HALL, LINDLAND WIN PAN AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES TO QUALIFY U.S. FOR THE 2000 OLYMPICS AT THEIR WEIGHT CLASSES; THE USA HAS QUALIFIED AT ALL EIGHT WEIGHT CLASSES IN GRECO-ROMAN FOR THE OLYMPICS; HENDERSON AND GARDNER ADD GOLD MEDALS AND THE U.S. PLACES SECOND IN EVENT
Dennis Hall (Plover, Wis./Sunkist Kids) at 127.75 pounds and Matt Lindland (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids) at 167.5 pounds won gold medals at the Pan American Greco-Roman Championships in Cali, Colombia, May 24
The victories qualified the United States to compete at their weight classes at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
With the victories, the United States has now qualified to compete in the Olympics in Greco-Roman at all eight weight classes (119 lbs., 127.75 lbs., 138.75 lbs., 152 lbs., 167.5 lbs., 187.25 lbs., 213.75 lbs. and 286 lbs.).
In the gold-medal finals, Hall defeated Roberto Monzon of Cuba, 3-2 in overtime. The match was tied at 2-2 in overtime, and Monzon led on the tie-breaking criterion. Hall scored the winning takedown with about 10 seconds left in the overtime period.
It was a rematch of the 1999 Pan American Games finals in Winnipeg, Canada, which Hall won by a pin. Hall was a 1996 Olympic silver medalist, a 1995 World Champion and a 1994 World bronze medalist.
Lindland won a tight 1-0 overtime referee's decision over 1993 World Champion Nestor Alamanza in the gold-medal match. He needed to win five matches during the tournament to claim the title.
Lindland placed sixth in the 1998 World Championships and was the 1999 Pan American Games Champion.
Two other U.S. wrestlers won gold medals at the Pan American Championships: Dan Henderson (Gresham, Ore./Dave Schultz WC) at 187.25 pounds and Rulon Gardner (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 286 pounds.
Henderson upset 1999 World champion Luis Mendez of Cuba in the gold-medal match, 3-2. Henderson was a member of the 1992 and 1996 Olympic teams.
Gardner stopped 1992 Olympic champion Hector Millian of Cuba in a 1-0 overtime referee's decision. Gardner placed fifth in the 1997 World Championships.
Winning sa silver medal was Glenn Nieradka (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 138.75 pounds, after dropping a 3-0 decision to Juan Maren of Cuba at 138.75 pounds,
Three U.S. wrestlers won bronze medals: Brandon Paulson (Golden Valley, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 119 pounds, Heath Sims (Huntington Beach, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) at 152 pounds and Garrett Lowney (Appleton, Wis./Minnesota Storm) at 213.75 pounds.
The United States placed second in the tournament behind Cuba, with Venezuela placing third as a team. The U.S. team was coached by 2000 U.S. Olympic head coach Dan Chandler of Minneapolis, Minn., 2000 U.S. Olympic assistant coach Rob Herman of Pensacola, Fla and USA Wrestling National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser of Colorado Springs, Colo.
PAN AMERICAN GRECO-ROMAN CHAMPIONSHIPS at Cali, Colombia, May 23-24
U.S. Greco-Roman performances
54 kg/119 lbs. - Brandon Paulson, Golden Valley, Minn., 3rd - lost dec. to Lazaro Rivas (Cuba), 4-2; pin Salazar (Mexico), 3:58
58 kg/127.75 lbs. - Dennis Hall, Plover, Wis., 1st - pin Renes (Colombia), 2:25; dec. Azerbaijani (Canada), 3-0; won by tech. fall over Cruz (Mexico), 11-0; dec. Roberto Monzon (Cuba), 3-2, ot, 8:50
63 kg/138.75 lbs. - Glenn Nieradka, Colorado Springs, Colo., 2nd - pin Azescani (Argentina), 0:53; pin Franco (Mexico), 0:53; dec. Cuenv (Colombia), 5-0; lost dec. to Juan Maren (Cuba), 3-0
69 kg/152 lbs. - Heath Sims, Huntington Beach, Calif., 3rd- lost by tech. fall to Filiberto Azcuy (Cuba), 11-0; won by tech. fall over Brea (Colombia), 10-0
76 kg/167.5 lbs. - Matt Lindland, Lincoln, Neb., 1st - won by tech. fall over Soto (Chile), 13-0; won by tech. fall over Vierling (Canada), 11-0; pinned Cruz (Puerto Rico), 0:58; dec. Ramirez (Venezuela); won by ref. dec. over Nestor Alamanza (Cuba), 1-0, ot, 9:00
85 kg/187.25 lbs. - Dan Henderson, Gresham, Ore., 1st - won by forfeit over Jenks (Canada); dec. Saboa (Dominican Republic), 9-3; dec. Eddy Bartolozzy (Venezuela), 12-0; dec. Luis Mendez (Cuba), 3-2
97 kg/213.75 lbs. - Garrett Lowney, Appleton, Wis., 3rd - pin Orellano (El Salvador), 0:33; dec. Torres (Venezuela), 9-4; lost by ref. dec. to Reynaldo Pena (Cuba), 1-1, ot, 9:00
130 kg/286 lbs. - Rulon Gardner, Colorado Springs, Colo. , 1st - won by tech. fall over Suazo (Chile), 10-0; dec. Fail (Panama); won by ref. dec. over Hector Millian (Cuba), 1-0, ot, 9:00
Teams - 1. Cuba; 2. United States; 3. Venezuela
Note: The United States qualifies to compete at the 2000 Olympics Games at 127.75 pounds and 167.5 pounds. The U.S. has now qualified for the Olympics at all eight Greco-Roman weight classes.