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|World champions Warren, Byers and Smith among Americans expected to compete at Dave Schultz Memorial International|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLO. - The Dave Schultz Memorial International has attracted top wrestlers from all over the World.
And there will be no shortage of top Americans ready to take them on in the event set for Feb. 9-10 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Among the wrestlers from the U.S. who are expected to compete are past World Champions Joe Warren of the New York AC (Greco-Roman 60 kg/132 lbs.), Dremiel Byers of the U.S. Army (Greco-Roman 120 kg/264.5 lbs.), and Iris Smith of the U.S. Army (women 72 kg/158.5 lbs.)
World champion Bill Zadick of the Gator Wrestling Club (freestyle 66 kg/145.5 lbs.) also is a possibility for the tournament.
Warren and Zadick won gold medals at the 2006 World Championships in Guangzhou, China.
The event was created in February 1999 as USA Wrestling, working with Nancy Schultz and the Dave Schultz Wrestling Foundation, created an international wrestling tournament in honor of the late Olympic and World Champion Dave Schultz. This is the ninth year for the event.
As many as 12 World or Olympic champions from foreign nations are expected as well, making this field potentially the best ever in the history of the Dave Schultz tournament.
A number of other top American wrestlers are scheduled to wrestle in the event.
Among the freestyle competitors scheduled to compete are past World Team members Mo Lawal (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) and Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC). The former Oklahoma State All-Americans are now both competing at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Lawal has moved up this year from 84 kg/185 lbs. and recently won the Takhti Cup in Iran.
The freestyle weights at 60 kg/132 lbs. and 66 kg/145.5 lbs. will be strong as well.
The 60 kg class includes past World Team member Michael Lightner (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) along with past National Team members Nate Gallick (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) and Cliff Moore.(Edinboro, Pa./Hawkeye WC). World Silver Medalist Mike Zadick (Solon, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) also could be in the field along with two-time NCAA champion Travis Lee (Ithaca, N.Y./New York AC).
At 66 kg, Bill Zadick could be joined by 2006 World Team Trials runner-up Jared Frayer (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) and third-place finisher Jared Lawrence (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm).
Heavyweight also will interesting with National Team members Steve Mocco (Stillwater, Okla./New York AC) and Tommy Rowlands (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) expected to compete at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Fifth-ranked Les Sigman (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) also is in the field at 120 kg. Sigman was a four-time Division II national champion for Nebraska-Omaha from 2002-06.
Freestyle phenom Henry Cejudo also is slated to compete at 55 kg/121 lbs. Cejudo enjoyed a banner 2006 when he won the U.S. Nationals, placed second at the World Team Trials and captured a silver medal at the Junior World Championships. Matt Azevedo (Arroyo Grande, Calif./Sunkist Kids) also is expected to wrestle in that division. Azevedo was second at the U.S. Nationals and third at the World Team Trials in 2006.
National Team members Joe Heskett (Lewis Center, Ohio/Gator WC), Clint Wattenberg (Ithaca, N.Y./New York AC), Damion Hahn (Dryden, N.Y./Minnesota Storm) and Nik Fekete (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) are in the field as well. Heskett competes at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Wattenberg at 84 kg/185 lbs. with Hahn and Fekete also among the likely entrants at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Patricia Miranda (New Haven, Conn./Sunkist Kids) and fellow Olympic medalist Sara McMann (Iowa City, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) are expected to compete in the event again this year in women's freestyle. Miranda will compete at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. with McMann at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Miranda was a bronze medalist at the 2006 World Championships. She won an Olympic Bronze Medal in 2004 before taking a year off from competition after starting Law School at Yale University. McMann was a 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist.
World bronze medalist Katie Downing (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) also is slated to compete at 67 kg/147.5 lbs.
World bronze medalists Lindsey Durlacher (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) and Justin Ruiz (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) also are scheduled to compete in Greco-Roman at the Schultz tournament.
Adult all-session tickets for the two-day event are $15 apiece. Adult tickets are $10 apiece on Friday and Saturday, or $5 per session. Adult tickets for medals and finals matches only are $8 each. Cost of tickets for high school students (with I.D.) and senior citizens (62 and over) is $5 per day. Youth (5-14 years old) tickets are $4 per day. Coaches are admitted free with five paid wrestlers.
The event is being sponsored by the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation.
Due to the international wrestling rules, there will be gold-medal finals on both nights of the championships. These are the weight classes that will be contested each day:
Friday, Feb. 9: Freestyle (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg); Greco-Roman (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg)
Saturday, Feb. 10: Freestyle (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg), Greco-Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg), Women (48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg).
DAVE SCHULTZ MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULE
Thursday, Feb. 8
Noon-3 p.m. - Registration (Freestyle, Greco-Roman)
3-3:30 p.m. - Weigh-ins: Freestyle (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg); Greco-Roman (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg)
Friday, Feb. 9
9 a.m-2 p.m. - Session I: Freestyle (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg); Greco-Roman (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg)
1:30-3 p.m. - Registration (Freestyle, Greco-Roman, Women's freestyle)
3-3:30 p.m. - Weigh-ins: Freestyle (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Greco-Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Women's freestyle (48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg)
4 p.m.-conclusion - Session II: Freestyle (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg); Greco-Roman (66 kg, 74 kg, 84 kg, 96 kg)
Saturday, Feb. 10
9 a.m.-2 p.m. - Session I: Freestyle (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Greco-Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Women's freestyle (48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg)
4 p.m.-conclusion - Session II: Freestyle (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Greco-Roman (55 kg, 60 kg, 120 kg); Women's freestyle (48 kg, 51 kg, 55 kg, 59 kg, 63 kg, 67 kg, 72 kg)