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Day One at Dave Schultz International features many great bouts



The first day of the Dave Schultz Memorial International Tournament featured a number of exciting and intense matches in all three styles. This tournament is an perfect example of how the blind-draw system for the pool format places some of the best matches in the early rounds. In some cases, the top athletes in the field met right off the bat. Perhaps the most challenging pool was in the freestyle tournament at 76 kg/167.5 pounds. Pool 2 included these four talented wrestlers: Glenn Pritzlaff (Ridley Park, Pa./Dave Schultz WC), Gokham Yavasper of Turkey, Kirk White (Tacoma, Wash. (USA-Dave Schultz WC) and Mark Smith (Stillwater, Okla./Sunkist Kids). Pritzlaff was a NCAA champion at Penn State, and White won a NCAA title for Boise State. Smith, an All-American at Oklahoma State, is the fourth of the famous Smith family from Oklahoma. Yavasper is a talented upcoming star from Turkey. Remember that only one athlete from this group advances directly to the semifinals. In the morning, two rounds were held. In Round One, Yavasper defeated Pritzlaff, 7-2 and White stopped Smith, 5-1. The second round featured a tremendous battle, where White edged Pritzlaff in a 1-0 overtime referee's decision, which was decided from the clinch. Yavasper scored a dominant 11-0 win over Smith. The evening session began with a Smith vs. Pritzlaff match, which didn't happen because neither wrestler showed to wrestle - a double default. The battle between the unbeaten wrestlers, Yavasper and White, ended up being no contest. After getting White down with a caution and one point, Yavasper scored nine straight points on the mat - with four two-point gut wrenches and a one-point ankle-lace turn. Yavasper scored a 10-0 technical fall with 1:15 left in the first period. Yavasper moved on to the semifinals, while White was thrown into a three-man wrestleback for the fourth and final spot in the semifinals. Another interesting freestyle pool was at 76 kg/187.25 pounds, where 1996 Olympic champion Khadjimourad Magomedov of Russia faced talented young Aaron Simpson (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids), perhaps the top American in the weight class here in the competition, right off the bat. Magomedov scored a 5-1 win in the opening match in their pool and later moved into the semifinals. There were some great early round matches in the Greco-Roman tournament, as well. At 69 kg/149.75 pounds, a pair of top U.S. Army stars, former national champion Glenn Nieradka and past national team member Herb House hooked up in a 2-2 overtime referee's decision, won by House. At 76 kg/167.5 pounds, 2000 Olympian Heath Sims (Huntington Beach, Calif./Dave Schultz) ran into a talented star from Uzbekistan, Uriy Vitt in his pool. Vitt scored a tight 3-2 win. At 85 kg/187.25 pounds, Keith Sieracki (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) also had a tough pool. Sieracki, who was the 2001 U.S. Nationals champion at 167.25 pounds, faced Evgeny Erofaylov of Uzbekistan, who was fourth in the 2000 Olympics. Sieracki scored a stunning pin in 1:39. When Sieracki followed with a 1:12 pin over Ben Plummer, he earned a spot in the semifinals. Among the other stars in the meet is past World Champion Sara Eriksson of Sweden at 62 kg/136.5 pounds. Eriksson won her first two matches and has already clinched a spot in the gold-medal finals. Another interesting drama is the Miron Kharchilava story at 152 pounds in freestyle. Kharchilava is an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State and is an immigrant from the former Soviet Union. He has been pursuing citizenship for almost a decade and may have it worked out in time for this year's World Team Trials in late June. Kharchilava dominated his pool, and will be in Saturday's semifinals. It was a day that a wrestling fan could enjoy. The 4-3 victory at 58 kg/127.75 pounds by Jason Kutz (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) over young star Cody Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) was an exciting bout. Kutz scored on an underhook, far-knee pick in overtime for the win. Also at 58 kg/127.25 pounds in freestyle, Jeff Prescott (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) edged talented young star Zach Roberson (Ames, Iowa/Cyclone) in a 9-8 barnburner. Neither advanced as both lost to Turkey's Arif Kama in the pool competition. Another popular match came at 97 kg/213.75 pounds in freestyle, where Daniel Cormier (Stillwater, Okla./Sunkist Kids) and Ryan Tobin (Lincoln, Neb./Dave Schultz WC) went at it. The matched featured throws and reversals, and was won by Cormier by fall. At this session, the finalists and semifinalists in only a few weight classes have been determined. The Saturday morning session will finalize all of the medal match pairings. DAVE SCHULTZ MEMORIAL INTERNATIONAL At Colorado Springs, Colo., May 11 Semifinalists determined so far FREESTYLE 58 kg/127.75 lbs. Pool 1 - Jason Kutz, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USA-U.S. Army) Pool 2 - Arif Kama (Turkey) Pool 3 - Yedat Oztemur (Turkey) Fourth position to be determined through repechage 69 kg/152 lbs. Pool 1 - Ramico Blackmon, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USA-Team Excel) Pool 2 - Miron Kharchilava, Columbus, Ohio (USA-Ohio Int'l) Pool 3- Miron Dzadzaev (Russia) Fourth position to be determined through repechage 76 kg/167.5 lbs. Pool 1 - Rouslan Kokaev (Russia) Pool 2 - Gokham Yavasper (Turkey) Pool 3 - Inal Dzagourov (Russia) Fourth position to be determined through repechage 85 kg/187.25 lbs. Pool 1 - Markus Mollica, Watertown, Mass (USA-Dave Schultz WC) Pool 2 - Khadjimourat Gatsalov (Russia) Pool 3 - Khadjimourat Magomedov (Russia) Fourth position to be determined through repechage GRECO-ROMAN 76 kg/167.5 pounds Pool 1 - T.C. Dantzler, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USA-New York AC) Pool 2 - Jeff Funicello, Mesa, Ariz. (USA-Sunkist Kids) Pool 3 - Yuri Vitt (Uzbekistan) Fourth position to be determined through repechage 85 kg/187.25 lbs. Pool 1 - John Lorenz, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USA-New York AC) Pool 2 - Keith Sieracki, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USA-U.S. Army) Pool 3 - Dan Niebuhr, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USA-Sunkist Kids) Fourth position to be determined through repechage
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