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|Rowlands vs. Koc is new Bout of the Week on TheMat.com Audio/Video website|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
USA Wrestling has updated its new "Bout of the Week" which has been posted as a video file on-line on TheMat.com Audio/Video website .
The feature this week is the 2005 Tommy Rowlands vs. Hakan Koc men's freestyle match at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
This match has been placed on the TheMat.com's new Audio/Video website, which was the former USA Wrestling Member's Only website. The new website has been redesigned and reformatted and was launched today. It is an exciting upgrade that will better serve the wrestling community and provides cutting-edge technology.
The World University Games (WUG) is a multi-sport event, which is similar to the Olympic Games or Pan American Games. This competition features only athletes who are enrolled in college. Wrestling was included in this event for the first time since 1981. The U.S. sent a strong team, developed through a very competitive University World Team Trials held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs over Memorial Day weekend.
A number of the U.S. athletes were talented college wrestlers, plus a few athletes just getting their international careers started on the Senior level. One of the most accomplished of the U.S. freestyle athletes, in relation to his teammates, was Tommy Rowlands of the Sunkist Kids, who was ranked No. 3 in the U.S. in his weight class on the Senior level.
Rowlands has been considered one of the nation's top young wrestlers going back to his successful high school years in Ohio. He won USA Wrestling double titles at both the Cadet Nationals and the Junior Nationals as a prep star from Bishop Ready High School in Columbus. He also captured a national folkstyle title his senior year in school.
He was very talented in the international styles, and qualified for two U.S. World Teams while still in high school. He was fourth at the 1997 Cadet World Championships and fourth in the 1999 Junior World Championships.
It was big news when Rowlands decided to stay at home and attend The Ohio State University, the most prominent recruit that that Coach Russ Hellickson had landed for the Buckeyes in many years. Rowlands was one of a number of talented Ohio athletes who decided to go to Ohio State, something that would pay off bigtime for the program in the future.
He was immediately an outstanding college wrestler, competing up at heavyweight. He placed second in the NCAA Championships during his freshman year and won a NCAA title as a sophomore. During his junior year, he was looking for another chance at an NCAA title but was injured severely in the semifinals and could not complete the tournament, placing sixth.
Ohio State fans will remember his senior year in 2004 for a long time, as Rowlands led an amazing team revival that was unexpected. The team was a mix of some talented veterans and some raw young athletes, and had a rough dual meet season. A local newspaper wrote a scathing article criticizing the program. The team qualified just five athletes for the NCAA Championships through the Big Ten meet. Yet at the NCAA Tournament, Rowlands won his second career title, all five Buckeyes became All-Americans and the team placed in a tie for third place in the NCAA standings.
Although Rowlands was a heavyweight in folkstyle, he often competed on the national level in freestyle at 96 kg/211.5 pounds, where he could use his great technique and motion to beat the opponents there. He did compete one season at heavyweight in freestyle and placed second at the 2002 World Team Trials behind Kerry McCoy. During the 2004 Olympic year, he dropped the weight and placed fourth in the U.S. Nationals and Olympic Team Trials at 96 kg.
This season, his first on the Senior level after his college career, Rowlands has been outstanding. He won gold medals at the Sunkist Kids International and the New York AC Christmas International, and placed second behind U.S. Olympian Daniel Cormier at the respected Yarygin Tournament in Russia. Rowlands added a silver medal at the U.S. Nationals and a bronze medal at the World Team Trials, placing him on Freestyle Team USA once again. He earned a spot on the World University Games (WUG) team with a dominant performance in that trials event.
In his weight division at the WUG, Rowlands faced a number of talented Senior-level athletes. He opened the tournament with a pin over Nadeem Maeem of Pakistan in just 17 seconds. His next victory was against Sergei Pernikau of Belarus, 2-0, 2-2. Pernikau was fifth in the 2005 European Championships. His semifinal win was over a proven Senior-level athlete when he pinned Bartolomeij Bartnicki of Poland 42 seconds into the second period. Bartnicki was seventh in the 2003 World Championships and competed in the 2004 Olympic Games.
Rowlands drew another experienced opponent in the finals, hometown favorite Hakan Koc of Turkey, who could be the No. 1 wrestler in his nation on the Senior level. Koc was a World Military champion in 2003 and represented Turkey in the 2003 Senior World Championships in New York City. He also added a Meditteranean Games gold medal in 2005.
Rowlands was not to be intimidated by the loud and excited Turkish fans, who nearly filled the 1,640 seat Ozel Yamanlar High School Sports Hall. In the first period, Rowlands scored a quick takedown and turned Koc with a gutwrench for a 3-0 margin of victory.
The second period was a bit more wild. Rowlands took down Koc again, this time with exposure, for a 2-0 lead. However, Koc came back strong, with two takedowns to tie the bout at 2-2, which was the score at the end of the period. Rowlands won the period based on the most two-point move criteria, to score a two-period sweep for the win.
His victory gave the USA three WUG champions in freestyle, along with Nate Gallick at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Jesse Jantzen at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. There are now only five U.S. athletes to ever win a gold medal at this event, as the three champions this year joined Bruce Baumgartner (1981) and Wade Schalles (1977) as World University Games champions.
