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|First four U.S. men’s freestylers weigh in and get draws for Junior Worlds in Bulgaria|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
SOFIA, Bulgaria – The first set of four U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers have weighed in and received their draws for Saturday’s competition at the Junior World Championships.
Two of the athletes competing on Saturday are past members of U.S. Junior World Teams.
Mark Grey, Rockaway, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC) will compete at 60 kg/132 lbs. In 2011, while still in high school, Grey placed fifth at the Junior World Championships at 55 kg/121 lbs. Grey trained this year in Ithaca, N.Y., and will attend Cornell University. He has drawn Aaron Thomas Maher of Australia in his opening match.
“Mark has lots of energy, a great attitude and has done a great job managing his weight. In 2011, when he was fifth, he really felt he should have medalled. As a competitor, I know he wanted to win the gold. He is on a mission to do that this year,” said Assistant National Freestyle Coach Bill Zadick.
Competing in the Junior World Championships for the second straight year will be Alex Dieringer (Port Washington, Wis./Cowboy WC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. Dieringer will face 2013 European Junior bronze medalist Lasha Gigashvili of Georgia in the opening round. Dieringer was third at the 2013 NCAA Championships for Oklahoma State as a freshman.
“I think he didn’t get what he wanted in Thailand last year. He is a really talented kid. He has worked super hard. I can see the big difference in his improvement in just a year’s time. He is ready to go,” said Zadick.
Also competing for the USA will be high school star Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (OTC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., where he opens with Radu Balaur of Moldova, who was fifth in 2013 European Junior Championships.
Snyder was recently named the 2013 ASICS High School Wrestler of the Year after his junior year for Good Council High School in Maryland. Snyder will be training at the U.S. Olympic Training Center during his senior year in high school concentrating on freestyle wrestling.
“Kyle Snyder is a young man who is super talented. He has good skills and is strong and explosive,” said Zadick.
The other U.S. entry is also a high school athlete, Ethan Lizak (Schnecksville, Pa./LVAC) at 50 kg/110 lbs. He opens with 2013 European Junior silver medalist Ruslan Gasimov of Azerbaijan.
“Ethan has looked great in camp. He is a mighty mite, a small package with a big boom. He will look to tear people limb from limb,” said Zadick.
Zadick believes the team is well prepared for the challenge ahead.
“Training camp went well. All of our guys look sharp and they are prepared. There are no guarantees. It has to happen between the whistles,” said Zadick.
JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sofia, Bulgaria
U.S. men’s freestyle draw for Saturday
50 kg/110 lbs. – Ethan Lizak, Schnecksville, Pa. (LVAC)
Vs. Ruslan Gasimov (Azerbaijan), 2013 European Junior silver medalist
60 kg/132 lbs. – Mark Grey, Rockaway, N.J. (Titan Mercury WC)
Vs. Aaron Thomas Maher (Australia), 2013 Oceania Junior champion and second in Senior division
74 kg/163 lbs. – Alex Dieringer, Port Washington, Wis. (Cowboy WC/Oklahoma State University)
Vs. Lasha Gigashvili (Georgia), 2013 European Junior bronze medalist
96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Kyle Snyder, Woodbine, Md. (OTC)
Vs. Radu Balaur (Moldova), Fifth in 2013 European Junior Championships