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Neal, Gonzales, Akuffo named Outstanding Wrestlers at Sunkist Kids/ASU International Open in Phoenix



Many of the top U.S. and international wrestlers, competing in men's freestyle, men's Greco-Roman and women's freestyle, were on display at the 16th annual Sunkist Kids International Open, held at the Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, Ariz., Nov. 4-5. Claiming the Outstanding Wrestler honors were 1999 World Champion Stephen Neal (Bakersfield, Calif./Sunkist Kids) in men's freestyle, Camillo Gonzales (USA Pounders) in men's Greco-Roman and Ohenewa Akuffo (Canada) in women's freestyle. Neal dominated the competition at 286 pounds, including a 10-0 technical fall over Billy Blunt (Fresno, Calif./Sunkist Kids) in the gold-medal finals. Neal registered three techincal falls and a pin in the competition. It was his first tournament since placing second at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials last June. Gonzales scored a 17-6 technical fall over 2000 Junior National champion Cam Jones (Salt Lake City, Utah, TAC) in the 119-pound finals. Gonzales won five matches, including three pins in his pool competition. Akuffo won a very challenging weight class, defeating Satrinina Vernon (Rodeo, Calif./Missouri Valley), 9-1 in the gold-medal finals. Akuffo won four matches, including two pins. Three athletes were able to defend their 1999 Sunkist Kids International Open titles: men's freestyler Chris Bono (Gilbert, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 152 pounds, men's Greco-Roman wrestler Duane Martin (Quantico, Va./U.S. Marines) at 127.75 pounds and women's freestyle star Patricia Miranda (Stanford, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) at 112.25 pounds. Bono won the gold-medal finals by injury default over former NCAA champion Kirk White (Boise, Idaho/Bronco WC). Bono holds a No. 2 U.S. national ranking after placing second at the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Martin scored a 2-2 referee's decision over Victor Cruz of Mexico in the championship match. It was his second gold medal of the fall season, after winning the title at the 2000 CISM World Military Championships the previous week. Miranda, a 1999 World silver medalist, edged Magdalena Morelos of Mexico, 3-2 in the gold-medal match. In 1999, Miranda won her Sunkist Kids International Open title at 101.25 pounds. As the first major international event held in the United States after the 2000 Olympic Games, the event showcased some of the young talent that will challenge for the U.S. World and Olympic teams during the next four years. The U.S. swept all the gold medals in men's freestyle wrestling. Among the other champions were Mike Mena (Bloomington, Ind./New York AC) at 119 pounds, Cody Sanderson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) at 127.75 pounds, Dustin Denunzio (Cambridge, Mass./Dave Schultz WC) at 138.75 pounds, Joe Heskett (Cleveland, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) at 167.5 pounds, Aaron Simpson (Tempe, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 187.25 pounds and Raphael Davis (Bakersfield, Calif./Dave Schultz WC) at 213.75 pounds. Military athletes dominated the Greco-Roman competition, led by Martin, Rob McKenney (Quantico, Va./U.S. Marines) at 167.5 pounds, Aaron Sieracki (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Air Force) at 187.25 pounds, Dan Hicks (Quantico, Va./U.S. Marines) at 213.75 pounds and Paul Devlin (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 286 pounds. Other individual Greco-Roman champions were Randy Devlin at 138.75 pounds and Marco Sanchez (Phoenix, Ariz./Sunkist Kids) at 152 pounds. Miranda was one of four U.S. individual champions in the women's division, along with Grace Magnussen (Missouri Valley) at 127.75 pounds, Sara McMann (Lock Haven, Pa. Sunkist Kids) at 136.5 pounds and Toccara Montgomery (Cleveland, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) at 149.75 pounds. Also claiming a women's title was Misato Shimizu of Japan at 101.25 pounds. The host Sunkist Kids won the men's freestyle team title with 112 points, followed by the Dave Schultz WC with 77 points. The U.S. Marine Corps was the men's Greco-Roman team champion with 69 points, followed by