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Trent Paulson springs another early upset as U.S. World Team Trials get underway in Las Vegas



LAS VEGAS - It's been a banner year for Trent Paulson.

He won a NCAA title in his final match for the Iowa State Cyclones in March.

Now he's trying to make a splash internationally.

One year after he upset past World bronze medalist Joe Williams in the first round of the U.S. World Team Trials in freestyle, Paulson pulled off another early upset to start the 2007 World Team Trials in Greco-Roman wrestling.

The seventh-seeded Paulson scored a 0-7, 5-0, 2-2 quarterfinal upset over No. 2 seed Cheney Haight in the Challenge Tournament at 74 kg/163 lbs. Paulson's win came as the two-day event kicked off Saturday morning at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Paulson (Council Bluffs, Iowa/Sunkist Kids) advances to face No. 6 seed Kenneth Cook of the Sunkist Kids in Saturday afternoon's Challenge Tournament semifinals. Cook beat No. 3 seed Kevin Lazano 7-0, 1-1 in the quarters.

The winner of the Challenge Tournament at 74 kilos will meet 2007 U.S. Nationals champion T.C. Dantzler in the best-of-3 finals series Saturday night.

Champions in each weight class advance to the World Championships on Sept. 17-23 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

U.S. Nationals champion Joe Heskett of the Gator Wrestling Club survived a close call in his quarterfinal bout at 74 kg/163 lbs. in freestyle. Heskett outlasted No. 8 seed Kirk White, a past World Team Trials runner-up, by a 1-0, 0-3, 2-1 score. The third period was tied 1-1 when Heskett tried to throw White near the edge of the mat. After a video review, Heskett was awarded one point with eight seconds left after it was determined White had reportedly touched out of bounds.

The top-seeded Heskett, also a past World Team Trials runner-up, now advances to meet No. 4 seed Ramico Blackmon of the New York AC in the semifinals.

No major upsets occurred in the women's freestyle class in the first session.

Grappling also made its debut at this event late Saturday morning.

The second session was set to begin at 1:30 p.m. Pacific Time.
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