How Do You Rank the Top RTCs?

This week, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan have a unique episode where they give you their Regional Training Center (RTC) power rankings. One question while coming up with this list Askren had was if they should count international wrestlers or only USA wrestlers. Another was how exactly do you qualify the strength of these RTCs. They bring up the New Jersey RTC and everything Scott Goodale is doing there. They have a true Regional Training Center in the sense that they have both Rutgers and Princeton training there whereas most others are only one school. Askren thinks it would be beneficial if more schools combined and had that added benefit of more high-level athletes learning from one and other. Dernlan brings up the concern of most regions just don’t have schools within a close enough proximity to each other. If there is an opportunity to pool resources together it would help with funding and supporting more athletes.

Number 5 (16:01)

Depth played a big factor for Askren while making his picks. Number five for Askren is Michigan RTC. Michigan will have multiple wrestlers competing at the World Championships this year not only representing the USA such as Adam Coon in Greco but also internationally like Stevan Micic, Myles and Malik Amine, and Dave Habat to name a few. Dernlan also took Michigan as his number five choice.

Number 4 (19:55)

Dernlan picks the Hawkeye Wrestling Club as his number four. When considering the HWC you have to weigh in the fact they have three women that just secured their spots on the world team. Askren’s number four is the Minnesota RTC or the Minnesota Storm. They have someone at almost every single weight class that is high level and right at the door of being world team members. Dernlan speaks about how MTC is creative with how they have their athletes play a bigger role within the organization. They might be a part-time coach or hold other roles and this could be extremely beneficial for them and their lives after competing.

Number 3 (26:55)

Askren’s number three is the Ohio RTC. When you’re talking about the Ohio RTC you compare them to their recent success and as an absolute powerhouse of producing World and Olympic team members. This year Logan Steiber announced his retirement, Nathan Tomasello has been dealing with injuries and a few other athletes didn’t have the results they hoped. One year’s results doesn’t discount the level of depth and talent they have on their roster. Since 2011 they’ve put 16 wrestlers on World and Olympic teams. Dernlan also puts Ohio RTC at number three based off this year’s results.

Number 2 (30:20)

Dernlan picks the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club at number two. NLWC has a lot of top guys but has struggled with getting their college national champions onto World teams with the exception of David Taylor. Askren takes New Jersey RTC. This was a great year for NJRTC. They have Tyler Graff and Pat Downey on the World Team as well as a stacked roster of top contenders on the national level.

Number 1 (35:45)

Dernlan takes NJRTC as his number one because of their success in the last three years. Askren has NLWC as his number one. He talks about the unparalleled depth the NLWC has and the opportunities for athletes to train together. They also host a number of top international wrestlers.

UFC 239 Askren vs Masvidal (38:40)

Askren talks a little about his upcoming fight Saturday, July 6th at UFC 239 against Jorge Masvidal. Masvidal recently missed his second UFC press conference promoting the fight and the UFC 239 card. Askren talks about how from a mental perspective if you think playing games will impact your opponent that means games likely work on you. He talks about his path to a shot at the title and how he is set up nicely after the fight on July 6th to get chance at the belt next.


Featured RUDIS Gear:

Askren is wearing the Ben Askren Funky Silhouette Adult T-Shirt found here:

Dernlan is wearing the Ben Askren Funky Block Adult T-Shirt found here:


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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.

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