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Bonus Points - A USA Wrestling Podcast | Mat Talk Podcast Network

Bonus Points is the official podcast of USA Wrestling and TheMat.com hosted by Richard Immel. Sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance Play Positive®, Bonus Points offers interviews and insight from USA Wrestling, the National Governing Body for wrestling in the United States and will feature coaches, athletes and notable names from the sport of wrestling. Part of the Mat Talk Podcast Network.
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Now displaying: 2017
May 24, 2017

Episode 79 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features 2017 U.S. World Team member in women's freestyle Becka Leathers.

Leathers made her first Senior-level U.S. World Team by winning the U.S. World Team Trials held in Las Vegas, Nev. in April. She will be the 55 kg representative for the U.S. at the World Championships being held in Paris, France, this August.

One week after making the World Team, Leathers brought back gold from the Pan American Championships held in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

She has been a member of two Junior World Teams and one Cadet World Team. In 2015, Leathers won a bronze medal at the Junior World Championships.

This season, Leathers has won international gold medals at the Bill Farrell International and Dave Schultz Memorial International. She is also a University Nationals champion and past WCWA Women's College Nationals champion.

Topics of discussion include securing a berth on the U.S. World Team, her victory at the Pan American Championships, her journey in wrestling and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 79 guest Becka Leathers on Twitter at @TeamBA4Life and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Apr 20, 2017

Episode 78 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features U.S. National Women's Coach Erin Vandiver.

Vandiver recently accepted the position as the new girls wrestling coach at national high school powerhouse Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School in Kingston, Pa.

The Pennsylvania native returns to her home state to lead a brand new accelerated elite girls developmental program, which seeks to attract many of the nation’s top high school girl wrestlers to pursue national and international goals while attending a highly respected academic institution.

Vandiver has a proven record of success as an athlete on the high school and international levels, as well as extensive experience coaching age-group wrestlers. One of her key responsibilities for USA Wrestling has been working with the nation’s top Cadet and Junior level women wrestlers, including coaching U.S. age group World Teams.

In her role as a coach for the resident-athletes at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Vandiver has also helped numerous U.S. Senior women wrestlers win World and Olympic medals for the United States. She has been a member of the women’s coaching staff at the last two Olympic Games.

Competing under her maiden name Erin Tomeo, she was a member of the 2001 and 2006 U.S. World Teams. She won the 2008 U.S. Open and was a four-time U.S. Open runner-up.

Erin wrestled at Lock Haven University as a member of the varsity men’s team for the 2001-2002 season.

Competing for Grove City High School, she was the first girl in Pennsylvania wrestling history to place at Districts and win a match at the Regional high school boys wrestling tournament. She was also active with USA Wrestling in its age-group women’s programs, and won Cadet World bronze medals in 1998 and 1999.

Topics of discussion include taking over the Wyoming Seminary program, her vision for developing women's wrestling, lessons learned through her coaching and athletic careers and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 78 guest Erin Vandiver on Twitter at @QueenT_omeo and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Apr 18, 2017

Episode 77 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features newly named head coach at the University of Pittsburgh, Keith Gavin.

Gavin takes the reigns of the Panther program after serving as an assistant coach at both Virginia and Oklahoma. He is the 11th head coach in the history of the Pittsburgh wrestling program.

On the Senior level, Gavin was a 2013 U.S. World Team member in men's freestyle, two-time U.S. Open champion, six-time U.S. National Team member and 2008 University World bronze medalist.

He was a two-time All-American for Pittsburgh, winning the NCAA Championships at 174 pounds in 2008 and finishing as NCAA runner-up in 2007.

Topics of discussion include taking over the Pitt program, his vision for the future of Pitt wrestling, what he learned from his international and college careers and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 77 guest Keith Gavin on Twitter at @keithgavin84 and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Apr 12, 2017

Episode 76 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features two-time NCAA champion Dean Heil of Oklahoma State University.

Heil won his second NCAA championship at 141 pounds this season after posting a perfect 32-0 record. He won the 142nd individual NCAA title in Cowboy history and became the 39th wrestler in program history to win multiple titles.

In the NCAA finals, Heil defeated Virginia's Geogre DiCamillo by a 6-3 margin. The two owned a well-established history on the mat dating back to their little league days in Ohio.

Heil is riding a 41-match win-streak heding into his senior season. He has placed fourth, first and first during his first three years at the NCAA Championships and is a three-time Big 12 champion.

