SAN DIEGO, Calif.
– A Sailor assigned to the future USS Anchorage (LPD 23) will be among five Sailors selected to compete in the ASICS U.S. Open National Wrestling Championships April 17-21 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Logistics Specialist Seaman Justin Nolen participated in the team’s open try-outs held in March and was notified of his selection earlier this month.
“It’s amazing to be selected because I get a chance to not only represent the command, but the entire Navy,” said Nolen, 20, who hails from Iverness, Florida. “This is a sport I’ve always competed in because of the strength and discipline required to be successful. I’ve always tried to embody those traits, especially as a Sailor and it will be an honor to represent the Navy in Las Vegas.”
Nolen will compete in the 51 Kilo (121 lbs) category and will need to finish in the top seven to qualify for an invitation to the U.S. World Team Trials in Stillwater, Okla., in June.
“He certainly has the drive to succeed,” said Logistics Specialist 1st Class Christopher Klock, Nolen’s division leading petty officer. “It’s great to see him push so hard because that ethic seeps into his work ethic and we get a great Sailor as a result. I wish him the best, and if he doesn’t make it, I know he’ll be up there again next year because that’s how dedicated he is.”
As a former Florida state high school wrestling champion in the 119- and 125-lbs categories, Nolen explained that competing on a national level never gets any easier.
“The nerves will always be there because everyone is just as good as you are if not better at that level,” he said. “The difference this time is it means something more to wear a shirt walking into the arena that says ‘Navy’ on it. I hope to represent us and Anchorage well.”
Anchorage is the seventh San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock.
She was built at the Huntington Ingalls Industries Shipbuilding site in Avondale, La., and delivered to the U.S. Navy Sept. 17. The ship will be commissioned in May in her namesake city of Anchorage, Alaska, and is the second ship to be named for the city.
For more information on Anchorage, visit http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/lpd23/Pages/default.aspx
or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/anchoragelpd23