By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Alli Ragan (in red) counters a shot by Trinity Plessinger in the 63 kg finals in women's freestyle at the 2011 New York AC International. Julieta Okot photo.
NEW YORK, N.Y. – Nine U.S. athletes won gold medals in the Greco-Roman and women’s freestyle competition held at the New York Athletic Club International on Saturday.
Winning the Outstanding Wrestler awards were Alli Ragan (Carbondale, Ill./New York AC/King College) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. and Andrew Bisek (Colorado Springs, Colo./Minnesota Storm) at 74 kg/163 lbs. in Greco-Roman.
Ragan, a 2011 Junior World bronze medalist, defeated Trinity Plessinger (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), 1-3, 3-0, 4-0 in the finals.
Ragan scored a big win in the semifinals when she defeated two-time World champion Kristie Davis (Yukon, Okla./Gator WC/OCU), 0-2, 3-2, 1-0.
“My quarterfinals, semifinals and finals went three periods, which stressed me out a little bit. But it ended up going well for me,” said Ragan.
Bisek, who competed for the USA at the 2011 World Championships, defeated two-time World bronze medalist Justin Lester (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) in the finals, 1-0, 1-2, 1-0.
“I had a little bit different strategy. I was able to get a turn on top. It was the difference in the match. I enjoy wrestling him. He is a good wrestler. He can surprise you from anywhere. He is a good test,” said Bisek.
It was a rematch of the Sunkist Kids International Open finals, won by Lester.
The U.S. won six of the seven gold medals in the Greco-Roman competition, including three by the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program.
Capturing the title at 55 kg/121 lbs. was Jermaine Hodge (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army), who defeated Max Nowry (Wheeling, Ill./New York AC), 3-0, 1-0 in the finals. Hodge, a past U.S. Open champion, scored a takedown and gutwrench in the first period and defended from the par terre in the second period.
“I started off sluggish. As the day progressed, I got better and got more motion on my feet,” said Hodge. “At the Army, we are stacked at 55 kg. Training with those guys will make you better than other guys in the country.”
The champion at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. was Glenn Garrison (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) who defeated Dawid Karecinski of Poland, 3-0, 1-0 in the finals. Garrison had a big three-point takedown in the first period,
“I knew he was a tough competitor. I watched him all day. I knew I could put the pressure on him and capitalize on his mistake. I got a nice arm drag to his body and scored three on him,” said Garrison.
Claiming the title at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. was 2002 World Champion Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army), who defeated Lucasz Banak of Poland in the finals, 0-1, 1-0, 1-0. Byers scored a takedown in the third period to clinch the win. Banak was fifth in the 2011 World Championships.
“The key was keeping my head. I knew he would be aggressive and that he was really strong. I wanted to stay with the game plan, run him hot and see if he would make a mistake,” said Byers.
The champion at 60 kg/132 lbs. was two-time Junior World medalist Ellis Coleman (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) who scored a third-period pin of two-time U.S. World Team member Joe Betterman (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), 0-1, 1-0, 1:30.
After splitting the first two periods, Coleman scored a three-point takedown on Betterman, who was injured on the hold and Coleman secured the pin. Betterman protested, saying that Coleman had a leg foul on the throw. Officials refused the protest and the pin was upheld.
It was a rematch of the finals from the 2011 Sunkist Kids International, also won by Coleman. After competing at 66 kg last year, Coleman has dropped a weight class for the Olympic year.
“My tournament didn’t go as planned. I didn’t want anyone to score on me. I want to be dominant all year. It was my goal and my goal won’t change. I felt I could be more dominant,” said Coleman
At 96 kg/211.5 lbs., R.C. Johnson (Colorado Springs, Colo.Sunkist Kids) captured a gold medal with a win over Darrin Burns (Greensboro, N.C./YES Wrestling), 1-0, 2-0 in the finals. Johnson, a 2009 U.S. World Team member, also won the Sunkist Kids International in October.
“This was a great opportunity. A lot of top guys were here. All of the guys were good. It was a tough tournament. I was fortunate to come out on top. It was important to compete. You have to get those matches in,” said Johnson.
The U.S. won the last three weight classes in the women’s competition, starting with Ragan at 63 kg, followed by Adeline Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC) at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. and Iris Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 72 kg/158.5 lbs.
Gray, a 2011 World bronze medalist, stopped college Julia Salata (Canton, Mich./King College) in the finals by technical fall, 7-0, 7-0.
“I went out there and took care of business, which is why I came here,” said Gray. “I wrestled (Salata) a couple of times, and she is getting better every time. She is trying new things, which is hard against more experienced wrestlers. I am looking forward to talking to her to help her tweak a few little things so she can be ready for nationals.”
Smith, a 2005 World champion, stopped 2009 World silver medalist Odenchimeg Badrakh of Mongolia in the finals, 1-3, 1-0, 3-0.
“I came out there with a mindset to take the gold medal here in preparation so I can make sure to make this Olympic Team. It was extremely important to compete here. It was a stepping stone for me,” said Smith.
