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Jantzen named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week



Note: To nominate a wrestler for TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week, send the athlete's name, accomplishments for the week and career accomplishments to John Fuller at jfuller@usawrestling.org

Jesse Jantzen (Brookline, Mass./New York AC) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for the week of August 9-15.

Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. The announcement will be made each week on Wednesday.

Jantzen won a gold medal at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. in men's freestyle wrestling at the World University Games at Ozel Yamanlar High School Sports Hall in Izmir, Turkey.

Jantzen dominated Kelaxsaev Berding of Russia, 4-0, 2-0 in the gold-medal finals. In the first period, Jantzen scored two takedowns to take a 2-0 lead. He then padded his lead with a two-point turn. In the second period, Jantzen again scored two takedowns, both in the first half of the period.

With the two-period win, Jantzen did not lose a single period in this year's World University Games, and shut out his opponent in seven of the 10 periods over all.

"It's a big step for me in freestyle," Jantzen said after his win. "The rules have changed this year. I had a disappointing Trials. But I've been working on some things and I think they have worked out. This was big for me. To get something like this, I think it going to help my confidence and push me through 2008."

He opened the tournament with a 6-0, 3-1 win over Maksyan Melnya of Ukraine. His next victory was a 2-0, 6-0 win over Ahto Raska of Estonia. His third round win was a 3-3, 2-0 decision over Otar Tushishvili of Georgia. In the semifinals, Jantzen won a 1-0, 3-1 match against Arshak Hayrapetyan of Armenia.

Three U.S. men's freestyle wrestlers won gold medals at the World University Games this year, Jantzen, plus Nate Gallick (Tucson, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Tommy Rowlands (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.

They join Wade Schalles (1977) and Bruce Baumgartner (1981) as the only champions from this event for the United States.

Jantzen was a NCAA Div. I champion for Harvard Univ. He was a four-time New York state high school champion for Shoreham-Wading River High School. He qualified for the World University Games team by winning the University World Team Trials in Colorado Springs, Colo. in May.

Click here to view previous Athletes of the Week
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