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2011 PAN AMERICAN GAMES U.S. wins 5 golds

The American men’s freestyle squad won four titles, capturing the unofficial team title

By Gary Abbott GUADALAJARA, Mexico - The United

States had a strong team effort at the Pan American Games. This major multi- sport event is held every four years, and features the best athletes from North, Central and South America. Team USA came home with 12 medals, including five golds, five silvers and two bronzes. There were 15 U.S. athletes competing on the mats in Guadalajara. The highlight of the tournament for the

U.S. came in men’s freestyle, which won the medal standings and the unofficial team standings. The USA finished with six medalists, including four golds, one silver and one bronze. Cuba was next with five medals, including one gold, two silvers and two bronzes. In the unofficial standings, using the

FILA scoring system, the USA had 57 points, ahead of Cuba with 48 points and Canada with 47 points. During the first night of freestyle finals,

the U.S. champions were Jake Herbert at 84 kg and Tervel Dlagnev at 120 kg. Herbert defeated Humberto Arencibia

of Cuba in the finals, 1-0, 4-3. The first period went to the clinch with Arencibia getting Herbert’s leg. Officials gave Arencibia one point while Herbert defended, but the U.S. protested and it was upheld. They restarted the clinch and Herbert held on again to score the point. In the second period, a three-point move by Herbert was key to the victory. “It was huge. I had to defend hard in

the clinch to win the first period. It was great to be a little stronger, drive through him and force him on his back on the edge for a 3-0 lead in the second period,” said Herbert. Dlagnev defeated Sunny Dhinsa of Canada in the finals, 2-0, 6-0, controlling the action the entire way. In the second period, Dlagnev scored a quick takedown

18 USA Wrestler

Helen Maroulis (in red) knocked off 2011 World silver medalist Tonya Verbeek of Canada in the finals of the Pan American Games. Robbert Wijtman photo

and turned Dhinsa for a fast technical fall. Dlagnev beat Disney Rodriguez of

Cuba, 1-0, 5-0 in the semifinals. Rodriguez was fifth in the 2008 Olympic Games. “It was good. The Cuban in the semis wrestled for a medal twice at Worlds and the Olympics. He’s a good wrestler. Cuba comes here to win, so it was a good win for me. The Canadian is a young kid but he’s tough. This is a good tournament to get a gold,” said Dlagnev. The second night of finals saw gold

medals awarded to 2011 World champion Jordan Burroughs at 74 kg and 2011 World bronze medalist Jake Varner at 96 kg.

Burroughs defeated Yunierki Blanco of

Cuba in the finals, 3-2, 3-2. Burroughs was behind in both periods. In the first period, he trailed 2-1, but

scored a quick pushout then an ankle pick takedown to win the period. In the second, the score was tied at 2-2, with Blanco holding the tiebreaker, but Burroughs scored a spin behind take- down to claim the period and the match. “I didn’t wrestle sharp. I was a little sluggish but I got it done. Wins at this level aren’t always pretty,” said Burroughs. “I try never to panic in any match, try to keep my composure and stay calm. Every period has two minutes. I had 30 seconds left in those periods, plenty of time to get my attacks.” In the semifinals, he defeated Ricardo Roberty of Venezuela, 2-1, 1-1, who Burroughs also defeated in the 2011 World Championships quarterfinals. “Anytime Jordan needed to score, he

did. Anytime he needed a call on a point, Continued on page 19

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