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Top News Stories... moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....

Esposito vs Jakobczyk is the new “Bout of the Week” on USA Wrestling Audio/Video website

USA Wrestling has updated its new "Bout of the Week" which has been posted as a video file on-line on Audio/Video website .

The featured match this week is the 2007 Zack Esposito vs. Damien Jakobczyk men's freestyle gold medal match at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. at the Trophe Milone Tournament in Rome, Italy.

Every winter and early spring, there are a series of international wrestling tournaments all over the world. These events play a very important role in the development of international wrestlers. For veteran athletes, it allows them a chance to keep their competitive edge and to adjust to the constant changes in technique and strategy. For young wrestlers, they are a proving ground and developmental opportunity, where international wrestling skills and experience are cultivated.

This match is a battle between two young and developing athletes, both looking to take a big step into Senior-level freestyle wrestling.

Zack Esposito of the United States has been a top performer in wrestling throughout his life. The younger brother of a family of wrestlers, he made a big impact during his high school years competing at one of the most successful high school teams in the nation, Blair Academy in New Jersey under the legendary coach Jeff Buxton. In fact, as a high school senior. Esposito was named ASICS High School Wrestler of the Year, recognized as the best prep athlete in the entire nation.

Esposito went to Oklahoma State Univ. to compete under World and Olympic champion John Smith. He was a key member of Cowboy teams that won a number of NCAA team titles. He was a three-time All-American, winning a NCAA title in 2005, placing second in 2004 and third in 2006. He is now pursuing an Olympic quest, competing for the Gator WC.

In spite of all of his success in freestyle wrestling as a youth, Esposito has not competed on a World Team for the United States, either on the age-group or Senior levels. Now that he is pursuing Olympic wrestling dreams, Esposito needs as many international matches as possible to continue his development.

Esposito attended a USA Wrestling winter tour, competing in two international events in early 2007. His first event was Yasar Dogu Tournament in Turkey, where he and former college teammate Steven Mocco won bronze medals, the only U.S. medalists. Next on the tour was the Trophe Milone tournament in Italy.

Damien Jakobczyk of Poland was also seeking to continue to improve and make a name internationally. Going into this year, he has represented Poland twice at age-group continental championships, placing 10th at the 2003 European Cadet Championships and 16th at the 2006 European Junior Championships. He also needs to get onto the international circuit to improve.

At the Trophe Milone, leading up to the gold medal match, Esposito beat Dusan Babrnak of Slovakia, Fajabi Nouroddin of Iran and U.S. wrestler Phillip Simpson of the U.S. Army. Jakobczyk won his matches on his side of the bracket, earning the right to face Esposito in the finals.

Esposito defeated Jakobczyk, 3-2, 6-0 in the gold-medal match. Esposito was one of six U.S. medalists in the tournament, but the only American to win the championships.

Keep an eye on Zach Esposito and Damien Jakobczyk in future World-level competitions. Both are paying their dues right now for that opportunity.

This popular feature will be changed on a regular basis, allowing members to enjoy many of the greatest matches in wrestling history. Posted in the archive section of the Members Only web page was the 1997 Kendall Cross vs. Murad Umakhanov men's freestyle match at 58 kg/127.75 lbs. at the World Cup of Freestyle Wrestling in Stillwater, Okla Many other entertaining and historic matches are in the archive section for the Bout of the Week.
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