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Esposito, Mocco win bronze medals at Yasar Dogu tourney in Turkey

ANKARA, TURKEY - A pair of U.S. wrestlers won bronze medals in freestyle on the first day of the Yasar Dogu Tournament in Ankara, Turkey on Saturday.

Capturing bronze medals were Zack Esposito (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and Steven Mocco (Stillwater, Okla./New York AC) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.

Both were teammates and NCAA Div. I champions for Oklahoma State Univ., and both competed for Blair Academy in New Jersey in high school

Esposito won four of his five matches, including a 3-1, 6-0 victory over Kuyucu of Turkey in the championship match.

He won three straight bouts to start the day. Esposito pinned Ryszand Leniewskiu of Poland in the period, then needed three periods to beat Cubukci of Turkey, 1-3, 3-0, 3-0. In the quarterfinals, he got past Buyanov Batzorig of Mongolia, 1-3, 3-0, 4-0. In the semifinals, Esposito was defeated by Yenmitsu Tatsuhuro of Japan, 3-1, 0-4, 5-8.

Mocco, who is currently ranked No. 2 on Freestyle Team USA, had a 3-1 record for the day. He won his first two matches, beating Arkadiuse Kordus of Poland, 2-0, 3-0 and Markus Hamann of Germany, 1-0, 2-0. In the semifinals, he lost to Recep Kara of Turkey, 0-1, 0-1, both on clinches in which he lost the coin toss.

In the bronze-medal match, Mocco stopped Nkuradze of Georgia, 3-0, 4-0.

Six other U.S. wrestlers competed on Saturday, but did not qualify for the medal rounds. The final three weight classes (60 kg, 74 kg, 96 kg) will be held on Sunday.

At Ankara, Turkey, March 3

U.S. performances

55 kg/121 lbs. - Matt Azevedo (Arroyo Grande, Calif./Sunkist Kids), dnp

WIN Marcin Pawlak (Poland), 4-1, 2-0
LOSS Demir (Turkey), 1-3, 3-3

66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Zack Esposito (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC), 3rd
WIN Ryszand Leniewskiu (Poland), pin 2nd period
WIN Cubukci (Turkey), 1-3, 3-0, 3-0
WIN Buyanov Batzorig (Mongolia), 1-3, 3-0, 4-0
LOSS Yenmitsu Tatsuhuro (Japan), 3-1, 0-4, 5-8
WIN Kuyucu (Turkey), 3-1, 6-0

66 kg/145.5 lbs. - Phillip Simpson (Colorado Springs, Colo./U.S. Army)
LOSS Ali Isbandazov (Azerbaijan), 0-1, 1-1, 4-6

84 kg/185 lbs. - Chris Pendleton (Stillwater, Okla./Gator WC)
WIN Suzuki Yutaka (Japan) in two periods
LOSS Gokhan Tavaser (Turkey), in two periods

84 kg/185 lbs. - Clint Wattenburg (Ithaca, N.Y./New York AC)
LOSS Serdr Boke (Turkey) in two periods

84 kg/185 lbs. - Tony Gansen (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids)
WIN Georgi (Bulgaria), 2-0, 0-2, 2-1
LOSS Serdar Boke (Turkey), in two periods

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Steven Mocco (Stillwater, Okla./New York AC), 3rd
WIN Arkadiuse Kordus (Poland), 2-0, 3-0
WIN Markus Hamann (Germany), 1-0, 2-0
LOSS Recep Kara (Turkey), 0-1, 0-1
WIN Nkuradze (Georgia), 3-0, 4-0

120 kg/264.5 lbs. - Les Sigmon (Lincoln, Neb./Sunkist Kids)
LOSS Ali Resa Kaya (Turkey), 3-5, 1-2

More information will be posted when available.
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