|USA WRESTLING WEEKEND UPDATE: Gentry rolls to Rocky Mountain title; 5 women earn medals|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Matt Gentry of the Sunkist Kids decimated the Senior level freestyle field at 74 kg/163 pounds en route to rolling to the title at the Rocky Mountain Regional Championships on March 23-25 in Laramie, Wyo.
Gentry, an NCAA champion for Stanford two years ago, was named outstanding wrestler of the event. He capped his four-match blitz through the event by pinning Joseph Knox of the Chattanooga Takedown in the finals.
By virtue of winning, Gentry and all the other champions earn automatic berths to the World Team Trials on May 27-28 in Sioux City, Iowa. Gentry is ranked seventh nationally at 163 by TheMat.com.
Gentry opened in Laramie with a 35-second pin over Kevin Stahley. He then won by technical fall over Daniel Carroll of Rocky Mountain Wrestling in the quarterfinals and also by technical fall over Anthony Alfini in the semifinals.
Another former NCAA finalist, former Northern Iowa standout Dylan Long, won a Senior freestyle championship at 66 kg/145.5 pounds. Long won by technical fall over Garrett Desmond in the finals. Long was an NCAA runner-up for Northern Iowa in 2003.
Long's brother, Andrew, won a Junior freestyle title at 112 and was named outstanding wrestler. Andrew also placed second in Greco-Roman. A sophomore state champion at Creston (Iowa) High School, Long was a double Cadet National champion last summer.
Other Senior champions in freestyle included Grant Nakamura of the Cyclone Wrestling Club (55 kg/121 lbs.), Jesse Brock of the Bronco Wrestling Club (60 kg/132 lbs.), Tony Gansen (84 kg/185 lbs.), Sam Wendland (96 kg/211.5 lbs.) and Michael Irving of the Gator Wrestling Club (120 kg/264.5 lbs.).
Nakamura, who competed for Iowa State, is back on the mat after missing the entire 2005-06 college season with an injury. Irving, ranked fifth nationally by TheMat.com, beat No. 10 Trey McLean 1-0, 7-3 in the finals.
David Walker of the Bronco Wrestling Club earned outstanding wrestler honors in the Senior Greco-Roman class. He outlasted Albert Sankey of the U.S. Army 3-2, 1-1, 1-1 in the finals at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Sankey is ranked sixth nationally while Walker is unranked.
Veteran Duaine Martin, now competing for the U.S. Army after years with the U.S. Marines, punched his ticket to Sioux City by winning in Greco-Roman at 60 kg/132 lbs. Martin pinned Dan Garcia in the finals.
Other Senior winners in Greco-Roman included Tyrone Hodge of the U.S. Army (55 kg/121 lbs.), Darnell Lollis of the U.S. Army (66 kg/145.5 lbs.), Jess Hargrave of the U.S. Army (74 kg/163 lbs.), Abram Haddon (84 kg/185 lbs.) and Everette McDaniel of the U.S. Army (120 kg/264.5 lbs.).
Bethany Murphy of the U.S. Air Force was named outstanding wrestler in Senior women's freestyle. She beat Shyla Iokia of the Grapplers Edge 2-1, 5-3 in the finals at 59 kg/130 lbs.
Torrey Line of Minnesota was named outstanding wrestler in the Junior Greco-Roman competition. He won by fall and technical fall at 171 pounds. Line also won the Junior freestyle title at 171. Line won Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman last July.
Other double winners in Juniors included Tyler Cox of Wyoming at 105, Shawn Jones of Idaho at 130, Josh Strait of Idaho at 135, Micah Burak of Colorado at 152, and Riggin Holmgren of Utah at 275. Cox won Cadet Nationals in Greco-Roman last year.
U.S. women's freestyle team earns five medals in Belarus
The United States women's freestyle team returned home with five medals - a gold, two silvers and two bronze - from the Alexander Medved International on March 24-26 in Minsk, Belarus.
2004 Olympic bronze medalist Patricia Miranda of the Sunkist Kids won a gold medal at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. on the first day of competition. She earned a 1-0, 3-0 win over Alaina Kareisha of Belarus in the finals. Kareisha won a bronze medal at the 2005 World University Games and was fourth at the 2003 World Championships.
American Sharon Jacobson (USOEC/Gator WC) won a silver medal at 55 kg/121 lbs. as did Erin Tomeo (Sunkist Kids) at 59 kg/130 lbs.
Jacobson opened with three straight wins before falling to Mariya Yahorava of Belarus by pin in the finals. Tomeo also won her first three bouts before falling 8-1, 1-0 to Lubov Volosova of Russia in the finals.
Collecting bronze medals for the U.S. were Mary Kelly (48 kg/105.5 lbs.) and Katie Downing (67 kg/147.5 lbs.).
Kelly opened with a 6-0, 6-0 technical fall over Viktoriya Poddubskaya of Belarus. In the semifinals, she was pinned by Maryana Markevich of Belarus. Downing went 3-1 on the final day of the tournament Saturday. She was pinned in the semifinals by Alena Perpiolkina of Russia before rebounding to capture the bronze with a 1-0, 1-0 win over Yulia Bortnovskaya of Russia.