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|U.S. Nationals Freestyle Preview at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Bill Zadick (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) hasn't wrestled since winning his 2006 World freestyle title last fall at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. He's been sidelined with a number of injuries and ailments, and did not compete in the World Cup. He may be a question mark for Vegas as well.
2006 U.S. World Team Trials runner-up Jared Frayer (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) has been looking tough, and placed fourth at the Dave Schultz Memorial International. Frayer beat Eric Larkin (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) in the finals of the Sunkist Kids event.
Jared Lawrence (Roseville, Minn./Minnesota Storm) may be the favorite at this weight class for the U.S. Nationals. He looked very good in winning the Dave Schultz event, knocking off past World champion Alan Dudaev of Russia in the finals. Lawrence was named Outstanding Wrestler of that event in freestyle.
Veteran Chris Bono (Ringgold, Ga./Sunkist Kids), the 2006 U.S. Nationals champion, said he plans to compete in Vegas. Bono is now the head coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga. Bono has made three U.S. World Teams.
Past NCAA champion Zack Esposito (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) also has wrestled well overseas and is now ranked fifth nationally by TheMat.com. Larkin is next at No. 6.
Iowa freshman Brent Metcalf (Davison, Mich./Hawkeye WC) also looked good at the Schultz event and is a guy nobody should overlook. He was a Junior World Team member in 2006 and is a top Senior-level freestyle prospect already despite having three years of college eligibility remaining.
2005 World University Games champion Jesse Jantzen (Brookline, Mass./New York AC) is back now after being out with an injury. He looked strong at the Dave Schultz event and is a guy more than capable of being a contender in this division.
Past NCAA champion Doug Schwab (Iowa City, Iowa) placed third at the 2006 U.S. Nationals.
2006 U.S. NATIONALS RESULTS
1st - Chris Bono, Ringgold, Ga. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC), 1-0, 1-0, 3-1
3rd - Doug Schwab, Blacksburg, Va. (Gator WC) dec. Jared Frayer, Cambridge, Mass. (Gator WC), 2-4, 1-1, 1-0
5th - Jared Lawrence, Roseville, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) injury default over Eric Larkin, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
7th - JaMarr Billman, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC) pin Zack Esposito, Three Bridges, N.J. (Gator WC), 2-2, 0:51
1. Bill Zadick, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
2. Jared Lawrence, Roseville, Minn. (Minnesota Storm)
3. Jared Frayer, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC)
4. Chris Bono, Ringgold, Ga. (Sunkist Kids)
5. Zack Esposito, Stillwater, Okla. (Gator WC)
6. Eric Larkin, Tempe, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids)
7. Brent Metcalf, Davison, Mich. (Hawkeye WC)
8. Jesse Jantzen, Brookline, Mass. (New York AC)
9. Dylan Long, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
10. Phillip Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army)