March 18, 2011
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Go to themat.com for full coverage of Thursday’s USA Wrestling National Team All-Star meet.
PHILADELPHIA – The United States won four of six bouts, capped off by a victory by former Hawkeye wrestler Brent Metcalf (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC) in the final match, to defeat a team of international stars, 12-10, at the USA Wrestling National Team All-Star Meet on Thursday.
With five matches completed, both teams were in position to win going into the closing bout at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Metcalf defeated Heinrich Barnes of South Africa, 5-1, 3-0.
“I scored a lot of points. I didn’t start the way I wanted to. You have to be ready to go right off the bat. Later in the match, you have to turn it up. I kept scoring off his mistakes, not off my offense,” said Metcalf.
After taking the first period, Metcalf scored a decisive takedown and a one-point turn to take a lead in the final period, closing out the match with another takedown.
“I’m working on turns,” said Metcalf about his second period gut wrench. “That won me a lot of Junior National titles. You get a takedown and a turn, it’s big time. That’s an area that I am working on.”
Barnes placed seventh in the 2010 World Championships and has competed in three Senior World Championships. Metcalf was a member of the 2010 U.S. World Team. Metcalf was a two-time NCAA champion and three-time NCAA finalist for Iowa. Barnes was an All-American for Oregon State in 2009.
“I enjoyed this,” said Metcalf. “It was fun getting the opportunity to come here and show what we are doing and what is important to us, and maybe they will follow our careers,” said Metcalf.
The dual began with an exciting Greco-Roman bout, when 2005 World bronze medalist Justin Ruiz (Boise, Idaho/New York AC) defeated 2006 World champion Mohammed Abdel Fatah of Egypt, 3-1, 0-8, 1-0. After splitting the first two periods, Ruiz scored the only takedown in the final stanza for the win. Ruiz was a two-time All-American for Nebraska. It was the only Greco-Roman bout on the card.
Other U.S. winners were Keith Gavin (Bethlehem, Pa./Lehigh Valley AC) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Wynn Michalak (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gavin won a competitive three-period bout over Jaime Y. Espinal of Puerto Rico, 9-0, 1-5, 1-0. Gavin had Espinal in danger three times in the opening period for the technical fall, but Espinal scored some exposure points of his own to win the second period. Gavin scored the only technical point in the deciding third period.
Gavin was a 2008 University World bronze medalist. Espinal was a 2010 Pan American silver medalist. Gavin was a 2008 NCAA champion and two-time All-American for Pittsburgh.
Michalak needed to go three periods to defeat Israel Silva, 1-0, 0-4, 1-0. The match was decided on a third-period clinch, with Michalak winning the ball pull and scoring from the offensive position. Michalak was a three-time All-American for Central Michigan, while Silva was a NCAA qualifier for UT-Chattanooga.
“Brent Metcalf is a hammer. He understands you have to get there and score points. Keith Gavin really executed some good freestyle skills, scoring three point moves and continuing to improve. Overall, we have to start our matches faster
The winners for The World team were Franklin Gomez of Puerto Rico at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov of Uzbekistan at 74 kg/163 lbs.
Gomez, a 2009 NCAA champion for Michigan State and four-time All-American, shut out Derek Moore (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army), 3-0, 5-0. Moore was the 2007 NCAA champion for UC Davis.
Abdurakhmanov, an NCAA All-American for American, scored the only points in a 1-0, 1-0 decision over Ryan Morningstar (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC). Morningstar was a two-time NCAA champion for Iowa.
The opening freestyle exhibition match at 55 kg/121 lbs. went to Troy Nickerson (Ithaca, N.Y./New York AC), who edged Daniel Dennis (Iowa City, Iowa/New York AC), 1-0, 1-0. Both points were scored off the clinch from the offensive position.
Nickerson was a 2009 NCAA champion and four-time All-American for Cornell. Dennis was a two-time All-American for Iowa.
“Anytime we can get freestyle matches with a crowd like we had today is good,” said National Freestyle Coach Zeke Jones. “In America, it is important that folkstyle and freestyle come together. There is no better place to showcase both styles than here.”
The event was held on the competition mats in the Wells Fargo Center after the completion of the first session of the 2011 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships. It is the second straight year in which USA Wrestling and the NCAA have partnered to provide an international-style competition free of charge for fans at the NCAA Championships.
USA WRESTLING NATIONAL TEAM ALL-STAR DUAL MEET
USA 12, The World 10
Greco-Roman 96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Justin Ruiz (USA) dec. Mohammed Abdel Fatah (Egypt), 3-1, 0-8, 1-0
Freestyle 60 kg/132 lbs. – Franklin Gomez (Puerto Rico) dec. Derek Moore (USA), 3-0, 5-0
Freestyle 74 kg/163 lbs. – Muzafar Abdurakhmanov (Uzbekistan) dec. Ryan Morningstar (USA), 1-0, 1-0
Freestyle 84 kg/185 lbs. – Keith Gavin (USA) dec. Jaime Y. Espinal (Puerto Rico), 9-0, 1-5, 1-0
Freestyle 96 kg/211.5 lbs. – Wynn Michalak (USA) dec. Israel Silva (Mexico), 1-0, 0-4, 1-0
Freestyle 66 kg/145.5 lbs. – Brent Metcalf (USA) dec. Heinrich Barnes (South Africa). 5-1, 3-0
U.S. Freestyle Exhibition
Freestyle 55 kg/121 lbs. – Troy Nickerson (USA) dec. Daniel Dennis (USA), 1-0, 2-0