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|Fisher, Ruiz, Byers strike gold in Greco-Roman at Dave Schultz Memorial International|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Jake Fisher battles for position en route to winning the Dave Schultz Memorial International on Thursday. Photo by Larry Slater.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A strong close to the final round enabled the United States to claim three gold medals on the first day of the Dave Schultz Memorial International.
Americans Jake Fisher, Justin Ruiz and Dremiel Byers each captured Greco-Roman wrestling championships on Thursday night at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Fisher outlasted Junior World champion Arizbek Murodov of Uzbekistan 0-1, 1-0, 2-0 in the finals at 74 kg/163 lbs. Fisher was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.
"It was a tough match - he didn't get tired like all the other guys I wrestled," Fisher said. "I didn't stop wrestling. I was just pushing hard the whole time."
Ruiz won his third Schultz title after sweeping Robbie Smith 1-0, 4-0 in the title bout at 96 kg/211.5 lbs. Ruiz headlocked Smith in the second period to put the match away.
"I felt pretty good out there," Ruiz said. "I'm still trying to work more attacks on the feet and trying open up a little more. I just went out and had some fun. It was great to get some tough international matches in and have some success."
Byers won his record-tying fifth Schultz title by sweeping Brandon Rupp 1-0, 1-0 in the finals at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Byers ties Patricia Miranda with the most Schultz titles in the 12-year history of the event.
Byers beat Rupp for the third time this season in the finals of an international event.
"Winning this is definitely important for me," Byers said. "It's important for our team and hopefully it's a contagious thing for my teammates. I'm trying to keep our tradition going."
American Glenn Garrison finished second after falling to World silver medalist Min-Chul Kim of Korea in the finals at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. Garrison chose the top position in par terre in the third period, but Kim countered a turn attempt and stepped over Garrison.
Garrison held his ground on bottom in the final 30 seconds to pull out a semifinal win over World champion Dilshod Aripov of Uzbekistan at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
American Cheney Haight placed second at 84 kg/185 lbs. He fell to Sweden's Christoffe Ljungback 1-1, 3-0, 2-0 in the finals.
Returning champion Spenser Mango of the U.S. fell to Uzbekistan's Ildar Hafizov in the semifinals at 55 kg/121 lbs. Hafizov scored late in the third period in a scramble to pull out the win. Mango finished fifth in the tournament.
2009 U.S. World Team member Faruk Sahin's bid for his third Schultz title ended in a two-period semifinal loss to Kim. The Korean hit a big headlock late in the first period to take control at 66 kg/145.5 lbs.
2004 Olympic gold medalist Ji-Hyun Jung of Korea) looked impressive in downing Japan's Ryutaro Matsumoto 3-0, 3-0 in the finals at 60 kg/132 lbs.
The three-day tournament continues on Friday with the freestyle competition. The tournament concludes with women's freestyle on Saturday.
55 kg/121 lbs.
Ildar Hafizov (Uzbekistan) dec. Gyu-Jin Choi (Korea), 1-0, 1-0
60 kg/132 lbs.
Ji-Hyun Jung (Korea) dec. Ryutaro Matsumoto (Japan), 3-0, 3-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Min-Chul Kim (Korea) dec. Glenn Garrison (U.S Army), 0-2, 1-0, 2-0
74 kg/163 lbs.
Jake Fisher (New York AC) dec. Arizbek Murodov (Uzbekistan), 0-1, 1-0, 2-0
84 kg/185 lbs.
Christoffe Ljungback (Sweden) dec. Cheney Haight (New York AC), 1-1, 3-0, 2-0
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Justin Ruiz (New York AC) dec. Robbie Smith (New York AC), 1-0, 4-0
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Dremiel Byers (U.S. Army) dec. Brandon Rupp (New York AC), 1-0, 1-0