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|Final four U.S. freestylers weigh in and receive draws for Junior Worlds in Bulgaria|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
SOFIA, Bulgaria – The last four U.S. wrestlers have weighed in and received draws at the Junior World Championships, as the men’s freestyle competition is the final day of action at this year’s event.
All four of the athletes competing on Sunday are affiliated with major Div. I college programs and entered college as some of the top prospects in the sport.
The University of Iowa has two competitors on Team USA on Sunday, Thomas Gilman (Council Bluffs, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) at 55 kg/121 lbs. and Sam Brooks (Oak Park, Ill./Hawkeye WC) at 84 kg/185 lbs. Both were freshmen last year for the Hawkeyes.
“Both had a great training camp, worked hard and did a great job with their weight control. They both have international experience with freestyle. They look very good right now,” said U.S. Junior World Coach Sean Bormet.
In round one, Gilman will face Robert Kardos of Hungary, who was ninth in the 2013 European Junior Championships
“Thomas is steady and consistent. He doesn’t make mistakes and is solid in his positions. When he has his offense going, he is going to score a lot of points. He is tough to score on,” said Bormet.
Brooks has Masayoshi Sukuraba of Japan in round one.
“Sam has done a lot of freestyle and Greco-Roman. He is balanced in all positions. He had a really good training camp. His leg attacks are looking good and his par terre looks good. Sam brings a lot of freestyle experience,” said Bormet.
Returning for his second straight year at the Junior World Championships is Oklahoma State athlete Austin Marsden (Crystal Lake, Ill./Cowboy WC) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Marsden was forced to come out of his redshirt year in 2012 at season’s end, and was an NCAA qualifier that season. He did not compete in 2013, as Cowboy Alan Gelogaev completed his career.
Marden will face Georgii Gogaev of Russia, the 2012 Cadet World champion, in his opening bout.
“Austin is ready to go. He was here last year. The one match he lost, the guy shut him down and he had a hard time getting his offense going. We spent a lot of time in camp simulating a wrestler who might wrestle him like that. He was sharp at camp. He has had two years at Oklahoma State with Alan Gelogaev. He has been around a tough foreigner with a different feel,” said Bormet.
Northwestern is represented by Jason Tsirtsis (Crown Point, Ind./Wildcat WC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Tsirtsis opens with Ruslan Sadybaskov of Kyrgyzstan in the first round.
“He is extremely explosive. Jason is real tough in par terre. He has worked hard in training camp. His offense got better and better as camp went on. His confidence was very high towards the end of camp. He is excited to be here,” said Bormet.
JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Sofia, Bulgaria
U.S. men’s freestyle draws for Sunday
55 kg/121 lbs. – Thomas Gilman, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Hawkeye WC/University of Iowa)
Vs. Robert Kardos (Hungary), Ninth in 2013 European Junior Championships
66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Jason Tsirtsis, Crown Point, Ind. (Wildcat WC/Northwestern University)
Vs. Ruslan Sadybaskov (Kyrgyzstan)
84 kg/185 lbs. – Sam Brooks, Oak Park, Ill. (Hawkeye WC/University of Iowa)
Vs. Masayoshi Sukuraba (Japan)
120 kg/264.5 lbs. – Austin Marsden, Crystal Lake, Ill. (Cowboy WC/Oklahoma State University)
Vs. Georgii Gogaev (Russia), 2012 Cadet World champion