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Vering, Ruiz win silver medals at the Vantaa Cup in Finland

VANTAA, FINLAND - A pair of U.S. wrestlers, Brad Vering (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) and Justin Ruiz (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), won silver medals in Vantaa Cup of Greco-Roman wrestling, Nov. 25-26.

Both qualified for the gold-medal finals, where they lost championship bouts to opponents from Russia.

Vering, a 2000 Olympian and three-time U.S. World Team member, opened with a 5-0, 2-0 win over Alo Toom of Estonia, then defeated Sergiy Yeroshin of Ukraine, 1-1, 1-1. In the semifinals, Vering stopped Jim Petterson of Sweden, 2-0, 2-1. In the championship finals, Vering was defeated by Dmitry Oralov of Russia, 0-4, 1-1.

Ruiz, a 2005 World bronze medalist, faced 2006 U.S. World team member Jacob Clark (Okinawa, Japan/U.S. Marine Corps) in the opening match. Clark was competing up one weight class from his usual 84 kg/185 lbs. Ruiz beat his teammate from the 2006 U.S. World team by a 4-0, 3-0 margin.

In the quarterfinals, Ruiz defeated Andrei Batoura of Belarus, 1-1, 1-1, 1-1, then stopped Dmitry Timchenko of Ukraine in the semifinals, 1-2, 5-0, 3-0. In the gold medal match, Ruiz fell to Aslambek Khoushtov of Russia, 1-1, 0-4.

Both Vering and Ruiz competed for the Univ. of Nebraska when they were in college.

Claiming a bronze medal for the United States was National Team member Nathan Piasecki, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Pinnicle Performance WC) at 60 kg/132 pounds.

Piasecki opened the tournament with a 4-1, 5-0 win over Robin Nillson of the EIA Club. In the quarterfinals, he was defeated by eventual champion Artem Kudyk of Ukraine, 1-2, 1-1. Piasecki scored a pin in 1:25 over Matti Kettunen of the PTI Club in the bronze-medal match.

The United States placed fourth in the team standings with 14 points, placing behind champion Ukraine, runner-up Russia and third-place Belarus. There were 39 teams entered in the tournament, including numerous club teams from within Europe.

A total of 14 U.S. Greco-Roman wrestlers entered the Vantaa Cup. Many of these wrestlers will also compete at the Haparanda Cup in Haparanda, Sweden, on Dec. 2 and 3.

The U.S. wrestlers are coached by Dan Hicks of Triangle, Va., who is the coach for the U.S. Marine Corps, and Rich Estrella of Colorado Springs, Colo, who is the coach of the U.S. Air Force team.

Results from the Vantaa Cup
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