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|Jesse Jantzen returns in big way as Dave Schultz Memorial International kicks off|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Jantzen vs. Frayer Match Video
Jantzen vs. Esposito Match Video
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - So much for being rusty after a long layoff.
Jesse Jantzen is back on the mat after a year and a half layoff and just two hours into the Dave Schultz Memorial International he proved Friday morning he is back in a huge way.
The 2005 World University Games champion came out aggressively in notching a 1-0, 1-0 second-round win over 2006 U.S. World Team Trials runner-up Jared Frayer at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. The Dave Schultz Memorial event is set for Friday and Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center
Shortly after winning his World University title, Jantzen injured his foot while wake boarding on the water back near his Long Island home.
"I grew up in the water, so I love doing water sports," Jantzen said. "I was showing off wake boarding and doing this trick and landed wrong and hurt my foot pretty good. They thought it was a break initially, but three months later they told me I needed surgery and had pins put in my foot.
"I needed a full year to recover. It was a ligament tear in my right foot and collapsed my arch so I couldn't run and had no spring off my foot. I could walk, but it's been a long road back and I've been kind of easing into it to make sure I'm ready. I'm excited to be on the mat again."
The long layoff was not easy, especially for a guy who figured to contend for a spot on the U.S. World Team.
"It was really tough on me mentally," said Jantzen, who competes for the New York Athletic Club. "I had never really had a big injury like this before that had put me out for a long time. I didn't really know how to handle it. I got down as it kept dragging on where I couldn't compete. I just had to take it in stride and work my way back."
Jantzen, an assistant coach at Harvard, put the match away with Frayer when he fired in strong on a leg attack for a second-period takedown.
"It was a real tight match like I thought it would be," Jantzen said. "Jared is somebody I have worked out with for a number of years when we coached together at Harvard and he's been a good friend. It was nice to get that win. I tried to wrestle smart because he is so good in a lot of positions."
Jantzen, who is a Harvard assistant along with Olympic silver medalist Jamill Kelly, is scheduled to meet Zack Esposito in Friday afternoon's quarterfinals. Jantzen and Esposito both won NCAA titles.
Jantzen's brother, Corey, has been in the news this season after being ruled ineligible by the New York high school association for competing in the Midlands Championships because he was still in high school. But Jantzen, who had received clearance to compete in the Midlands before the event, has been reinstated and will be able to finish his final season.
Corey Jantzen is a top-ranked recruit and will follow his brother and wrestle for Harvard. He competes for Shoreham-Wading River High School in New York. He placed seventh at the Midlands Championships and also competed in freestyle at the New York AC International in November.
Corey Jantzen competed at 60 kg/132 lbs. in the New York AC event. He failed to place in the top four, but he did beat Sunkist Kids International Open champion Chris Fleeger in the first round of the tournament.
"I'm biased, but Corey is way ahead of where I was at that point in my career," Jesse Jantzen said. "I've been working with him and he's been around wrestling a long time. And he's a better athlete than I am. He's having fun with it. He has a bright future ahead, that's for sure."
The 66 kilo class is one of the deepest and toughest in the United States. American Bill Zadick, who is not competing this weekend, is the reigning World champion. Jared Lawrence, third at the 2006 U.S. World Team Trials, also is competing in the Schultz event this weekend. Lawrence also advanced to the quarterfinals Friday morning.
One of the top early matchups in freestyle came at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. when veteran Eric Larkin scored a 1-0, 3-1 win over Iowa freshman Brent Metcalf. Neither wrestler scored in the first two minutes before Larkin won the flip and finished a takedown in the leg clinch. Larkin scored a takedown and turned Metcalf for two exposure points in the second period.
Metcalf is wrestling in the Schultz event since he's ineligible collegiately this year after Virginia Tech refused to release him from his scholarship after he transferred to Iowa.
Sombo World champion Jeff Zastrow has reached the quarterfinals in both freestyle and Greco-Roman at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Jared Lawrence (Minnesota Storm) vs. Yokoyama Futoshi (Japan)
Eric Larkin (Sunkist Kids) vs. Jin-kuk Baek (Korea)
Jesse Jantzen (New York AC) vs. Zack Esposito (Gator WC)
Dylan Long (Sunkist Kids) vs. Alan Dudaev (Russia)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Ramico Blackmon (New York AC) vs. Akzhrek Tanatarov (Kazakhstan)
Mihail Petrov Ganev (Bulgaria) vs. Travis Koppenhafer (Sunkist Kids)
Ryan Churella (New York AC) vs. Muzaffar Abdurakhmanov (Gator WC)
Dae-ye Jung (Korea) vs. Murad Gadzhimuradov (Russia)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Clint Wattenberg (New York AC) vs. Ying Wang (China)
Travis Cross (Canada) vs. Bryce Hasseman (New York AC)
Chris Pendleton (Gator WC) vs. Miroslav Ivanov Geshev (Bulgaria)
Bingquan Lu (China) vs. Lee Fullhart (Gator WC)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Damion Hahn (New York AC) vs. Jeff Zastrow (Warhawk WC)
Sean Stender (Sunkist Kids) vs. Georgy Keteov (Russia)
Nick Preston (Sunkist Kids) vs. Katayev Nurzhan (Kazakhstan)
Dawid Rechul (New York AC) vs. Petta Francesco (Italy)
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Ville Pasanen (Finland) vs. Timothy Bleau (USOEC)
Nikolay Gergov (Bulgaria) vs. Aibek Yensekhanov (Kazakhstan)
Jarkko Ala-huikku (Finland) vs. Yanyan Li (China)
Ji-hyun Jung (Korea) vs. Glenn Garrison (U.S. Army)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Keith Sieracki (U.S. Marines) vs. Yongxiang Chang (China)
Andrew Bisek (Minnesota Storm) vs. Cheney Haight (New York AC)
Sasa Petkovic (New York AC) vs. Roman Melyoshin (Kazakhstan)
Yavor Dimitrov Yanakiev (Bulgaria) vs. Christoffer Ljungback (Sweden)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Gang Wang (China) vs. Aaron Sieracki (U.S. Army)
Justin Millard (U.S. Air Force) vs. Jason Plamann (Gator WC)
Jung-sub Kim (Korea) vs. Chas Betts (Minnesota Storm)
Brad Vering (New York AC) vs. Stoyanov Yabandzhiev (Bulgaria)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Aso Masaaki (Japan) vs. Justin Ruiz (New York AC)
Jeff Zastrow (Warhawk WC) vs. Brad Ahearn (U.S. Army)
R.C. Johnson (Sunkist Kids) vs. Margulan Assembekov (Kazakhstan)
Adam Wheeler (Gator WC) vs. Zurab Khachapuridze (Georgia)