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Burke, Martinez, Raschke, Rheingans 2014 Greco-Roman Hall of Champions inductees

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Four Greco-Roman wrestling greats -- Jim Burke, Jim Raschke, Brad Rheingans, and Jim Martinez – will be welcomed into the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions, the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum announced Tuesday.

The induction ceremony will take place Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the Kennedy Center on the campus of Augsburg College in Minneapolis. This is the fifth induction class.

Jim Burke owns the distinction of being the first American to win a medal at the Greco-Roman World Championships, having earned a bronze medal at the 1962 Worlds in the 154-pound weight class. Burke was also a member of the 1964 Olympic team at 154.5 pounds and a member of the both the Greco-Roman and freestyle World teams in 1965. He died in May 2006 at age 70.

Jim Martinez was a two-time World and Olympic medalist. He placed third at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and third at the 1985 World Championships, both at 149.5 pounds. Martinez also made Greco-Roman World teams in 1983, 1986, and 1987. Prior to making a name for himself in Greco, Martinez wrestled at the University of Minnesota, where he was a two-time NCAA All-American (1979 and 1982) and a Big Ten champion (1979).

Jim Raschke placed third at the 1963 Greco-Roman World Championships in the heavyweight division, becoming only the second American wrestler to medal at that competition. After winning a Nebraska state wrestling championship for Omaha North High School, Raschke went on to wrestle for the University of Nebraska where he was a Big Eight champion in 1962. He was also a worldwide interservice wrestling champion for the United States Army in 1965.

Brad Rheingans made two Greco-Roman Olympic teams and wrestled on three World Championship teams during his international career. The highlight of Rheingans’s career came at the 1979 World Championships where he placed third at 220 pounds. He also placed fourth at the 1976 Munich Olympics. Rheingans was a NCAA Division II NCAA champion for North Dakota State at 190 pounds in 1975, then went on to earn Division I All-American honors the same year.

Additional honors

In addition to the Hall of Champions honorees already mentioned, there are two additional honors which will be presented this fall.

Dave Curby will receive the Alan Rice Leadership Award for his contributions to advancing the sport of wrestling. A four-year starter at University of Michigan where he won a Big Ten title in 1974, Curby is the founder and director of the International Network of Wrestling Researchers (INWR) and editor of their official publication.

The Martinez family of Minnesota will receive the Legacy Award, presented to a family, team, or organization that has excelled in wrestling. Lavonne and Manuel Martinez had eight children -- two daughters and six sons – involved in wrestling, including eldest son Jim, who is being welcomed into the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions this year.

The Greco-Roman Hall of Champions is located inside the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum in downtown Waterloo, Iowa. It is named in honor of Alan and Gloria Rice who have been instrumental to the success of Greco-Roman wrestling in the United States. As a University of Minnesota wrestler, Alan Rice was a Big Ten champion and NCAA All-American. In 1956 he won national titles in Greco-Roman and freestyle. He also competed at the 1956 Olympics and coached the 1972 Greco-Roman Olympic team.

For more information on the Alan & Gloria Rice Greco-Roman Hall of Champions, contact the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Dan Gable Museum at (319) 233-0745 or dgmstaff@nwhof.org.

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