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2010 U.S. World Team Trials Session IV Wrap

Andrew Hipps

6/13/2010
Andrew Hipps, InterMat Senior Editor
andrew@intermatwrestle.com, Twitter: @InterMat

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Jake Herbert was mere seconds away from not getting an opportunity to wrestle in the World Championships.

The 25-year-old Herbert, a returning World silver medalist, not only lost the opening match in a best-of-3 series against Keith Gavin on Saturday night, but he was simply dominated, losing in two straight periods and getting outscored 11-4. With his back against the wall, Herbert needed to win the second match to stay alive.

Gavin dominated the first period of the second match, winning 3-0. In the second period, Herbert scored the go-ahead point with seconds remaining on the clock to stay alive. Herbert came back to win the third period, 2-1, to force a third match. In the third and deciding match, Herbert defeated Gavin in two straight periods, 1-0, 1-0, to make his second straight U.S. World Team.

"We know each other very well," said Herbert of Gavin. "His game plan was great going into the match. I didn't really get to my game, my stuff, right away. He took it to me that first match. I had to come back and it was a fight to make the team. He wasn't going to make it easy. That's awesome."

Herbert will now get his second crack at the World title that eluded him last year when he competes in 2010 World Championships in Moscow, Russia in September.

"I'm not satisfied unless I win it," said Herbert of returning to the World Championships. "Once I win it once, I've got to win it again because it's [about] going for the 2012 gold. That's the ultimate goal ... to be the Olympic champion."

While Herbert was on the brink of losing, the only other returning World medalist from the U.S. in men's freestyle, Tervel Dlagnev, did fall on Saturday night.

Dlagnev, who captured a bronze medal at the 2009 World Championships, lost two matches to zero to longtime rival Les Sigman at 120 kg.

Sigman, a four-time NCAA Division II champion at heavyweight for Nebraska-Omaha, won his first U.S. Open title in April with a victory over Dlagnev. Now he becomes a first-time U.S. World Team Trials champion.

"All this hard work has paid off," said Sigman, who wrestles for the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club. "It's great having a lot of fans here, a lot of support."

2010 U.S. World Team Rosters

Men's Freestyle:
55 kg: Obe Blanc (Gator WC)*
60 kg: Mike Zadick (Gator WC)
66 kg: Brent Metcalf (New York AC)*
74 kg: Travis Paulson (Sunkist Kids)
84 kg: Jake Herbert (New York AC)
96 kg: J.D. Bergman (New York AC)*
120 kg: Les Sigman (Nittany Lion WC)*

Greco-Roman:
55 kg: Spenser Mango (New York AC)
60 kg: Jeremiah Davis (U.S. Army)
66 kg: Faruk Sahin (U.S. Army)
74 kg: Jake Fisher (New York AC)*
84 kg: Jake Clark (U.S. Air Force)
96 kg: Justin Ruiz (New York AC)
120 kg: Dremiel Byers (U.S. Army)

Women's Freestyle:
48 kg: Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids)*
51 kg: Jessica Medina (Sunkist Kids)
55 kg: Tatiana Padilla (Sunkist Kids)
59 kg: Kelsey Campbell (Sunkist Kids)*
63 kg: Elena Pirozhkova (Gator WC)
67 kg: Kristie Davis (New York AC)
72 kg: Stephany Lee (Sunkist Kids)

*First-Time U.S. World Team Member
In addition to Sigman, two other U.S. freestyle wrestlers became first-time U.S. World Team Trials champions on Saturday night: Obe Blanc (55 kg) and Brent Metcalf (66 kg).

Blanc, a Haiti native, defeated recent college graduate Angel Escobedo in three matches to make his first U.S. World Team at 55 kg.

Blanc says being at the 2009 World Championships in Herning, Denmark and not being able to compete motivated him to get on the U.S. World Team this year.

"I decided, hey, you can be that guy that watches everyone else or you can be out there yourself," said Blanc. "That has been a big motivator for me, wanting to be that No. 1 guy to show the world that the U.S. has got some guys that want to fight. That's been the highest motivation ... is to go out there and prove to the rest of the world that the U.S. can be competitive."

Metcalf, who capped off his collegiate wrestling career at Iowa this past March with his second NCAA title, had to come through the Challenge Tournament on Saturday to get a shot at U.S. Open champion Jared Frayer.

The 23-year-old Metcalf dropped the opening match to Frayer, but came back to win the final two matches (both in three periods) to make his first U.S. World Team.

"I'm excited just because this is the peak," said Metcalf. "This is the top. This is where you aim for since you were a child. Maybe the Olympics is another step higher. But this where you want to be. This is where I've wanted to be since the national tournament ended. That day this is where I wanted to be. That's been my focus. Beating a guy who I've had problems with in the past, you can feel good about that too."

