This weekend was full of highlights for the Spartan Combat RTC. Three athletes, Vito Arujau, Yianni Diakomihalis, and Nick Gwiazdowski, earned spots in Final X, bringing the RTC’s total to four, with Kyle Dake previously accepting his slot. In addition, Youssif Hemida won the African Championship at 125 kg.
But the great news didn’t stop there, as Spartan received a commitment from another elite individual shortly afterwards - Michael Kemerer.
Kemerer, a five-time All-American at Iowa, will be moving to Ithaca later this summer to join Spartan Combat RTC as a resident athlete and to assist with coaching.
“The opportunity offered everything I was looking for,” Kemerer said. “The alumni network is amazing and it’s a great place for wrestling, with great people and great coaches. It hit all the areas I was looking to develop myself in on and off the mat.”
Kemerer completed his career with 100 wins for the Hawkeyes, finishing in the top four every time he competed at NCAAs.
After undergoing shoulder surgery a little over a month ago, the Big 10 champion is currently in the recovery process.
“Right now, my number one priority is to get healthy and get back on the mat,” he said. “I’m excited to help with coaching - I look forward to sharing my wrestling knowledge and influencing younger guys. I had a lot of good influences in my life and I’m excited to pass along what I’ve learned.”
A three-time Fargo All-American in high school, Kemerer competed in freestyle early in his college career, winning the Junior Freestyle Nationals in Vegas and taking third at University Nationals.
While he said he was “banged up” in the offseason a number of times while at Iowa, he continued to practice freestyle in the room and can’t wait to be at 79 kilograms for Spartan.
“It’s a perfect weight for me,” Kemerer said. “I’ll have a lot of partners that can help me develop - that was a big appeal. I’m excited to see some new perspectives and wrestle with some new guys, pick their brains and share what I know. I see a lot of people here who have really high standards and have set their sights on lofty goals. I think of myself the same way, so it feels like a great fit in a place that is having a lot of success.”
Welcome to the Spartan Combat RTC, Michael Kemerer!