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Hillside Wrestling Weekend IX, July 2002

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group pic
Photo credit: Erich Richter

Hillside Wrestling Weekend IX was held July 17-21, 2002 and was felt by many participants to have been the best Wrestling Weekend yet. Wrestlers attended from all over the U.S. as well as Canada, Mexico, France, Germany and even the United Arab Emirates. There was plenty of mat time for challenge matches, and the freestyle wrestlers' experience culminated in what promises to be a new tradition: the Saturday tournament. Thanks to a new caterer, the food was great. The weather was ideal, without any of the cold nights such as during last year's events; days were sunny and hot except for the Friday afternoon thunderstorm which of course didn't stop the wrestling.

Click on one of the following links to jump to a particular section of this year’s page:

Riding There (NJ & PA) | At Hillside: Wrestling and other photos from Hillside Campground |
End of Weekend and Ride Back.

[PA739 thumbnail]

Hillside 2002 -- the ride in

This year’s route, much like last year’s, was from Mineola (Nassau County), NY, through Queens and Manhattan and the rest of the usual route through New Jersey and Pennsylvania. One-way mileage: 180.4 (299.3 km*), round trip 384.0 (637.8 km*) (*the km values are slightly more than the mileage/1.6093 because they were recorded on a separate unit [Cateye CC-5000] calibrated differently; the mileage was recorded on a Huret Multito).

  1. Just after crossing the Delaware into Pennsylvania (km. 168.2).
  2. A deer in the Pocono woods along PA 739 (c. km. 185).
  3. The same deer in the Pocono woods along PA 739.
  4. This is me, near where the deer was.
  5. Waymart, PA, looking west, near US 6 & PA 296, on Y (km. 245).
  6. Waymart, PA, looking east towards PA 296.

    It was a very hot day, though being in the mountains cooled things off a bit (it was still at least 90° F).

    Heading down the mountain into Carbondale, the slightly cooler mountain air gave way to hot breezes that felt like an electric heater or furnace. In previous years, the 90's of New Jersey would give way to 70's or 80's by Carbondale (which is 25 miles from Hillside), but not this year, when a bank thermometer there read 95° F. New Jersey was also hot as in recent years, though it was cooler at night.

    Probably guzzled more water and electrolyte drink than on any previous Hillside ride. The day's heat gave way to a comfortable night with perfect temperatures for sweat-soaked matches into the wee hours of the morning (as the guys who'd set up their tents next to the mat areas soon found out).

    At Hillside

    (Km. 299.3)

    [Sean match, thumbnail]

    There were already 40 wrestlers present when I arrived at 7:46 p.m. on Wednesday evening and paused to take a picture before checking in at the camp office.

    The remainder of the weekend was cooler without getting too cold. I wrestled on all the different mats, though mostly on the freestyle and submission mats, starting Wednesday night after dinner.

  7. Thursday night match on the freestyle mat.
  8. Thursday night pro match (pic didn't come out well).
  9. Friday morning, warming up & wrestling at the submission mat.
  10. Friday morning, breakfast with the freestyle mat in the background.
  11. Joe and John M. at Friday morning breakfast. The laptop in the foreground was used by Bill for this year's directory.
  12. Joe D.'s tent, always well-equipped, was especially decked out this year.
  13. Rubbing out soreness at the freestyle mat.
  14. John G. vs. Klaus, after reversal by Klaus.
  15. At the submission mat, Friday morning.
  16. Submission wrestling, showing differences from freestyle -- the guy on the bottom is in control, whereas in freestyle he'd be called for the neck hold as well as exposing his back.
  17. James arrives on Friday.
  18. Sean and Jim.

    [The deer at camp]

  19. Friday evening after dinner, a deer was sighted grazing on the hillside just above camp.
  20. The same deer, not far from the top of the tents.
  21. The same deer, closeup.
  22. Wrestlers stop what they're doing to grab their cameras and photograph the deer.

    Saturday morning, getting ready for the tournament.

  23. Paul and Mark in the tent area. See also Paul's website with a tournament pic (as of July 2002) and his physical therapy site.

    [Glenn match]

    Hillside Freestyle Tournament

    The freestyle tournament was a welcome addition to the wrestling weekend, with plenty of intense, hard-fought matches starting in the morning, with a few final matches also after lunch. The major teams such as Metro, Golden Gate, and others made a good showing, as did a number of individuals not associated with a team.

    Freestyle tournament pics:

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  72. Preliminary tournament results.
  73. Break for lunch.
  74. Old Glory over Hillside.
  75. Another lunch scene.
  76. Yet another lunch scene.
  77. Dessert on the mat.
  78. A musical interlude.

    The tournament continues after lunch.

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  96. Final tournament results (see also the text version).

    [1st pro match]

    Pro Wrestling at Hillside 2002

    This was the second year that Hillside had a pro ring, and for the first time I hit the ring, having an extended submission match (sorry, it wasn't pro-style) there with Glenn, where every throw onto the canvas reverberated through the mountains.

    The pro show on Friday night was rescheduled to Saturday, overlapping the talent show but still well done and entertaining, particularly with Jim's and others' remarks from the peanut gallery. ;-)

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  122. End of the Weekend and the Ride Back

    [just off I-81 on PA-106, Lenox]

  123. A stroll down the Strip.
  124. Equilateral planting in the NNS area.
  125. Just off I-81 on PA-106, Lenox.
  126. Sightseeing in Honesdale, PA (the train runs on weekends along the 19th-Century Gravity Railroad route, but apparently using a locomotive rather than gravity).
  127. Almost home; the county seat in Hackensack, NJ.

    Also check out the article by Gene Dermody along with its gallery of pictures by Erich Richter (select "best edits" to keep download size down).


    Previous Hillside Wrestling Weekend pages: Hillside 1996 | 1997: Digest & Pictures | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001
    General Information about the next Hillside Wrestling Weekend | Home Page / Other Pictures

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    Page created:   July 26, 2002
    Last modified:  July 30, 2002