Topics of discussion include consistently performing at the highest level, internal motivation, wrestling in tight matches, what it takes to win the NCAA Championships and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 76 guest Dean Heil on Twitter at @MeanDeanHeil and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Apr 4, 2017

Episode 75 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features 2017 NCAA champion Cory Clark of the University of Iowa.

Clark capped off his collegiate career by winning the NCAA Division I Championships held at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

He became the 133-pound NCAA champion with wins over Connor Schram of Stanford, Pat D'Arcy of Princeton, Stevan Micic of Michigan, Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State and Seth Gross of South Dakota State. Clark defeated Gross 4-3 in the championship match.

Clark finished his Hawkeye career as a four-time NCAA All-American and three-time NCAA finalist as he became the 54th individual in program history to claim a national title. He is the 19th Hawkeye to become a four-time All-American.

Topics of discussion include cementing his career with a NCAA title, overcoming the heartbreak of finishing second at the NCAAs two times, what it means to be a part of the Iowa wrestling tradition and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 75 guest Cory Clark on Twitter at @iCoryClark and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Mar 31, 2017

Episode 74 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast, presented by KT Tape, features two-time NCAA champion Gabe Dean of Cornell University.

Dean just completed a remarkable collegiate career for the Big Red as a four-time NCAA All-American with placements of third, first, first and second at the NCAA Championships.

His list of achievements include being a four-time EIWA champion, two-time Ivy League Wrestler of the Year and the Cornell record holder for all-time wins at 152.

As a senior, Dean finished with a 35-1 overall record and 20 pins, the highest mark in the NCAA this season.

In his final collegiate match, Dean was upset in the NCAA finals by Penn State's Bo Nickal, 4-3. Despite this loss, Dean will go down as one of the top wrestlers in NCAA history, all the while staying true to himself and his personal values.

Topics of discussion include his final run at the NCAA Championships, the legacy he built at Cornell, the sustained success of the Cornell program, overcoming adversity and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 74 guest Gabe Dean on Twitter at @DabeGean and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Mar 31, 2017

Episode 73 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features top U.S. women's freestyle talent Julia Salata.

Salata is fresh off winning her third University Nationals title with a masterful performance at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The Canton, Mich. native has seen tremedous success throughout her career. Salata is a two-time WCWA Women's College Nationals champion and four-time college All-American. She won a Univesity World bronze medal in 2014 and was a member of U.S. Junior World Teams in 2012 and 2013.

Salata will comepte at either 69 kg or 75 kg at the U.S. World Team Trials in Las Vegas, Nev. this April. She was the 75 kg runner-up at the 2017 U.S. Senior Nationals.

On top of her career as an athlete, Salata just completed her first season as an assistant coach at King University, a program that has now won four-straight WCWA team titles. Salata also participates part-time as a freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling official.

Topics of discussion include winning a third University Nationals title, being a member of the King wrestling program in multiple capacities, the growth of women's wrestling and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 73 guest Julia Salata on Twitter at @JSalata and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Mar 23, 2017

Episode 72 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features 2017 NCAA champion Darian Cruz of Lehigh University.

Cruz won the 125-pound title at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships held in St. Louis, Mo., March 16-18.

Throuhgout his three-day journey in St. Louis, Cruz defeated Dylan Peters of Northern Iowa, Shakur Laney of Ohio, Sean Fausz of North Carolina State, Thomas Gilman of Iowa and Ethan Lizak of Minnesota to become the 22nd individual to win a NCAA title for Lehigh.

Cruz downed the top seed Gilman 4-2 in the semifinals courtesy of a takedown in sudden victory. He secured a 6-3 win over Lizak in the championship match.

At the conclusion of his junior campaign for the Mountain Hawks, Cruz owns two NCAA All-American honors and two EIWA conference championships. He finished with a 31-2 record this season.

Topics of discussion include his NCAA title run, what it means to accomplish this feat for Lehigh, turning towards a title defense and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 72 guest Darian Cruz on Twitter at @toicruz23 and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Mar 14, 2017

On Episode 71 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast the duo of Richard Immel and Jason Bryant return to break down every aspect of the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

This year's NCAA bracketology episode features in-depth analysis of all 10 weight classes being contested, team race scenarios, Hodge Trophy discussion, predictions and more off the wall banter.

The 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships will he beld March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 71 guest Jason Bryant on Twitter at @jasonmbryant and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Mar 1, 2017

Episode 70 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features the "Magic Man" himself, David Taylor.

