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|WEEKEND UPDATE: Mango captures gold medal at World University Championships|
By Craig Sesker and Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
Spenser Mango's memorable season on the mat continues.
The top young Greco-Roman prospect from the U.S. Olympic Education Center was the lone American to capture a gold medal at the World University Championships on June 16-19 in Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
The 19-year-old Mango, who competes for the Gator Wrestling Club, won the championship at 55 kg/121 pounds. Mango earlier won the FILA Junior Nationals, the University Nationals and the FILA Junior World Team Trials. He was second at the U.S. Nationals on the Senior level this season.
Greco-Roman and USOEC teammate Chas Betts of the Minnesota Storm won a silver medal at 84 kg/185 pounds.
Mango won three matches on the way to his gold medal. He opened the tournament with a 4-2, 4-1 victory over Dan Finh Hue of Vietnam. In the semifinals, Mango stopped K. Hasegawa of Japan, 1-1, 5-7, 6-0.
In the gold-medal match, Mango defeated B. Yasein of Iran, 5-4, 2-1. It was the first World title for Mango at any age level. Mango becomes the first American to win a gold medal in Greco-Roman at the World University Championships, going back to 1998.
Mango was second at the U.S. Nationals on the Senior level this year. He won gold medals at both the University National Championships and the FILA Junior National Championships this spring.
Betts was defeated in the gold-medal finals by T. Saman of Iran, 0-6, 0-3.
The men's freestyle team had a pair of World University medalists in Jake Herbert (Wexford, Pa./Wildcat WC) at 84 kg/185 lbs. and Cole Konrad (Freedom, Wis./Minnesota Storm) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Herbert opened with a three-period win over K. Majied of Iran, 0-6, 2-2, 3-2. In the semifinals, he was defeated by the eventual champion A. Isaev of Russia, 0-3, 0-3. In the bronze-medal match, Herbert needed three periods to defeat Ch. Ganzorig of Mongolia, 3-9, 3-0, 6-0
Konrad won his first match by pin over D. Lkhagvordorj of host Mongolia. In the semifinals, Konrad was defeated by pin in the third period by eventual champion P. Allajanihadi of Iran. In the bronze-medal match, Konrad stopped I. Zykov of Russia, 4-0, 3-0.
Earning medals in women's freestyle were Liz Short (Lombard, Ill./USOEC) at 48 kg/105.5 lbs. and Alaina Berube (Escanaba, Mich./New York AC) at 63 kg/138.75 lbs.
Short opened the tournament with a 0-2, 1-0, 3-0 victory over I. Kisel of Russia. In the semifinals, she was defeated by Alana King of Canada, 0-1, 0-1. In her bronze-medal match, Short defeated Thi Maiphung of Vietnam, 3-0, 3-0.
Berube opened the tournament with a loss, falling to N. Mio of Japan, 0-3, 0-3. She rebounded with a pair of pins, scoring falls over Andreyeka of Russia in the wrestleback round, then Luong Thi Kuyen of Vietnam in the bronze-medal match.
Berube was a 2006 University Nationals champion, and competes for the Univ. of the Cumberlands. She won a bronze medal at the 2005 World University Games held in Turkey.
Kids/Cadet regional events wrapping up
USA Wrestling staged Kids/Cadet events in freestyle and Greco-Roman on June 15-17 at the Northern Plains Regional Championships in Madison, Wis., and at the Southern Plains Regional Championships in Carlsbad, N.M.
The West Regional Championships for Kids/Cadets in freestyle and Greco-Roman are being held June 19-24 in Klamath Falls, Ore. It is the final regional of the season.
Coming Up: Cadet Duals set for Kansas City
The Cadet Dual National Championships are set for June 22-26 in Kansas City, Mo.
Top teams from around the country will be shooting for titles in freestyle and Greco-Roman.
The Junior Dual National Championships will take place on the following weekend. That event is set for June 27-July 2 in Oklahoma City.
Also Coming Up: U.S. World Team Trials for women's freestyle
The countdown has started toward the U.S. World Team Trials for women. The final qualifier for the World Championships is set for June 30 at the Colorado Springs Christian School.
The top finisher in each of the seven weight classes will earn a trip to the World meet on Sept. 26-Oct. 2 in Guangzhou, China.
The seven champions from April's U.S. Nationals - Clarissa Chun (105.5), Patricia Miranda (112), Sharon Jacobson (121), Sally Roberts (130), Sara McMann (138.75), Katie Downing (147.5) and Kristie Marano (158.5) - each receive byes into the best-of-3 finals at the World Team Trials. Chun, Miranda, McMann and Downing each compete for the Sunkist Kids. Jacobson and Roberts are with the Gator Wrestling Club and Marano is with the New York Athletic Club.
The women's event is being held separately for the men this year because of a conflict with the World Cup. The women competed in the World Cup in Japan shortly before the World Team Trials for men's freestyle and Greco-Roman were held last month in Sioux City, Iowa.