Wyoming Seminary's new pilot girls wrestling program will be led by USA Wrestling's Assistant National Women's Coach Erin Tomeo Vandiver (pictured), announced Karen Klassner, Sem director of athletics, on Friday.
Sem's girls wrestling program, first announced in January 2017, will begin as a pilot program in fall, 2017, and its members will train with the school's nationally-ranked boys wrestling program. The expansion of Sem's wrestling program to include a girl's program reflects the burgeoning nation-wide popularity of the sport.
Vandiver has served on USA's senior women's world team coaching staff since 2009 and helped lead the 2012 and 2016 Olympic women's wrestling teams. In 2016 Helen Maroulis was the first woman to win a gold medal for the United States in women's wrestling, competing in the 53k weight class. Vandiver also coached the 2016 Pan American Championship team, served as head coach for the Junior National Team and Cadet National Team and has led the Women's University National team and Women's Junior World Team.
As a member of the U.S. Olympic Training Center wrestling coaching staff for resident athletes, she has worked with many U.S. senior women wrestlers who have won World and Olympic medals for the United States.
A Pennsylvania native, Vandiver wrestled at Grove City High School and was the first girl in state history to place at districts and win a match at the regional high school boys wrestling tournament. She wrestled at Lock Haven University before joining the U.S. Olympic Training Center as a resident athlete. She was a member of the 2001 and 2006 U.S. World Teams, placing seventh in the 2006 games; won the 2008 U.S. Open and was a four-time U.S. Open runner-up. She has earned medals in international competitions and holds gold medals from the Dave Schultz Memorial International and New York AC International. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, with a bachelor of science degree in history.
"We are thrilled to have such an incredible coach join our staff," Klassner said. "She is one of the best-known names in women's wrestling."
Scott Green, Sem boys head wrestling coach, told USA Wrestling he believes Sem has a good model in place for success in girls wrestling.
"We have a national brand established here and we are in a unique position to really impact girls wrestling at the high school level," he said. "With Erin coming back to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to the Northeast, it will be really exciting for girls to train here. She will have a big impact on our school, as well as on girls wrestling in the Northeast in general."
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