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Talented wrestlers expected for New York Athletic Club Holiday Championships set for Nov. 19-20



The tournament date has been changed, but the quality of the field is expected to be outstanding at the New York Athletic Club Holiday Wrestling Championships in New York City, N.Y., Nov. 19-20.

The tournament will be held at the world-famous New York Athletic Club, at 180 Central Park South in Manhattan. Competition will feature the three international Olympic styles of the wrestling: men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman and women's freestyle wrestling. In the past, this tournament was held during December, but organizers moved the competition back this year in order to strengthen the tournament.

Weigh-ins for the men's freestyle and Greco-Roman divisions will be held on Friday, Nov. 18, with Greco-Roman starting at 4:00 p.m. and freestyle starting at 5:00 p.m.

Competition in both men's divisions will be Saturday, Nov. 19 and Sunday, Nov. 20. Wrestling sessions on Saturday begin at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. On Sunday, wrestling sessions are held at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., with the gold-medal finals set for 4:00 p.m.

The women's freestyle tournament will be held on one day only. Weigh-ins are set for Saturday, Nov. 19 at 4:00 p.m. On Sunday, wrestling sessions for women's freestyle are held at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., with the gold-medal finals set for 4:00 p.m.

There will be prize money available, as part of the USA Wrestling National Teams program. In the men's divisions, champions receive $1,000, runners-up $500 and third-place winners $250. In the women's division, champions receive $400 and runners-up receive $200. These prize levels were determined by the specific Sports Committees for each style. Foreign athletes only receive prize money if they win a gold medal.

Many of the nation's top wrestlers in each style are expected to participate. This will include athletes from outstanding club programs such as the host New York AC, the Sunkist Kids, the Gator WC, the Minnesota Storm, the U.S. Army and others. In addition, both the men's Greco-Roman team and the women's freestyle team from the U.S. Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan Univ. are expected to enter.

At the 2004 New York AC International, 10 of the individual champions went on later to qualify for the 2005 U.S. World Team and represented the United States at the World Wrestling Championships. Included in these 10 World Team members were four 2005 World bronze medalists: Joe Williams (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) in men's freestyle at 74 kg/163 lbs., Tolly Thompson (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) in men's freestyle at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., Justin Ruiz (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. in men's Greco-Roman and Katie Downing (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 67 nkg/147.5 lbs. in women's freestyle.

A number of talented athletes from Canada are expected to participate, as top Canadian club programs annually attend the competition. Wrestlers from Russia have also expressed an interest in competing this year.

The entry fee for the tournament is $35, and all participants must be USA Wrestling members.

Spectators are encouraged to attend and enjoy this spectacular international wrestling action. The New York Athletic Club has a dress code for everybody entering the lobby. Men must wear a shirt and jacket, and women must wear casual business attire.

For more information, contact Sonny Greenhalgh of the New York AC at 973-356-0670, or via e-mail at sonny@cnjgroup.com. An event flyer is available by visiting TheMat.com.

2004 NEW YORK AC HOLIDAY TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS

Men's Freestyle champions
121 - Jamie Macari (Canada)
132 - Zach Roberson (Sunkist Kids)
145.5 - Chris Bono (Sunkist Kids)
163 - Joe Williams (Sunkist Kids)
185 - Clint Wattenberg (New York AC)
211.5 - Tommy Rowlands (Dave Schultz WC)
264.5 - Tolly Thompson (Sunkist Kids)

Men's Greco-Roman champions
121 - Lindsey Durlacher (New York AC)
132 - Joe Warren (New York AC)
145.5 - Glenn Garrison (U.S. Army)
163 - Darryl Christian (New York AC)
185 - Brad Vering (New York AC)
211.5 - Justin Ruiz (New York AC)
264.5 - Dremiel Byers (U.S. Army)

Women's freestyle champions
105.5 - Katie Kunimoto (Gator WC)
112.25 - Lyndsay Belisle (Canada)
121 - Tina George (New York AC)
130 - Leigh Jaynes (New York AC)
138.75 - Alaina Berube (New York AC)
147.5 - Katie Downing (Sunkist Kids)
158.5 -Meaghan Wilton (Canada)



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