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TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....



Brandon Slay named 2000 John Smith Award winner, as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestl



Brandon Slay (Amarillo, Texas/Dave Schultz WC) has been named the winner of the 2000 John Smith Award as the Freestyle Wrestler of the Year by USA Wrestling. It is the first time that Slay has won this prestigious award. Slay was the 2000 Olympic gold-medalist at 167.5 pounds, the top U.S. wrestling performance at the Sydney Games. Slay had his best international performance ever, competing in his first World-level event. Slay had four straight wins before dropping the gold-medal match to 1994 World Champion Alexander Leipold of Germany, 4-0 in Sydney. Leipold tested positive for the steroid nandralone, and the International Olympic Committee stripped him from the medal, giving Slay the gold medal. Slay officially received his gold medal on an internationlly televised ceremony held on NBC News "Today" in New York City. Slay's victory in his pool competition rocked the freestyle wrestling world. After an opening 4-1 decision over Bulgaria's Plamen Paskalev, Slay drew 1996 Olympic champion and three-time World Champion Bouvaissa Saitiev of Russia, considered by many the top freestyler in the world. Slay quickly jumped to a 3-0 lead on Saitiev, but the Russian responded to tie the score at 3-3 in regulation. In overtime, Slay scored the winning takedown for an upset victory. He won a 2-2 overtime bout in the quarterfinals over Gennady Laliyev of Kazakhstan, then stopped 1999 World bronze medalist Adem Bereket of Turkey in the semifinals, 3-1 to qualify for the finals. Slay was outstanding on the way to the U.S. Olympic Team berth. He won his first U.S. Nationals title, earning the Most Outstanding Wrestler award after defeating 1999 World Team member Joe Williams in the finals. At the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, held in his native Texas, Slay beat Brian Dolph in two straight matches to make the U.S. team. Slay also claimed silver medal at the Dave Schultz Memorial International in February 2000. He was a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete, and competed for the Dave Schultz WC. Slay was a two-time NCAA Div. I runner-up for the Univ. of Pennsylvania. He is originally from Amarillo, Texas, where he competed for Tascosa High School. Slay is currently developing a business called Greater Gold, working directly with American youth and providing values and spiritual lessons in addition to athletic instruction. USA Wrestling will be announcing major award winners each day this week on TheMat.com, the official web page of the Amateur Wrestling Alliance. PAST JOHN SMITH AWARD WINNERS AS FREESTYLE WRESTLER OF THE YEAR 2000 - Brandon Slay, Amarillo, Texas, Dave Schultz WC 1999 - Stephen Neal, Bakerfield, Calif., Dave Schultz WC 1998 - Sammie Henson, Norman, Okla., Sunkist Kids 1997 - Les Gutches, Corvallis, Ore., Sunkist Kids 1996 - Kendall Cross, Raleigh, N.C., Sunkist Kids 1995 - Kevin Jackson, Phoenix, Ariz., Sunkist Kids 1994 - Melvin Douglas, Mesa, Ariz., Sunkist Kids 1993 - Terry and Tom Brands, Iowa City, Iowa, Team Foxcatcher 1992 - John Smith, Stillwater, Okla., Sunkist Kids
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