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2001 Western Junior Regionals expected to feature many top U.S. high school stars



Many of the best high school wrestlers in the Western United States, as well as top talents from all across the nation, are expected to participate in the Western Junior Regionals, which will be held alongside the U.S. Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev. again in 2001. When the tournament has been held alongside the Senior National Championships, the field has been large and talented. In the past, the Western Regionals has set records for the number of entries when held in Las Vegas. With the tournament held at the MGM Grand this year year, the field should be outstanding. At the 2000 Western Junior Regionals, many of the nation's best young wrestlers competed. The action was spectacular. There were four double champions at the 2000 Western Junior Regionals, winning both the freestyle and Greco-Roman events over the weekend. The double champs were Eric Stevenson of Oregon at 105.5 pounds, Nate Gallick of Arizona at 114.5 pounds, K.C. Walsh of Washington at 191.5 pounds and Marcio Botelho of California at 220 pounds. Joe Johnston of Kansas was named the Outstanding Wrestler in freestyle, after he decisioned Ty Eustice of Minnesota, 6-2. Luke Larwin of Oregon was named the Outstanding Wrestler in Greco-Roman. Larwin pinned 1999 Junior National champion Josh McLay of Minnesota in 2:45 in the gold-medal match at 165 pounds. McLay was also the defending Western Regional Champions. One of the reasons that the Western Junior Regionals is so popular when held alongside the U.S. Nationals is that the participants get a chance to watch the Senior-level stars in action during the weekend. In addition, when the event is held in Las Vegas, many of the wrestlers spend time with their families enjoying the vacation opportunities. Do not be surprised if many of the athletes competing in the 2001 Western Junior Regionals go on later this summer to claim all-American honors at the Asics Tiger Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D. Many of these athletes compete in the Western Regionals as a way to better prepare for the major summer events. A tradition of excellence has been established at the Western Junior Regionals, which has been a fertile proving ground for talented young wrestling stars for decades.
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