the Titan Mercury Wrestling Club go to www.tmwc1.com