Canada claimed three titles in the women’s division, with victories by Jessica MacDonald at 48 kg/105.5 lbs., Vanessa Brown at 51 kg/112.25 lbs. and Michelle Fazzari at 59 kg/130 lbs.
MacDonald defeated 2008 World champion Clarissa Chun (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), 2-1, 4-1 in the finals.
Brown defeated Sara Fulp-Allen (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), 2-1, 4-2 in the finals.
Fazzari scored a third-period fall over 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Jackeline Renteria of Colombia, 0-3, 1-0, 1:19.
Mongolia added a women’s champion at 55 kg/121 lbs. as Byambatser Sundev defeated three-time Junior World medalist Helen Maroulis (Rockville, Md./New York AC), 2-1, 3-2. It was a rematch from dual meet in Brooklyn, N.Y. on Thursday night, which Maroulis won 1-0, 4-0.
The final Greco-Roman champion was at 84 kg/185 lbs., where 2011 World silver medalist Damien Janikowski of Poland) edged 2011 U.S. Open champion Jordan Holm (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm), 2-0, 0-1, 3-0.
NEW YORK AC INTERNATIONAL
At New York, N.Y., Nov. 12
55 kg/121 lbs.
1st - Jermaine Hodge (U.S. Army) dec. Max Nowry (New York AC), 3-0, 1-0
3rd - Nathan Engel (U.S. Army) dec. Nikko Triggas (New York), 6-0, 1-0
60 kg/132 lbs.
1st - Ellis Coleman (New York AC) pin Joe Betterman (Sunkist Kids), 0-1, 1-0, 1:30
3rd - Spenser Mango (U.S. Army) dec. Joe Warren (New York AC), 2-0, 1-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
1st - Glenn Garrison (U.S. Army) dec. Dawid Karecinski (Poland), 3-0, 1-0
3rd - Josh Castellano (USOEC) dec. Benjamin Sanchez (New York AC), 1-0, 0-1, 1-0
74 kg/163 lbs.
1st - Andy Bisek (Minnesota Storm) dec. Justin Lester (U.S. Army), 1-0, 1-2, 1-0
3rd - Kendrick Sanders (New York AC/USOEC) dec. Timothy Bleau (U.S. Army), 0-5, 1-0, 2-0
84 kg/185 lbs.
1st - Damien Janikowski (Poland) dec. Jordan Holm (Minnesota Storm), 2-0, 0-1, 3-0
3rd – Chas Betts (Minnesota Storm) dec. Cheney Haight (New York AC), 2-0, 2-0
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
1st - R.C. Johnson (Sunkist Kids) dec. Darrin Burns (YES Wrestling), 1-0, 2-0
3rd – Caylor Williams (YES Wrestling) dec. Moises Hernandez (Marines), 2-0, 3-2
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
1st - Dremiel Byers (U.S. Army) dec. Lucasz Banak (Poland), 0-1, 1-0, 1-0
3rd - Brandon Rupp (Sunkist Kids) dec. Jake Kettler (Minnesota Storm), 2-0, 2-0
Women’s freestyle results
48 kg/105.5 lbs.
1st - Jessica MacDonald (Canada) dec. Clarissa Chun (Sunkist Kids), 2-1, 4-1
3rd - Miyuu Yamamoto (Mecha) dec. Jessica Medina (Sunkist Kids), 2-2,1-0
51 kg/112.25 lbs.
1st - Vanessa Brown (Canada) dec. Sara Fulp-Allen (New York AC), 2-1, 4-2
3rd - Whitney Conder (Gator WC) pin Davaasuren Bayarmagnai (Mongolia), 2-1, 0:36
55 kg/121 lbs.
1st - Byambatser Sundev (Mongolia) dec. Helen Maroulis (New York AC), 2-1, 3-2
3rd - Leigh Jaynes (New York AC) pin oJillian Gallays (Canada/Saskatoon), 1-3, 2-1, 1:04
59 kg/130 lbs.
1st - Michelle Fazzari (Canada) dec. Jackeline Renteria (Colombia), 0-3, 1-0, 1:19
3rd - Jenna Burkert (USOEC) dec. Melissa Apodaca (New York AC), 6-0, 0-3, 3-0
63 kg/138.75 lbs.
1st - Alli Ragan (NYAC/King College) dec. Trinity Plessinger (Sunkist Kids), 1-3, 3-0, 4-0
3rd - Othella Feroleto (U.S. Army) dec. Jennifer Page (OCU/Gator Wrestling Club), 1-0, 2-1
67 kg/163 lbs.
1st - Adeline Gray (New York AC) tech. fall Julia Salata (King College), 7-0, 7-0
3rd - Sydney Nelson (UC Women`s Wrestling) pin Stephanie Geltmacher (Gator WC), 1-2, 1:38
72 kg/158.5 lbs.
1st - Iris Smith (U.S. Army) dec. Odenchimeg Badrakh (Mongolia), 1-3, 1-0, 3-0
3rd - Emma Weberg (Sweden) dec. Burmaa Ochirbat (Mongolia), 0-1, 1-1, 3-1