October 11, 2008

Maroulis, Rix still alive, have chance to come back and win bronze medals at Women's World Championships

The United States women’s freestyle wrestling team started quickly with three first-round wins at the World Championships.

But that momentum came to a screeching halt as each American fell to a past World champion in the quarterfinal round on Saturday at Yoyogi National Stadium.

The good news for the U.S. is that two of its three competitors – Helen Maroulis and Deanna Rix – will receive a chance to wrestle back. Both have a chance to bounce back and win a bronze medal in Saturday afternoon’s second session.

American Elena Pirozhkov lost to past World champion Katerina Burmistrova of the Ukraine in the quarterfinals at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. Pirozhkov was eliminated when Burmistrova fell to past World medalist Martine Dugrenier of Canada in the semifinals.

Pirozhkov, a 2008 World University champion, downed two-time World bronze medalist Monika Rogien-Michalik of Poland in her first match. That avenged a loss from earlier this year in a tournament in Sweden.

Maroulis, a 2008 Junior World bronze medalist, pinned Poland’s Roksana Zasina in the opening round at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. Zasina placed eighth at the 2008 Junior Worlds. Maroulis then fell to five-time World champion Hitomi Sakamoto of Japan in the quarterfinals. Sakamoto then reached the finals to bring Maroulis back into the field.

The 17-year-old Maroulis, the youngest U.S. World Team member in 12 years, will meet Canada’s Jessica Bondy on Saturday afternoon. A win there would send her into the bronze-medal match.

Rix, a past National High School Wrestling's Wrestler of the Year, opened with a win against Alena Filipova of Belarus at 59 kg/130 lbs. Filipova placed fifth at the 2007 World Championships and was 13th at the 2008 Olympics at 55 kg/121 lbs. Rix then fell to three-time World champion Ayako Shoda of Japan in the quarters.

Rix stayed in the tournament when Shoda advanced to the finals. Rix will gear up and battle Kyrgystan’s Nestan Kiiazova in her wrestleback. A win there would send Rix into the bronze-medal match.

Day 2 of the three-day tournament continues on Sunday with competition at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and 63 kg/138.75 lbs. The U.S. will send Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) to the mat at 48 kilos with Alaina Berube (River Falls, Wis./New York AC) competing at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.


U.S. results – Saturday, Oct. 11, Tokyo, Japan

51 kg/112.25 lbs. – Helen Maroulis, Rockville, Md. (New York AC)
WIN Roksana Zasina (Poland), by fall
LOSS Hitomi Sakamoto (Japan), 7-0, 6-0

59 kg/130 lbs. – Deanna Rix, River Falls, Wis. (New York AC)
WIN Alena Filipova (Belarus), 1-0, 2-0
LOSS Ayako Shoda (Japan), 1-0, 4-0

67 kg/147.5 lbs. – Elena Pirozhkov, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
WIN Monika Rogien-Michalik (Poland), 3-0, 0-1, 1-0
LOSS Katerina Burmistrova (Ukraine), 3-2, 5-0

July 26, 2008

Dylan Ness, Taylor Massa move within one victory of winning Cadet Triple Crown

Dylan Ness, Taylor Massa move within one victory of winning Cadet Triple Crown
Craig Sesker USA Wrestling

FARGO, N.D. – USA Wrestling Triple Crown winners in the Cadet division have been a rare occurrence at the Junior and Cadet Nationals.

Just three wrestlers – Hayden Zillmer of Minnesota in 2007, Zach Sanders of Minnesota in 2004 and Taylor Moore of Missouri in 2003 – have won Triple Crowns in the Cadet high school wrestling class.

Two new members could join that elite group on Friday afternoon.

Dylan Ness of Minnesota (130 pounds) and Taylor Massa of Michigan (140) each stand one win away from winning Triple Crowns after each reached the Cadet Nationals freestyle finals on Friday morning at the Fargo Dome.

Ness and Massa won Cadet Nationals titles in Folkstyle and Greco-Roman this year.

The Cadet Nationals finals are scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday in Fargo.

There are three 2007 Cadet National freestyle champions who stand one win from defending their titles: Zillmer (91), Hunter Stieber of Ohio (112) and Chris Phillips of Ohio (171).

Zillmer won a Cadet Nationals Greco-Roman title earlier this week.

The other 2008 Greco-Roman champions who are in the freestyle finals are Nick Roberts of Pennsylvania (84), Mark Grey of New Jersey (98), Cody Brewer of Missouri (105), Jahwon Akui of Illinois (160), Andrew Campolattano of New Jersey (189) and Evan Craig of Pennsylvania (285).

The Junior Nationals in freestyle continue with a session later today. The finals in that class are set for 9 a.m. Saturday.

One of the biggest matches of the session came in the Juniors when Oklahoma's Chris Perry downed Iowa's Grant Gambrall 1-0, 0-4, 3-1 at 189. Gambrall is a University of Iowa recruit. Perry, a senior-to-be in high school, is the No. 3 ranked overall recruit in the country by InterMat. Perry's brother, Mark, was a two-time NCAA champion for Iowa.


