WRESTLING: U.S. beats Belarus, 25-19, in World Dual meet in Albuquerque, N.M.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M..-Led by two U.S. wrestlers winning bouts against larger opponents, the United States defeated Belarus 25-19 at a World Dual meet in freestyle wrestling before a standing-room only crowd at Cibola High School. The U.S. won seven of the 12 matches held during the evening. A number of athletes wrestled in more than one match, and one member of the Belarus team, Kamil Magomedov, competed three times. The United States got a big boost late in the dual meet with victories by Phillip Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) and Sean Stender (Cedar Falls, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) wrestling up a weight class. Simpson, who lost his first bout of the day, moved up a division to 74 kg/163 lbs., where he scored a come-from-behind win over Aliaksandr Matyl of Belarus, 0-1, 1-0, 2-1. Matyl won the first period, 1-0. Simpson rebounded with a low single leg takedown in the second period to win it, 1-0. In the third period, the match was tied at 1-1 in the final minute, and Matyl would have won the tiebreaker. Simpson scored a spin-behind takedown to take the period, 2-1."I lost the first match. I had wrestled hard, but I didn't create the opportunities to score points. I talked to Coach (Terry) Brands and the break and we worked on some things. I had nothing to lose. I was wrestling up a weight class. I tried to create angles and some more shots. I wrestled hard, was able to score and it was great to get a win in front of these amazing fans,"said Simpson. Simpson was pleased with the victory, because Matyl had defeated him last year in a match during the Military World Games in India. Stender, who is normally at 96 kg/211.5 lbs., went up in weight to face Belarus heavyweight Maksim Mikhalevich. Stender also came from behind to defeat Mihalevich, 0-1, 3-0, 1-1. After losing the first period, Stender rebounded with a second period win, scoring a three-point throw on the clinch. In the final period, the larger Mikhalevich scored first on a pushout for a 1-0 lead. With just 17 seconds to go, Stender hit a slick low single leg and took down the massive Mikhalevich to tie the period at 1-1. Stender won the period, and the match, because he scored the final point."He was big and I was trying to weather the storm early. If I could get him tired, I felt I could score on a takedown. Those big guys are hard to get through. That was my go-to shot. That was the move I knew I had to hit to get a takedown. I was able to get him tired. This was great fun and I am glad I wrestled here,"said Stender. In the first half of dual meet, each team won three matches, but Team USA led the team score 11-10. The wins by Simpson and Stender lifted the spirits of the U.S. team, which won four of the final six bouts to take the victory."It was a real big win for Simpson,"said USA Wrestling Freestyle Developmental Coach Dave Bennett."He had wrestled his guy at the Military Worlds. Simpson had to wrestle tough to win this one. Stender was outstanding competing up in weight. He had great stamina, and that last takedown was pure effort on his part."Competing at 60 kg/132 lbs., Shawn Bunch (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC), won both of his matches during the evening, both during the second half of the meet. He opened with a 3-1, 1-0 victory over Kamil Magamedov, and then three matches later edged World bronze medalist Risvan Gadzhiev, 2-2, 0-4, 1-0. Gadzhiev was wrestling up a weight class against Bunch."I felt good,"said Bunch."I was excited and the crowd was good. I felt everything went well. I was energetic during the matches. This allowed me to work on some things I needed to work on. It has helped me out getting ready for my next competitions."2007 U.S. World Team member Tommy Rowlands (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids), won his match at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., defeating Maksim Mikhalevich, 2-1, 3-1. Rowlands was fifth at the 2007 World Championships and is the defending U.S. Nationals champion."I felt good about how I wrestled,"said Rowlands."I am not happy that I gave up those points. I wrestled well offensively and my body felt good out there. This is a great tuneup for the Pan American Championships in a few weeks. Also winning matches for the USA were Angel Cejudo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Ramico Blackmon (Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. Cejudo defeated Kamil Magamedov, 3-0, 5-0 and Blackmon stopped Aliaksandr Matyl, 1-0, 1-0. Two of the U.S. winners during the dual, Stender and Angel Cejudo, were champions at the Dave Schultz Memorial International Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo. over the recent weekend."I think it was a great opportunity,"said Coach Dave Bennett."Most of our guys got to wrestle more than one match. It was very good competition all the way through the lineup. They had to go out and wrestle hard. It was exciting for the crowd and was a great benefit to the athletes."USA 25, BELARUS 19
at Albuquerque, N.M., February 12
55 kg/121 lbs.- Risvan Gadzhiev (Belarus) dec. Henry Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) , 2-1, 2-1 60 kg/132 lbs. - Angel Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Kamil Magamedov (Belarus), 3-0, 5-0 66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Albert Batyrov (Belarus) dec. Phillip Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army), 1-0, 1-0 74 kg/163 lbs. - Ramico Blackmon, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) dec. Aliaksandr Matyl (Belarus), 1-0, 1-0 84 kg/185 lbs. -Ivan Yankovski (Belarus) dec. Bryce Hasseman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC) , 0-1, 3-0, 3-0 120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tommy Rowlands, Columbus, Ohio (Sunkist Kids) dec. Maksim Mikhalevich (Belarus), 2-1, 3-1 60 kg/132 lbs. - Shawn Bunch, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC) dec. Kamil Magamedov (Belarus), 3-0, 1-0 66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Albert Batyrov (Belarus) dec. Angel Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) , 0-3, 1-0, 3-0 74 kg/163 lbs. - Phillip Simpson, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) dec. Aliaksandr Matyl (Belarus), 0-1, 1-0, 2-1 96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Sean Stender, Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) dec. Maksim Mikhalevich (Belarus), 0-1, 3-0, 1-1 60 kg/132 lbs. - Shawn Bunch, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Gator WC) dec. Risvan Gadzhiev (Belarus), 2-2, 0-4, 1-0 60 kg/132 lbs. - Kamil Magamedov (Belarus) dec. Henry Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) , 6-0, 2-2, 1-0