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|U.S. Nationals Freestyle Preview at 60 kg/132 lbs.|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Mike Zadick (Solon, Iowa/Hawkeye WC) placed fourth at the U.S. Nationals last year at 60 kg/132 lbs., but he emerged as one of the big stories of the season after he won the U.S. World Team Trials before winning a silver medal in freestyle at the World Championships.
Zadick had only wrestled once this year entering the World Cup, falling in the Chicago Cup to past World champion Alan Dudaev of Russia. Zadick finished 2-1 at the World Cup this past weekend.
A big story in this weight class is the return of 1996 Olympic champion Kendall Cross (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who is back after a 10-year retirement. Cross placed third at the Dave Schultz Memorial International in February and even at age 38 is still a dangerous wrestler with his funky, unorthodox style. Cross, like Zadick, is very big for this weight class and difficult to match up with.
2005 World Team member Michael Lightner (Norman, Okla./Sunkist Kids) also is still very much in the mix. Lightner placed second to Zadick at the 2006 U.S. World Team Trials.
Two-time NCAA champion Travis Lee (Ithaca, N.Y./New York AC) also is expected to be back in the mix after being sidelined by injuries. Lee looked very tough in winning the Dave Schultz Memorial International in February.
2006 U.S. Nationals champion Zach Roberson (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) also is a contender in this class as is 2005 U.S. World Team Trials runner-up Nate Gallick (Ames, Iowa/Sunkist Kids).
Past NCAA champion Cliff Moore (Edinboro, Pa.) was third at the U.S. World Team Trials in 2006. Angel Cejudo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) placed fourth at the Dave Schultz event after upsetting Cross in the quarterfinals. Cross came back to beat Cejudo in a rematch for third place.
Chris Fleeger (Ithaca, N.Y./New York AC) also is a wrestler to watch. Fleeger won the Sunkist Kids International last fall.
2006 U.S. NATIONALS RESULTS
1st - Zach Roberson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids) dec. Michael Lightner, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids), 4-0, 1-3, 1-0
3rd - Nate Gallick, Tucson, Ariz. (Sunkist Kids) dec. Mike Zadick, Solon, Iowa (Hawkeye TC), 3-1, 0-2, 3-0
5th - Cliff Moore, Iowa City, Iowa (Hawkeye TC) dec. Josh Moore, Cuyahoga Falls, Iowa (Sunkist Kids), 1-1, 6-0
7th - Teyon Ware, Norman, Okla. (New York AC) by forfeit
1. Mike Zadick, Solon, Iowa (Hawkeye WC)
2. Michael Lightner, Norman, Okla. (Sunkist Kids)
3. Travis Lee, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC)
4. Kendall Cross, Colorado Springs, Colo.
5. Zach Roberson, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
6. Nate Gallick, Ames, Iowa (Sunkist Kids)
7. Chris Fleeger, Ithaca, N.Y. (New York AC)
8. Cliff Moore, Edinboro, Pa.
9. Angel Cejudo, Colorado Springs, Colo. (Sunkist Kids)
10. Shawn Bunch, Edinboro, Pa. (Gator WC)