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United States finishes with five total medals at event in Finland

By USA Wrestling KOURTANE, Finland – Americans Max Nowry and Adeline Gray reached the top step of the podium with gold-medal per- formances at the University World Championships.

The U.S. finished with a total of five medals in freestyle, women’s freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Here is a recap of the medal-winning performances for the U.S. in Finland: Greco-Roman

Nowry came out strong to sweep Dzmitry Brychak of Belarus 6-0, 1-0 in the gold-medal match at 55 kg/121 lbs. on Oct. 5.

Nowry opened with a 1-0, 2-0 win over Poland’s Marcin Kunysz before pinning Turkey’s Seref Kilic in the semifinals. “I had been close to winning a medal in

the past at the Junior World Championships and I just really had the drive to get something here,” Nowry said. “I wanted to score on my feet and push the pace. I felt really good in the finals and wore the guy down.

“It was a real good day for our team. This was big for the Greco program.” The U.S. has now won three World University titles in Greco-Roman at 55 kilos since 2006. American Spenser Mango won a World University crown at 55 in 2006 and Sam Hazewinkel won a title in the same class in 2008.

American Jamel Johnson won a bronze medal in Finland after beating Romania’s L. Macarei-Storus 4-0, 3-0 at 60 kg/132 lbs.

Johnson opened by defeating Sofian Salah of France 3-0, 0-2, 2-0. He fol- lowed by downing Japan’s Masaki Aoki 1- 0, 2-0 in the quarterfinals. Johnson then fell to Poland’s Michal

Tracz in the semifinals. Tracz won 2-0, 1- 0. Johnson then rebounded in the bronze-medal bout. “I just stayed focused and kept moving forward,” Johnson said. “It’s a great honor

18 USA Wrestler

University World gold medalist Max Nowry (right) and bronze medalist Jamel Johnson.

to win a medal for my country and see our flag raised. I trained hard and I felt like I belonged here.” Women’s freestyle

It was an amazing week for Gray, who won two World titles on two different con- tinents in a span of seven days. Gray, 21, captured the gold medal at 72 kg/158.5 lbs. on the final day of women’s wrestling at the University World Championships on Oct. 4. It was Gray’s second World title in a week, after winning the Senior World Championships at 67 kg/147.5 lbs. in Sherwood Park, Canada on Sept. 27. Gray, 21, moved up a weight for this event, and won three matches on the way to the title.

In the gold-medal finals, she defeated Canadian Erica Wiebe, 4-0, 1-0. Gray avenged a loss to Wiebe at the 2012 Canada Cup in June. Gray opened with a pair of dominant technical falls, beating Yinan Xi of China, 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals, and Tamae Yoshii of Japan, 6-0, 6-0 in the semifinals. Gray becomes the first U.S. women’s wrestler to win World titles on the FILA Junior, University and Senior levels. She was a Junior World champion in


Gray won a World bronze medal on the Senior level in 2011.

University World champ Adeline Gray.


Zach Sanders earned a silver medal and Colt Sponseller captured a bronze for the United States.

Sanders won his first three matches to earn a spot in the gold medal finals, where he was edged by Russia’s K. Donduk-ool, 0-1, 2-6.

He opened with a victory over Artem Kolomiiets of Ukraine, 2-0, 2-0, then came from behind to beat Steven Takahashi of Canada, 1-2, 2-1, 4-1. In the semifinals, he needed three periods to defeat Batbold Sodnomdash of Mongolia, 1-5, 1-1, 3-0.

Sanders was eighth in 2008 Junior

World Championships. He was a four- time All-American for the University of Minnesota. Sponseller opened with a victory over

Vasyl Surzhenko of Ukraine, 3-0, 3-0, but was then defeated in round two by Kohei Kitamura of Japan, 1-1, 3-0, 1-1. When Kitamura reached the champi- onship finals, Sponseller was pulled back into the repechage.

He defeated Daniel Olver of Canada, 4-0, 1-0 in his first repechage match. In his bronze-medal bout, Sponseller stopped Roman Dermenji of Moldova, 0- 6, 2-0, 2-1 Sponseller finished fourth in the 2011 NCAA Championships for Ohio State.

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