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Quotes from the individual champions at the U.S. World Team Trials on Saturday, May 27



55 KG/121 LBS. FREESTYLE
Sammie Henson, Flintstone, Ga. (Sunkist Kids)


"The one thing I want to say, you keep talking about his age. That kid is well beyond his years. He is going to win some World and Olympic titles. You can't worry about age. I am 35 years old. At this point, if you have the desire, age makes no difference."

(about why he keeps wrestling)
"I'm happy with my performance. I just like to win. I love it. When I'm doing it, I hate it. I get sick. But it is in me. The lights are on."

(How long will he wrestle)
"My wife thinks this is it. China is it. There are two Chinas. I say '08 She just doesn't know which one."

"I want to be a professional when I come out here."

60 KG/132 LBS. FREESTYLE
Mike Zadick, Solon, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)


(about wondering if this day would ever come)
"I never worried about it. It ate at me when it didn't come sooner that I wanted it to be. But it is here now."

(reasons he won this time)
"Maturity. Other things. I am putting a lot of things together. I have really felt good solidly for the last two months. In the past, I've had a month, but now a few months like this."

(about his protective devise)
"I was hurt last year, right before Vegas. I wear it to protect my sternum. I broke it. It is an area that gives me problems. It is a protective devise."

(about Tom Brands coaching in Iowa)
"Overall, it is like gold to me. It's the most important thing anywhere. You can't take him out of there. It's like Tom Brands in Iowa, John Smith in Oklahoma. Sure, people talk about Dan Gable. Dan Gable had his time. Tom Brands is huge in wrestling, huge in Iowa and he's huge for me."

96 KG/211.5 LBS. FREESTYLE
Daniel Cormier, Stillwater, Okla. (Gator WC)


"It is not tough to get motivated. This is what we do. You want to win gold medals. You have to be motivated or else you don't get the opportunity."

(about whether it is as hard to win the World Team Trials as before)
"The first time, it was tough. My daughter just passed. I wrestled Dean Morrison then. I always thought Dean Morrison was one of the best wrestlers in the world. Damion is tough. He wrestled hard. He did a good job."

(about his injured nose)
"It didn't stop bleeding. It bled on me all day. I stuffed it to get through the matches. I'm going to have to get it checked out."

(about challenges making weight)
"The weight has been tough. I've gotten bigger this year. But this is crunch time. I can't let something as simple as making weight to be a factor if I want to be a World champion."

66 KG/145.5 LBS. GRECO-ROMAN
Harry Lester, Akron, Ohio (USOEC/Gator WC)


"I injured my ribs in a tournament in Bulgaria in late March. I was at 75% at nationals. I didn't want to risk injury. I am at 100% now. It was the right choice."

"I haven't been around that long. I've been on the circuit for four years. I still have a lot to learn. I have to learn everything on my feet and also in par terre."

"I'd rather get a big throw than a takedown."

74 KG/163 LBS. Greco-Roman
T.C. Dantzler, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)


"My preparation got me ready for matches like that. I've gotta keep my cool."

"It was different this year. These are better rules for me. I want to thank FILA for these rules. Without FILA, none of this would be possible. I'm more prepared. Last year, I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was. This time, I was very prepared."

"Me and McNab. He's been at the training center for three years or so. I've known him since 2000. We have a good history. We talk all the time. We are good compadres."

(about if he wanted to wrestle Keith Sieracki again)
"I wanted whoever came out there."

96 KG/211.5 LBS.
Justin Ruiz, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC)


(about advancing directly to the finals series)
"It helps a lot. I felt good those last few matches. I'll take this any day, rather than having to wrestle all those other matches."

(about the matches against Phillip Johnston)
"I feel on today. He's a tough guy. I train with him. I know what he has, but he also knows what I have. It was a good day overall."

(what the U.S. needs to do well at the World Championships)
"We have to win. Hard work and focus on the par terre position. Our coaches have been watching what has been going on in Europe and around the world.

(Greco-Roman in the United States)
"It's improving. The senior guys, those who have been around, want to win. We want to succeed, win medals and represent our country well."

120 KG/264.5 LBS.
Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)


"I tried to stay focused on what 's going on here. But, I am thinking of (Mijial) Lopez (of Cuba), and the time it takes to get my lock. I have to get faster getting the lock. I have to prepare better to wrestle Lopez."
Note - Byers may face World champion Lopez of Cuba next week at the Pan American Championships.

(about returning to the World Championships)
"It gives me redemption. I wrestled poorly last year at the Worlds. I made a rookie mistake against George from Kazakhstan. It was the wrong thing for me to do. I knew he had great defense. I didn't respect him enough. I can't do that again."

(about there being no scores in the first part of the period)
"With these new rules, I'm prepared for it. Nobody is tying up. It's hard to beat somebody who won't fight back. So, I play it there way, and then beat them in par terre."

(about not having Rulon Gardner to battle anymore)
"It hurts. A few years ago, in freestyle, a large portion of the team retired, and left a few guys just standing there. They did not have anybody to challenge them. I was fortunate to have Rulon and he had me. It was good for us. I beat him, you know. I'd love to have him back. But now, there are some heavyweights who in two or three years might be ready."
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