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RPW Eastern Qualifier brings out the best in 7 champions



The Real Pro Wrestling Eastern Regional Qualifier took place on Saturday in Aston, Pa., with the seven champions advancing to the Super Challenge event in San Jose, Calif., on Sunday, Jan. 7.

The field featured great competition and gave the champion at 121 pounds the second chance he needed to be just one step away from making one of the eight Season 2 teams. Erkin Tadzhimetov trains at Utah Valley State College and was unable to capture the Western Regional title when he narrowly lost to Cal Poly standout Vic Moreno in overtime.

At the qualifier in Philadelphia, Tadzhimetov powered past Brandon Flood and Adam Smith to face United States Air Force wrestler Anthony Brooker in the finals. Brooker, a nationally ranked Greco-Roman competitor, was unable to develop his offense against Tadzhimetov and lost to him by technical fall 15-0.

The U.S. Marine Corps captured the 185-pound title. Greco-Roman sensation and 2006 World Team member Jake Clark burned through his three matches with two pins and an impressive 18-4 victory. Clark as champion now is close to being one of the eight 185-pound wrestlers on the national television program in the spring of 2007. Clark, who is from Minnesota, is looking to position himself for a spot on the Minnesota Freeze's roster.

Other champions included Edinboro alumnus Shawn Bunch, who routed two-time NCAA Champion Joe Dubuque 16-0 in the last match of the round-robin. He used four throws, including his signature twisting front headlock, to gain the title. At 145 pounds, Muzafar Abdurakhmanov, an All-American for American University, was barely tested en route his title. Ryan Churella, a University of Michigan alumnus, grabbed the 163-pound title. Antoni Walters, a West Virginia grad with a screaming throng of St. Anthony high school fans supporting him, captured the 211 title. Finally, Mike Faust garnered the title at 264 pounds.

The last qualifier occurs Saturday, Nov. 18 in Tulsa, Okla., in conjunction with the Cliff Keen Kickoff event for youth wrestlers. Athletes can still register to compete at all weight classes.
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