USA Wrestling

Sep 08 Vote for Byers and Pirozhkova for USOC Athletes of the Month on Twitter

By Gary Abbott | Sept. 08, 2009, 11:45 a.m. (ET)
Wrestling fans can help support top U.S. wrestlers in the fan voting for the monthly USOC Athletes and Team of the Month through Twitter.

Starting this month, fans can go to the U.S. Olympic Committee Twitter page and vote on the top athletes in all Olympic sports for the month in three categories: Male, Female and Team.

Fan voting will now be included in the final selection, along with the voting panel which has traditionally selected the monthly winners.

The wrestlers nominated this month are Greco-Roman wrestler Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) and women's freestyle wrestling Elena Pirozhkova (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC). Both won gold medals at international tournaments in August.

The poll closes Sunday, September 6. Make sure to register your vote today.

To go directly to the voting areas, visit the following pages

Vote for August 2009 USOC Male Athlete of the Month

Vote for August 2009 Female Athlete of the Month

Vote for August 2009 USOC Team of the Month

You can also vote by going directly to the U.S. Olympic Twitter page at:

You can follow USA Wrestling on Twitter at:

AUGUST 2009 - Dremiel Byers

Byers won a gold medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Ion Corneanu Memorial Championships on Aug. 22 in Pitesti, Romania.

Byers won all three matches in a four-athlete round robin to capture the title at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. His key victory was over veteran Ivan Ivanov of Bulgaria, the eventual silver medalist. Other victories were against Constantin Scutariu of Romania and Anton Dok of Croatia.

Byers also captured a silver medal at the prestigious Pytlasinski International Tournament in Myslowice, Poland on August 15. Competitors from many of the world's most successful Greco-Roman programs were entered in this prestigious pre-World Championships tuneup event.

Byers opened with a victory over Vladimir Berdik of Belarus. His quarterfinal victory was against Jalmar Sjoberg of Sweden. It was a big win for Byers, because Sjoberg was the athlete who defeated him at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. In the semifinals, Byers defeated five-time World silver medalist Mihaly Deak-Bardos of Hungary. Byers was defeated in the championship finals by Dimitri Javakhishvili of Georgia.

Byers is a 2002 World champion and 2008 U.S. Olympian, who is also a member of the 2009 U.S. World Team.

AUGUST 2009 - Elena Pirozhkova

Pirozhkova, a 2009 U.S. World Team member, won a gold medal at 63 kg/138.75 lbs. at the Poland Open on August 13 in Warsaw, Poland. Competitors from most of the world's most successful women's wrestling programs were entered in this event..

Pirozhkova defeated 2007 Junior World champion Yulia Ostapchuk of Ukraine in the championship finals 3-1, 1-0.

To reach the finals, Pirozhkova beat three talented opponents. She opened by defeating 2008 University World champion Justine Bouchard of Canada, 0-1, 3-1, 1-0. In the second round, she beat 2008 Junior World silver medalist Paulina Grabowska of Poland, 2-0, 1-0. Her semifinals win was against two-time World bronze medalist Monika Mihalik-Rogien of Poland, 1-0, 1-0.

Pirozhkova is a member of the 2009 U.S. World Team. She was a 2008 University World champion, and was eighth in the 2008 World Championships. She is a U.S. Olympic Training Center resident-athlete.