the Pendleton Marines with 47 points. Missouri Valley College Women's Wrestling ran away with the women's team title with 96 points, followed by the Sunkist Kids with 28 points. SUNKIST KIDS INTERNATIONAL OPEN at Phoenix, Ariz., Nov. 4-5 Freestyle 54 kg/119 lbs. - 1st - Mike Mena (New York AC) dec. Patrick Cassidy, 4-1; 3rd - Chris Fleeger (Dave Schultz WC) won by tech fall over Chris Knox (Sunkist Kids), 11-0; 5th - Shane Valdez (Dave Schultz WC); 6th - Victor Gutierrez; 7th - Adam Chavira (Sunkist Kids); 8th - Fred York; 9th - Oscar Gonzalez (Mexico); 10th - Camilo Gonzalez 58 kg/127.75 lbs. - 1st - Cody Sanderson (Sunkist Kids) dec. Jeremy Hunter (New York AC), 3-2; 3rd - Takayuki Kume (Japan) dec. Hiroki Sekikawa (Japan), 10-1; 5th - Danny Felix (Sunkist Kids); 6th - Matt Azevedo (Sunkist Kids); 7th - Bob Patnesky (Sunkist Kids); 8th - Chance Farrar; 9th - Zach Roberson; 10th - Rich Cordova 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - 1st - Dustin Denunzio (Dave Schultz WC) dec. Mark Angle (Sunkist Kids), 3-0; 3rd - Mike Eierman (New York AC) dec. Sonny Marchette, 5-3; 5th - Joseph Calavitta; 6th - CC Fisher; 7th - Paris Ruiz; 8th - Ian Morgan; 9th - Lance Gomez; 10th - Joshua Chaplin 69 kg/152 lbs. - 1st - Chris Bono (Sunkist Kids) win by default over Kirk White; 3rd - Nathan Vasquez (Sunkist Kids) won by forfeit over Pat Cadwallader; 5th - Peter Runez; 6th - Tim Cobb; 7th - Ramico Blackmon; 8th - W.R. Groves; 9th - Isaac Ilada; 10th - Celso Deanda (Mexico) 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - 1st - Joe Heskett (Sunkist Kids) dec. Frank Trigg (Sunkist), 3-0; 3rd - Mark Smith (Sunkist) won by tech fall over Nate Ackerman (Dave Schultz WC), 10-0; 5th - R.D. Pursell; 6th - Kenji Koshiba (Japan); 7th - Joseph Clutter; 8th - Nick Frost (Sunkist Kids); 9th - Jason Conine; 10th (tie): Garth Kitchingham, Troy Owen, Nathan Murphy 85 kg/187.25 lbs - 1st - Aaron Simpson (Sunkist) tech fall over Hidekazu Yokoyama (Japan), 13-2; 3rd - Jon Kading (Dave Schultz WC) won by tech fall over Ken Bigley (New York AC), 10-0; 5th - Tim Hartung (Minnesota Storm); 6th - Brandon Eggum (Minnesota Storm); 7th - Muhammed Lawal; 8th - Mark DuFresne; 9th - Markus Mollica (Dave Schultz WC); 10th - Andy Hrovat 97 kg/213.75 lbs. - 1st -Raphael Davis (Dave Schultz WC) dec. Ryan Tobin (Dave Schultz WC), 3-2; 3rd - Dean Schmeichel (Canada) dec. Tom Gohde (Sunkist Kids), 4-0; 5th - Eric Gladish (Sunkist Kids); 6th - Mario Mercado (New York AC); 7th - Hector Ramirez 130 kg/286 lbs. - Stephen Neal (Dave Schultz WC) won by tech fall over Billy Blunt (Sunkist Kids), 10-0; 3rd - Tim Courtad (New York AC) dec. Wes Hand (Hawkeye), 3-1; 5th - Kellan Fluckinger (Sunkist Kids); 6th - Rey Martinez; 7th - Kohei Sunama (Japan); 8th - D. Frank Workman (Camp Lejeune); 9th - Andi Devlin (U.S. Army); 10th - Cesar Montalvo (El Salvador) Freestyle teams: 1. Sunkist Kids, 112 pts.; 2. Dave Schultz WC, 77 pts.; 3. New York AC, 52 pts.; 4. Japan, 29 pts.; 5. Minnesota Storm, 11 pts.; 6. Team Hoosier, 9 pts.; 7. Canada, 8 pts.; 8. Hawkeye WC, 7 pts.; 9. Embry Riddle, 6 pts.; 10 (tie) Cyclone WC, Mexico, Missouri Valley and Fairfax, 5 pts. Outstanding Wrestler - Stephen Neal (Dave Schultz WC), 130 kg/286 lbs. Greco-Roman 54 kg/119 lbs. - 1st - Camilo Gonzalez (Pounders) won by tech fall over Cam Jones (TAC), 17-6; 3rd - Marcos Jeantete won by tech fall over Jose Martinez (Pendleton Marines), 13-3; 5th - Andrell Durden (Camp Lejeune); 6th - Corey Taylor (U.S. Marines); 7th - Edward Harris (Camp Lejeune); 8th - Edgar Olvera; 9th - Jake Yosotomi; 10th - Chad Solano 58 kg/127.75 lbs. - 1st - Duaine Martin (U.S. Marines) won by ref. dec. over Victor Cruz (Mexico), 2-2, ot, 9:00; 3rd - Jason Sevigny pinned Brom W. Miller III, :56; 5th - Kochiev Robertovich; 6th - Javier Oporoto (Bulgaria) 63 kg/138.75 lbs. - 1st - Randy Devlin dec. Don Fleitz, 2-0; 3rd - Derrick Padilla dec. Adam Lipitz (Pendleton Marines), 8-1 69 kg/152 lbs. - Marco Sanchez (Sunkist Kids) pinned Pat Cadwallader, 4:02; 3rd - Robb Maxwell (TAC) dec. Ron Muir, 3-2; 5th - Lucas Withers; 6th - Scott Munsey (U.S. Marines); 7th - Nick Janowitz; 8th - Seiji Mugishima (New York AC); 9th - Juan Campohanes (New York AC); 10th - Seth Vance 76 kg/167.5 lbs. - 1st - Rob McKenney
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