This popular feature will be changed on a regular basis, allowing members to enjoy many of the greatest matches in wrestling history.
Posted in the archive section of the Members Only web page was the 2005 Jesse Jantzen vs. Kelaxsaev Berding men's freestyle match at the World University Games in Izmir, Turkey at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Many other entertaining and historic matches are in the archive section for the Bout of the Week.
While many of the features of the site will be available for everyone to use, the video clips will be accessible only to current members of USA Wrestling. To view the videos on this site, you must be logged into your TheMat.com passport account, which also must include your USA Wrestling Membership number. This is the same account used for TheMat.com Message Boards.
If you already have a Passport Account, make sure you are logged in and that your profile includes your USA Wrestling Membership Number. If you are a member and have not already registered for your online account, click the "Get Passport Account" at the top of the page. If you have an account and are not a current member of USA Wrestling, you will find a link to "Join USA Wrestling" on the Edit Passport Profile page.
The audio and video in this section are in a variety of formats, including Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, and Quicktime formats. If you do not currently have one of these players, you will find helpful links under the player windows for downloading and installing these free players. Due to the nature of video online, a high-speed Internet connection, such as Cable or DSL, is necessary to view videos.
RECENT BOUTS OF THE WEEK PLACED IN ARCHIVE
2005 Jesse Jantzen vs. Kelaxsaev Berding men's freestyle match
2005 Nate Gallick vs. Odabasi Tevfik men's freestyle match
2005 Tina George vs. Marcie Van Dusen women's freestyle match
2005 Joe Warren vs. Jacob Hey men's Greco-Roman match
2000 Les Gutches vs. Cael Sanderson men's freestyle match
1999 Terry Brands vs. Eric Guerrero men's freestyle matches
2004 Cael Sanderson vs. Adam Saitiev men's freestyle match
1990 Rob Koll vs. Rahmat Sofiyadi men's freestyle match
1989 Michial Foy vs. Atanas Komchev men's Greco-Roman match
1995 Elbrus Tedeev vs. Takahiro Wada men's freestyle match
1993 Terry Brands vs. Jesus Wilson men's freestyle match
2005 Sally Roberts vs. Tela O'Donnell women's freestyle match
1999 Stephen Neal vs. Aydin Polatci men's freestyle match
1992 highlight video of U.S. Olympic Wrestling team in Barcelona, Spain
1988 Andy Seras vs. Mike Mann men's Greco-Roman match
1992 Kevin Jackson vs. Rasul Khadem men's freestyle match
1992 Chris Campbell vs. Puntsag Sukhbat men's freestyle match
2000 Garrett Lowney vs. Gogi Koguachvili men's Greco-Roman match
1988 Randy Lewis vs. Stepan Sarkissian men's freestyle match
1996 Kurt Angle vs. Abbas Jadidi men's freestyle match
1990 Chris Wilson vs. Arsen Fadzeav men's freestyle match
1990 John Smith vs. Stepan Sarkissian men's freestyle match
2004 Sunkist Kids International Open men's Greco-Roman gold-medal matches
2004 Sunkist Kids International Open men's freestyle gold-medal matches
1990 Bill Scherr vs. Alexei Golovko men's freestyle match
2004 Cael Sanderson vs. Moon Eui Jae men's freestyle match
2004 Rulon Gardner Olympic semifinals and finals men's Greco-Roman feature
2004 Sara McMann vs. Stavroula Zygouri women's freestyle match
2004 Toccara Montgomery vs. Kristie Marano women's freestyle match
2004 Joe Williams vs. Joe Heskett men's freestyle match
2004 Eric Guerrero vs. Mike Zadick men's freestyle match
2004 Cael Sanderson vs. Lee Fullhart men's freestyle match
2004 Dennis Hall vs. Brandon Paulson men's Greco-Roman match
1996 Townsend Saunders vs. Pat Santoro men's freestyle match
1988 Mark Fuller vs. T.J. Jones men's Greco-Roman match
1988 Nate Carr vs. Andre Metzger men's freestyle match
2004 Jared Frayer vs. Eric Larkin men's freestyle match
1987 Bill Scherr vs. Greg Gibson men's freestyle match
1992 Dennis Koslowski vs. Andrzej Wronski men's Greco-Roman match
1989 Jim Scherr vs. Makharbek Khadartsev men's freestyle match
2003 Sally Roberts vs. Marianna Sastin women's freestyle match
1996 Melvin Douglas vs. Mike Van Arsdale men's freestyle match
1988 Ike Anderson vs. Buddy Lee men's Greco-Roman match
1996 Tom Brands vs. Jang Jae-Sung men's freestyle match
2004 Eric Larkin vs. T.J. Williams men's freestyle match
1992 Rodney Smith vs. Cecilio Rodriguez men's Greco-Roman match
1988 Rico Chiapparelli vs. Lukman Jabrailov men's freestyle match
2003 Kristie Marano vs. Ewelina Pruszko women's freestyle match
1999 Stephen Neal vs. Andrei Shumilin men's freestyle match
2003 Cael Sanderson vs. Sajid Sajidov men's freestyle match