Lineups set for USA vs. Russia dual on May 5

Gary Abbott

4/25/2011
Gary Abbott, USA Wrestling

A host of World, Olympic and NCAA Champions are included in the final lineups announced today for the freestyle wrestling dual meet between the United States and Russia, part of the 2011 Beat the Streets Gala on Thursday, May 5 at New York's Times Square. The event will be held in Duffy Square in New York City, located in the historic Times Square setting at 46th Street. The event is free to the public, and will also be streamed live on TheMat.com by USA Wrestling and be shown on the single largest facing LED screen in Times Square. The USA vs. Russia freestyle wrestling dual meet will begin at 6:00 p.m., following a card of exhibition matches featuring young athletes who wrestle in the Beat the Streets youth program, as well as high school wrestlers from the Public School Athletic League, which will begin at 3:00 p.m.

The U.S. team will include:

  • 2008 Olympic champion Henry Cejudo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids), who competes at 55 kg/121 lbs. This will be Cejudo's first competition since winning the Olympic gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
  • 2009 World silver medalist Jake Herbert (Evanston, Ill./New York AC) will wrestle at 84 kg/185 lbs. Herbert, who also competed in the 2010 World Championships, is coming off his third straight U.S. Open title on April 9 in Cleveland. He was a two-time NCAA champion and a Hodge Trophy winner at Northwestern.
  • 2009 World bronze medalist Tervel Dlagnev (Columbus, Ohio/Sunkist Kids) will compete at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Dlagnev won his first career U.S. Open title this year. He captured two NCAA Div. II national titles for Nebraska-Kearney.
  • Brent Metcalf (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC), a member of the 2010 U.S. World Team, will represent the USA at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Metcalf was a two-time NCAA champion and a Hodge Trophy winner for Iowa.
  • Members of the 2009 U.S. World Team competing in New York will be Shawn Bunch (Columbus, Ohio (Gator WC) at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Jake Varner (State College, Pa./Nittany Lion WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Bunch was a college star at Edinboro, while Varner won two NCAA titles for Iowa State.
  • At 74 kg/163 lbs., the USA will be represented by Jordan Burroughs (Sicklerville, N.J./Sunkist Kids). Burroughs won his second career NCAA title for Nebraska in March, received the Hodge Trophy, then captured his first U.S. Open national freestyle title in April.

    "We have a great American team for this event," said USA Wrestling National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones. "When the Russians come to town, we don't mess around. We are putting a strong team out there."

    The U.S. team will be coached by Jones, along with past Olympic head coach Bobby Douglas of Ames, Iowa. Mike Novogratz of New York, N.Y. is the Team Leader.

    Russia is the reigning World Team Champion in freestyle wrestling. Its lineup for the New York City dual meet features a European champion and four Junior World champions and will be very competitive.

    Nariman Israpilov, a 2009 European champion, is on the Russian roster at 55 kg/121 lbs. Past Junior World champions in the Russian lineup include Israpilov, plus Magomedmurad Gadzhiev at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., Andrey Valiev at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Shamil Akhmedov at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Rounding out the Russian roster are young talents Rasul Murtazaliev at 60 kg/132 lbs., Aniuar Geduev at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Barsag Kesaev at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. All three have won medals at the Ivan Yarygin Memorial Grand Prix, considered one of the world's toughest international competitions.

    A U.S. lineup featuring an Olympic champion and three past Hodge Trophy winners will face a Russian lineup showcased by four Junior World champions.

    "Russia is the bullseye for us, and we are excited for every chance we can get to wrestle against them," said Jones. "We know that in our preparation to be the best in the world, we have to knock the Russian wrestlers off. They are very good. We have to be at our very best and ready to go when we face them."

    Each year, the Beat the Streets Gala is held to celebrate wrestling and raise funds for Beat the Streets Wrestling, Inc., the successful program which has provided wrestling opportunities for thousands of middle school and high school students in New York City.

    This is the second straight year in which a major Olympic-style competition has been featured as part of the Beat the Streets Gala. In 2010, an all-star challenge featuring top U.S. wrestlers was held on the USS Intrepid, an aircraft carrier docked on the west side of Manhattan.

    The Beat the Streets Reception and Awards Ceremony is set for the Hard Rock Cafe, 1501 Broadway in New York City, starting at 7:30 p.m. There will be a live musical performance by country music legend John Rich at the function.

    2011 BEAT THE STREETS GALA
    New York Is Wrestling
    Battle on Broadway
    Duffy Square - Times Square at 46th Street in New York, N.Y., May 5

    USA vs. Russia Freestyle Dual Meet matches
    55 kg/121 lbs. - Henry Cejudo (USA) vs. Nariman Israpilov (Russia)
    60 kg/132 lbs. - Shawn Bunch (USA) vs. Rasul Murtazaliev (Russia)
    66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Brent Metcalf (USA) vs. Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Russia)
    74 kg/163 lbs. - Jordan Burroughs (USA) vs. Aniuar Geduev (Russia)
    84 kg/185 lbs. - Jake Herbert (USA) vs. Andrey Valiev (Russia)
    96 kg/211.5 lbs. -Jake Varner (USA) vs. Shamil Akhmedov (Russia)
    120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Tervel Dlagnev (USA) vs. Barsag Kesaev (Russia)

    ABOUT BEAT THE STREETS
    The Mission of the Beat the Streets Wrestling Program is to expand and develop wrestling in the New York City Metropolitan area from the youth through the Olympic level. Our dream is to provide opportunities for boys and girls in the activity of wrestling, building lifelong skills. If you share this mission and would like to volunteer to help, please contact info@beat-the-streets.org.
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