Taylor is fresh off a landmark performace at the 2017 Freestyle World Cup where he went 4-0 for the U.S. at 86 kg/189 lbs. by defeating two Olympic champions, an Olympic bronze medalist and a Junior World champion over a two-day span.

Prior to the World Cup, Taylor won gold medals at four international events with his most recent coming at the 2017 Paris International. He finished in third place at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials at 86 kg.

Taylor was a two-time NCAA champion, four-time NCAA finalist, two-time Hodge Trophy winner and four-time Big Ten champion for Penn State from 2010 to 2014. He also helped Penn State capture four-straight NCAA championships as a team.

Topics of discussion include traveling to Iran for the Freestyle World Cup, his dynamic World Cup performance, Penn State wrestling and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 70 guest David Taylor on Twitter at @magicman_psu and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Feb 16, 2017

Episode 69 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features South Dakota State University head coach Chris Bono.

Bono is in his fifth season as head coach for the Jackrabbits and has brought new life to the program. SDSU has seen 12 wrestlers qualify for the NCAA Championships under Bono's leadership. This season, SDSU holds a record of 13-4 (7-1 Big 12) and is ranked in the top-20 nationally.

South Dakota State now enters a crucial stretch of its season, hosting Purdue in a NWCA National Duals Championship Series bowl followed by a border brawl with North Dakota State this weekend.

Bono was a three-time All-American and NCAA champion at Iowa State University from 1994-1997. He ammassed 130 career wins for the Cyclones. On the Senior-level, Bono was a three-time U.S. World Team member in freestyle wrestling.

Topics of discussion include the rise of South Dakota State, the National Duals, preparing for the postseason and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 69 guest Chris Bono on Twitter at @ChrisBono and follow show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Feb 8, 2017

Episode 68 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast, presented by KT Tape, features one of the top women's freestyle wrestlers in the U.S., Tamyra Mensah.

Mensah is fresh off a gold-medal performance at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix held in Krasonyarsk, Russia. She became just the sixth U.S. woman to win the prestigious event, and first to do so since 2010.

2016 was a banner year for the young American talent. Mensah won six medals at international events over the year in addition to her stateside wins at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and U.S. Senior Nationals.

Mensah is a senior at Wayland Baptist University where she has already earned three WCWA All-American honors and a national title in 2014. She will look for her second WCWA crown this weekend in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Topics of discussion include her performance at the Ivan Yarygin Grand Prix, her 2016 Olympic journey, ascending levels, and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points show host Richard Immel on Twitter at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Jan 19, 2017

Episode 67 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features Duke University's high-flying heavyweight Jacob Kasper.

Competing in his junior season for the Blue Devils, Kasper has compiled a 20-1 record with six wins coming by fall and three by major decision. He became Duke's first Southern Scuffle champion in January.

Kasper was a NCAA qualifier and ACC runner-up in 2015. He also finished in seventh place at the 2015 U.S. Senior Nationals in Greco-Roman.

Topics of discussion include his personal growth on the mat, taking on a new weight class, training Greco-Roman at the Olympic Training Center and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 67 guest Jacob Kasper on Twitter at @jacobakasper and follow show host Richard Immel at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Jan 12, 2017

Episode 66 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast features United World Wrestling's Tim Foley.

Foley has covered wrestling at all levels for over a decade. His current role with United World Wrestling has him oversee the media operations for wrestling's international governing body.

He was a NCAA All-American at the University of Virginia in 2004 and later coached at Columbia University while earning his M.S. in Magazine Journalism.

Topics of discussion include his personal connection to wrestling, the promotional side of wrestling, the evolution of UWW and much more.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 66 guest Tim Foley on Twitter at @trfoley and follow show host Richard Immel at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

Jan 6, 2017

Episode 65 of the USA Wrestling Bonus Points podcast takes a look back at many of the great wrestling moments from the 2016 calendar year.

Richard Immel and Jason Bryant come together once more in a special Short Time-Bonus Points collaboration to reflect on their favorite moments of the past year.

Topics of discussion include the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the NCAA Championsips in Madison Square Garden plus much more off-the-wall conversation.

Follow USA Wrestling Bonus Points Ep. 65 guest Jason Bryant on Twitter at @jasonmbryant and follow show host Richard Immel at @Richard_Immel.

Listen to previous episodes of the show on the USA Wrestling Bonus Points Archives or by subscribing on your favorite podcast listening application.

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