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  • Six Americans win gold at NYAC Greco-Roman International
    By Gary Abbott - USA Wrestling

    Justin Ruiz of the New York AC was the champion at 96 kg. File photo by Larry Slater

    NEW YORK, N.Y. - The United States captured six of the seven gold medals at the 2009 New York Athletic Club Greco-Roman International Championships on Sunday.

    "The tournament was one of the best NYAC Greco-Roman Tournaments ever held," said National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser. "It was a great competition, very well run and was just a great day of wrestling."

    Among the champions was 2005 World bronze medalist Justin Ruiz (Boise, Idaho/New York AC), who captured the 96 kg/211.5 lbs. title. Ruiz made his return to wrestling this weekend, competing for the first time since placing second at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Ruiz defeated Robby Smith (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), 5-0, 2-0 in the finals.

    "This was great for Justin," said Fraser. "He got a match at the dual meet on Friday and had a few good matches today. He is getting rid of any rust he might have. He looks pretty good out there. It was great for him to kick it into gear."

    Three of the individual U.S. champions were members of the 2009 U.S. Greco-Roman World Team: 2009 World silver medalist Dremiel Byers (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs., plus Faruk Sahin (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and Chas Betts (St. Michael, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 84 kg/185 lbs.

    Byers beat second ranked Brandon Rupp (Colorado Springs, Colo./New York AC), 5-0, 1-0 in the finals.

    Sahin edged Jacob Curby (LaGrange, Ill./New York AC), 1-0, 1-0 to capture the gold.

    Betts defeated Talan Knox (Salt Lake City, Utah/Sunkist Kids), 2-0, 3-2 in the finals round.

    "Byers looked very solid, as usual," said Fraser. "Betts had a close on in the finals, but he wrestled well against his foreign opponents all day. Sahin also looked strong. He controlled (Jake) Curby in the finals, and they had close matches last year. Faruk looked confident and solid."

    The other U.S. champions were 2007 U.S. World Team member Joe Betterman (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 60 kg/132 lbs., as well as Andrew Bisek (Chaska, Minn./Minnesota Storm) at 74 kg/163 lbs.

    The only foreign champion came at 55 kg/ 121.25 lbs, when Hayanobu Shimizu of Japan stopped Dae-Han Choi of Korea, 0-1, 4-0, 1-0 for the gold medal.

    "I feel very good about how the U.S. athletes were wrestling," said Fraser. "They were very aggressive, with a lot of energy and fight. They were in very good shape. This was a pretty tough international field. The U.S. team did a good job of dominating."

    At New York, N.Y., November 15, 2009

    55 kg/ 121.25 lbs
    1st - Hayanobu Shimizu (Japan) dec. Dae-Han Choi (Korea), 0-1, 4-0, 1-0
    3rd - Paul Tellgren, Anoka, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Jae-Pil Choi (Korea), 0-1, 7-0, 2-0

    60 kg/ 132 lbs
    1st Place - Joe Betterman, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Marco Lara, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army), 6-0, 1-0
    3rd - Spenser Mango, St. Louis, Mo. (New York AC) dec. Ellis Coleman, Oak Park, Ill. (New York AC), 0-3, 4-4, 2-0

    66 kg/145.5 lbs
    1st - Faruk Sahin, Colorado Springs, Colo. (US Army) dec. Jacob Curby, LaGrange, Ill. (New York AC), 1-0, 1-0
    3rd - Seng-Woo You (Korea) dec. Glenn Garrison, Colorado Springs, Colo. (US Army), 1-0, 0-1, 1-0

    74 kg/ 163 lbs
    1st - Andrew Bisek, Chaska, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Steven Forrest, Camp Lejuene, N.C. (U.S. Marines), 1-0, 3-0
    3rd - Ben Provisor, Stevens Point, Wis. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Aaron Briggs, Tucson, Ariz. (New York AC), 0-1, 1-0, 1-0

    84 kg/185 lbs
    1st - Chas Betts, St. Michael, Minn. (Minnesota Storm) dec. Talan Knox, Salt Lake City, Utah (Sunkist Kids), 2-0, 3-2
    3rd - Nate Patrick, Chicago, Ill. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Tariel Melelashvili, Brooklyn. N.Y. (Brooklyn Club), 2-5, 3-0, 2-0

    96 kg/211.5 lbs
    1st - Justin Ruiz, Boise, Idaho (New York AC) dec. Robby Smith, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 5-0, 2-0
    3rd - Pete Gounaridis, Leominster, Mass. (Sunkist Kids) dec. John Lorenz, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army), 0-1, 1-0, 2-0

    120 kg/264.5 lbs
    1st- Dremiel Byers, Colorado Springs, Colo. (U.S. Army) dec. Brandon Rupp, Colorado Springs, Colo. (New York AC), 5-0, 1-0
    3rd - Akil Patterson, Frederick, Md. (New York AC) dec. Hassene Fkiri (Australia), 1-0, 0-2, 3-0

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