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|Carter, Reader, Michalak, Rey earn freestyle titles at Dave Schultz Memorial International|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Devin Carter battles for an opening en route to winning a title at the Dave Schultz Memorial Internatonal. Larry Slater photo.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Devin Carter is still in college.
But that hasn’t stopped the talented young wrestler from making a significant impact against top international competition.
The NCAA All-American from Virginia Tech made a huge splash by capturing a freestyle title at the Dave Schultz Memorial International on Friday night at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Carter, 21, who is redshirting this season, downed Bajrang of India 1-1, 0-2, 3-0 to win the freestyle title at 60 kg/132 lbs. Carter was one of four Americans to capture championships on Friday.
Carter took Bajrang down and scored two points for exposing his opponent’s back to the mat midway through the third period. Carter placed fifth in the 2012 NCAA tournament as a sophomore.
“Me and Coach (Kevin) Dresser just figured I should do as much as I can internationally and get as much experience as I can,” said Carter, who plans to train and compete in Cuba later this month. “My coaches said I showed a lot of grit and didn’t give anything up very easily. I just had to wrestle hard all six minutes.
Carter, who placed third earlier this season at the New York AC International, was named Outstanding Wrestler in freestyle on Friday.
“It’s a different strategy for freestyle,” Carter said. “Obviously, you can’t just go out there and try to bury the kid. You have to keep your lead and be smart about it. I’ve made some changes since wrestling in New York that have helped me.”
Past NCAA champion Jon Reader didn’t waste any time in scoring a quick 27-second fall over Austin Trotman in the finals at 84 kg/185 lbs. Reader countered a leg attack by Trotman and threw him to his back to gain the quick pin.
“I got in a good position where I could expose his back,” Reader said. “I exploded to the position and got the fall. I love to compete and this is what I’m here for. I want to make that World Team this year. That’s my goal, to be a World champion. I think I’m on track.”
Wynn Michalak swept Deron Winn 2-0, 4-0 in a battle of Americans in the finals at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Michalak defended in the leg clinch in the first period before taking command with a leg attack early in the second period.
The U.S. earned its fourth title when past NCAA champion Zach Rey won by injury default over Sunny Dhinsa of Canada in the finals at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.
The newly formed Titan Mercury Wrestling Club won the team title with Canada finishing second.
Junior World champion Magomed Kurbanaliev of Russia defeated American Adam Hall 2-0, 1-1 in the finals at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Russia’s Aliamaz Sanakoev followed suit by sweeping American Colt Sponseller 1-0, 3-1 in the finals at 74 kg/163 lbs.
American Mark McKnight finished second at 55 kg/121 lbs. Japan’s Mamoru Handa downed McKnight 1-1, 2-0 in the finals. McKnight knocked off returning champ Amit Kumar of India in the quarterfinals.
The final day of competition for the three-day event is set for Saturday with women’s freestyle wrestling taking place. First whistle is scheduled for 9 a.m. in Colorado Springs.
55 kg/121 lbs.
Mamoru Handa (Japan) dec. Mark McKnight (Nittany Lion WC), 1-1, 2-0
60 kg/132 lbs.
Devin Carter (Hokie Mat Club) dec. Bajrang (India), 1-1, 0-2, 3-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Magomed Kurbanaliev (Russia) dec. Adam Hall (Titan Mercury WC), 2-0, 1-1
74 kg/163 lbs.
Aliamaz Sanakoev (Russia) dec. Colt Sponseller (New York AC), 1-0, 3-1
84 kg/185 lbs.
Jon Reader (Sunkist Kids) pinned Austin Trotman (Titan Mercury WC), 0:27
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Wynn Michalak (Titan Mercury WC) dec. Deron Winn (Cyclone Wrestling Club), 2-0, 4-0
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Zach Rey (Lehigh Valley AC) won by injury default Sunny Dhinsa (Canada)