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|Sigman, Zadick, Askren, Pendleton, Cummins win freestyle titles at Dave Schultz Memorial International|
By Craig Sesker USA Wrestling
Les Sigman controls China's Lei Liang in the finals. Photo by Larry Slater.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Les Sigman is healthy again.
And that's bad news for his opponents.
Sigman continued his strong season by winning the Dave Schultz Memorial International title on Friday night at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Sigman capped a strong tournament by rallying for a three-period win over Olympian Lei Liang of China in the finals at 120 kg/264.5 lbs. Sigman was named Outstanding Wrestler.
"I didn't feel like I had my best performance, but I pushed through it and used my conditioning," Sigman said. "I gained some great international experience. I wrestled four foreign opponents and a couple of Olympians. I just need to keep building on this and get consistent training out at Penn State with the Nittany Lion Wrestling Club."
Sigman was one of five American champions. He was joined by fellow Schultz champions Mike Zadick, Ben Askren, Chris Pendleton and Pat Cummins.
Sigman struggled with injuries last year, but has been healthy this season. He won the Hargobind International and placed second at the New York AC International this season.
Sigman dropped the first period 4-0 to the massive Chinese wrestler, who is 6-foot-7. Sigman rebounded to sweep the final two periods 3-0, 2-0, as he wore Liang down.
"He was kind of awkward to wrestle," Sigman said. "The first period, I took a couple of bad shots. But I regrouped. I knew he was going to get tired and I knew I could wear him down. I need to start building on my leads better."
Sigman powered in on a double-leg attack late in the first period en route to sweeping 2009 World bronze medalist Ioannis Arzoumanidis of Greece in the semifinals.
"I know I can score on anybody in the World," Sigman said. "I just have to keep improving and just build on this performance."
Zadick, a 2006 World silver medalist, won his second career Dave Schultz title by defeating 17-year-old Russian Magomed Kurbanaliev 0-1, 3-0, 6-0 in the finals.
Zadick dropped the first period, but dominated the second and third periods as his superb conditioning paid off for him.
"It was a good tournament for me," Zadick said. "I got some good, tough matches in against foreign competition. I still have a lot of work to do, but I feel good about where I'm at right now."
Zadick earned a tough, three-period win over rival Nate Gallick in the semifinals. Zadick shot in on a leg attack to score a takedown with one second left in the third period at 60 kg/132 lbs.
Askren, a 2008 Olympian, dropped the first period against 2009 World Team member Trent Paulson before coming back to pin Paulson in the second period at 74 kg/163 lbs.
Pendleton swept Raymond Jordan 5-2, 3-1 in the finals at 84 kg/185 lbs.
Cummins outlasted Bryce Hasseman 0-1, 2-0, 2-0 in the finals at 96 kg/211.5 lbs.
The three-day tournament concludes with the women's freestyle competition on Saturday. Wrestling will start at 9 a.m. with the finals set for 2:30 p.m. in Colorado Springs.
55 kg/121 lbs.
Shinichi Yumoto (Japan) dec. Hyo-Sub Kim (Korea), 3-2, 1-0
60 kg/132 lbs.
Mike Zadick (Gator WC) dec. Magomed Kurbanaliev (Russia), 0-1, 3-0, 6-0
66 kg/145.5 lbs.
Haislan Garcia (Canada) dec. Arslan Arslanov (Russia), 3-1, 6-0
74 kg/163 lbs.
Ben Askren (Sunkist Kids) pinned Trent Paulson (Sunkist Kids), 2-5, 2nd period
84 kg/185 lbs.
Chris Pendleton (Gator WC) dec. Raymond Jordan (Sunkist Kids), 5-2, 3-1
96 kg/211.5 lbs.
Pat Cummins (Lehigh Valley AC) dec. Bryce Hasseman (New York AC), 0-1, 2-0, 2-0
120 kg/264.5 lbs.
Les Sigman (Nittany Lion WC) dec. Lei Liang (China), 0-4, 3-0, 2-0