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Lester named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week of the Week of April 17-23



Harry Lester (Akron, Ohio/Gator WC/USOEC) has been named TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week for April 17-23.

Each week, TheMat.com will select an Athlete of the Week, based upon performance within wrestling for that week. The selection committee will consider any level of wrestling, from youth programs through the Senior level. The announcement will be made each week on Wednesday.

Lester, a 2006 World bronze medalist in Greco-Roman wrestling, returned to his hometown of Akron, Ohio to compete at the University National Championships held at the University of Akron.

Lester not only won a gold medal in the Greco-Roman competition, as many expected, but he also won a gold medal in freestyle, a style he has not competed in for about four years. He was the only double champion in the tournament.

Lester opened the weekend by capturing the 70 kg/154.25 lbs. weight division in Greco-Roman, and was named Outstanding Wrestler. Lester moved up in weight for this tournament. He normally competes at the international weight class of 66 kg/145.5 lbs.

In the championship finals, he body-locked, lifted and pinned USOEC teammate Timothy Bleau in just 48 seconds. He won two other matches in Greco-Roman, one by pin and the other by technical fall.

In freestyle, Lester went up to an even higher weight class, entering at 74 kg/163 lbs., a full 17 pounds heavier than his normal weight class. He won the gold-medal in what was considered one of the most loaded weight classes in the tournament. Lester beat three-time NCAA All-American Travis Paulson 3-0, 0-2, 3-0 in the finals.

Lester won six matches during the freestyle tournament. One of the most exciting bouts was his fourth-round victory over University of Illinois All-American Mike Poeta, by a 1-3, 5-1, 4-2 margin. On the first day of action, he opened the tournament with a pin and a technical fall, then defeated Poeta. On Sunday, he beat Seth Garvin of Chattanooga in the quarterfinals and Dave Rella of Penn State in the semifinals, before defeating Paulson for the title.

"I didn't plan on losing this weekend," said Lester.

Lester did not compete at the U.S. Nationals in Greco-Roman this year, but will attempt to make his third straight Greco-Roman World Team at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Las Vegas, Nev., June 8-10. Lester has indicated that he will not wrestle any more freestyle after capturing the title at the University Nationals.

Note: To nominate a wrestler for TheMat.com Wrestler of the Week, send the athlete's name, accomplishments for the week and career accomplishments to Craig Sesker at csesker@usawrestling.org
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