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Herbert, Wood, Sigman among wrestlers notching upsets at U.S. World Team Trials



LAS VEGAS - NCAA champion Jake Herbert of Northwestern plans to take an Olympic redshirt next year.

He looked like a guy ready to contend for an Olympic Team berth Sunday morning at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The ninth-seeded Herbert knocked off top seed Lee Fullhart 2-3, 3-2, 3-2 in the freestyle quarterfinals of the U.S. World Team Trials Challenge Tournament at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Fullhart, a past World Team Trials runner-up and Olympic Team Trials runner-up, came out and won the first period before Herbert rallied.

Herbert, who has one year of college eligibility left, took control in the third period and built a 3-0 lead by shooting in on a leg attack for a takedown. Fullhart scored two one-point takedowns in the final minute, but was unable to turn Herbert.

Herbert, competing for the Wildcat Wrestling Club, won a bronze medal at the 2006 World University Championships in freestyle. Herbert advanced to face No. 5 seed Clint Wattenberg of the New York AC in the semifinals in Sunday's second session. Wattenberg was second in this event last year. The best-of-3 finals are set for 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

The champions in each weight class Sunday qualify for September's World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

2004 Olympian Oscar Wood of the U.S. Army, the No. 8 seed, knocked off top seed and U.S. Nationals champion Glenn Garrison of the U.S. Army in the Greco-Roman quarterfinals at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Wood beat Garrison 3-2, 1-1.

In a battle of past college stars in Nebraska, No. 6 seed Les Sigman of the Sunkist Kids beat No. 3 seed and past World bronze medalist Tolly Thompson of the Sunkist Kids 1-1, 2-0 in a freestyle quarterfinal bout at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Sigman shot in on a leg attack for a takedown late in the first period and then countered a shot attempt to turn Thompson for the winning points late in the second period.

Sigman now advances to face No. 2 seed Steve Mocco of the New York AC in the semifinals. Sigman was a four-time NCAA Division II champion for Nebraska-Omaha while Thompson was an NCAA champion for Nebraska. Mocco beat Sigman in the semifinals of this event last year.

Also in freestyle, No. 6 seed Doug Schwab of the Gator Wrestling Club swept No. 3 seed Jared Lawrence of the Minnesota Storm 3-1, 2-1 in the quarters. Next up for Schwab is No. 2 seed Zack Esposito of the Gator Wrestling Club in the semis.

In the women's freestyle competition, past World silver medalist Tina George knocked off No. 1 seed Randi Miller 1-1, 0-2, 1-0 in the quarters at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. George just missed making weight at 55 kg/121 lbs. Saturday and then had to bump up two weights to compete at 63 kilos since the competition at 59 kg/130 lbs. was held Saturday.

1996 Olympic gold medalist Kendall Cross, wrestling up a weight class at 66 kg/145.5, lost to Phillip Simpson in the first round. The seventh-seeded Cross, 39, competing this year for the first time in 10 years, dropped a 2-1, 5-0 decision to the No. 7 Simpson. Cross then lost his next match to Iowa's Brent Metcalf and was eliminated.

2006 World champion Bill Zadick of the Gator Wrestling Club shot in on the legs late in the match to pull out a gritty, three-period quarterfinal win over Eric Larkin at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. The fourth-seeded Zadick has missed much of this season while battling injuries and illness. Next up for Zadick is No. 1 seed Jared Frayer, the wrestler Zadick beat in the finals of the 2006 World Team Trials.

Zadick's only competition since he won the 2006 Worlds was the Pan American Championships last month. Zadick placed third in that event.

Past World Team member Eric Akin of the Gator Wrestling Club returned to competition for the first time in two years and won his quarterfinal bout at 55 kg/121 lbs. The fifth-seeded Akin downed No. 4 seed Adam Smith 1-0, 2-3, 6-1. Next up for Akin, who was second in this event in 2005, is top seed Nick Simmons of the Sunkist Kids.

In Greco-Roman, No. 6 seed Robbie Smith of the New York AC beat No. 3 seed Phil Johnston in the quarters at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Next up for Smith is No. 2 seed Adam Wheeler of the Gator Wrestling Club.

The next session is set for 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
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