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|Cejudo, Bunch, Lawal win freestyle golds at Pan American Championships in El Salvador|
By Gary Abbott USA Wrestling
SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR - Three U.S. freestyle wrestlers were champions in the Pan American Freestyle Wrestling Championships on Saturday, May 19. The Pan American nations are from North, Central and South America.
Claiming individual gold medals were Henry Cejudo (Colorado Springs, Colo./Sunkist Kids) at 55 kg/121 lbs., Shawn Bunch (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 60 kg/132 lbs. and Mo Lawal (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
The names of many of the opponents are not currently available and will be updated when received.
Both Cejudo and Bunch defeated an opponent from Colombia in their gold-medal finals.
The U.S. had six total medals in the freestyle tournament. Capturing silver medals were Joe Heskett (Columbus, Ohio./Gator WC) at 74 kg/163 lbs. and Tommy Rowlands (Columbus, Ohio./Sunkist Kids) at 120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Heskett was defeated in the gold-medal finals by Cuban veteran Ivan Fundora, a 2004 Olympic bronze medalist. Rowlands was also beaten in the finals by a star Cuban athlete, 1998 World champion Alexis Rodriguez.
Winning a bronze medal was 2006 World champion Bill Zadick (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) at 66 kg/145.5 lbs., in his first competition since winning the World title last year. His only loss was against an opponent from Venezuela.
At 84 kg/185 lbs., Lee Fullhart (Colorado Springs, Colo./Gator WC) did not earn a medal, losing matches to 1999 World champion Yoel Romero of Cuba as well as an opponent from Canada.
Based upon these results, the USA won the team title in freestyle.
The U.S. team was coached by USA Wrestling Freestyle Resident Coach Terry Brands of Colorado Springs, Colo. and Zeke Jones of Philadelphia, Pa.
The top eight finishers in each of the Olympic weights qualify their countries for July's Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Cuba's 2004 Olympic champion Yandro Quintana missed weight at 60 kg/132 lbs. This means that Cuba did not qualify to compete at this weight class at the Pan American Games.
Over the course of the weekend, in the three international styles, the United States won 16 medals, which included six golds, six silvers and four bronzes.
Complete results will be posted when possible.
55 kg/121 lbs.
Gold - Henry Cejudo (USA)
Silver - Fredy Serrano (Colombia)
Bronze - Andy Moreno (Cuba)
Bronze - César Roberty (Venezuela)
60 kg/132 lbs.
Gold - Shawn Bunch (USA)
Silver - Nelson García (Colombia)
Bronze - Antonio González (Panama)
Bronze - Tomás Solórzano (Venezuela)
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Gold - Geandry Garzón (Cuba)
Silver - Ricardo Roberty (Venezuela)
Bronze - Bill Zadick (USA)
Bronze - Cris Prickett (Canada)
74 kg/163 lbs.
Gold - Iván Fundora (Cuba)
Silver - Joe Heskett (USA)
Bronze - Máximo Blanco (Venezuela)
Bronze - Wilson Medina (Colombia)
84 kg/185 lbs.
Gold - Yoel Romero (Cuba)
Silver - Jesús González (Venezuela)
Bronze - Richard Ramos (Dominican Republic)
Bronze - Jonathan Rioux (Canada)
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Gold - Mo Lawal (USA)
Silver - Luis Fivenez (Venezuela)
Bronze - Arnulfo Hernández (Colombia)
Bronze - Michael Batista (Cuba)
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Gold - Alexis Rodríguez (Cuba)
Silver - Tommy Rowlands (USA)
Bronze - Jonsy Sánchez (Venezuela)
Bronze - Jordany Hernández (Guatemala)