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UPDATED: Rowlands wins gold, four U.S. wrestlers get bronzes at Cerro Pelado in Cuba

Tommy Rowlands competing at the 2007 World Championships. Larry Slater photo

HAVANA, Cuba – Tommy Rowlands (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) won a gold medal at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. on the first day of men’s freestyle competition at the Cerro Pelado International. He was one of five Americans who won medals on Saturday.

Rowlands won three bouts on the way to the title, including a win over Disney Rodriguez of Cuba in the finals, 1-0, 1-1. Rodriguez was fifth in the 2008 Olympic Games.

He beat 2008 Junior World silver medalist Elier Romero of Cuba in the quarterfinals, 2-0, 1-0, then pinned Luis Oliveras of Venezuela, 5-0, 1:06 in the semifinals.

Rowlands was fifth at the 2007 World Championships.

Four U.S. athletes claimed bronze medals for the United States:
• Obe Blanc (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) at 55 kg/121 lbs.
• Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs.
• Brent Metcalf (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
• Keith Gavin, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley WC) at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Blanc and Metcalf were members of the 2010 U.S. World Team.

Blanc finished 3-1, with a win over 2009 Pan American champion Luis Ibanez of Cuba, in the bronze-medal bout, 3-9, 1-0, 7-0. Blanc’s only loss came in the second round to 2010 World bronze medalist Frank Chimizo of Cuba, 2-1, 6-0.

Hazewinkel beat Aleynier Hernandez of Cuba, 2-2, 0-1, 1-0 in the bronze-medal round, to finish with a 3-1 record.

Metcalf won his first two matches, then fell to four-time World medalist Geandry Garzon of Cuba, in the semifinals, 0-1, 0-4. He captured the bronze with a 3-1, 3-0 win over Sascha Buechner of Germany,

Gavin defeated fellow American Bryce Hasseman in the bronze-medal bout, 4-0, 1-0. He lost his first bout to Humberto Rodriguez Arencibia of Cuba, who was fifth in the 2009 Junior World Championships, and won the next two bouts to claim his medal.

“Overall, we performed well from a medal standpoint,” said National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones. “Coming to this tournament and to participate in the training camp is part of the process of preparing our athletes for World and Olympic success. We look forward to finishing the tournament strong tomorrow, then focusing on training.”

Five U.S. wrestlers weighed in and received draws for Sunday’s competition.

at Havana, Cuba, Feb. 19

55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold – Frank Chamizo (Cuba)
Silver – Tim Schleicher (Germany)
Bronze – Obe Blanc (USA)
Bronze – Sam Hazewinkel (USA)
5th - Luis Ibanez (Cuba)
5th - Aleynier Hernandez (Cuba)

66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold – Geandry Garzon (Cuba)
Silver – Lilven Lopez (Cuba)
Bronze – Brent Metcalf (USA)
Bronze – Franklin Maren (Cuba)
5th – Sascha Buechner (Germany)
5th – Ignagy Androsov (Tajikistan)

84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold – Reineris Salas (Cuba)
Silver – Humberto Rodriguez Arencibia (Cuba)
Bronze – Keith Gavin (USA)
Bronze – David Binichishvili (Germany)
5th – Bryce Hasseman (USA)
5th – Rosmel Giel (Venezuela)

120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold – Tommy Rowlands (USA)
Silver – Disney Rodriguez (Cuba)
Bronze - Elier Romero (Cuba)
Bronze – Nick Matuhin (Germany)
5th – Luis Oliveras (Venezuela)
5th – Fabian Zapata (Colombia)

U.S. performances on Saturday

55 kg/121 lbs. - Obe Blanc, Stillwater, Okla. (Gator WC), 3rd
WIN Fernando Pardis (Venezuela), 1-0, 3-2
LOSS Frank Chimizo (Cuba), 2-1, 6-0
WIN Urs Wild (Switzerland), 2-1, 1-0
WIN Luis Ibanez (Cuba), 3-9, 1-0, 7-0

55 kg/121 lbs. - Sam Hazewinkel, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids), 3rd
WIN Marcel Ewald (Germany), 1-0, 0-1, 6-3
WIN Roberto Carvajal (Colombia), 7-0, 6-0
LOSS Tim Schleicher (Germany), 1-1, 1-0, 0-3
WIN Aleynier Hernandez (Cuba), 2-2, 0-1, 1-0

66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Brent Metcalf, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC), 3rd
WIN Ghandi Marques (Mexico), 6-0, 4-0
WIN Yoan Blanco (Ecuador), 1-0, 5-1
LOSS Geandry Garzon (Cuba), 0-1, 0-4
WIN Sascha Buechner (Germany), 3-1, 3-0

84 kg/185 lbs. - Keith Gavin, Bethlehem, Pa. (Lehigh Valley WC), 3rd
LOSS Humberto Rodriguez Arencibia (Cuba), 2-4, 2-4
WIN Jose Diaz (Venezuela), inj. dft.
WIN Bryce Hasseman (USA), 4-0, 1-0

84 kg/185 lbs. - Bryce Hasseman, Stillwater, Okla. (New York AC), 5th
WIN Daniel Esquivel (Mexico), 6-0, 5-0
WIN Marco Riesen (Switzerland), 0-4, 1-0, 2-0
LOSS Humberto Rodriguez Arencibia (Cuba), 1-0, 3-0
LOSS Keith Gavin (USA), 0-4, 0-1

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tommy Rowlands, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids), 1st
WIN Elier Romero (Cuba), 2-0, 1-0
WIN Luis Oliveras (Venezuela), 5-0, pin 1:06
WIN Disney Rodriguez (Cuba), 1-0, 1-1

U.S. draws for Sunday

60 kg/132 lbs. - Nick Simmons, Corvallis, Ore. (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. Herman Guzman (Colombia)
If he wins, will face winner of Coleman Scott (USA) vs. Howles Bonne (Cuba)

60 kg/132 lbs. - Coleman Scott, Stillwater, Okla. (Gator WC)
Vs. Howles Bonne (Cuba)
If he wins, will face winner of Nick Simmons (USA) vs. Herman Guzman (Colombia)

60 kg/132 lbs. - Drew Headlee, Morgantown, W.Va. (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. Guillermo Torres (Mexico)
If he wins, will face winner of Alejandro Valez (Cuba) vs. Wilfredo Enriquez (Venezuela)

74 kg/163 lbs. - Ryan Morningstar, Iowa City, Iowa (New York AC)
Vs. Daniel Malvino (Brazil)
If he wins, will face winner of Lazaro Montes De Oca (Cuba) vs. Luis Ortigoza (Mexico)

96 kg/211.5 lbs. – David Zabriskie, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
Vs. Luis Zivnes (Venezuela)
If he wins, will face winner of William Harth (Germany) vs. Eduardo Mesa (Cuba)

96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Jack Jensen, Graham, N.C. (Gator WC)
Vs. Miguel Batista (Cuba)
If he wins, will face winner of Christian Rodriguez (Spain) vs. Diego Rodriguez (Brazil)
Untitled Document
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