84 pounds – Nick Roberts of Pennsylvania vs. Dylon Thompson of Colorado

91 – Freddie Rodriguez of Michigan vs. Hayden Zillmer of Minnesota

98 – Mark Grey of New Jersey vs. Joe Orecchio of New Jersey

105 – Cody Brewer of Missouri vs. Robert Deutsch of New Jersey

112 – Hunter Stieber of Ohio vs. Zachary Horan of Pennsylvania

119 – Brandon Wright of Indiana vs. Alex Dieringer of Wisconsin

125 – Louis Trujillo of New Mexico vs. Ryne Cokeley of Kansas

130 – Dylan Ness of Minnesota vs. Stanley Taylor of Nebraska

135 – Destin McCauley of Minnesota vs. Justin DeAngelis of Oklahoma

140 – Colby Kloetzer of Idaho vs. Taylor Massa of Michigan

145 – Blake Roulo of Virginia vs. Anthony Baldasarro of New Jersey

152 – Bryce Hammond of California vs. Joey Chandler of Oregon

160 – Ronnie Balfour of Oklahoma vs. Jahwon Akui of Illinois

171 – Ethan Blackstock of Georgia vs. Chris Phillips of Ohio

189 – Morgan McIntosh of California vs. Andrew Campolattano of New Jersey

215 – Connor Medbery of Colorado vs. Joshua Davis of New Jersey

285 – Evan Craig of Pennnsylvania vs. Tyler Demott of Pennsylvania

July 18, 2008

High School Wrestling's Main Event, Fargo Cadet & Junior Nationals

Every year, the nation’s best high school wrestlers come together for the world’s largest wrestling competition, the ASICS/Vaughan Junior and Accelerade Cadet Nationals at the FargoDome in Fargo, N.D.

This competition produces great stories of champions, many who go on to glory in college wrestling, and ultimately at the World and Olympic levels.

The tournament is scheduled for July 19-26 and is expected to feature outstanding wrestlers in every weight class.

The ASICS/Vaughan Junior Nationals features high school wrestlers in grades 9-12. This year, the Junior division could be one of the strongest in many years, featuring numerous talented athletes who are proven winners.

There were two double champions in 2007, winning both the freestyle and Greco-Roman titles, and both are eligible to return this year, Max Nowry of Illinois (98) and David Taylor of Ohio.

2007 Junior National freestyle champions who are eligible to return are Nowry and Taylor, plus Jon Morrison of Illinois (112), Jordan Oliver of Pennsylvania (119), Nate Moore of Iowa (125), Colin Johnston of Pennsylvania (135), Jason Chamberlain of Utah (135), Michael Mangrum of Washington (145), Mario Mason of New Jersey (145) and Scott Winston of New Jersey (160).

Returning Junior National Greco-Roman champions who are eligible to compete in Fargo are Nowry and Taylor, plus Andrew Long of Iowa (112), Kendrick Sanders of Florida (140), Jake Deitchler of Minnesota (145), Ty Vinson of Montana (171), Ryland Geiger of Oregon (189) and Marcel Dubose of Michigan (215).

Deitchler shocked the nation by qualifying for a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team in Greco-Roman and is not expected to attend the Junior Nationals, as he will be training to compete at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

Each year, ASICS recognizes the nation’s top high school athletes with its All-American Team. Members of the ASICS First Team who were Junior Nationals champions last year include Taylor, Moore, Chamberlain, Mangrum, Geiger and Dubose.

For the first time ever, USA Wrestling may crown a Junior Triple Crown winner. Last year was the first year that USA Wrestling hosted a Junior folkstyle national tournament, creating the opportunity for an athlete to win USA Wrestling national titles in all three styles. No athlete was able to win a gold medal in all three styles in 2007. This year, a new set of Junior folkstyle champions were crowned in Cedar Falls, Iowa in April. Will 2008 be the first year that there is a Junior Triple Crown winner?

Many of last year’s Cadet National champions are expected to move up into the Junior ranks this year and challenge for titles.

USA Wrestling has official state team standings in all the divisions held in Fargo. Last year, the Wells Fargo Insurance Services Cup champion in Junior freestyle was Illinois, followed by Iowa, New Jersey, Minnesota and Missouri. In Junior Greco-Roman, capturing the Wells Fargo Insurance Services Cup was Minnesota, with New York, Illinois, California and Oregon rounding out the top five.

Another strong indication of the strength of the state teams are the results from the 2008 Junior National Duals, held in June in Oklahoma City, Okla. For the second straight year, Illinois won the team title in both styles at the Junior National Duals. In freestyle, Iowa was second, New Jersey third, Minnesota was fourth and Oklahoma finished fifth. In Greco-Roman, California was second in the Greco-Roman division, with Minnesota in third, Iowa in fourth and Kansas in fifth.

The women’s freestyle division will be held early in the week with the championships set for Monday, July 21. This tournament, in its eighth year, has grown in size and quality every season, and promises to be very competitive again this year.

Returning Junior National women’s champions include Hanna Martin of Oklahoma (95), Helen Maroulis of Maryland (109), Micheala Hutchison of Alaska (119), Randi Beltz of Missouri (124), Tatiana Padilla of California (132), Veronica Carlson of Illinois (139), Adeline Gray of Colorado (146) and Brittany Delgado of South Carolina (190) and Lakia Henderson of Florida (220)