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|WEEKEND UPDATE: Americans win 19 medals, including 8 gold, at Pan Am Championships|
By Craig Sesker and Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
The United States took 21 wrestlers to the Pan Am Championships on June 2-4 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
And returned home with 19 medals, including eight gold medals.
Four American freestyle wrestlers won gold medals. They included Henry Cejudo of the Sunkist Kids (121 pounds) and Doug Schwab of the Gator Wrestling Club (145.5) along with Nik Fekete (211.5) and Steve Mocco (264.5) of the New York Athletic Club.
Three women's freestyle wrestlers also struck gold. They included Jackie Cataline of Cataline's Wildcats (138.5), Randi Miller of the U.S. Olympic Education Center (147.5) and Stephany Lee of Missouri Valley (158.5).
American Joe Warren of the New York Athletic Club (132) won a gold medal in Greco-Roman. Warren will represent the U.S. at the World Championships on Sept. 26-Oct. 2 in Guangzhou, China.
New class of Hall of Famers enshrined in Stillwater
The National Wrestling Hall of Fame Honors Weekend was held in Stillwater, Okla., on June 2-3. Many of those who were inducted or received special honors were very active within USA Wrestling. Among the Distinguished Members inducted were USA Wrestling's National Freestyle Resident Terry Brands, a two-time World champion and Olympic medalist. Each of the other inductees were involved with the Olympic-level programs: four-time World champion Tricia Saunders, who also served as an Olympic women's coach; four-time NCAA champion Pat Smith, who was an Olympic Trials runner-up; and Olympic medalist and Olympic referee Josiah Henson.
The Order of Merit was awarded to Larry Sciacchetano, who served two terms as the USA Wrestling president and has served on the FILA Bureau. The Lifetime Service Award for Officials went to Sam Williams, who was among the founders of the U.S. Wrestling Officials Association and worked numerous USA Wrestling events.
The Dave Schultz High School Excellence award was presented to David Craig of Florida, a Junior National double champion. Others honored were Medal of Courage winner Randy Meyer, who is blind and was a college wrestling All-American and mayor of his city, plus Outstanding American Pat Day, a Hall of Fame jockey who was a state high school wrestling champion.
The weekend was dedicated to the memory of John Vaughan, the Distinguished Member and major supporter of USA Wrestling and the Hall of Fame, who passed away recently.
Six double champions crowned at Northeast Regional Championships
Six double winners were crowned in the Cadet division at the Northeast Regional Championships on June 2-4 in Bristol, R.I.
Wrestlers winning titles in freestyle and Greco-Roman included Ricky Reindehl (84), David Irwin (91), Josh Kindig (112) and Jake O'Hara (125) of Pennsylvania, Shane Strumwasser (130) of New York and Jonathan Becker (189) of New Jersey.
Coming Up: FILA Junior World Team Trials
Some of the nation's top young wrestling talent will be on display at the FILA Junior World Team Trials on June 9-10 at East Middle School in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Among the wrestlers expected to compete are 2006 U.S. Nationals champion Henry Cejudo, six-time Junior Nationals champion Brent Metcalf and NCAA runner-up Troy Nickerson of Cornell in freestyle along with two-time All-American Coleman Scott of Oklahoma State. Cejudo will compete at 121 pounds, Metcalf will compete at 145.5 with Nickerson and Scott likely entered at 132.
University Nationals champions Spenser Mango of the U.S. Olympic Education Center program and Robbie Smith of the New York Athletic Club are expected to compete in Greco-Roman. Mango competes at 121 pounds and Smith at 211.5.
The winners in each weight class advance to the FILA Junior World Championships on Aug. 29-Sept. 3 in Guatemala City, Guatemala.