Rulon Gardner (Afton, Wyo./Sunkist Kids) won a silver medal at 286 pounds at the Poddoubny Tournament in Podolsk, Russia, August 6, the top U.S. performance at this major international event.
The Poddoubny Tournament is considered the most challenging open international Greco-Roman tournament in the world each year. The U.S. team is using the competition as part of its preparation for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Gardner won three of his four matches in the tournament. He was pinned in the gold medal finals by Yuri Patrekeev of Russia on a hip toss.
Gardner won his pool competition, defeating Sergei Bosketov of Russia, 8-0 and earning an 11-0 technical fall over Alexander Kuznitzov of Russia. In the semifinals, Gardner scored a 1-0, overtime referee's decision over Alexei Kolesnikov of Russia.
Gardner competed in the 1997 World Championships, where he placed fifth. He was named the USA Wrestling Greco-Roman Wrestler of the Year in 1997. Gardner defeated 1996 Olympic silver medalist Matt Ghaffari of the Sunkist Kids in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Gardner was a 1996 World Cup champion, and won the 1998 and 2000 Pan American Championships titles. He is a three-time U.S. Nationals champion (1995, 1997, 2000) and has placed second three times.
He was fourth in the 1993 NCAA Championships competing for the Univ. of Nebraska. He was also a 1991 Junior College National Champion for Ricks College. Gardner is originally from Afton, Wyo. He is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident athlete.
Garrett Lowney (Appleton, Wis./Minnesota Storm) placed fourth at 97 kg/220 pounds. It was incorrectly reported earlier this week that Lowney had finished fifth.
Lowney had a 3-2 record in the competition. He won his pool competition, winning a pair of overtime matches. He beat Konstantin Batyaev of Russia by referee's decision, 1-0, then stopped Alexander Arhangelski of Russia, 3-1, ot, 7:48.
In the quarterfinals, Lowney won by referee's decision over Andrei Chigalov of Russia, 2-2. Lowney was defeated 3-0 in the semifinals by Alexander Rezanchkin of Russia. In the bronze-medal match, Lowney lost to Sergei Artuchin of Russia, 3-2.
At 20 years old, Lowney was the youngest athlete to qualify for the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team for wrestling in either style. He was a 1999 Junior World Champion. Lowney was second in the 1999 Sunkist Kids International Open and third in the 2000 Dave Schultz Memorial International. He won five Junior National titles, three in Greco-Roman and two in freestyle.
Lowney attends the Univ. of Minnesota, but has yet to begin his competitive career. He took a redshirt year in 1998-99, then received an Olympic redshirt year in 1999-2000. He is originally from Appleton, Wis.
The other seven U.S. wrestlers in the tournament were defeated in their pool competition and were not eligible for a medal.
The team is led by U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman head coach Dan Chandler of Minneapolis, Minn. and assistant coach Rob Hermann of Pensacola, Fla. along with National Greco-Roman coach Steve Fraser of Colorado Springs, Colo.
PODDOUBNY TOURNAMENT at Podolsk, Russia, August 4-6
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Steven Mays, Pensacola, Fla. (U.S. Navy) - dec. Shota Simonia (Russia), 4-3; lost pin to Alexander Borisov (Russia), 2:48
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Jim Gruenwald, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) - won by tech. fall over Islam Umazakov (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0, 4:01; lost dec. to Viacheslav Nemtchenko (Russia), 3-2
63 kg/138.75 lbs - Kevin Bracken, Chicago, Ill. (New York AC) - lost dec. to Nikolai Monov (Russia), 4-3; won by tech. fall over Valentin Molutin (Kyrgyzstan), 10-0, 5:47
63 kg/138.75 - Glenn Nieradka, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) - lost dec. to Vateres Samorgoshev (Russia), 5-0; dec. Artur Lizev (Russia), 5-0; dec. Alexei Mazur (Ukraine), 5-0
76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Heath Sims, Huntington Beach, Calif. (Dave Schultz WC) - lost by ref. dec. to Jahongier Turdeev (Uzbekistan), 2-1, ot, 9:00; dec. Vadim Alajev (Russia), 3-0
76 kg/167.5 lbs - Keith Sieracki, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) - lost dec. to Daniel Halimov (Russia), 5-4; dec. Nurlan Jongitiev (Kazakhstan), 5-0
85 kg/187.25 lbs - Quincey Clark, New Brighton, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) - lost dec. to Mohammed Abdel Fatah, 6-1; dec. Alexander Soldotov (Russia), 4-1
97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Garrett Lowney, Appleton, Wis. (Minnesota Storm), 4th place - won by ref. dec. over Konstantin Batyaev (Russia), 1-0, ot, 9:00; dec. Alexander Arhangelski (Russia), 3-1, ot, 7:48; won by ref. dec. over Andrei Chigalov (Russia), 2-2, ot, 9:00; lost dec. to Alexander Rezanchkin (Russia), 3-0; lost dec. to Sergei Artuchin (Russia), 3-2
130 kg/286 lbs. - Rulon Gardner, Afton, Wyo., (Sunkist Kids), 2nd place - won dec. Sergei Bosketov (Russia), 8-0; won by tech. fall over Alexander Kuznitzov (Russia), 11-0, 2:59; won by ref. dec. over Alexei Kolesnikov (Russia), 1-0, ot, 9:00; lost pin to Yuri Patrekeev (Russia)
Head Coach - Dan Chandler, Minneapolis, Minn.
Assistant Coach - Rob Hermann, Pensacola, Fla.
National Greco-Roman Coach - Steve Fraser, Colorado Springs, Colo.