All three Greco-Roman champions crowned on Saturday night are past U.S. World Team members: Jeremiah Davis (60 kg), Faruk Sahin (66 kg), and Justin Ruiz (96 kg).

Davis, who made his first U.S. World Team last year, defeated U.S. Army teammate Nathan Piasecki to win the title at 60 kg.

Sahin, like Davis, had to defeat a U.S. Army teammate to make his second U.S. World Team. Sahin, a native of Turkey who came to the U.S. in 2000 and became a U.S. citizen in 2004, defeated Glenn Garrison in three matches.

Ruiz, a World bronze medalist in 2005, made his fifth U.S. World Team by beating 2009 U.S. World Team member R.C. Johnson in two matches. The 30-year-old Ruiz retired after falling short of making the U.S. Olympic Team in 2008, but came out retirement this season.

"I think stepping away from it made me appreciate it that much more," said Ruiz. "Before it was always something I had done for so many years and that was the only thing. I guess getting away and into real life for a while made me realize that even though wrestling practice is hard and stuff, it's a lot of fun. I like to travel. I love to compete. So I think that's the biggest thing ... Just stepping away gave me more perspective on what it is that I really want to do with this."

In the women's competition, Alyssa Lampe knocked off 2008 World champion Clarissa Chun to make the U.S. World Team at 48 kg.

"It feels great," said Lampe, a University Nationals and New York AC International champion this season. "I feel like a whole bunch of pressure has been relieved. I've lost to her every time we've wrestled. Just coming runner-up every time, it's finally a big relief to actually beat her."

Tatiana Padilla, a 2008 World bronze medalist, dropped the opening match to Helen Maroulis at 55 kg, but came back to win the final two matches and make her third straight U.S. World Team.

Elena Pirozhkova, a 2008 University World champion, also made her third straight U.S. World Team by defeating Veronica Carlson at 63 kg.

The 2010 World Championships are set to take place September 6 to September 12 in Moscow, Russia.

Saturday's Best-of-3 Finals Results

Freestyle

55 kg:
Obe Blanc (Gator WC) def. Angel Escobedo (New York AC), 2 matches to 1
Blanc dec. Escobedo, 1-0, 2-0
Escobedo dec. Blanc, 1-0, 1-1
Blanc dec. Escobedo, 1-0, 4-0

66 kg:
Brent Metcalf (New York AC) def. Jared Frayer (Gator WC), 2 matches to 1
Frayer dec. Metcalf, 1-0, 1-0
Metcalf dec. Frayer, 3-0,3-4,2-1
Metcalf dec. Frayer, 0-6,4-0,2-0

84 kg:
Jake Herbert (New York AC) def. Keith Gavin (Lehigh Valley AC), 2 matches to 1
Gavin dec. Herbert, 4-1, 7-3
Herbert dec. Gavin, 0-3, 3-2, 2-1
Herbert dec. Gavin, 1-0, 1-0

120 kg:
Les Sigman (Nittany Lion WC) def. Tervel Dlagnev (Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to 0
Sigman dec. Dlagnev, 1-0, 2-1
Sigman dec. Dlagnev, 3-3, 4-1

Greco-Roman

60 kg:
Jeremiah Davis (U.S. Army) def. Nathan Piasecki (U.S. Army), 2 matches to 0
Davis dec. Piasecki, 2-0, 4-1
Davis dec. Piasecki, 2-0, 5-0

66 kg:
Faruk Sahin (U.S. Army) def. Glenn Garrison (U.S. Army), 2 matches to 1
Sahin dec. Garrison, 1-0, 3-0
Garrison dec. Sahin, 2-2, 0-1, 4-0
Sahin dec. Garrison, 1-0, 0-1, 2-0

96 kg:
Justin Ruiz (New York AC) def. R.C. Johnson (Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to 0
Ruiz dec. Johnson, 0-1, 1-0, 1-0
Ruiz dec. Johnson, 1-0, 2-0

Women's Freestyle

48 kg:
Alyssa Lampe (Sunkist Kids) def. Clarissa Chun (Sunkist Kids), 2 matches to 1
Chun dec. Lampe, 3-2, 1-0
Lampe dec. Chun, 2-1, 4-1
Lampe dec. Chun, 1-0, 0-1, 3-1

55 kg:
Tatiana Padilla (Sunkist Kids) def. Helen Maroulis (New York AC), 2 matches to 1
Maroulis dec. Padilla, 1-0, 1-1
Padilla dec. Maroulis, 0-2,1-0,2-0
Padilla dec. Maroulis, 3-1, 1-0

63 kg:
Elena Pirozhkova (Gator WC) def. Veronica Carlson (New York AC), 2 matches to 0
Pirozhkova dec. Carlson, 2-0, 1-0
Pirozhkova dec. Carlson, 3-0, 1-0

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