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U.S. freestyle tour team drops friendly dual to Yakutia team, 5-4 in Russia
Gary Abbott USA Wrestling

The U.S. freestyle delegation to Yakutia poses together in Russia prior to the dual meet. Petr Pavlov photo

A tour team of U.S. men’s freestyle wrestlers faced a strong regional team in the Yakutia region of Russia during a competition trip which will include tournaments the next two weekends.

The U.S. team has a combination of past National Team members and talented young athletes who are rising within the U.S. program. The team from Yakutia featured a number of wrestlers who have represented Russia at major events on the international schedule.

Winning matches for Team USA were:
• Kevin LeValley (Minneapolis, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
• Adam Hall (New York, N.Y./New York AC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
• Max Askren (Somers, N.Y./New York AC) at 84 kg/185 lbs.
• Tyrel Todd (Ann Arbor, Mich./New York AC) at 84 kg/185 lbs.

Hall beat Robert Sidorov, 1-0, 1-0. LeValley defeated Dmitry Shadrin, 1-0, 4-3. Askren scored a second period pin over Kyzma Sivtsev, 6-1, 3:40. Todd needed three periods to stop Evgeny Alekseev, 0-1, 2-0, 6-0.

"The dual meet was quite interesting to say the least,” said Max Askren. “We were wrestling in an old barn/ gym, located in a small village about an hour outside of Yakutia. The floors were wooden and the mat was small. We began the dual meet with an hour long ceremony with native dancing and prayer, speeches and song. The crowd was very involved once the dual meet started. It was funny that throughout the dual everyone cheered for the local Yakutia team with the exception of one guy who right after would counter with a little American rebuttal.”

2008 Olympian Andy Hrovat, who is coaching the group and also wrestled in a match during the dual, is pleased with the tour so far and the experience for the U.S. freestyle wrestlers.

“The training camp has been going great. Our guys are adjusting to the time change and have been working hard. We have a bunch of young guys on the team who are wrestling in Russia for the first time. This is a big eye opener for them to see how the best in the world train,” said Hrovat.

The team will compete in the Dmitry Korkin International in Yakutsk, Oct. 5-7.

“The tournament is going to be great. World champ Velikov from Bulgaria is here. Turkey is here and Iran is on their way. We now have a week to get back to work and clean up our wrestling. The dual was a great way for most of the guys to get back into competition form. It has been a long time since some of them have competed. We are going to use this next week to work on the small positions where we lost today and I expect better results. These early season tournaments are a great way to judge where you are so you can make the proper adjustments throughout the season to get ready for the US Open,” said Hrovat.

Special thanks to Coach Andy Hrovat and Russian journalist Petr Pavlov for assistance with this report.

At Yakutia, Russia, Sept. 28

55 kg/121 lbs. - Petr Sivtsev (Sakha) dec. Frank Perelli (USA), 7-0, 3-0.
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Innokentyi Innokentyev (Sakha) dec. Chase Pami (USA), 1-0, 1-0.
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Adam Hall (USA) dec. Robert Sidorov (Sakha), 1-0, 1-0.
66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Kevin LeValley (USA) dec. Dmitry Shadrin (Sakha), 1-0, 4-3.
84 kg/185 lbs. - Semen Semenov (Sakha) dec. Keith Gavin (USA), 4-0, 1-0.
84 kg/185 lbs. - Max Askren (USA) pin. Kyzma Sivtsev (Sakha), 6-1, 3:40.
84 kg/185 lbs. - Tyrell Todd (USA) dec. Evgeny Alekseev (Sakha), 0-1, 2-0, 6-0.
96 kg/211.5 lbs. - Evgeny Kolomiets (Sakha) dec. Les Sigman (USA), 2-0, 2-1.
120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Ayial Lazarev (Sakha) dec. Andy Hrovat (USA), 1-0, 1-0.

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