Always a Wildcat: 5 former Northern Michigan University National Training Site athletes to represent U.S. at upcoming Olympics

Helen Maroulis, right, controls Katherine Fulp-Allen during their 53-kilogram women's match at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials on April 10, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP file photo)

Olympics: Tokyo Summer Games, postponed from 2020, are scheduled for July 23-Aug. 8


MARQUETTE — Four competing athletes and a coach with ties to the National Training Site at Northern Michigan University and one of its forerunners, the U.S. Olympic Education Center, will participate at the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games that will hold its opening ceremony on Friday.

A U.S. Olympic coach in Tokyo will be Spenser Mango with the men’s Greco-Roman wrestling team. Mango, a 2010 NMU graduate, previously represented Team USA as an athlete in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.

On that Greco-Roman team will be ex-Northern student Alejandro Sancho. Competing at 67 kilograms (147.7 pounds), Sancho will be in his first Olympics as he now competes for the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.

Adeline Gray reacts after defeating Victoria Francis in their during their 75-kilogram women's final match at the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Team Trials on April 10, 2016, in Iowa City, Iowa. (AP file photo)

The most decorated Olympic athlete of the five is Helen Maroulis, who participated in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. She made history by earning Team USA’s first Olympic gold medal in women’s freestyle wrestling.

Like Maroulis, U.S. women’s freestyle wrestling teammate Adeline Gray attended Marquette Senior High School while part of the USOEC, a program that ran from 2004-12. And Gray also took part in the 2016 Olympics.

Maroulis will compete at 57 kg (125.7 lbs.) and Gray at 76 kg (167.6 lbs.).

And former NMU student Sarah Robles will be making her third trip to the Olympics in women’s weightlifting. Set to compete in the 87-plus kg (191.8-lb.-plus) division, she broke a 16-year medal drought for Team USA by winning bronze at the 2016 Games.

Information compiled by Journal Sports Editor Steve Brownlee. His email address is sbrownlee@miningjournal.net.

Sarah Robles competes in women's snatch 87-and-over kilogram weightlifting division at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, on July 30, 2019. (AP file photo)

Alex Sancho of the Northern Michigan University Olympic Training Site, left, and Sheldon Wilder, right, of the All-Navy team wrestle each other during a meet at the Superior Dome in Maruqette. The meet celebrated NMU-OTS's 15 years of Greco-Roman wrestling Thursday evening on March 12, 2015. (Journal file photo)

Alejandro Sancho

Spenser Mango


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