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|Men and women USOEC wrestlers compete at Olympic Challenge in Marquette, Mich., Feb. 20|
By Erin Phipps USA Wrestling
Wrestlers from the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC) at Northern Michigan Univ. recently competed in the 2nd Annual Olympic Challenge - International Edition on Feb. 20 at the Superior Dome in Marquette, Mich.
The tournament featured matches between the USOEC women's freestyle team and the Czech Republic, as well as matches between the USOEC men's Greco-Roman team and the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
The USOEC women's team dominated the wrestlers from the Czech Republic, winning four of the five matches.
At 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Liz Short (Lombard, Ill./USOEC) was defeated by Eva Krejsova, 0-1, 1-0,1-0.
At 59 kg/103 lbs., Sharon Jacobson (El Cajon, Calif./USOEC/Gator WC), ranked No. 5 on Women's Team USA, defeated Martina Zyklova, 2-2, 2-3, 4-2. In 2004, Zyklova placed seventh in the European Championships and placed sixth at the Junior World Championships in 2003.
At 55 kg/121 lbs., Amy Borgnini (Terre Haute, Ind./USOEC) battled Sarka Andriova. Borgnini, who is ranked sixth on Women's Team USA, won the bout 1-0, 4-3. Andriova placed ninth in the 2005 European Championships.
In the 72 kg/158.5 lbs. bout, Randi Miller (Arlington, Texas/USOEC) had the only pin of the night, taking down Nina Sklenkova in the third period. Miller ranks No. 4 on Women's Team USA and Sklenkova previously placed second in the 2002 European Cadet Championships and sixth in the 2004 European Junior Championships.
In the featured women's match of the night, the No. 2 wrestler on Women's Team USA, Mary Kelly (Mahomet, Ill./USOEC/New York AC) faced Lenka Martinakova. Kelly, who has medaled on the Cadet, Junior and University levels, defeated Martinakova, 2-0, 4-1.
The U.S. Army team, based in Fort Carson, Colorado, boasts some of the top ranking wrestlers in the country. The Army team had a strong showing in the men's Greco-Roman wrestling, winning five of the six matches.
In the first match at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., Adam Wheeler (Lancaster, Calif./USOEC/Gator WC) defeated Albert Sankey by disqualification. Wheeler currently is ranked No. 2 on Greco-Roman Team USA and placed second in the U.S. Nationals and World Team Trials in 2005. Sankey is currently ranked sixth on Greco-Roman Team USA.
At 55 kg/121 lbs., Jermaine Hodge defeated Spenser Mango (Flourissant, Mo./USOEC), who is ranked No. 5 on Greco-Roman Team USA, 6-4, 4-1.
There were two matches in the 74 kg/163 lbs. weight class. The first was a battle between Jess Hargrave and Jake Fisher (Platte City, Mo./USOEC), who currently ranks No. 4 on Greco-Roman Team USA. Hargrave defeated Fisher by disqualification with a third caution in the final period.
In the second match in the same weight, Brandon McNab stopped Cheney Haight (Orem, Utah/USOEC/New York AC), 2-1, 1-1.
At 84 kg/185 lbs., Aaron Sieracki defeated Chas Betts (St. Michael, Minn./USOEC/Minnesota Storm), 3-0, 3-0. Sieracki has an impressive record with the Army World Class Athlete Program, winning several Armed Forces Championships. Betts is ranked No. 6 on Greco-Roman Team USA.
The feature Greco-Roman bout of the night was a battle between Wheeler and Phil Johnston at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Johnston, ranked No. 4 on Greco-Roman Team USA, defeated Wheeler, 3-3, 3-1.
The USOEC Olympic Challenge served not only as an opportunity for international competition for the athletes this year, but also as a fund raiser for the families of two of Northern Michigan's own-Toni Copeland, a USOEC athlete, and Cass Huckabee, a student at Northern Michigan Univ. Both drowned last fall in Lake Superior.
Other USOEC sports that competed in the Olympic Challenge include boxing and weightlifting. The boxing team competed against a team from Canada, while the weightlifting team participated in an intrasquad competition.
Olympic Challenge - International Edition Results
96 kg/211.5 lbs.- Adam Wheeler (Lancaster, Calif./USOEC/Gator WC) by disq. over Albert Sankey (U.S. Army) 4-0, disq.
55 kg/121 lbs.- Jermaine Hodge (U.S. Army) dec. Spenser Mango (Flourissant, Mo./USOEC/Gator WC) 6-4, 4-1
74 kg/163 lbs.- Jess Hargrave (U.S. Army) by dis. over Jake Fisher (Platte City, Mo./USOEC) 4-0, 1-1, disq.
74 kg/163 lbs.- Brandon McNab (U.S. Army) dec. Cheney Haight (Orem, Utah/USOEC/New York AC) 2-1, 1-1
84 kg/185 lbs.- Aaron Sieracki (U.S. Army) dec. Chas Betts (St. Michael, Minn./USOEC/Minnesota Storm) 3-0, 3-0
96 kg/211.5 lbs.- Phil Johnston (U.S. Army) dec. Adam Wheeler (Lancaster, Calif./USOEC/Gator WC) 3-3, 3-1
48 kg/105.5 lbs. - Eva Krejsova (Czech Republic) dec. Liz Short (Lombard, Ill./USOEC) 0-1, 1-0, 1-0
59 kg/130 lbs. - Sharon Jacobson (El Cajon, Calif./USOEC/Gator WC) dec. Martina Zyklova (Czech Republic) 2-2, 2-3, 4-2
55 kg/121 lbs. - Amy Borgnini, (Terre Haute, Ind./USOEC) dec. Sarka Andrlova (Czech Republic) 1-0, 4-3
72 kg/158.5 lbs. - Randi Miller (Arlington, Texas/USOEC) dec. Nina Sklenkova (Czech Republic) 2-0, 0-1, Fall 1:30
51 kg/112.25 lbs. - Mary Kelly (Mahomet, Ill./USOEC/New York AC) dec. Lenka Martinakova (Czech Republic) 2-0, 4-1